Already visited Australia's classic east coast stops? Experience the best of the rest on this two-week trip from Perth to Adelaide, through the heart of Australia's Red Center to Alice Springs, and onto Darwin in the tropical north. See the outback in style on the iconic Ghan Railway, watching the changing light and landscapes as you cover nearly 2,000 miles in three days. Learn about Aboriginal rock art and uncover tales of WWII in Darwin, before making your way back to Perth to enjoy one last amazing Indian Ocean sunset.

Highlights

  • Take a cruise up the Swan River from Fremantle to Perth
  • Come face to face with koalas and roos on Kangaroo Island
  • Enjoy one of the world's most beautiful train journeys, The Ghan
  • Experience outback life in Australia's Red Center
  • See the amazing Jumping Crocodiles in Darwin

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Perth Perth
Day 2 Perth City Sights Tour, Fremantle, & Swan River Cruise Perth
Day 3 Perth Explorations Perth
Day 4 Wave Rock, Aboriginal Culture & Pioneer History Tour Perth
Day 5 Perth to Adelaide Adelaide
Day 6 Adelaide City Sights Tour Adelaide
Day 7 Kangaroo Island Adelaide
Day 8 The Ghan via Marla marla
Day 9 The Ghan via Alice Springs Alice Springs
Day 10 The Ghan to Darwin via Katherine Darwin
Day 11 Darwin City Sights & Croc Cruise Darwin
Day 12 Darwin WW2 Tour & Afternoon Flight to Perth Perth
Day 13 Departure from Perth  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Perth

Welcome to Perth, the friendly capital of Western Australia
Welcome to Perth, the friendly capital of Western Australia

Welcome to Australia! Once you arrive into Perth airport, hop in your shuttle transfer that will take you straight to your accommodation in the city center,  about a 30-minute drive.

The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure. Relax and rest up in the hotel after your flight, go for a wander through the city and get to know the neighborhood, and maybe even head to King's Park for beautiful views over the city. At sunset, head to one of the myriad bars for a drink before taking your pick of the city's restaurants for dinner.

Day 2: Perth City Sights Tour, Fremantle, & Swan River Cruise

This afternoon, visit the historic port town of Fremantle
This afternoon, visit the historic port town of Fremantle

Spend your first full day in Perth making the most of the city's attractions, including the Western Australia Botanic Gardens, the WACA sports stadium, and the Swan Bell Tower, a set of 18 bells hanging in a unique and inspired metal and glass structure. After, take a step back to the old boom days with a visit the old Perth Mint and the Swan Brewery, before heading to Cottesloe Beach to dip your toes in the Indian Ocean.

At lunchtime, head south of the river to the historic port town of Fremantle, with its hip shops, cafes, and quaint period buildings. From here, take a leisurely cruise along the Swan River back to the city center, enjoying seeing all the parks and the city skyline as you pass by.

The evening is yours to relax and enjoy the city on your own terms. Head out for dinner, enjoy drinks at the bar, or order takeaway to your hotel room - the choice is yours.

Day 3: Perth Explorations

Today you are free to experience a different side of Perth
Today you are free to experience a different side of Perth

Today you will explore Perth at your own pace. Head to the trendy area of Scarborough to relax on the beach and enjoy a coffee or a drink in the bars overlooking the water, or go for a stroll around Hillary's Boat Harbour or take a wander to the iconic Boat Shed and enjoy the sweeping views over the city from the glass bridge in King's Park

If you're feeling a little more active, you could also take a day trip over to Rottnest Island to see the famous quokkas, or go on an indulgent food and tour through the Swan Valley, where you can visit some of the best wineries and breweries in the region and sample locally made chocolate, coffee, and cheese, amongst other delights.

Day 4: Wave Rock, Aboriginal Culture & Pioneer History Tour

Check out the natural phenomenon that is Wave Rock
Check out the natural phenomenon that is Wave Rock

Start your morning with a journey through Western Australia's golden outback to Wave Rock. On the way, stop in the quaint town of York, Western Australia's first inland settlement, with its historic buildings and old-fashioned shops and museums. Continue through the Wheatbelt region with its scenic farmlands, before arriving in Hyden to visit Wave Rock.

