Transcontinental Tour

This is the ultimate outback tour across the country, from watching a sunrise over the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, travelling through 4 states and 1 territory, through deserts and corner country to enjoy a relaxing sunset over the waters of the Indian Ocean.

Day 1.

We make our way to Byron Bay on the northern coast of New South Wales, where we meet at the Suffolk Park Beachfront Holiday Park. After setting up camp at Suffolk Park by 2.00pm, we drive a short distance to Cape Byron at 3.00pm to take our photos of the Pacific Ocean. Our Welcome Dinner tonight is provided for us at The Park Hotel where we will get to know each other better and discuss the adventures ahead.

Day 2.

This morning we leave our campsite behind and head west through Lismore and Casino towards Tenterfield. It’s here that we visit the historic saddle shop that was made famous in Peter Allen’s song about The Tenterfield Saddler. Also, we see the School of Arts where Sir Henry Parkes made his famous speech in 1889 which led to Federation. Our destination today will be the Big 4 Goondiwindi Holiday Park where we set up our camp for the night.

Day 3.

Today we travel through Boomi and if time permits, we may be able to soak in the hot springs there. Then it’s off to Mungindi and Collarenebri. After travelling through Walgett, we head for Brewarrina where we set up our bush camp at the Four Mile Camping Reserve on the banks of the Barwon River.

Day 4.

This morning we pack up and travel to Bourke. We visit the Back O’ Bourke Information Centre and at midday we can see the 16 ton Crossley Stationary Engine still running after nearly 100 years. We also see the unique architecture of the historic post office and the old court house. We can visit the grave of that famous eye specialist Fred Hollows at the Bourke Cemetery, who worked here in the early seventies. After lunch we drive to Wanaaring where we will camp at the Coopers Corner Store & Café Camping Area.

Day 5.

Our journey today will take us to Tibooburra where we can explore the town’s history at Pioneer Park and see the murals painted on the walls of the Family Hotel by well known Australian artist Clifton Pugh. After lunch we drive through the Sturt National Park and after passing through the 5500 kms long world famous wild dog barrier fence we arrive at Cameron Corner. This marks the corner of Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia. Our camp is under the stars in this remote part of the outback.

Day 6.

We travel to Innamincka via Moomba today. We stop at a lookout overlooking this industrial township which is operated by Santos Limited for the exploration and processing of natural gas in the Cooper and Eromanga basin. We arrive at Innamincka and set up our camp on the Town Common on the banks of Cooper Creek. We enjoy our dinner provided for us tonight at the Innamincka Hotel.

Day 7.

Today is a Free Day in Innamincka. There is a coin operated laundry for clothes washing and fuel is available at the Trading Post. This is our last fuel opportunity till we get to Mt Dare approximately 900 kms away, so it’s a very important fuel stop. We can visit the Burke & Wills graves and also travel out to see the famous Dig Tree on Cooper Creek.

Day 8.

This morning we travel via Walkers Crossing to the Birdsville Track. This takes us through Sturts Stony Desert which is well named. Tonight, we camp on Warburton Creek at Warburton Crossing. There is usually plenty of timber scattered around this area so tonight we will be able to warm ourselves around a crackling camp fire.

Day 9.

Our journey today will take us on the Rig Road which crosses the Simpson Desert south of the French Line. This route is more environmentally diverse than other tracks and often large groups of wild camels are seen in this part of the Desert. We also pass several abandoned oil wells left behind by the oil exploration crews in the 1960s. We will camp under the stars again tonight in this remote wilderness.

Day 10.

After leaving camp we continue on our way across the Simpson Desert, sometimes crossing the dunes, sometimes running parallel with them in the swales. We eventually come across the famous Lone Gum, which is actually a coolabah tree or box eucalypt. How it got here and how it survives in this harsh environment is a bit of a mystery. We bush camp again in the Desert under the stars.

Day 11.

Our journey today takes us on to the French Line and soon we are stopping for a look at Purnie Bore. Purnie Bore is a man-made wetland, which was created when a bore was sunk into an underground water source and then let flow out into the desert. The bore has since been capped, but still has a small amount of water bubbling up from beneath the ground. It’s here we will see thousands of zebra finches as well as other bird life in the many waterholes. Our plan today is to swim in the warm water at Dalhousie Springs and camp in Witjira National Park tonight.

Day 12.

After our morning soak we drag ourselves away from Mother Nature’s spa pool and continue on our journey taking a short detour to the Dalhousie Ruins. Next, we visit the remains of the old store and homestead at Federal and discover the history of this remote outpost. We stop at the fascinating but tragic old ruins at Bloods Creek with the giant windmill nearby. We soon arrive at South Australia’s most remote hotel, Mount Dare. Here we can have a refreshing drink and buy our fuel before crossing into the Northern Territory. Our camp tonight will be under the stars at the historic Old Andado Station. It is probably the only remaining homestead of its kind left in Australia and was the home for over 50 years of that well known outback pioneer, Molly Clark.

Day 13.

We head north this morning travelling through the Mac Clark Conservation Reserve. It’s here we will see the magnificent Acacia Peuce or Waddy Trees which are renowned for their extremely hard timbers and can live to over 500 years old. We arrive in Alice Springs and the Wintersun Cabin & Caravan Park will be our home for a few days while we prepare our vehicles and ourselves for the next part of the tour across the country. Tonight, we will have Dinner provided for us at the Gillen Club.

Day 14.

Today is a Free Day in Alice Springs for shopping and sightseeing as well as clothes washing and any mechanical repairs if required.

Day 15.

Today is a Free Day in Alice Springs for shopping and sightseeing as well as clothes washing and any mechanical repairs if required.

