Small group tour of Eastern and Central Australia
Small group tour for couples and solo travelers touring most of the Australian territory, travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations, giving you the opportunity the explore and meet our people in the most remote locations. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit Bourke, Normantown, Charters Towers far north Kakadu, returning back along the Stuart Highway to Adelaide and cross country to Sydney through the Blue Mountains.
From A$19,995 AUD
- 1. Learn about the history of Broken hill and Silverton.
- 2. Explore the Kimberley including the Bungles.
- 3. Learn abut the wildflowers of Southern coast of WA.
- 4. Spend time in Arnhem land with the local community.
|27 March 2022 |
Ends 25 April 2022 • 30 days
|12 June 2022 |
Ends 11 July 2022 • 30 days
|26 March 2023 |
Ends 24 April 2023 • 30 days
|11 June 2023 |
Ends 10 July 2023 • 30 days
Small group tour of Eastern and Central Australia for Seniors.Travel can be a challenge, when you leave the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane on a trip by car or an escorted tour by coach, the sheer scale of the outback Australia begins to reveal itself as the journey unfolds. This 30 day tour across Australia seeks to introduce and further enhance the traveller appreciation of this unique land. Odyssey has prepared a small group tour that covers much of Eastern, central, Southern Australia to Victoria and return to Sydney. With our other long tour programs Odyssey has sought to offer a program that is comfortable and introduces to the country allowing you should you with to explore areas of interest further at your leisure and we trust with Odyssey. The scheduled departures are in the dry season, the days are dry and in the low 20's, the nights in the centra and the desert are cold, less than 10 degrees Celsius. But it is a reasonable climate for travel with high sunshine hours. The scale often unrecognised on the road, when travelling through the outback, this journey is an adventure, that will run for more than a few days. A road trip that requires planning and destinations selected in advance. The scale of the outback and the hidden history can often be missed on a journey in a car. When you travel as part of a small group tour of Australia with Odyssey, your tour guide, whether on Kangaroo Island, in the Northern territory or on a day tour within Western Australia deep in the Kimberley, will be sharing stories with you about the Australian wildlife and some of world’s most beautiful dreamtime stories from the indigenous Australian community as you journey through the outback at time immersed in Aboriginal culture. For you, our client, this long tour of Australia small group tour seeks to create a program of learning as you travel. That learning with your program leader is about the history, the landscapes and biodiversity and then the culture of the place. This long seniors small group tour of outback Australia provides a great platform with two departures a year.
The small group tour of outback Australia.For the mature and senior traveller taking this touring program the itinerary is a balance of distances travelled with a break and time to explore. The program travels North, reaching Cairns on day 8 after exploring, Bourke, Longreach, Winton, Charters towers and other significant places in-between. From Cairns we move towards the Gulf of Carpentaria following the coast and the history through to Borroloola and onto to Kakadu National park and Jaibru. Transitioning over some 14 days from the Agricultural landscape of New South Wales, to the outback desert and then wet and dry tropics all resonating with deep history of Aboriginal mobs and the colonial overlay of the last 2 centuries. From Darwin, after Kakadu, the group goes South, following Stuart. The days and kilometres have to be long, this is the central desert! But the experiences and vision shared each day is memorable. And the mind wanders envisaging humanity in such environments an appreciation of Outback Australia should evolve. Certainly stops at side places like Newcastle Waters, Attack creek or the WWII places along the way create more time to think about what has been before our journey. Alice Springs we pause and then into South Australia to Adelaide to explore this fascinating historic city with its relationship to Britain as a source of agricultural produce. From here we travel south to Naracoorte to see the World Heritage listed Megafauna and think how these creatures may have appeared in the landscapes as a small group we have just visited. Finally we return into the agricultural landscapes of northern Victoria, New South Wales to reach the historic town of Hay for our last night and cross back in the reverse direction of the British settlers to Sydney town where the small group tour ends. For this escorted small group tour, Odyssey and its program leader has sought to show you the traveller whether as a couple or solo traveller the diversity of landscapes and Australian history that is being appreciated in the second decade of the 21st century. The tour cannot cover all places but it should provide the stimulus to return and explore in greater detail parts of this continent seen from the road over the last 30 days on this small group tour of Outback Australia.