After lunch, take a self-guided tour of this famous rock formation and marvel at the size of the uniquely striped natural phenomenon, before visiting Hippo's Yarn and then stopping off at Humps and Mulka's Cave to check out some ancient Aboriginal cave paintings.

On the way back, stop in a local farming town for afternoon tea before arriving back into Perth in the late evening.

Day 5: Perth to Adelaide

Adelaide's historic main street at sunset
Adelaide's historic main street at sunset

Say goodbye to Perth as you head to the airport to catch your morning flight to Adelaide, the cosmopolitan capital of South Australia. 

Spend the afternoon exploring this coastal city at your leisure. Check out the world-famous art galleries and museums, head to the beach, or even take an afternoon tour through some local wineries, before heading back to the city for dinner and a relaxing night in your hotel.

Travel Time: 3 hours

Travel Distance: 1695 miles (2727 km)

 

Day 6: Adelaide City Sights Tour

Check out all the sights on your Adelaide city tour
Check out all the sights on your Adelaide city tour

Start your morning with a city sights tour of Adelaide.  Take a drive through the streets of this elegant city with its rich past and vibrant culture, and learn about its world famous festivals and food and wine production.

Your tour will end this afternoon in the heart of the city center, where you will have free time to explore on your own or head to the sandy beaches to have a drink and relax. This evening, perhaps check out Adelaide's fine dining scene or do a local wine tasting.

Day 7: Kangaroo Island

Enjoy the flora & fauna on the beautiful Kangaroo Island
Enjoy the flora & fauna on the beautiful Kangaroo Island

Wake up early today to embark on a full-day tour out to Kangaroo Island, also known as 'KI' to the locals.  After breakfast, take a coach and a ferry over to the island, where you'll spend the day exploring and seeing all the amazing wildlife that call this tiny island home, including sea lions and seals, kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas. 

Upon arrival, head over to Seal Bay with a local park ranger to see a colony of rare Australian sea lions, before visiting the Remarkable Rocks for amazing views of this rugged coastline, and swinging by the Admiral's Arch stone formation to visit a colony of New Zealand fur seals that call this rocky outcrop home. Round off the day exploring Flinders Chase National Park, a famous sanctuary for Australian animals, including koalas, wallabies, and, of course, kangaroos.

In the evening, hop on the ferry and return to your hotel. You'll arrive back pretty late, but the rest of the evening is yours at leisure.

Day 8: The Ghan via Marla

Experience the changing landscapes as you head north
Experience the changing landscapes as you head north

Today, you'll board The Ghan train and begin the three-day, 1,865-mile (3,000 km) journey through the heart of Australia's Red Center on the way to tropical Darwin.  Known as one of the world's greatest train journeys, construction of this monumental railway began in Adelaide in 1878, but until 1929 the final leg of the journey to Alice Springs had to be made by camel. The onward connection to Darwin wasn't completed until 2004.

Settle in and enjoy some of Australia's most stunning scenery pass you by.  Say goodbye to civilization as you leave cosmopolitan Adelaide and make your way through the rolling pastoral lands of South Australia before passing through one of the oldest rock formations in the world, the Flinders Ranges. As darkness sets in, make your way to the lounge or the dining cart to enjoy a regionally-inspired dinner and take your pick of the fine wines from the drinks menu, before retiring to your cozy cabin for your first night on this luxury train.

Day 9: The Ghan via Alice Springs

Travel by train to Alice Springs in Australia's Red Center
Travel by train to Alice Springs in Australia's Red Center

Wake up as the day dawns in Marla, a remote outback outpost in the northern reaches of South Australia as you begin another day on The Ghan. Enjoy a freshly brewed coffee or juice as you watch the desert come to life as the sun rises over this unique landscape. After that, hop back on the train for breakfast and relax as you make your way through the MacDonnell Ranges to Alice Springs.

