Join us as we explore some of the most isolated areas in northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The scenery is spectacular, with ancient landscapes, scenic gorges, extensive dunes, lakes, wetlands and clear starry night skies.
Our adventure has many highlights, but our detour off the Tanami Road to Mulan and Lake Gregory is one of the most exciting. This lake system is a RAMSAR site, due to the vitally important role it has for migratory birds travelling to and from Australia. The Black Necked Stork, large groups of Brolgas, Black Swans and Spoonbills are regularly seen on and around the lake, which is also home to Dingoes and a variety of other mammals.
We visit Newhaven Station, a wildlife sanctuary managed by Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Situated on the junction of three bioregions (the Great Sandy Desert, MacDonnell Ranges and Burt Plain), it is home to a diverse array of arid zone plants and at least 138 species of birds.
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Extended Trip Details
|Day 1||Kununurra to Lake Argyle||A very early start this morning as we depart Kununurra and head to lake Argyle. This morning we will undertake a morning bird watching cruise on the lake. Accommodation: Campsite Lake Argyle LD|
|Day 2||Lake Argyle to Keep River National Park||Only a short drive this morning as we cross the state border into the Northern Territory and Keep River National Park. After setting up camp we will explore the park - we will visit Aboriginal art sites and discover the wildlife found here, including the Short-eared Rock-wallaby, White-quilled Rock-pigeon and Sandstone Shrike-thrush. Accommodation: National Park Campsite Keep River BLD|
|Days 3 & 4||Keep River National Park to Halls Creek||We head down the Duncan Highway and travel north along the east side of the Bungle Bungle Range to Halls Creek. There are many highlights to be enjoyed during these two days including visits to the Old Ord River Homestead, Saw Tooth Gorge, Palm Springs and the Old Halls Creek Settlement where the crew will restock our fresh provisions. Tonight's dinner will be in the Halls Creek Hotel (at passengers own expense). Accommodation: Bush Camp Duncan Highway & Campsite Halls Creek BLD & BL|
|Day 5||Halls Creek to Wolf Creek Crater to Lake Stretch||Back on the road this morning as we start our journey down the Tanami Road with a detour to the 300,000- year-old Wolf Creek meteorite crater. It is the second-largest crater in the world, and we spend time walking on the rim exploring its natural history. After lunch, we continue onto Lake Stretch where we will set up camp. Accommodation: Bush campsite at Lake Stretch BLD|
|Day 6||Lake Stretch to Lake Gregory||Leaving Lake Stretch, we take the backtrack to Mulan and then onto our campsite at Handover on the banks of Lake Gregory. There’ll be time this afternoon to explore the area around our campsite. Accommodation: Bush campsite at Lake Gregory BLD|
|Day 7||Lake Gregory||Today we will explore the area around Lake Gregory (Paruku). This permanent brackish lake is part of a spectacular wetland system and is internationally renowned for its birdlife. The Traditional Owners of this area held the native title handover ceremony on the shores of the lake, symbolising the significance of this place to local Aboriginal people. They believe the system was formed when a star fell from the sky into the lake and then transformed itself into a man becoming the very first Traditional Owner of this place Accommodation: Bush campsite at Handover - Lake Gregory BLD|
|Day 8||Lake Gregory - Mullan - Balgo- Tanami Desert Bush Camp||Back on the Tanami this morning as we travel west heading into Western Australia. In the morning we will call into the remote Aboriginal Community Balgo where we will fuel up before heading to our bush camp located just off the Tanami Desert Road. Accommodation: Bush campsite Rabbit Flats area BLD|
|Day 9||Tanami Desert Bush Camp to Mt Doreen Station Area||Continuing on the Tanami Road, we will travel through this harsh, isolated area. Tonights campsite is on the abandoned Mt Doreen Station. Accommodation: Bush campsite Mt Doreen Station BLD|
|Day 10||Mt Doreen Station Area to Newhaven Station||We have an early start today, after which we will call into the remote aboriginal community Yuendumu for fuel and supplies. We then leave the Tanami Road behind and take local tracks out to Newhaven Station. Once the campsite is set up there should be time to explore the area around the camp. You may also like to enjoy the sunset from the hill overlooking the camp. Accommodation: Campsite at Newhaven Station BLD|
|Day 11 & 12||Newhaven Station||We will spend the next two days touring and walking on the station's tracks , salt pans and sand dunes in search of birds, arid zone plants and the other wildlife that exists in this remote area. Accommodation: Campsite at Newhaven Station BLD|
|Day 13||Newhaven Station to Redbank Gorge (West MacDonnell Ranges)||Today will be an early start as we leave Newhaven and move onto the West MacDonnell Ranges. We will travel via the Aboriginal Community of Papunya and then onto Redbank Gorge. Accommodation: National Park Campsite at Redbank Gorge BLD|
|Day 14||Redbank Gorge (West MacDonnell Ranges) and surrounds||We will spend the day exploring Redbank Gorge and some of the other areas nearby. The gorge is stunning and provides refuge for many threatened plants and animals, while the area offers excellent walks, plentiful wildlife and striking scenery. Accommodation: Campsite at Redbank Gorge BLD|
|Day 15||Redbank Gorge (West MacDonnell Ranges) to Alice Springs||We leave Redbank this morning and spend the day exploring Stanley Chasm, Serpentine Gorge and Glen Helen in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Our outback adventure ends with our mid-afternoon arrival in Alice Springs, where you will transfer you to your chosen central city accommodation. BL|
NOTE: The above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.
Place available on 16 April 2022 DEPARTURE
- Three well-maintained 4WD vehicles;
- 3 crew members – a Naturalist/Driver Guide and Driver/Cook;
- Easy-to-erect dome 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);
- Fruit for snacking throughout the day;
- Campsite fees;
- Morning teas;
- All national park entrance fees;
- Travel permits as required.
“Having now taken two trips with Coates Wildlife Tours and both having been so successful, yet so different I could do no more than highly recommend them to anyone wishing to see Australia. Travelling with Coates gives maximum return for every dollar spent and leaves impressions of Australia which one will long remember. One golden rule worth remembering is when you are onto a good thing stay with it. When you give them a try I’m sure you will feel the same way about Coates.”
“Congratulations on your business and choice of leaders. The trip was all it was advertised to be and more, plus the knowledgeable and caring leaders made our trip a happy get-together of keen naturalists. Thank you.”
“Red & Diana provided a wonderful trip for us. We have traveled with them before and knew them to be excellent tour guides so our expectations were already high. We were not disappointed! We appreciated the opportunity to stop whenever requested. Nothing was too much trouble for either leader. The provision of a variety of reference books in each vehicle was invaluable. The vehicles were spacious and comfortable with room for each person’s day requisites. Overall it was their enthusiasm for the environment and their concern for the well-being and enjoyment of individual participants that make Red & Diana such good team leaders.”