Day 16.

Totally refreshed this morning, we travel south west from Alice Springs along the Larapinta Drive to the historic Lutheran mission of Hermannsburg. Here we can wander around the old buildings from the 1800s and get a glimpse of life as it was for the early pioneers and their families. We soon cross the Finke River, the oldest river in the world, and set up our camp for the night at the magnificent Palm Valley in the Finke Gorge National Park.

Day 17.

This morning we take a short drive from camp and then walk the last few hundred metres to the end of Palm Valley. This is home to a diverse range of plant species, many that are rare and unique to this area, including the red cabbage palm, which gives the area its name. Palm Valley is a maze of majestic sandstone amphitheatres, pinnacles and gorges. We drive along the Mereenie Loop and stop for lunch at Gosse’s Bluff which is a meteorite impact crater dated around 140 million years ago. Our destination is the Kings Canyon Holiday Park where we camp for the night.

Day 18.

Today we take one of the walks at Kings Canyon and then travel to Yulara where we will be staying for a couple of nights. We set up our camp in the Ayers Rock Camp Ground. There is plenty to see in this area with coffee shops and arts and craft stores and a museum. Our dinner tonight is provided for us at the Outback BBQ Restaurant.

Day 19.

Today is a Free Day in Yulara for sightseeing and shopping. It’s highly recommended to visit the magnificent sandstone monolith known as Uluru, which is one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks. If we book early, we can take one of the guided indigenous tours or the Sounds of Silence Dinner. Another activity is to take a scenic helicopter ride over Uluru and Kata Tjuta or book on the Field of Light Tour.

Day 20.

This morning we are well and truly refreshed and it’s off to Kata Tjuta, which is an aboriginal word meaning many heads. These fabulous domes are also known as The Olgas and we take a walk through the Valley of the Winds. We soon arrive at Lasseter’s Cave which is known as the site where the famous gold prospector Harold Lasseter took refuge on his fatal search for Lasseter’s Reef in 1931. Our destination tonight is a bush camp not far inside the Western Australian border.

Day 21.

After packing up our camp, we head off and soon we arrive at the Giles Meteorological Station. It’s here we see on display the original grader from Len Beadell’s Gunbarrel Road Construction Party. Many of the roads we will travel on were built by Len in the 1950s and 1960s. We drive along the Great Central Road towards Warburton. We need to get fuel here for the adventure ahead. The Heather Highway is next on our journey and we bush camp at a remote bore.

Day 22.

Our journey today takes us along the Gunbarrel Highway, and we stop and look at several of Len Beadell’s plaques that mark the exploits of his road gang and the work they did to open up this part of the country around 60 years ago. We stop at Mt Beadell and see the monument dedicated to Len. Our campsite will be another bush camp at Geraldton Bore.

Day 23.

We continue along the Gunbarrel Highway today and we cross the Mangkili Claypan Nature Reserve. We also climb Mt William Lambert and Mt Nossiter where a spectacular lookout gives us a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. After a few hours we arrive at Carnegie which is a remote cattle station located on the western edge of the Gibson Desert and the southern edge of the Little Sandy Desert. Camp tonight will be at Mingol Camp on Brockman Creek.

Day 24.

Today we are nearing the western end of the Gunbarrel Highway as we arrive in Wiluna, where we will be staying for a couple of nights at the Gunbarrel Laager Travellers Rest. There are laundry facilities here so washing can be done if required. Our dinner is provided for us tonight at the Laager Restaurant.

Day 25.

Today is a Free Day in Wiluna and it’s well worth a visit to the Tjukurba Art Gallery and the Gunbarrel Highway & Canning Stock Route Discovery Centre. Also recommended is a visit to the town cemetery to see the graves of Warri and Yatungka who are believed to be the last of the Mandildjara tribe and were perhaps Australia’s last desert nomads leading the traditional Indigenous lifestyle. Possibly a visit to North Pool depending on the water levels is another interesting place to be explored.

Day 26.

Our drive today takes us along the Goldfields Highway to the former gold rush town of Meekatharra. We stop for lunch and some sightseeing and the Meeka Lookout above the town has spectacular views of the abandoned open cut pit. In the afternoon we head north west to our camp at Mt Gould where we will see the ruins of the historic police station and lockup.

Day 27.

Today we continue west until we arrive at the North West Coastal Highway. It’s only a short journey to the Overlander Roadhouse for a brief stop for fuel and lunch. We will visit the remarkable Hamelin Pool stromatolites. These living fossils are direct descendants of the oldest form of photosynthetic life on earth. We explore the Shell Block Quarry and see the 140 year old Telegraph Station. We soon arrive at Hamelin Station which is our campsite for the next couple of nights.

Day 28.

Today is the day that we finally set foot on Steep Point, which is the western most point on the Australian mainland. We take a day trip out to this iconic spot and it’s here that we celebrate our efforts that have brought us 6500 kms from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. We take our photos, and we enjoy a spectacular view across the water to Dirk Hartog Island. Later we take a short detour to Thunder Bay where we will see the spectacular blowholes roaring above the majestic 200 metre high Zuytdorp Cliffs. We return to Hamelin Station in the afternoon and enjoy another pleasant evening.

Day 29.

This morning we make our way to Shark Bay and it’s here that we camp at the Denham Seaside Tourist Park. Our Farewell Dinner tonight is provided for us at the Shark Bay Hotel where we can toast our amazing journey, successfully crossing the continent from east to west. This is an expedition that very few people have ever attempted, a 4WD adventure across the sixth largest country on earth. Our memories of our experiences and our friendships will last forever.