Travel in a business class style seat in a premium coach for a maximum of 16 travellersThe coach selected to take you on a tour of Outback Australia is a purpose built, 21 seater, complete with single row business style reclining leather chair seating, complete with USB ports, and folding dining table, wifi (when available), on board Kitchenette, complete with espresso machine and tea making facilities, microwave and fridge as well entertainment system and a on board toilet. Each traveller really does have their own semi private space to enjoy the road less travelled from. Travelling into the outback of Australia means a greater responsibility to the group, so this coach tour is also equipped with all that is required to manage all the emergency scenarios we could envisage with satellite communication, emergency flares, and winches to tow the coach out if stuck on a unsealed road should an unfortunate situation arise. These are small group tours of Australia within our peace of mind policy for a group of up to 16 travellers. We have selected this kneeling coach for ease of access for mature and senior travellers to get on and off the vehicle.
A truly Australian tour for mature couples and solo travellers.
This is not an adventure Australia tour but it is a history, cultural and wildlife Australia tours, a travel experience across Australia. Coach tours in Australia for seniors that track the stunning scenery.
This is a fascinating country and this collection of a discovery Australia escorted tour(s) will seek to show how its geographical isolation has allowed for an incredible biodiversity record unlike any of other place on the planet, in its Australian wildlife from the monotreme, to the Kangaroo, platypus, wombat, quokka, echidna and koala, to its plant diversity expressed in the desert. Not all our tours are wildlife Australia tours, but once tours of Australia leave the built up environment then there will be a wildlife experience at some time on your Australia vacation.
The Aborigines have been present here for some 120,000 years+. They developed not only incredible storytelling to pass on from generation to generation but had the ability to manage world’s most arid continent on a sustainable basis. The Aboriginal people also represented their life and understanding through rock art and painting which we explore in the Kimberley region also on these Western Australia tours. In South Australia, Europeans made their mark in the Flinders ranges, but long after geologic processes have commenced. Wilpena Pound represents the stumps of Mountains once believed to be as tall as the Himalayas. Coober Pedy yielded opals to miners as other British settlers sought to develop Agriculture, train lines and the telegraph through the Flinders ranges.
These Australian outback small group tour programs also explore and learn about the importance of the National park network and its unique endemic biodiversity. And finally the Australian outback tours itinerary means we stop at places of importance in the European history of Australia, primarily the outback adventure that was the catastrophic Burke and Wills expedition out of Melbourne and the mapping work of Charles Sturt and his search for the "inland sea". By the time this guided tour returns to Broken Hill our appreciation and understanding of this part of the central outback Australia will have been extended as a result from what we have heard from the expert custodians in Aboriginal culture in the indigenous community and local guides who have a perspective and respect for the European history of the last two centuries.
Because of the intensity of the environment that these outback Australia tours travels through, Odyssey Traveller offers just a maximum of two departures a year in the Winter and Autumn.
Articles about Australia published by Odyssey Traveller:
We visit the Stockman’s hall of fame, a escorted tour with a local guide of Longreach and a visit to the Qantas founder’s museum.
Longreach was one of the founding centres for Qantas, technically QANTAS was founded in Winton.
- Uncovering the Ancient History of Aboriginal Australia
- Aboriginal Land Use in the Mallee
- Understanding Aboriginal Aquaculture
- Mallee and Mulga: Two Iconic and Typically Inland Australian Plant Communities (By Dr. Sandy Scott).
- The Australian Outback: A Definitive Guide
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your tour
Day 1: Sydney
The group comes together in the late afternoon for a tour briefing and introductions.
There is a group welcome dinner this evening.
