Explorer's Way

Lodges visited

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The 3000km journey from Adelaide to Darwin takes you along the intrepid route of the 1862 European explorer John McDouall Stuart, albeit with the luxury of a sealed highway. Toast to your adventure with a glass of Barossa Valley wine and wind your way north as the vineyards roll into the edges of the outback. Take in the dramatic natural rock formations of the Ikara-Flinders Rangers and the iconic monolith in the heart of Australia at Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park. As you continue venturing further north, wide open spaces greet your every view before the desert gradually dissipates into the quintessentially humid Top End of Darwin and Kakadu and get off road and beyond into the vast, rugged Kimberley wilderness.

From adelaide, 1hr drive to the louise or arrange to arrive via scenic flight.

1 The Louise Barossa Valley, South Australia

The Louise – an idyllic luxury vineyard retreat, encompassing acclaimed restaurant Appellation, is situated on a gentle hill surrounded by hundreds of acres of vines, with breathtaking vistas across the Barossa Valley. Home to more than 100 wineries, the Barossa is a vibrant community with a rich 160-year old cultural and architectural heritage and the oldest food and wine culture in Australia. 

What will I do there?

  • Henschke wines – explore parts of the original winery built in the 1860s before settling into your private tasting room to enjoy a range of Henschke wines.
  • Enjoyable activities include hot air ballooning, scenic helicopter rides, cycling, hiking, relaxing massage and a visit to the acclaimed Barossa Farmers’ Market.
  • Legend of Seppeltsfield Tour – take a private tour of historic family winery Seppeltsfield Estate, with a vineyard tour, private wine tasting and sampling your birth-year Vintage Tawny Port.

1 The Louise Barossa Valley, South Australia

The Louise – an idyllic luxury vineyard retreat, encompassing acclaimed restaurant Appellation, is situated on a gentle hill surrounded by hundreds of acres of vines, with breathtaking vistas across the Barossa Valley. Home to more than 100 wineries, the Barossa is a vibrant community with a rich 160-year old cultural and architectural heritage and the oldest food and wine culture in Australia. 

What will I do there?

  • Henschke wines – explore parts of the original winery built in the 1860s before settling into your private tasting room to enjoy a range of Henschke wines.
  • Enjoyable activities include hot air ballooning, scenic helicopter rides, cycling, hiking, relaxing massage and a visit to the acclaimed Barossa Farmers’ Market.
  • Legend of Seppeltsfield Tour – take a private tour of historic family winery Seppeltsfield Estate, with a vineyard tour, private wine tasting and sampling your birth-year Vintage Tawny Port.

From the barossa valley, 4hr drive to arkaba or arrange to arrive via scenic flight.

2 Arkaba Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Arkaba’s colonial history stretches back to the 1850s and one of the property’s earliest guests was John McDouall Stuart on his epic first crossing of the continent. Now a 60,000 acre wildlife conservancy flanked by the strikingly beautiful Elder and Chase Ranges and Rawnsley Bluff, Arkaba is recognised one of the most beautiful outback properties in the country.

What will I do there?

  • Outback Safari Drive – an afternoon guided experience usually capped off with a sundowner drink on top of the ranges with the scale and grandeur of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges laid out for miles around.
  • Marvel the ‘Geological Trail’ – a journey which crosses rocks 525 to 640-million years old and housing fossils of the unique Ediacaran fauna.
  • Be on the lookout for the endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby.

2 Arkaba Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Arkaba’s colonial history stretches back to the 1850s and one of the property’s earliest guests was John McDouall Stuart on his epic first crossing of the continent. Now a 60,000 acre wildlife conservancy flanked by the strikingly beautiful Elder and Chase Ranges and Rawnsley Bluff, Arkaba is recognised one of the most beautiful outback properties in the country.

What will I do there?

  • Outback Safari Drive – an afternoon guided experience usually capped off with a sundowner drink on top of the ranges with the scale and grandeur of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges laid out for miles around.
  • Marvel the ‘Geological Trail’ – a journey which crosses rocks 525 to 640-million years old and housing fossils of the unique Ediacaran fauna.
  • Be on the lookout for the endangered Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby.

4hr drive to adelaide airport, or arrange a private charter flight. from adelaide airport, fly to uluru (connellan airport). 15min hosted drive to longitude 131 .

3 Longitude 131° Uluru, Northern Territory

Longitude 131º gathering of luxury tented pavilions nestled among the rust red landscape of the outback that offers jaw-dropping views to Uluru and Kata Tjuta. A true sense of stillness and beauty in the desert landscape, rich in culture, heritage and history.

What will I do there?

