AUSTRALIA: ROCK & SALT & SAND=the Ultimate Cultural Adventure
In pursuit of “an adventure less ordinary” Kindred Spirits Tour and Travel is proud to offer a tour like no other. Our Australia Rock, Salt & Sand tour features:
• An immersive cultural experience with the world’s oldest culture in the remote deserts of Central Australia.
• The wonders of reef & rainforest – paradise found!
• The world’s most beautiful harbour city in all its splendour
As one of a small group of adventurers, you will experience Australia like few others ever have, or probably ever will.
Day 1: Ayers Rock (B, L, D)
Upon arrival at Uluru we will be met by our tour guide, an authority on the aboriginal clans that populate the central deserts of Australia. You will immediately be spirited away driving south on red dust roads to your first stop, Cave Hill.
The scene before you is beyond belief; a vast expanse of land that is surely one of the most unpopulated areas on earth. As far as the eye can see there is no sign of human habitation, bar our small camp located on the plain far below. This is Australia’s “true heart”; an immense tract of territory known as the Pitjantjatjara (pit-jan-jara) Homelands. Occupying a vast area these lands have been ceded back to their traditional indigenous owners, the Anangu/Pitjantjatjara people. Little has changed in the 60,000 years of Pitjantjatjara occupation. Their tie with their ancestral home is absolute, the heart of their very existence. Here time is measured by the passage of the sun and stars. Travel across a country mapped by the Songlines. At night listen to the haunting songs of our Pitjantjatjara hosts as they take us back in a journey through time to when the world began; when all things human, animal, plant and rock were a connected living reality! To spend time with the Pitjantjatjara is a life-changing experience!
We will be camping tonight at Cave Hill which is near the “Seven Sisters” site which houses some of the best rock art in central Australia. The cave is festooned with imagery depicting the plight of the Seven Sisters. The view from the top of Cave Hill is wonderful and presents a 360 degree desert panorama including Uluru, Mt Connor and the Musgrave Ranges.
Tonight we enjoy a campfire dinner under the stars listening to the traditional custodians relate the history of the region.
Day 2-5: Atal Camp, Angatja (B, L, D)
This morning we head deeper into “the lands” our destination, Angatja. We stop enroute at Amata Aboriginal Community and Minymaku Art Centre, with an opportunity to purchase art works directly from the artists. From there we continue on to Angatja and our Eco Camp Atal at the foot of the Mann Ranges. Over the next 4 days you will gain an incredible insight into the way of life of the desert aboriginals that have occupied this land for in excess of 60,000 years. You will marvel at their ingenuity and be humbled by the spirituality. Sometimes we follow the Songlines, other times we go hunting and gathering, and sometimes we just sit quietly and absorb the vast beauty and silence of the desert. You will come to appreciate that their land is their life. You will be welcomed as family, one that does not delineate but rather views life through selfless eyes.
The culmination of our time here will be the “Inma Ngintaka”, a dance of Ngintaka’s journey of creation. Like your aboriginal hosts, you will be able to “paint up” and participate in this very special event.
At the Atal Camp we sleep in bedrolls on “mother earth” under the brilliant canopy of stars.
Day 6: Ayers Rock (B)
After breakfast we break camp and head back to Ayers Rock arriving by mid-afternoon. This afternoon we take a tour of Uluru. The spiritual significance of Uluru will be vastly more apparent because of your cultural immersion over the past days.
This evening is at leisure to enjoy the luxury facilities of Ayers Rock Resort
Day 7: Ayers Rock / Cairns / Silky Oaks Lodge (B, L, D)
This morning we rise early to catch the sun rise over Uluru and the Olgas. After breakfast we tour Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) before transferring to the airport for our flight to Cairns. Upon arrival, we will depart for Silky Oaks Lodge, located a very picturesque drive north of Cairns. If you ask a local, they’ll tell you this is the most beautiful region in Australia. A place where green merges into blue, this is the only place on Earth where two World Heritage-listed entities exist side by side – Australia’s Tropical Rainforests and The Great Barrier Reef.
Silky Oaks Lodge adjoins the Daintree, on the northern bank of the Mossman River Gorge. The Lodge overlooks a lagoon so idyllic it has no equal for natural beauty, supreme comfort and ease of access. Your accommodations are set in prime riverfront locations with spectacular rainforest views and the soothing sounds of the river.
Day 8: Great Barrier Reef (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we depart for a day trip to explore the Great Barrier Reef by snorkelling or scuba diving (for those qualified).
The reef is home to an amazing variety of fascinating plants and animals. From colorful corals, beautifully bright fish, sponges, sea squirts, serpent stars and worms, to dolphins, turtles, and rays…virtually all major and minor groups of living things are abundantly represented in the reef. Only tropical rainforests come close to rivaling the reef for richness of species. After a truly memorable day of exploring the reef, we return to Silky Oaks Lodge.
Day 9: Tropical Rainforest Exploration (B, L, D)
Today we embark on a tour of Daintree River to experience the wonders of this World Heritage, listed as the oldest rainforest on earth. We travel north across the Daintree River deep into the primeval rainforest that is the “wet tropics”. We stop for an educational walk followed by a “bush” lunch before venturing onto the pristine beach of Cape Tribulation. We soak up the magnificence of where “the rainforest meets the reef” before venturing back to Silky Oaks Lodge.
Day 10: Dunk Island (B, D)
This morning we make our way back to Cairns for our short flight to Dunk Island. Dunk Island is one of Australia's most beautiful tropical rainforest islands. This island of peace and plenty offers an amazing variety of activities, facilities and experiences. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore.
Day 11: Dunk Island and Beaver Cay (B, D)
Today we again head to the reef and the beautiful Beaver Cay.
Day 12: Dunk Island (B)
Today is at your leisure. With an enormous variety of activities to choose from, it's hard deciding what to do. You could start the day with a rainforest walk to take in the spectacular views from the summit of Mt Kootaloo. After breakfast, glide round the island on a guided jet ski tour, snorkel over the bommies at Naturalist Beach, return to the Great Barrier Reef, visit an Artists' Colony, go horseback riding on the beach, fish or simply relax on the beach! The day and evening are yours to plan.
Day 13: Dunk Island / Sydney (B)
After breakfast, we fly from Dunk Island, arriving in Sydney late afternoon. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 14: Sydney (B, L)
After breakfast we will spend the day exploring this incredible city.
Our tour inlcudes:
• Walking tour of the Rocks
• Driving tour of Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross and the “ritzy” eastern suburbs.
• Picnic lunch (fish and chips – an Aussie staple) from the famous Doyle’s restaurant at Watson’s Bay washed down with some quality Australian wine.
• 2 hour private yacht excursion on the world’s most beautiful harbour – your yacht deposits you directly at the Park Hyatt ‘s jetty on completion.
Lodging will be centrally located for easy walking to major attractions.
Day 15: Sydney (B, D)
Day at your leisure to explore the city sites. Group farewell dinner.
Day 16: Home (B)
This morning we transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Dates: Dates will be determined by the group.
Price: The tour price is determined by the itinerary, number in group, time of year, inclusions, type of lodging, etc. Call for a customized group tour.
Call Pam at 720-746-0748 or email her at email@example.com