Cape York and Torres Strait explored by air

Escorted small group air tour of Torres strait islands, Cape York, Winton, Carnarvon Gorge. Learning about local culture and Aboriginal history.

From $18,769CAD



  1. 1. Visit the Unesco world heritage site Carnarvon
  2. 2. Learn about Burke and Wills expedition under the dig tree
  3. 3. Stand at the most Northern point of Australia where colonial explorers set today's history.
Cape York and Torres Strait explored by air itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
02 October 2023

Ends 15 October 2023

$18,769 Twin

$21,004 Single

29 July 2024

Ends 11 August 2024

$20,557 Twin

$22,792 Single

30 September 2024

Ends 13 October 2024

$20,557 Twin

$22,792 Single


Cape York and Torres Strait explored by air

This air charter small group tour takes the senior traveller from the South to absolute north of mainland Australia in Queensland at Cape York. It also takes you out to the Thursday Island, part of the Torres strait Islands chain. The itinerary developed in consultation with your experienced pilots on this air charter service provides you with access to a collection of unique places to stay as part of a multi-day collection of scenic flight travel experiences. There are many memories to be made on this small group tour a highlight being the visit to the Cape York peninsula and the Torres strait islands with like minded people as the charter flight takes you to over Victoria, across New South Wales and up to into Queensland to your first destination on the itinerary, Birdsville. This is just the first day of your air services. The following day we fly to north Queensland towards the Gulf of Carpentaria to Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, overlooking the stunning Lawn Hill Creek.

Then the itinerary takes us Sweers island for the day before our service takes us to Karumba airport. Then this air tour provides an amazing scenic flight up to our next scheduled destination, Thursday island in the Torres strait where we base ourselves for two nights. Helicopter transfers take you and your fellow passenger to Cape York for a guided tour, before returning on a private charter to Thursday island.

Torres Strait Islands

The Torres Strait is Australia's northern-most frontier, stretching from the tip of North Queensland to the southern shores of Papua New Guinea. There are over 200 islands scattered throughout the Torres Strait region. Of these 17 are inhabited by the Torres strait islander people who are considered an indigenous Australian culture but with there own cultural identity and seperate flag to the mainland Australia aboriginal people. The Torres Strait is 150 kilometres across and joins the Coral Sea to the east with the Arafura Sea to the west. Thursday Island, the main administrative centre for the Torres Strait island community, is the gateway to a diverse culture and vast region. The central Torres strait islands are picture perfect coral cays; while in the east majestic mountains rise from the ocean. In the far north of the Torres strait region you'll find a cluster of islands which continue the tradition of trade with Papua new Guinea coastal villages. Remarkably beautiful, these islands are characterised by unique Torres strait islander culture, linguistic and geographic differences to the Australian Mainland.

Australian Mainland

After the Cape York tour and time on Thursday and Horn island this guided tour heads south to along the Cape York peninsula to Weipa and then the historic Cooktown. This air charter tour is not about taking the traveller to Cairns, Port Douglas, the Great Barrier reef, or the Daintree rainforest it is about facilitating a guided tour to places that are difficult to reach yet are stepped in Torres strait and Aboriginal history with a colonial history overlay.

As the air tour goes South, leaving North Queensland, the UNESCO world Heritages site experiences continue in mainland Australia after a guided tour of Winton and the dinosaurs and Banjo Patterson museum, we head to Carnarvon gorge and the national park for two days for small group tours about the Aboriginal rock art in the gorge. The air charter then finally heads south to return to Melbourne with a full day scenic flight over New South Wales and Victoria.

Odyssey Travellers Cape York tours by private air charter are limited to 10 travellers.


14 days

Day 1: Melbourne

Accommodation: Melbourne City hotel -TBA

Meet this afternoon for the small group tour briefing with your leader.

Group evening welcome dinner.

Day 2: Birdsville

Accommodation: Birdsville Hotel

We depart for Moorabbin Airport as a group to ensure we are ready to depart at 8.00am.

Fly over Victoria and New South Wales to the edge of Queensland, landing at the Dig Tree, where the explorers Burke and Wills famously set up camp. Learn more about this pioneering pair and their ill-fated expedition that began in Melbourne.

