Great Australian Aircruise 2015

The original Great Australian Aircruise by Bill Peach Journeys combines the best of Outback Australia with a taste of the tropics. From the remote majesty of Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) to the wetland splendour of Kakadu National Park, this is a journey of a lifetime.

Air-cruising to the quintessential Outback locations of Longreach, Katherine, Kakadu, the Kimberley, Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Alice Springs, as well as the stunning MacDonnell Ranges, the spectacular Buccaneer Archipelago, famous Birdsville, its a unique experience that showcases the history, landscapes and backbone of Australia.

Experience this authentic and unique Outback adventure, refined over 30 years, with the experts in Outback Aircruising, Bill Peach Journeys, stay in the finest available accommodation and enjoy fine dining, including our exclusive Dining at Leisure programme.

Highlights

  • Cruise the mighty chasms of Katherine Gorge
  • Explore a collection of famed outback towns - Longreach, Kununurra and Alice Springs
  • Experience spectacular aerial sightseeing of the ancient Bungle Bungle Range, remote Mitchell Falls and Buccaneer Archipelago on Australia’s far northwest
  • Watch the sun set on the Indian Ocean at Cable Beach, Broome
  • In Kakadu National Park marvel at ancient rock art and cruise the Yellow Waters Lagoon
  • Dine under the stars at Uluru
  • Walk through the boulders of Kata Tjuta
Day
1

Sydney, NSW - Longreach, QLD

Leaving the city behind, your journey begins in the heart of the outback at Longreach – named after the “long reach” of the Thomson River. This frontier township truly embodies the characteristics of the Australian outback. Visit the Champion family at Longway Station, who will share incredible stories about their experiences in this harsh landscape.

This evening, continue to the Qantas Museum, and see the aircraft and history come alive. A gala welcome dinner will be served, surrounded by Australian aviation history.

Overnight: Albert Park Motel
Day
2

Katherine , NT

This morning visit the historic Stockman’s Hall of Fame, where the legends, explorers and pioneers of the Outback come to life. Reboarding our private aircraft, the journey continues to the Northern Territory and the township of Katherine or “Nitmuluk”. Sweeping from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the West Australian border, the vast Katherine region is full of hidden secrets. Katherine Gorge itself is made up of thirteen beautiful gorges, with rapids and falls, and follows the path of the Katherine River.

This afternoon, enjoy a Nabilil Dreaming sunset dinner cruise of the stunning Katherine Gorge. The Katherine River carved this deep gorge out of sandstone thousands of years ago. Now, in the dry, it boasts quietly flowing creeks and still deep rock pools. Experience the spectacular beauty of the Gorge as the setting sun turns the ancient sandstone walls to a deep ochre. As the stars begin to appear, the bush comes alive with bright eyes, as our native nocturnal creatures start their day.

Overnight: Paraway Motel or similar
Day
3

Kakadu National Park, NT

This morning experience a unique Aboriginal cultural tour with a local Jawoyn elder. As you walk in the footsteps of the traditional owners of the Katherine region, you will experience Welcome to Country, and become immersed in the culture, heritage and dreamtime legends in this magical location.

After, transfer by road from Katherine to Cooinda, the gateway to magnificent World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Here, billabongs burst with wildlife, rock paintings date back 25,000 years, and waterfalls tumble over ancient sandstone.

Enjoy a stunning cruise of the beautiful Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu’s most famous wetland, located at the end of Jim Jim Creek. A complete contrast to the Katherine River, this area is teeming with native Australian wildlife including one third of Australia’s bird species – such as jabiru and kingfisher. Buffaloes wander the flood plains and brolga’s dance on the riverbanks, while saltwater crocodiles snap as they bask in the sun.

This is a wonderful adventure through a finely balanced natural ecosystem, that boasts floodplains and backwater swamps in its extensive wetlands.

Overnight: Mercure Gagudju Crocodile Hotel or similar
Day
4

Kakadu National Park, NT

This morning, examine some of the finest examples of Aboriginal art at Ubirr Rock. Located in the East Alligator region of Kakadu National Park, Ubirr consists of a group of rocky outcrops on the edge of the Nadab floodplain.

