We pick you up from your Melbourne hotel or from Federation Square (this will be pre-arranged) between 8am and 9 am on the day of departure. We leave the city and head north through the Macedon Ranges area to the historic gold rush city of Bendigo. here you will board the talking tourist tram to hear of the history of the town's colourful golden past. Bendigo will also be the lunch stop for today at your own leisure.
After lunch we continue north to Murray Downs just outside the town of Swan Hill. Swan Hill is a town on the banks of Australia’s longest river, the Murray River and it has a rich history of being a river port for the paddle steamers that used to transport vital supplies along the river to the farming families on the edge of the outback before road transport became common. The Murray River also forms the border between the states of Victoria and New South Wales.
At Murray Downs we stay in well appointed self contained cottages and eat in the bistro.
Leaving Murray Downs after breakfast we travel north west and parallel to the river before swinging north when you will notice the country becoming flatter, drier and warmer. We reach the small town of Balranald for a morning tea stop. After Balranald the country changes again as we see less and less trees and much more open sky and big horizons, now you are in the iconic outback of Australia!
Driving across roads constructed of clay laid over the red sand we come to the World Heritage site of Lake Mungo. This is an extraordinary landscape.
After a quick lunch at the Lake Mungo Eco Lodge we meet and indigenous ranger who will escort us around the area. Apart from the stunning landscape, the area achieved notoriety for being the site of the fossilized remains of Mungo Man and Mungo Lady, two indigenous Australians whose remains are dated between 40,000 and 68,000 years old. Lake Mungo and the surrounding lakes were a hive of ancient human activity all those thousands of years ago.
As well as human fossils, there are also fossils of Australia’s megafauna embedded in the white clay of the lake bed. Imagine walking in the footsteps of early humans from 60,000 years ago.
After we visit the lake bed and the surrounds we stay the night in the eco lodges where you will enjoy a wonderful meal and see an unforgettable night sky and maybe if the time is right, a moonrise over the surrounding desert.
We depart from Mungo Lodge after breakfast and continue north across the red sand country, through the Kinchega National Park and beside the Darling River. Watch out for flocks of Emus, mobs of Kangaroos, blue tongue lizards and Wedge Tail Eagles as we traverse this classic Australian landscape.
This afternoon we arrive in Broken Hill, probably the most famous outback town in Australia. You’ll have time to wander through this famous town after we check into our accommodation in the art deco masterpiece of The Royal Exchange Hotel.
Later in the afternoon we take out to the sculpture park for a glass of sparkling wine while you watch an outback sunset and then we return the fabulous dining room at the Royal Exchange for dinner.
An early start sees us crossing more outback roads to meet up with the accredited guide who will escort us through a part of the Mutawintji National Park that is closed to the general public because of its significance to indigenous Australians. This park contains the most significant rock art and petroglyphs in the south eastern part of Australia. By touring with us you will gain access to places that you cannot see on your own.
We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the national park before we head off to White Cliffs where we stay the night in the famous Underground Hotel. We eat here with other outback travelers in the communal dining room and swap stories of the sights and adventures in the outback.
White Cliffs is town famous for its opal mines and for where people live underground to avoid the searing temperatures in the summer months. Sleeping underground is an experience not to be missed! When you switch off the lights, it’s very dark and very quiet.
Days 5 and 6
White Cliffs is our northern most point on the tour and from here we start travelling south again. It’s a long day of travel on sealed and unsealed roads through country side that is alive with wildlife.
This afternoon we reach Corynnia Station as guests of the delightful owners; Bruce and Julie Armstrong.
Corynnia is a gem. Imagine staying on a working farm and being able to see everything that happens. Bruce will give us a tour of the farm where they produce wool, fat lambs and various grain crops and you’ll have time to wander around the homestead gardens or visit the 1000 acre black box swamp to watch birds and wildlife. As well as being skilled users of the land, Bruce and Julie are passionate about caring for the surrounding environment.
We spend two nights at Corynnia and you won’t want to leave.
Leaving Corynnia we travel across the Hay Plain which is the flattest place on earth!
The country begins to change into rolling hills and becomes greener as approach Melbourne where we
drop you after 7 amazing days.
Our Outback Experience tour departs at 0830 from Melbourne. Pickups are available from all city hotels within Melbourne. Passengers will be returned to their points of departure at the completion of the tour.
• 3 - 4 star accommodation
• 6 x 2 course dinner
• Entrance fees as per itinerary