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Australia By Private Plane – Bungle Bungles Tour

27 August 2010

Litchfield National Park

Bungle Bungles, Cape York & Australia Outback tour (14 Days)
All 2011 – May 4th & 24th May, June 19th, July 4th & 15th

So begins our Australia sightseeing tour as we join our private plane in Sydney and fly to Broken Hill, where the dreams of our forebears were made in the mines. Fly over the spectacular inland sea of Lake Eyre as we make our way to Birdsville Hotel for lunch. Picnic beside Simpson’s Gap in the striking MacDonnell Ranges. Visit Ayers Rock (Uluru) and see the magnificent Olgas (Kata Tjuta).

Spend two nights in Broome beside Cable Beach. Fly to Western Australia’s Kimberley region – over Mitchell Falls, Lake Argyle and the Bungle Bungles – and stay in a unique safari camp. Using Darwin as our base we explore Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. Fly to the Torres Strait to visit Thursday Island and Cape York. Finally, discover the charming northern outpost of Cooktown before concluding your tour in Cairns.

The luxury of having our Private Plane means we can take advantage of flightseeing routes over Lake Eyre, the Marree Man, the MacDonnell Ranges, Lake Argyle, Mitchell Falls and more. Join us on this magical 14 day australia tour and re-discover yourself.

Map of Bungles & Beyond journey…

Bungle Bungles and Beyond map

Bungle Bungles & Australia Outback Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Sydney – Broken Hill

Before we start our Bungles and outback sightseeing tour, we join fellow travellers for our mid morning flight from Sydney (please enquire for prices and schedules from your home town). Our Private Plane, carrying only 34 passengers, takes a scenic flight across the spectacular Blue Mountains to the far west of New South Wales and Australia’s largest inland city, Broken Hill. For over 100 years the mineral wealth of Broken Hill ensured a booming community and the city’s history is reflected in Broken Hill’s magnificent buildings. This afternoon we tour the city, delving into the working class struggles that made Broken Hill famous. We also visit a gallery featuring the work of the ‘Brushmen of the Bush’, a group of outback painters including Pro Hart and Jack Absalom. This evening we stay at the restored Old Willyama Hotel & Motor Inn.  Enjoy our unique Welcome Dinner at the Royal Flying Doctor Service Base and hear about the work of the Flying Doctor.

Birdsville HotelDay 2

Broken Hill – Lake Eyre – Birdsville – Alice Springs

This morning we fly north over Lake Eyre, usually a vast saltpan, but in recent years a spectacular inland sea. From the air we can also see the depiction of the Marree Man, a 4km tall stone etching of an Aboriginal warrior, only discovered in 1998. We land and taxi almost to the front verandah of the famous Birdsville Hotel, where we enjoy an outback lunch. We will tour Birdsville including the town’s fascinating museum (containing relics from many parts of outback Australia), the racetrack, the Australian Inland Mission Hospital and other aspects of this frontier town. Later this afternoon we fly to Alice Springs in the Red Centre. This evening is a dine-around dinner, choose from a selection of varied restaurants.

Path to UluruDay 3

Alice Springs – Ayers Rock (Uluru)

This morning we visit the renowned Alice Springs Desert Park. The Desert Park introduces us to many interesting facets of some of the world’s oldest deserts. Stroll through the different desert habitats and see the breeding programs for numerous endangered species of the Australian bush. We then travel to Simpson’s Gap, a striking gorge in the MacDonnell Ranges, with its two ghost gums made famous by painter Albert Namatjira. A delightful picnic lunch is served at Simpson’s Gap. We continue to Standley Chasm, a five metre fissure in solid rock, leading through the range. Later this afternoon our Dash 8 takes us on a scenic path low over the MacDonnell Ranges to Ayers Rock (Uluru) and the renowned Sails in the Desert Resort – great outback sightseeing. This evening we enjoy the incredible ‘Sounds of Silence’ dining experience.