  • Discover the epic trials and tribulations of early European explorers William Gosse and Ernest Giles on a guided sunrise expedition to Kata Tjuta and Walpa Gorge, including morning tea and a visit to the Cultural Centre.
  • Sunset Drinks in Kantju Gorge – head out at dusk to witness the gorge walls ablaze with the light of the setting sun, enjoying sunset drinks and canap s in the silence and solitude.
  • Take off in a small charter plane and experience the desert scape of Uluru and the massive conglomerate domes of Kata Tjuta from a spectacular new angle

3 Longitude 131° Uluru, Northern Territory

Longitude 131º gathering of luxury tented pavilions nestled among the rust red landscape of the outback that offers jaw-dropping views to Uluru and Kata Tjuta. A true sense of stillness and beauty in the desert landscape, rich in culture, heritage and history.

What will I do there?

  • Discover the epic trials and tribulations of early European explorers William Gosse and Ernest Giles on a guided sunrise expedition to Kata Tjuta and Walpa Gorge, including morning tea and a visit to the Cultural Centre.
  • Sunset Drinks in Kantju Gorge – head out at dusk to witness the gorge walls ablaze with the light of the setting sun, enjoying sunset drinks and canap s in the silence and solitude.
  • Take off in a small charter plane and experience the desert scape of Uluru and the massive conglomerate domes of Kata Tjuta from a spectacular new angle

Hosted transfer to uluru (connellan airport) 2hr flight to darwin airport, connect to 20min flight to private airstrip, 15min hosted drive to bamurru plains.

Bamurru Plains is an extraordinary wild bush luxury experience on the edge of the Mary River floodplain, adjacent to Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. The Top End coastal flood plains are home to prolific birdlife (236 species). Waking at dawn to hear the cacophony of sound from the magpie geese, whistling kites, blue-winged kookaburras is the perfect start to a day’s safari.

What will I do there?

  • 4WD safaris – With the recession of the waters from much of the floodplain in the dry season, the plains become accessible to 4WD vehicles and an afternoon out with one of the guides will provide a unique insight to this fragile yet very important environment.
  • Airboat tour – an utterly exhilarating morning trip out on the floodplain wetlands of the Mary River catchment. Journey through fields of lotus lilies and enchanting paperbark forests. Magpie geese, plumed whistling-duck, egrets, ibis and a host of other birds will take flight as you zip across the floodplains on your airboat, flocks sometimes thousands of birds strong!
  • Let your adventurous side loose and explore the floodplain savannah, monsoonal forests and dry, open areas dotted with termite mounds alongside buffalo and brumbies on your own quad bike.

Bamurru Plains is an extraordinary wild bush luxury experience on the edge of the Mary River floodplain, adjacent to Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. The Top End coastal flood plains are home to prolific birdlife (236 species). Waking at dawn to hear the cacophony of sound from the magpie geese, whistling kites, blue-winged kookaburras is the perfect start to a day’s safari.

What will I do there?

  • 4WD safaris – With the recession of the waters from much of the floodplain in the dry season, the plains become accessible to 4WD vehicles and an afternoon out with one of the guides will provide a unique insight to this fragile yet very important environment.
  • Airboat tour – an utterly exhilarating morning trip out on the floodplain wetlands of the Mary River catchment. Journey through fields of lotus lilies and enchanting paperbark forests. Magpie geese, plumed whistling-duck, egrets, ibis and a host of other birds will take flight as you zip across the floodplains on your airboat, flocks sometimes thousands of birds strong!
  • Let your adventurous side loose and explore the floodplain savannah, monsoonal forests and dry, open areas dotted with termite mounds alongside buffalo and brumbies on your own quad bike.

Optional - Continue your trans-continental journey and head west into the rough and ready wilderness of The Kimberley with a stay at El Questro Homestead.

From bamurru plains, 20min private flight to darwin airport, 1hr flight to kununurra airport, then 2hr drive to el questro homestead.

+ El Questro Homestead The Kimberley, Western Australia

In the middle of almost 1 million acres of wilderness park and 100km from the nearest town, the luxury of El Questro Homestead sits in stark contrast to Western Australia’s rugged Kimberley landscape. Cantilevered over a cliff top, with vistas of one of the most picturesque locations, the Homestead is a relaxed retreat catering for a minimal number of guests.

What will I do there?

  • Boating through the Chamberlain Gorge is a must. An El Questro Homestead ranger will take you on a private cruise of this 3 km fresh waterhole in the Homestead’s dinghy. Keep a lookout for resident rock wallabies, crocodiles and the charismatic archer fish.
  • With so many hiking trails to explore, you can be lucky enough to walk uninterrupted for hours, taking in the rugged sandstone gorges and idyllic waterfalls all to yourself.
  • Spend an afternoon at the Zebedee Thermal Springs surrounded by tropical vegetation and a series of thermal pools and small waterfalls. A magical place to relax and rejuvenate after a busy day.
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