In the afternoon we continue as a group to Birdsville, where sunset drinks are at Big Red, after a local guide from country takes on a tour of area. Big red is the first of 1,140 parallel sand dunes marking the edge of the Simpson Desert.

To end the day, stay and dine in one of Australia’s most iconic pubs — the Birdsville Hotel.

Day 3: Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Accommodation: Adels Grove

Flying north towards the Gulf of Carpentaria, your aircraft will land a short walk from your room or cabin at Adels Grove, in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, overlooking the stunning Lawn Hill Creek.

We have an afternoon with a guide for country to share their knowledge and stories whilst having a 2 hour walking tour and a short cruise.

Lawn Hill Gorge is one of the most spectacular gorges in the Gulf Country, with luscious tropical vegetation, sheer red cliffs and enchanting green water.

Adels Grove for pre-dinner drinks in the open-air restaurant.

Day 4: Karumba

Accommodation: Karumba - TBA

After breakfast at Adels Grove before a 45-minute flight to Sweers Island, about 30 km off the coast in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

With a local guide from country as well as a colonial guide the group has a tour of this island with its wealth of history including Gregory, Flinders and Baudin. Lunch is in the open-air restaurant overlooking the waters of the Gulf.

Late in the afternoon the group returns to Karumba, home to prawn, mud crab and barramundi fishing fleets working in the Gulf of Carpentaria. It’s also known for fabulous sunsets.

We join a sunset cruise on the gulf which includes crocodile spotting on the way back.

Day 5: Horn and Thursday Islands

Accommodation: Thursday Island

Today our flight plan has this small group to continue north up the west side of Cape York, past the tip of Australia, to Horn Island in the Torres Strait island network.

Torres strait islander culture is different from the Aboriginal Australian culture and life. Non indigenous Australians occasionally have difficulty in recognizing these cultural differences in the locals and the cultural identity and island custom of the Torres strait islander people.

Local history experts and tour guides from country will meet you on arrival. The group takes you to visit the Torres StraitHeritage Museum to view exhibits from the pearling industry, myths and legends of Torres Strait, artwork, artefacts and the World War II history of the area. This tour also discusses the threat of rising sea levels on the Torres strait region and the life of the indigenous people.

An understanding of WWII is provided from your local guides with a tour that includes visit to gun emplacements, an underground command post, slit trenches, an aircraft wreck with an unbelievable story, the WWII airstrip, dispersal bays and taxiways. Follow in the steps of the indigenous and non-indigenous soldiers who served in the area, with insightful commentary.

Transfer by ferry across to Thursday Island and your accommodation.

Day 6: Thursday Island

Accommodation: Island Villas

The Gab Titui Cultural Centre is a contemporary art gallery and keeping place for cultural artefacts.

Today it’s time for a bucket list adventure – a helicopter to the tip of Australia.

Fly by chopper from Thursday Island to the tip of Cape York Peninsula, the most northern point of mainland Australia. Landing nearby, it is an 800m walk to the coastline where you can snap a photo of the tip of Australia for the memory vaults.

A tour of TI (Thursday Island) reveals how its history helped to create today’s dynamic, multicultural community and the tropical lifestyle it offers.

Day 7: Thursday Island

Accommodation: Island villas bungalows

Today the group uses the local ferry network to with a local guide from Country explore Thursday island or surrounds.

The Torres Strait is Australia‘s northern-most frontier, stretching from the tip of Queensland to the southern shores of Papua New Guinea. There are over 200 islands scattered throughout the Torres Strait, and of these 17 of the pacific island network are inhabited. The Torres Strait is 150 kilometres across and joins the Coral Sea to the east with the Arafura Seato the west. Thursday Island, the main central island and administrative centre for the locals and Torres Strait islander culture under the control of the Australian government. Thursday island is the gateway to a diverse cultural identity and vast region of the Torres strait island network. Strait islander people face many issues similar to aboriginal communities on the Australian mainland such as native title, as well as rising sea levels.