Day 2-3: Bourke
Today, we depart from Sydney very early, (hence our selection of hotel for the first night) after breakfast we head to Dubbo, via Mudgee or Orange along the Mitchell Highway via Narromine and Nyngan. In the afternoon we’ll continue west to Bourke where we’ll spend the next two nights.
Dinner tonight will be in a local restaurant.
Bourke today is a town with an outback spirit, on the edge of the wilderness, and with a great sense of Australian adventure in its historical, cultural, and geographic significance on the Darling river
In the morning of day three, the group spends time in Brewarrina, we stop off to see one of the world’s oldest surviving man-made structures: the Brewarrina Fish Traps. The Ngemba people are the custodians of the fish traps, a complex aquaculture network estimated to be over 40, 000 years old. An elaborate network of rock weirs and pools form a series of complex dry-stone walls and holding ponds, stretching for around half a kilometre along the Barwon riverbed. For the Aboriginal people of western and northern New South Wales, the fish traps and surrounds are extremely significant for their spiritual, cultural, traditional and symbolic meanings. The creation of the fish traps, and the laws governing their use, helped shape the spiritual, political, social, ceremonial and trade relationships between Aboriginal groups from across the greater landscape. Brewarrina was one of the great Aboriginal meeting places of eastern Australia.
In the afternoon we return to Bourke for a walking tour of the town to learn more about its history.
Day 4 : Charleville
This small group tour spends a night in Charleville. Whilst here the group have the opportunity to go star and planet gazing, take time to tour the historic town and understand the value of wool to a town like Charleville in the early 20th century period. Take a private tour of the heritage listed Hotel Corones with a rags to riches story linked to Qantas, Greek islands, Brisbane and Sydney.
This afternoon we explore the town and its history, we will visit the Charleville Historic House Museum and its building that dates back to 1887. We’ll also learn more about the time the local airport became temporarily part of the USA in 1942 on a secret WWII tour. In the evening we will star gaze at the magnificent outback sky at the Charleville Cosmos Centre & Observatory. Charleville was the home to the stagecoach company Cobb and Co for many years. With the main coach building factory based in Charleville.
Day 5: Longreach
We pause at Barcaldine as this small group tour continues North. Barcaldine is home to the Tree of Knowledge, which marks the birth of the labour movement in Australia . The tree grew outside the Railway Station for around 180 years until 2006, when sadly, it was poisoned by an unknown culprit. Today, the famous tree has been preserved and placed under an award-winning structure that gives the illusion of a canopy over the Tree.
We continue onto Longreach, where we overnight. This afternoon we visit the Stockman’s hall of fame, a escorted tour with a local guide of Longreach and a light show visit to the Qantas founder’s museum. Longreach was one of the founding centres for Qantas, technically QANTAS was founded in Winton.
Day 6 & 7: Winton
We depart after breakfast and drive to Winton arriving late morning and begin exploring this outback town.
We visit the North Gregory Hotel, known as the ‘Queen of the Outback ‘, which has an impressive history. The first public performance of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ was here on April 6, 1895 (the story of which is told at the Waltzin’ Matilda centre , the world’s only museum dedicated to a song) and in the 1920s clandestine meetings helped launch a little airline known as QANTAS …
During World War II, future American president Lyndon Johnson was forced to stay here in Winton, when forced to ditch his plane. The dining room – where you can enjoy a traditional outback dinner – features original etchings by acclaimed artist Daphne Mayo. Winton is also home to the red-browed pardalote, found across Queensland and the Northern Territory , and the elusive rusty grasswren , a small, long-tailed bird with reddish-brown upper parts (related to the Kalkadoon Grasswren , found in the Mt Isa region). We have a walking tour in the late afternoon to identify heritage buildings and more stories of the history of Winton before a group meal.
Winton is also the dinosaur capital of Australia .
Day 7: Charters Towers
From Winton we travel north-east to Charters Towers, an outback town that was established in 1871 after the discovery of a gold nugget.