Ayers RockDay 4

Ayers Rock (Uluru) – Broome

The pinnacle of all Outback tours has arrived. We tour the base of the rock and learn about the legends and mystery of Uluru. You will also visit the Olgas, a magnificent cluster of 36 rocky domes that dominate the western skyline. Late this afternoon we fly to Broome for two nights beside Cable Beach at the Cable Beach Club Resort. (S) This evening choose from the restaurants at our resort for a dine-around dinner.

Day 5

Broome

Enjoy a relaxing morning; or take a shuttle bus into town for independent exploration and pearl shopping. This afternoon we sightsee around Broome including Chinatown, where we hear fascinating stories of its colourful past and have time for shopping. We also see an historical sound show at the famous Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest operating open air theatre, and drive through Old Broome to view typical Broome architecture and the old Pearling Master’s homes. There will be time to visit the local arts and craft galleries before visiting the Japanese cemetery and Broome port, the base for many of today’s pearling luggers. We return to Cable Beach in time for you to step out on to the beach and experience the extraordinary sunset. (S) Enjoy another leisurely dine-around evening at our resort.

Day 6

Broome – Emma Gorge – Kununurra

Many have seen the Kimberley by road or by sea but few have taken a scenic flight over some of Australia’s most spectacular mountain scenery. Today you become one of the fortunate few as we fly over Mitchell Falls and witness some of the incredible Kimberley coastline before landing at Kununurra, the region’s major town. We drive into El Questro Wilderness Park and visit Emma Gorge. Enjoy the spectacular walk through the gorge. We stay overnight in Kununurra at the four star Kimberley Grande Hotel.

Bungle BunglesDay 7

Kununurra – Bungle Bungles

We then change to a smaller aircraft for a scenic flight over the World Heritage Listed Bungle Bungles. Fly over Lake Argyle and the Argyle Diamond Mine before landing in Purnululu National Park. We stay overnight at the Bungle Bungles Wilderness Lodge in large and very comfortable safari style tents with ensuite bathrooms and the facilities you expect of a quality hotel. The unique and exclusive ‘camp’ is located within the spectacular wilderness region of the range. Enjoy an exceptional wilderness experience staying within the National Park without having to ‘rough it’. (S) Today you are offered a number of expeditions in this area.

Take a trip by 4WD to the starting point of the walk into Echidna Chasm, on the northern side of the range. Echidna Chasm, a magnificent cleft in the rock massif, is considered one of Australia’s most amazing walking destinations. It is an easy hike on a palm fringed trail. You may also like to take a trip to the southern side of the massif for the Cathedral Gorge walk. Enjoy time to explore the gorge, marvelling at how the sandstone cliffs form a high natural amphitheatre. Walk along the dry bed of Piccaninny Creek to inspect the domes close up. Your guide will explain the history of these unique formations, dating back twenty million years. Dinner is served at our camp this evening.

Lake ArgyleDay 8

Bungle Bungles – Lake Argyle – Darwin

A scenic flight takes you back to Kununurra, with views of the Ord River. We travel by road to Lake Argyle and take a spectacular cruise on this man made lake, with eighteen times the capacity of Sydney Harbour! The cruise continues on the Ord River to Kununurra, where we rejoin our Private Plane and fly on to Darwin for a three night stay at Mantra on the Esplanade Hotel. (S) Enjoy a dine-around evening at our hotel or taste the varied cuisine of Darwin’s restaurants this evening.

Litchfield National ParkDays 9 & 10

Darwin & the Top End

We have two full days to enjoy the best Australia sightseeing in Darwin and the Top End. (S) Choose from a range of complimentary sightseeing private plane tours each day.

