Central Australian Expedition
- Mac Clark Conservation Reserve is one of the only places on earth where you will find the rare Acacia peuce; this tree is only found in three locations worldwide
- Dalhousie Springs is the perfect spot for a swim; this natural hot spring is large (with steps to get in and out) and the temperature ranges from 38 to 43 degrees celsius
- Finke Gorge National Park covers 46,000 hectares and is home to ancient landscapes and the Finke River (thought to be one of the oldest rivers in the world)
- Palm Valley has a diverse range of unique flora, including the rare Red Cabbage palm which is a botanic remnant from a time when Central Australia was dominated by tropical forests
- West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, known for its beauty and scenic gorges; the ranges also provide refuge for many plants and wildlife in the area
- Glen Helen is surrounded by mesmerising landscapes and is a great location to view the West MacDonnell Ranges. It is also perfect for a refreshing dip and provides refuge for the local wildlife.
Join us as we explore many Northern Territory and South Australian desert highlights and gorges.
The trip is a mixture of desert highlights including the Mac Clark (Acacia Puce – Wadi trees) Conservation Reserve, Old Andado and Dalhousie Springs. We also explore Finke Gorge National Park, where the valley floor is home to around 12,000 cabbage palms, which are unique to Central Australia. The West Macdonnell Ranges give us the opportunity to explore a number of different gorges filled with birdlife, botany, geology and spectacular scenery. There are a number of walks that we will undertake during our time in the ranges.
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Extended Trip Details
|Day 1||Alice Springs – Santa Teresa – Mac Clark Conservation Reserve – Old Andado||Leaving Alice Springs early this morning we will spend the day travelling towards Old Andado. We will visit the small community of Santa Teresa before moving into the Mac Clark Conservation Reserve. Traveling down the Old Andado Track we will arrive at our camp site of Old Andado. Accommodation: Bush Camp at Old Andado LD|
|Day 2||Old Andado – Finke River Crossing – Mount Dare – Dalhousie Springs||This morning we depart camp heading south. After crossing the Fink River we will also cross the South Australia – Northern territory boarder heading into the Witjira National Park. In the Park we will visit Mount Dare before moving to our camp site for the next 2 nights at Dalhousie Springs Accommodation: Campsite Dalhousie Springs BLD|
|Day 3 & 4||Witjira National Park||The next two days will be spent exploring the Witjira National Park. Some of the highlights of the park include the wildlife and vegetation around Mound Springs, multiple walking tracks and a visit to Dalhousie Station Ruins. Accommodation: Campsite Dalhousie Springs BLD|
|Day 5||Dalhousie Springs – Oodnadatta – Marla||This morning we will be departing Witjira heading south, where we will pass through the ruins of Pedirka on the Old Ghan Railway. From Pedirka we drive south to Oodnadatta where we will again meet up with the Old Ghan and follow the Oodnadatta Track to Marla. Accommodation: Campsite Marla BLD|
|Day 6||Marla – Henbury Meteorites Cons Reserve – Running Waters Area||After breakfast we depart Marla and start our journey north towards Henry Meteorites Conservation Reserve. The reserve contains 12 craters formed by a meteor that hit the earth roughly 4,700 years ago. We observe the craters and explore their surroundings before continuing onto our bush camp in the running waters area. Accommodation: Bush Camp Running Waters area BLD|
|Day 7||Running Waters Area to Finke Gorge National Park (Palm Valley campsite)||This morning we will have time to explore the running waters area before we make our way to Finke Gorge National Park. There will be time to stop and look for plants and wildlife along the way. Our camp for the next two nights is in the Palm Valley. Accommodation: National Park Camp site Palm Valley BLD|
|Day 8||Palm Valley||We will spend the day exploring Palm Valley, discovering as we go the diverse range of plants and wildlife that are unique to the area including the Red Cabbage Palm after which the valley is named. We will also enjoy some of the bushwalking trails that run alongside the slender palms, as well as the various sandstone amphitheatres, pinnacles and gorges that are scattered throughout the valley. Accommodation: National Park Camp site Palm Valley BLD|
|Day 9||Palm Valley to Glen Helen||After a final exploration of Palm Valley this morning, we make our way to Glen Helen. Glen Helen Gorge is a beautiful waterhole edged by red cliffs and is home to Black-footed rock wallabies, euros and reptiles. The waterhole is a great spot for a refreshing dip while the gorge is a great spot to view the West Macdonnell Ranges. Accommodation: Campsite Glen Helen BLD|
|Days 10 & 11||Glen Helen – West Macdonnell Ranges – Glen Helen||The next two days will be spent exploring Glen Helen and the West Macdonnell Ranges. Both offer numerous walking trails, waterholes for swimming, spectacular scenery (photographers will be delighted) and plenty of opportunities for observing the various flora and fauna. Accommodation: Campsite Glen Helen BLD|
|Day 12||Glen Helen to Alice Springs||Today we finish our tour with the final drive into Alice Springs following the Namatjira Drive. During the drive we will visit and take time to explore Standley Chasm. On arrival in Alice Springs you will be transferred to your chosen Alice Springs city hotel. BL|
|NOTE: The above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.|
NOTE: The above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.
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- Two well-maintained 4WD vehicles;
- 2 crew members – a Naturalist/Driver Guide and Driver/Cook;
- Easy-to-erect tents and camp chairs with armrests;
- A self-inflating air mattress and stretcher bed;
- All eating utensils;
- Meals as per itinerary: B (breakfast), L (lunch), D (dinner);
- Campsite fees;
- Morning teas;
- All national park entrance fees;
- Travel permits as required.
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