Day 8-9: Cairns
The group has a tour in the morning after arriving the previous afternoon into Cairns. We stay in a central city location allowing you the afternoon to explore.
Day 10: Georgetown
Today we visit the Undalla lava tubes. A unique geologic experience created by the gases during the active period of Volcanism. We carry onto to Georgetown for the night.
Day 11 & 12 : Karumba beach
The pace slows and the group explores this old trading post and beach. Unspoilt Australia, we take an adhoc tour of the area where we pause for two days.
Day 13: Nicholson
We depart Karumba and continue our drive west towards the Northern Territory. We have a rest stop in Nicholson for our overnight.
Day 14: Borroloola
We cross the border to the Northern Territory and make way to Borroloola, a remote fishing community situated on the banks of the McArthur River in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Day 15 : Katherine
On our way to Kakadu National Park we’ll stop overnight at Katherine to break up the drive.
Day 16: Jaibru, Arnhem Land
The well laid out Territory Wildlife Park displays only Top End wildlife in its natural habitat & this affords us a chance to familiarise ourselves with the highly specialised animals of the Kakadu/Arnhem region before we get there. There is much to see and learn and this will take us the best part of a day.
We then drive out along the Arnhem Highway to Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve. Here as the sun sets, many kinds of water birds can be seen in close proximity to the road. A little over an hour will get us to the Aurora Kakadu South Alligator for evening meal.
Early river bird-watching walk, with the possibility of seeing crocodiles, then on to Jabiru via Mangarre Forest Walk, Mamukala Bird Observation Hide and Bowali Visitor Centre.
The township of Jabiru was built in 1980 to accommodate staff and families of the Ranger Uranium Mine, but is now the centre of tourism in Kakadu. The Kakadu Park HQ and Bowali Visitor Centre on the Kakadu Highway are a five minute drive from the town. There is quite a bit of wildlife to be seen around the town as a result of a prohibition on cats. The rare Partridge Pigeon can often be seen feeding along the roadsides while the Black-footed Tree-rat and Sugar Glider are also frequently seen.
This will be our introduction to the unique sandstone ecosystems that have made Kakadu famous. Many of the endemic wildlife, such as Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeons, Banded Fruit-doves, Black Wallaroos and Oenpelli Pythons call this escarpment country home. In addition to this, we are visiting one of the most amazing human history sites in northern Australia. We learn how the art galleries & occupation sites here bear witness to one of the world’s oldest continuous cultures.
We will be driving to a valley in central Kakadu and walking 3kms to a rainforest clad stream where we will see for the first time the amazing Gondwanan Manbinik Trees Allosyncarpia ternata. These giants are seen nowhere else in the world, but have relatives in Malaysia, New Caledonia and South America. They are of great significance to the Bininj people, but have mystified biogeographers with their very limited distribution.
The walk takes us along an almost level, rocky track, fording creeks as we go. At the end of the walk there will be time to relax and have a swim in a series of flowing escarpment pools.
On our return, we may have time to walk (approx 1.6kms) into another famous rock art gallery at Nangaluwurr.
Day 17-18: Darwin
Arriving in Darwin. The group has a tour on the first day then a leisure day following.
Day 19: Katherine
We depart around lunchtime/early afternoon for Katherine. This morning the group has a organised tour with the local guide.
Day 20: Katherine
Today we tour and explore Katherine including the Victoria River.
Day 21: Renner Springs
It is a full day from Katherine to Renner Springs.
Two week on, the landscape continues to grow in size in front of the group as we travel further South today along the original line of the Stuart highway passing and occasionally pausing at the historic telegraph stations along our way. Time permitting we stop at places such as Newcastle waters and attack hill.
Now for the traveller, the landscapes appear to gather the views to infinity. We know where to stop for good coffee or tea, and the best place for lunch as we travel the Stuart highway.
the road house at Renner Springs for the night. Community life could be observed up close if the shearers and hands from the local stations decide tonight is the night to blow off steam at the roadhouse. Contemporary history is on show of past travellers here, who are possibly scattered to the four winds.