  1. Kakadu National Park (full day)

    Explore Kakadu and its 19,000km² of contrasting landscapes. Salt water crocodiles lurk beneath the friendly façade of waterways dotted with lotus flowers; jagged peaks of towering escarpments hide pockets of monsoon rainforest; waterfalls cascade into pools fringed by paperbarks, pandanas and cycads; and Aboriginal rock art abounds. Our full day tour includes a cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong to witness the incredible landscape and wildlife.

  2. Litchfield National Park (full day)

    A spectacular day of touring takes us to Litchfield National Park. Swim in the large crystal pools at Wangi Falls, see the top of Florence Falls and then walk down to swim in the plunge pool below. There will also be time to take a guided walk through the monsoon vine forest and enjoy a picnic lunch.

  3. Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls (full day)

    Travel along the Sturt Highway and make a stop for a swim at Edith Falls before a spectacular cruise in Katherine Gorge within the Nitmiluk National Park.

  4. Darwin Sightseeing (half day)

    See Darwin’s historic World War II sites, the Chinese Temple, Stokes Hill wharf area and visit the Museum and Art Gallery.

  5. Darwin’s historic harbour

    On one evening you may wish to take a sunset cruise on Darwin’s historic harbour.

On both evenings you are offered dine-around dinners, giving you a choice of local restaurants or dining at our hotel. Prior to dinner you may wish to explore the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets.

Thursday IslandDay 11

Darwin – Horn Island/Thursday Island

We rejoin our Private Plane and fly across the Gulf Country to Horn Island in Torres Strait. A boat takes us to Thursday Island, a remote Torres Strait outpost. We will tour the town and visit the Gab Titui Cultural Centre, preserving the cultural heritage of the Torres Strait. There will also be free time to explore the town and take a tour around the island including the Torres Strait Museum and Green Hill Fort. Accommodation in the Torres Strait will be relatively basic.

Cape YorkDay 12

Cape York

Enjoy a relaxing boat trip across Torres Strait to the tip of Australia at Cape York. We land on the beach and take a short walk to the northernmost tip of Australia. The relics of the historic town of Somerset, built by the British to rival Singapore, are nearby.

Day 13

Horn Island – Cooktown

This morning we join a World War II tour of Horn Island, revealing the vital role Torres Strait played in Australia’s northern defence. Horn Island was a strategic air base and we will visit the old trenches, taxiways and gun sites, as well as a private World War II Museum. Late this morning we rejoin our privately chartered aircraft for the flight following the east coast south to Cooktown. We stay at the pleasant Sovereign Resort Hotel.

Day 14

Cooktown – Cairns

Explore Cooktown this morning. We visit the Chinese cemetery and numerous historical remains including the statue of Captain Cook, who spent seven weeks here in 1770 after ‘The Endeavour’ was damaged on the reef. This afternoon we enjoy a festive farewell flight to Cairns arriving in time to connect with scheduled flights to most capitals. Please enquire for schedules and costs for flights from Cairns to your home town.
(S) Alternatively, stay on and enjoy Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Cove or somewhere else in tropical Far North Queensland. Please enquire for details.

More Australia sightseeing tours

This 14 day Bungle Bungles and Outback tour journeys from Sydney in the south-east of Australia, diagonally through the Australian outback up to the Broome in the north-west and then hugs the coast round Darwin via the Bungle Bungles giving some stunning australia outback sightseeing opportunities for a 14 day tour.

If you are looking for something shorter covering the south-east to the north-east, take a look at the 10 day Back of beyond Australia Outback tour. This tour still includes great outback sightseeing of Flinders Ranges, Lake Eyre, Birdsville and Longreach plus Thursday Island and Cape York (among others).

Alternatively, if you’ve more time to spare there is the definitive Australia experience, the 19 day Complete Aussie Outback tour which is similar to the 14 day tour but goes in reverse from Cairns to sydney and adds in a slew of south coast desinations including Kangeroo Island, Warrnambool, Echuca and more.

Package Costs

  • £9,620 ($US17,150 approx) – Single Supplement £1,350 ($US2,420 approx)

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