Located in the heart of central Australia, Alice Springs is surrounded by cavernous gorges and endless desert-scapes. An iconic Red Centre outpost, Alice Springs is over 932 miles (1500 km) from the nearest major city and is directly half-way between Darwin and Adelaide. Home to the Arrernte people for over 50,000 years before the pioneers first arrived in 1862, Alice Springs has a rich and fascinating history. 

Take a break here to go exploring, and choose from a variety of optional experiences, including luxury coach tours, helicopter or plane trips, and camel rides through the desert. You can also opt to go hot air ballooning, four-wheel driving, or join an outback pub tour.

After a few hours exploring, it's time to say goodbye to the capital of the outback and jump back on board the train, where you'll continue the journey onwards toward Katherine and Darwin.

Day 10: The Ghan to Darwin via Katherine

Take a boat trip down Nitmiluk Gorge in Katherine
Take a boat trip down Nitmiluk Gorge in Katherine

After a good night's sleep in your cabin, wake up feeling refreshed as the train winds its way through Australia's tropical north to Katherine, where a variety of amazing experiences await.

Choose to explore the stunning Nitmiluk Gorge from the water, take a safari, learn about the ancient Indigenous rock art paintings, and gain insight into the history and culture of this fascinating place, or visit a cattle station to discover more about authentic outback life. 

This afternoon, jump back on The Ghan for your final leg of your epic train adventure as you make your way into Darwin.  Arrive into the capital of the north as evening falls. Upon arrival, you'll be met at the train station and taken to your hotel in the city center, where you're free to spend the evening at leisure.

Day 11: Darwin City Sights & Croc Cruise

Check out the amazing Jumping Crocs on the Croc Cruise
Check out the amazing Jumping Crocs on the Croc Cruise

Kick off your morning city sights tour of Darwin with a visit to the lush George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens and relax in a tropical wonderland. Featuring a magnificent display of tropical plants from northern Australia and around the world, including orchids, heliconias, bromeliads, and other exotic flora, the Botanic Gardens are a feast for all the senses.

Then make your way to the Chinese Temple and learn about the city's intriguing history with a visit to the Darwin Aviation Museum and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territories. After the tour, take a break and head back to the city to grab lunch and relax before your afternoon Croc Cruise.

Start your afternoon adventure with a 40-minute drive from Darwin to Adelaide River, home to over 1600 crocodiles, including the impressive Jumping Crocs. Take a boat cruise down the river and witness these incredible prehistoric beasts up close and personal as they launch themselves out of the water.

Following this, make your way to the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Center to marvel at the beautiful vistas over the Marraki Plains, before heading to Fogg Damn Nature Reserve to learn about the fascinating wetland ecosystems. This evening, return to Darwin, where you're free to relax or go for a wander around the city and check out the different dining options.

Day 12: Darwin WW2 Tour & Afternoon Flight to Perth

Spend your morning learning about Australia's WWII history
Spend your morning learning about Australia's WWII history

This morning, make your way to Raintree Park where you will begin your WW2 tour of Darwin. On Thursday February 19th 1942, World War II reached mainland Australia, and the northern city of Darwin was bombed.  Take a step back in time on a 2-hour stroll through the historic quarter of the city, past historic streets and gardens and restored buildings that were hit by the bomb, and hear stories of that fateful day. 

Return to the city center for lunch before heading to the airport where you will board your afternoon flight back to Perth. Spend your last night in the remote western capital exploring or relaxing. Take a wander around Elizabeth Quay, head up to King's Park for a picnic to watch the city lights at night, or watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean with fish and chips, before retiring back to your hotel for a good night's sleep.

Travel Time: 3.5 hours

Travel Distance: 2500 miles (4023 km)

Day 13: Departure from Perth

It's time to say goodbye to Perth and Australia
It's time to say goodbye to Perth and Australia

Today marks the final day of your epic Australian adventure and the time has come to say goodbye. Spend your last day at leisure, before taking your transfer out to the airport to begin your onward journey.

Map

Map of Western Australia & The Red Center: Perth, Adelaide, Alice Springs, & Darwin - 13 Days
Map of Western Australia & The Red Center: Perth, Adelaide, Alice Springs, & Darwin - 13 Days