Day 22-23: Alice Springs
As well the telegraph stations we stop at Devils marbles and anywhere else that appeals as we travel onto
We reach Alice Springs, via Kings canyon where we are based for up to 3 nights. Day 12 we explore the region around the Alice.
Participants have the opportunity to travel on a flight to Uluru from Alice Springs or Coober Pedy to then re-join the group.
Day 23 is a rest day.
Day 24: Coober Pedy
This morning we head further south still in the Australian outback, too Coober Pedy to the opal mining settlement. We spend a night here.
A late afternoon tour of Coober Pedy, during which we explore the opal mining activity that made the town famous, we then visit the John McDouall Stuart Monument. Stuart (1815-1866) was the most accomplished and most famous of all Australia ‘s inland explorers we learn about his stories of exploration. Stuart completed the first European crossing of Australia from Adelaide to Van Diemen’s Gulf in the Northern Territory in 1862, charting new territory and routes into the outback.
Day 25: Port Augusta
Travel down the Stuart highway to Port Augusta.
Day 26-27: Adelaide
The group has 2 days in Adelaide. There are tours with knowledgable local guides scheduled for the afternoon and following morning. The afternoon is at your leisure on day 27.
Day 28: Naracoote
Travel across South Australia to Naracoorte.
Here we visit the Wonambi Fossil Centre at the Naracoorte Caves and learn about Australia’s iconic Megafauna.
Day 29: Hay
Today we drive across the border to NSW and continue on to the historic town of Hay, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River the town is one of Australia’s major wool growing areas.
There is a farewell group dinner this evening.
Day 30: Hay - Sydney
After breakfast we start our last long drive and make our way back to Sydney, arriving late afternoon. The tour concludes on arrival in Sydney.
- Tour map is indicative only. Itinerary is subject to change depending on local conditions and availability.
Includes / Excludes
What’s included in our Tour
- 29 nights accommodation.
- 29 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 18 dinners.
- Coach or other vehicle suitable for the journey.
- 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 transport to/from Sydney, Australia.
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
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.
Make it a private tour
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:
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.
Reading List Download PDF
Yura and Udnyu: A history of the Adnyamathanha of the North Flinders Ranges
The beautiful, rugged north Flinders Ranges is the home of the Adnyamathanha. Their creation stories tell of their physical and cultural longevity in the region. However, their lives and community were seriously disrupted with the advent of British colonialism from the mid-nineteenth century.
Using firsthand accounts from Adnyamathanha and archival sources this book traces the history of colonial incursion and Adnyamathanha responses from 1840 to the era of native title in the twenty-first century. From early violent encounters between Adnyamathanha and colonists looking for land to graze their stock, employment of Adnyamathanha in the pastoral and mining industries, through hard times during droughts and economic depression, the establishment of the United Aborigines Mission at Nepabunna, to the era of self-determination in the 1970s, Adnyamathanha have shown great resilience in their ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining a strong sense of identity and community. Throughout, they have seized opportunities to inform the wider society of their cultural knowledge and maintain their rights to country.
By Peggy BrockAmazon
Flinders, the man who mapped Australia
The fascinating story of the exceptional maritime explorer, Matthew Flinders - the man who put Australia on the map.Shipwrecks, storms, death and danger - Matthew Flinders encountered it all on his courageous quest to circumnavigate and chart the treacherous Terra Australis coastline.From the drama of epic voyages and devastating shipwrecks; his part in the naming of Australia; his cruel imprisonment by the French on Mauritius for six long and harrowing years; the heartbreaking separation from his beloved wife; and the comfort he got from his loyal cat, Trim; to his tragic death at just forty.This is a gripping adventure biography that details the life of Flinders, a true hero whose name is forever woven into the fabric of Australian history.