The rock art in Kakadu is among the finest in the world, and represents a close personal and spiritual relationship between the Aborigines and the environment. The rock art at Ubirr depicts traditional foods and tells stories about law and creation ancestors. From the top of Ubirr, panoramic views of the floodplains and the escarpment are waiting beautifully for you.

This afternoon we farewell Kakadu and enjoy breathtaking views of the Arnhem Land escarpment before landing in Darwin.

Overnight: Mantra on the Esplanade
Day
5

Darwin, NT

A full day at leisure to explore the fascinating and turbulent history of Darwin. On Christmas Day 1974, Cyclone Tracy devastated the city. After the disaster the population fell from 47,000 to 12,000 and many did not return. It is a tribute to those who stayed and those who came to live in Darwin “after Tracy”, that the rebuilt city now thrives as an administrative and commercial centre for Northern Australia.

In Darwin, the history of the city comes alive at Fannie Bay Gaol, the Darwin Museum and the WWll Storage Tunnels – these and more can be enjoyed at your leisure aboard your personal hop-on, hop-off luxury vehicle. This afternoon enjoy a breathtaking sunset cruise on Darwin Harbour aboard a traditional Pearl Lugger.

Overnight: Mantra on the Esplanade
Day
6

The Kimberley Region, WA

Departing Darwin this morning, your journey continues, as we fly over the fascinating World Heritage listed Bungle Bungle Range, located in Purnululu National Park. The imposing and striking tiger-striped, beehive shaped domes are made of sandstone and conglomerates moulded by rainfall over millions of years. Their stripes are the result of oxidised iron compounds and algae. Although the range has elevations as high as 578 metres above sea level, the range was only discovered in the 1980’s.

Landing in Kununurra - Miriwoong country – marvel at how the Ord River irrigation scheme has completely altered the landscape, creating a lush oasis of farmland and sandalwood plantations.

On arrival in Kununurra, embark on a cruise of the Ord River, through the inspiring scenery of the Kimberley region. The cruise continues to the impressive dam wall. Completed in 1971, the wall holds back the waters of Lake Argyle.

After the cruise, a chance to step back in time by exploring the historic Argyle Homestead, home of the famous pioneering family, the Duracks.

Overnight: Kimberley Grande or similar
Day
7

Buccaneer Archipelago, WA

This morning re-board our exclusive private aircraft and once again experience spectacular aerial views, this time over the remote far northwest coastline and the exquisite Buccaneer Archipelago. This isolated part of Australia is rarely seen, as it is virtually impossible to access from the ground. A truly spectacular region, experience the stunning two tiered Mitchell Falls and Prince Regent River.

You may be lucky enough to see the unique horizontal falls – described by David Attenborough as "one of the greatest natural wonders of the world". Located deep within Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago the falls are massive tidal movements that create a waterfall effect as water banks up against one side of the narrow cliff passage, to be repeated again on the turning tide.

Arriving at the historic pearling port of Broome, a chance to explore the notable Japanese and Chinese cemeteries, and courthouse, as well as dinosaur footprints at famous Gantheaume Point.

Overnight: Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa or similar
Day
8

Broome, WA

A full day at leisure to sit back, and be immersed in the lifestyle and ambiance of beautiful Broome. Take the shuttle into town and amble through Chinatown, see a movie in the world’s oldest alfresco picture theatre – Sun Pictures – and explore a historic Pearl Lugger. While here, be immersed in the history of the pearl industry, and perhaps even take home a souvenir pearl, as you meander through the famous pearl shops.

For true relaxation, stroll the grand expanse of the famous white sandy Cable Beach, take a camel ride, then watch one of the world’s most famous sunsets over the famous low tide.

Overnight: Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa or similar
Day
9

Uluru, NT

Your private aircraft journey continues this morning, heading for an unforgettable flight to the Red Centre. Experience the impact of watching Uluru, the world’s largest monolith, appear on the horizon.

The “Red Centre” of Australia is a land of vivid colour and striking contrasts. Uluru and Kata Tjuta have great cultural significance for the Anang, the traditional owners of the land. Here, the magnificent Uluru with its rich red tones of bare rock, and cliff faces which change colour according to light conditions and moisture, dominates the surrounding desert.

A feast tonight under the stars at the magnificent ‘Sounds of Silence’ dinner. Wonderfully placed between Uluru and Kata Tjuta, experience the subtle colour changes of the rock at sunset.