Day 8: Nanum

Accommodation: Nanum -TBA

The group begins it’s journey south to Nanum on the Cape York Peninsula after transferring back to Horn island. The group spends the day exploring Nanum with a local guide from country.

Day 9: Cooktown

Accommodation: Sovereign Resort Hotel

Cooktown is where Captain Cook sought refuge when his ship, The Endeavour, sustained severe damage during his 1770 expedition in scapping the great barrier reef .

After the short flight from Nanum we pause at Laura for a private tour of various Quinkan rock art sites — spotted by a pilot in the 1960s while flying over the area. Quinkan Country contains a large and dramatic body of rock paintings. These galleries, at least 15,000 to 30,000 years old, are listed by UNESCO as being among the top 10 rock art sites in the world.

Late in the afternoon we arrive in historic Cooktown. Our local guides show and share with us the history the many historical sites and learn how Cooktown prospered in a gold rush, dwindled, and then rose again to become an important base in World War II as we explore through to dusk today.

Day 10: Winton

Accommodation: Winton - TBA

From Cooktown we travel to Winton. We begin conditions and time permitting by flying along the coast past CapeTribulation and the Daintree river and the rainforest towards Port Douglas, heading south west before Cairns. Time and access permitting take in the Dinosaurs before we return to Winton. We enjoy a guided tour of the Banjo Patterson Museum.

Day 11: Carnarvon Gorge

Accommodation: Takarakka bush resort

After breakfast, we fly to Carnarvon Gorge, an oasis in the semi-arid heart of Central Queensland for two days and nights.

Carnarvon Creek has carved a winding course through sandstone over millions of years to form a spectacular steep gorge with narrow, vibrantly-coloured and lush gorges. The gorge is home to a range of significant plant and animal species, many of them relics of cooler, wetter times. Some of the finest rock art in Australia is a fragile reminder of Aboriginal people’s long and continuing connection with the gorge.

Takarakka Bush Resort, with private studios nestled along Carnarvon Creek in the Carnarvon Gorge National Park, is the perfect base for touring in this magnificent region. You have the chance to join a private guided walk this afternoon. A walk to Mickey’s Creek and Warrumbah Gorge will offer you one of the few opportunities to get into a side gorge so narrow that you can touch both walls at the same time. The sunlight only reaches the floor of these gorges for a very short period each day, and they have a micro-climate all of their own.

Later, cast your eyes upwards for a tour of the stars. The night sky is incredibly clear out here, allowing for some pretty spectacular viewing. The combination of sky, state of the art observatory and tour guide expertise make for an experience as brilliant as the Carnarvon night sky.

Day 12: Carnarvon Gorge

Accommodation: Takarakka bush resort

The second day takes you on a longer, guided walk. The Moss Garden, one of the best known sites at Carnarvon Gorge, is a great example of how the spring systems work and is nestled amongst one of the best patches of remnant rainforest in the National Park.

Day 13: Melbourne

Accommodation: Melbourne City hotel -TBA

Charlotte Plains, a 27,000ha sheep station. Take a tour and meet the owners with a lunch in the historic homestead. Enjoy the stories of existence on this remote station.

We continue the flight onto Melbourne where you’ll arrive at Moorabbin Airport around dusk.

There is a farewell dinner this evening in central Melbourne.

Day 14: Melbourne

Tour concludes today after breakfast.

Includes / Excludes

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 13 nights accommodation
  • 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches (often light picnic style lunch) and 11 dinners
  • Transport by modern and comfortable aircraft and vehicle suitable for the highway conditions and local ferries
  • Entrances and sightseeing as specified
  • Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour
  • Detailed Preparatory Information

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return Domestic airfares
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

Book now


02 October 2023


Ends 15 October 2023 • 14 days

Change departure date


Room Type

Single Traveller
Two Travellers
$18,769 pp

By booking two travellers sharing a room you save $2500 per person.

Payment Type

You can reserve your spot by paying a $1,000 pp deposit, for full details please see our Terms & Conditions .

Pay Deposit
Pay Full

Prices are per person and valid until 30th December 2023.

Need Help?