By Rob MundleFishpond
A History of South Australia
A History of South Australia investigates South Australia's history from before the arrival of the first European maritime explorers to the present day, and examines its distinctive origins as a 'free' settlement. In this compelling and nuanced history, Paul Sendziuk and Robert Foster consider the imprint of people on the land - and vice versa - and offer fresh insights into relations between Indigenous people and the European colonisers. They chart South Australia's economic, political and social development, including the advance and retreat of an interventionist government, the establishment of the state's distinctive socio-political formations, and its relationship to the rest of Australia and the world. The first comprehensive, single-volume history of the state to be published in over fifty years, A History of South Australia is an essential and engaging contribution to our understanding of South Australia's past.
By Paul Sendziuk, Robert FosterFishpond
The Crow Eaters: A journey through South Australia
Outsiders think of South Australia as being different, without really knowing much about it. Combining his own travel across the million-square kilometres of the state with an investigation of its history, Ben Stubbs seeks to find out what South Australia is really like.
In the spirit of the best travel writing and literary non-fiction, he lingers in places of quiet beauty and meets some memorable people. Along the way he debunks most of the clichés that plague the state. Travelling to Maralinga, Ceduna, Kangaroo Island, the Flinders Ranges, Coober Pedy, the storied Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth and the once-mighty river that is the Murray, Stubbs brings this diverse state to life. He even addresses head-on the question ‘Is South Australia weird?’
Readers will find it hard to resist the book’s implicit invitation to take a look at places much closer to home, to take the time to drink in dramatic landscapes that are slow, deep and speckled with unforgettable characters.
By Ben StubbsAmazon
Burke and Wills: The triumph and tragedy of Australia's most famous explorers
The iconic Australian exploration story - brought to life by Peter FitzSimons, Australia's storyteller.
'They have left here today!' he calls to the others. When King puts his hand down above the ashes of the fire, it is to find it still hot. There is even a tiny flame flickering from the end of one log. They must have left just hours ago.
MELBOURNE, 20 AUGUST 1860. In an ambitious quest to be the first Europeans to cross the harsh Australian continent, the Victorian Exploring Expedition sets off, farewelled by 15,000 cheering well-wishers. Led by Robert O'Hara Burke, a brave man totally lacking in the bush skills necessary for his task; surveyor and meteorologist William Wills; and 17 others, the expedition took 20 tons of equipment carried on six wagons, 23 horses and 26 camels.
Almost immediately plagued by disputes and sackings, the expeditioners battled the extremes of the Australian landscape and weather: its deserts, the boggy mangrove swamps of the Gulf, the searing heat and flooding rains. Food ran short and, unable to live off the land, the men nevertheless mostly spurned the offers of help from the local Indigenous people.
In desperation, leaving the rest of the party at the expedition's depot on Coopers Creek, Burke, Wills, Charley Gray and John King made a dash for the Gulf in December 1860. Bad luck and bad management would see them miss by just hours a rendezvous back at Coopers Creek, leaving them stranded in the wilderness with practically no supplies. Only King survived to tell the tale.
Yet, despite their tragic fates, the names of Burke and Wills have become synonymous with perseverance and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. They live on in our nation's history - and their story remains immediate and compelling.
By Peter FitzSimonsAmazon
Sturt's Desert Drama
This is the story of Charles Sturt's trip to penetrate Australia's mysterious centre. South Australia is sliding into bankruptcy and the colonials look to Sturt. As "Father of Australian Exploration they needed him to find rich lands to rescue the South Australian economy. As one perishes, others wondered who would be next. Could their steely resolve force the Inland to yield its secrets?
The explorer's original diaries and letters are quoted from freely, to enable you to ride into the fierce, blazing deserts with them and to feel what they felt and picture what they saw.
By Ivan RudolphAmazon
Two Expeditions Into the Interior of Southern Australia
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.
This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.
Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been proofread and republished using a format that seamlessly blends the original graphical elements with text in an easy-to-read typeface.
We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.
By Charles SturtAmazon