Overnight: Sails In the Desert or similar
Day
10

Uluru, NT - Kata Tjuta, NT

An early start today, as we experience the sublime sunrise at the rock. Watch as the giant monolith emerges from the inky landscape.

Return for breakfast, before continuing to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Kata Tjuta has great significance as a sacred area for the indigenous owners of the land, your local guide explaining the significance of important dreamtime legends to you. This impressive and imposing group of 36 conglomerate domes has a circumference of more than 22 kilometres. Your afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the facilities of the beautiful Sails in the Desert.

Overnight: Sails in the Desert or similar
Day
11

Alice Springs, NT

Transfer to the airport this morning where the private aircraft awaits to take you to Alice Springs. Be immersed in the resilience of the people of Alice, as we visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Learn how this unique concept, started by Dr John Flynn, continues to provide medical service to the furthest regions of outback Australia.

Continue to Standley Chasm, where surging flood waters have cut through the tough quartzite over thousands of years to form a picturesque natural alleyway. The reliable trickle of water has ensured the survival of species from a time when Central Australia was a more fertile place.

Visit the Telegraph Station, site of the original Repeater Station, which was for many years the sole reason for the existence of a handful of people in this remote area. It was here that a supposed spring was found in the dry riverbed - the river was named Todd after the Postmaster General, and the spring, Alice, after his wife. Tonight there will be a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Lasseters Hotel
Day
12

Birdsville, QLD - Sydney, NSW

On your final day, the first stop is the quaint outback Queensland town of Birdsville. Proclaimed a town in 1887, Birdsville was established to collect tolls from the droves of cattle being moved interstate. Now the home to the famous Birdsville Races, this town - perched on the edge of the Simpson Desert - is as remote as it is captivating.

Here you will have a short exploration of this unique town, followed by lunch at the famous Birdsville Hotel. This is Australia's most remote ub and you will experience true outback hospitality.

Re-board your private aircraft for your final flight to Sydney.

Dates & Prices

Tour Code Days Departs Returns Price $AUD  
GA500 (S) 12 19th May 2015 30th May 2015 $15,995
GA501 12 30th June 2015 11th July 2015 $15,995
GA502 (S) 12 25th August 2015 5th September 2015 $15,995

(S) Single Travellers are not required to pay a single supplement on these journeys.  Limited single supplement free seats are available.  The single supplement offer cannot be taken in conjunction with any other offer.

Inclusions:

  • All accommodation - 11 nights including Sails in the Desert and Cable Beach Club Resort
  • All meals - 11 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Exclusive travel by private aircraft
  • All touring including: cruising, aerial sightseeing flights, entrance fees, porterage, taxes and luggage
  • Services of experienced Journey Directors and flight crew
  • Warm hospitality of local hosts at every destination

 

Mode of Transport:

This journey is taken by a 30 seat twin engine Aircraft.

  • All seats feature comfortable legroom
  • The aircraft are flown by two experienced captains and crewed by a flight director
  • The aircraft operate at an average altitude for flying of 13,000 ft
  • Full bar and meal service is available onboard
  • The aircraft are pressurised and air-conditioned
  • There is a toilet onboard

Please note that from Kakadu to Darwin we will be using smaller aircraft .  This can vary from a 8 to 15 seat aircraft.

SPECIAL TRANSFER FARE

A special transfer fare is available to guests joining this departure from other capital cities. Refer to the T&C's for more information.

Coaches:

The coaches that we use for the ground component of this journey are fully air-conditioned.

 

Cruises:

The cruises we do on this journey are on open-air boats and all have shaded areas available.

 

Level of fitness required: Easy Going

This journey is not physically demanding unless you want it to be. It includes easy paced walks which are on mainly flat ground. You must be able to walk up to 500 metres unaided and will not need any foreseen assistance throughout the journey. Accommodation is spread out at the Cable Beach Club Resort, Broome and so in most cases there are no rooms that are particularly close to facilities at this property. 

We strongly urge you to consider the fitness rating before selecting your preferred journey, in respect for your fellow travellers.  Bill Peach Journeys reserves the right to refuse travel to any client whose fitness level is below the recommended rating.

(S) Single Travellers are not required to pay a single supplement on these journeys.  Limited single supplement free seats are available.  The single supplement offer cannot be taken in  conjunction with any other offer.