We're here to help you with any questions you have. Call us anytime 24/7.
Canada flag 1 877 770 0446

Make it a private tour

If you have a group of 6 friends or more you can book this tour as a private departure, with all the benefits of our small group tours.
Get in touch to find out more.

Easing your journey

Crossing international borders with restrictions

The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:

Pre-departure checklist for travelling across International borders.
Support over email or phone available 24/7 for any questions you have.

For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.

Book With Confidence

If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

See Terms and conditions for details.

Peace of Mind Travel

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

See Peace of Mind Travel for details.


Aboriginal History

View 47 articles

Related Articles

Aboriginal Art

Aboriginal Art

Senior and mature couples and solo travellers remain curious but often informed about the role Aboriginal art plays in the indigenous community and the various styles. This article seeks to provide a platform for this collection of small group tours of upto 15 people into the Australian outback where often Aboriginal art styles are encountered.

6 Nov 20 · 15 mins read
Read Article
Australian Aborigine culture traditional dance with body paint and hand holding boomerang

Aboriginal Sites of Importance in Outback Queensland, Australia

Outback Queensland is hiding a number of unforgettable indigenous experiences on this small group tour for senior travellers. Especially at the Brewarrina Fish Traps, and Carnarvon Gorge, for example where you can experience and learn about dreamtime creation stories, age-old cultural practices and traditions, and Aboriginal art.

2 May 20 · 5 mins read
Read Article
Birdsville Track

Birdsville and the Birdsville Track, Queensland

An icon of the Australian Outback. See and learn about the history of the outback both British settlement and aboriginal history out in the heat of the Australian desert! Small group package tours for mature and senior travellers couples for singles show you this often harsh environment full of stories.

14 May 20 · 5 mins read
Read Article
Ngangkari: Traditional Aboriginal Healers of Central Australia

Ngangkari: Traditional Aboriginal Healers of Central Australia

Article about Aboriginal healers of central Australia. Article for seniors for a small group tour couples or solo travellers exploring outback Northern Territory. This is a series of articles on aboriginal communities, kinship, songlines and trade routes.

23 Mar 21 · 11 mins read
Read Article
Scenic air tours of Australia

Scenic air tours of Australia

Explore outback Australia, joining a scenic air tour to reach remote places rich in Aboriginal history, landscapes few have observed as part of a small group tour for mature and senior travellers, couples or solo traveller determined to keep exploring and learning.

13 Jul 21 · 2 mins read
Read Article
Pilbara wildflowers WA

The Australian Outback: A Definitive Guide

Explore learn and consider what is the outback in this article. For mature and senior travelers considering joining a small group package tours into the outback to see, learn and explore about this unique place, not only the landscape but the Aboriginal approach to living. On each of the tours for couples and the single traveler you learn something different but fascinating, from Outback Queensland, the Flinders, Broken Hill and the Kimberley and the wildflowers all contribute to this question, what is the outback?

18 Jun 20 · 15 mins read
Read Article
The South and East Alligator Rivers, Northern Territory

The South and East Alligator Rivers, Northern Territory

Article on two key rivers that support Kakadu and Arnhem land in the Northern Territory. Explore and learn more on educational small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers in Outback Australia.

31 Aug 21 · 10 mins read
Read Article
Winton and Dinosaurs, Queensland

Winton and Dinosaurs, Queensland

Small group tour for senior and mature travellers to Outback Queensland includes Winton and its Dinosaurs as well as Longreach, Cathedral Gorge and Aboriginal art, & Barcaldine.

8 May 20 · 9 mins read
Read Article
The Burke and Wills Expedition, 1860-61

The Burke and Wills Expedition, 1860-61

Learn on a small group tour of central Australia for active mature or senior travellers from Broken hill about Burke and Wills ambitious expedition. Suitable for mature aged couples or solo travellers.

15 May 20 · 7 mins read
Read Article

Related Tour Categories

Australian Air tours

Bungle Bungle View 4 tours

Australian Tours

The Kimberley View 37 tours

Level 2 - Moderate

View 117 tours

Join 22,383 like-minded travellers receiving our weekly newsletter.

Special offers and promotions
$313 CAD first trip travel voucher
The latest tours and articles