Great Outback Adventure 2023

NSW, SA & QLD

Duration

18 Days

Departs

Wednesday 17 May, 2023

From

$8,450

Your next holiday awaits!

This Tour Includes

A Christian Tour Leader

Daily Devotions

Air-Conditioned Touring Coach

Clean & Comfortable Accommodation

45 Meals

Sightseeing & Entry Fees

Tour Summary

What do you think of when you hear the word “Outback”?

For many it conjures up visions of the “sunlit plains extended, and at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.” Where does it start and where does it end?
Join us in our search for the Great Outback as we fly over incredible Lake Eyre, travel on both the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks, explore the dramatic beauty of Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges and the Sturt and Simpson Stony Deserts. Along the way we will visit such iconic towns as White Cliffs, Broken Hill, Quilpie, Charleville and stay at the historic Birdsville Pub.

This tour will be an incredible adventure, and you are invited to join us with the same spirit of adventure that was carried by the early settlers over a century ago. We will be offering comfortable and clean “Outback style” accommodation but capacity is limited, so don’t miss this wonderful opportunity for an unforgettable experience.

Warm Regards
The CFT Team

Highlights & Inclusions

Tour Map

Your Travel Itinerary

Day 1
Wednesday 17 May 2023

New Art Gallery of NSW | Sydney

A relaxed start to our Outback Adventure when we meet at our Sydney hotel in the early afternoon for check-in. Then it’s off to visit the newly renovated Art Gallery of NSW, the most significant cultural development to open in Sydney in nearly half a century; this superb combination of art, architecture and landscape connects the new and old buildings by way of a public art garden overlooking Sydney Harbour. Enjoy getting to know your fellow passengers at our first Group Dinner.

Overnight – Sydney

Day 2
Thursday 18 May 2023

NSW Katoomba | Dubbo

Our Outback adventure begins! We head west and enjoy a scenic drive through the Blue Mountains, stopping at Echo Point, Katoomba, for our morning break. We cross the Great Dividing Range and stop for lunch at the historic Beekeeper’s Inn, a former Cobb & Co Coaching Inn, before travelling on to the regional city of Dubbo. As we come down the Western Slopes we marvel at the extent of the wheat belt that feeds our Nation.

Overnight: Dubbo

Day 3
Friday 19 May 2023

RFDS | Nyngan | Cobar

This morning we visit Dubbo’s Royal Flying Doctor Base Education Centre; founded as a “mantle of safety” in 1927 by Presbyterian Pastor Reverend John Flynn, the RFDS continues to be an essential service for people who live, work and travel in remote Australia. After lunch we depart Dubbo and travel to Nyngan situated on the Bogan River. Then it’s on to Cobar, an historic mining town still drawing copper from its rich lodes, where we visit the Great Cobar Museum and stay overnight.

Overnight: Cobar

Day 4
Saturday 20 May 2023

Wilcannia | White Cliffs

We are driving through a landscape of alternating saltbush plains, acacia trees and mixed farming as we head to Wilcannia to meet the Darling River. It’s hard to believe that during the great river boat era of the mid-19th century this was the third largest inland port in Australia!

Our destination tonight is the unique opal mining centre of White Cliffs; as one of Australia’s hottest, driest and most remote places, you probably wouldn’t associate it with tropical fruit yet it is the only place in the world where spikey “Pineapple Opals” have been found. On arrival in White Cliffs we will enjoy lunch at the Red Earth Opal Café. After a mine tour and opal polishing demonstration we will check in to our Underground accommodation (some rooms have share facilities).

Overnight: Whitecliffs

Day 5
Sunday 21 May 2023

✝️Worship | Broken Hill

Enjoy worship today as part of “The Church of the Travelling Saints” before we make the drive westward to Broken Hill, a frontier mining town set in a sprawling, desert landscape of red earth and huge skies.

Enjoy a short tour of this historic Mining city before some free time to explore – maybe you want to check out one of the many “Brushman of the Bush” galleries. This afternoon we will visit the dramatic Broken Hill Sculptures and Living Desert Sanctuary where we enjoy sunset over the Western Plains before returning for dinner.

Overnight: Broken Hill

Day 6
Monday 22 May 2023

SA Peterborough | Orroroo | Wilpena Pound

We are driving through varied countryside today as we come into South Australia; we pass through the Northern Ranges and travel via Peterborough and the delightful little township of Orroroo, said to have the widest street in Australia. Orroroo is also very close to Goyder’s Line which, when surveyed in 1865, was deemed the limit of productive land in South Australia.

An afternoon stop in Hawker to visit the Jeff Morgan Gallery to see his wonderful Flinders Panorama Paintings. The next two nights we will be staying in the heart of the Flinders Ranges in Wilpena Pound Resort, the perfect base to explore this vast and spectacular ancient Outback landscape.

Overnight: Wilpena Pound

Day 7
Tuesday 23 May 2023

Flinders Ranges Touring

The extraordinary landscape of Wilpena Pound is 800 million years old and has been home to Adnyamathanha people for tens of thousands of years. These traditional owners call it Ikara which means “meeting place”, and it is certainly a wonderful place for us to join together for devotions and celebrate the incredible beauty of one of earth’s oldest landscapes.

Today we will enjoy a 4WD tour that takes us along “Corridors through Time” on a geological journey in the Flinders Ranges National Park – we will explore the Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges, and hopefully catch a glimpse of the rare Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. The largest population in Australia, an estimated 2000, live in the Flinders Ranges, and the scree slopes of Brachina Gorge are home to many of these vulnerable creatures. We will also drive through the long open Aroona Valley between the Heysen and ABC Ranges. Considered to be the most beautiful place in the Flinders Ranges its scenery has inspired many artists including Sir Hans Heysen.

There will be time today to enjoy an optional scenic flight over this dramatic landscape (flights can be booked direct with Wilpena Pound Resort upon arrival).

Overnight: Wilpena Pound

Day 8
Wednesday 24 May 2023

Historic Farina | Marree | William Creek

We farewell the Flinders Ranges and enjoy a morning break in the Outback Ghost Town of Farina; take time to wander the ruins that continue to be lovingly resurrected by volunteers from the stones and red dust. We travel onto Marree, formerly Hergot Springs, and where the Oodnadatta Track meets the Birdsville Track. From its earliest days the town provided vital infrastructure links, first as a base for the Afghans and their camels and in 1872 for the Overland Telegraph Line, connecting Adelaide with London and the rest of the world. When it became a railway terminal in 1884, Marree provided most of the transport services along the Birdsville and Oodnadatta Tracks for almost 100 years before the railway line was closed and removed. Enjoy lunch at the historic Marree Hotel that has been operating for over 130 years and is listed as one of the 10 iconic Outback hotels to visit. After lunch we will drive north along the Oodnadatta Track to overnight at the William Creek Hotel.

Overnight: William Creek

Day 9
Thursday 25 May 2023

Lake Eyre Flight & Anna Creek Station

What a day we have before us, starting with a 2-hour scenic flight over incredible Lake Eyre (Kati Thanda) and the Anna Creek Painted Hills. These must-see sandstone hills of Outback South Australia cover an area of 30km by 10km and exhibit incredible vibrant colours. No roads exist in this area and can only be accessed by air. Whilst flying over this area you will also see the Gibba Desert, its appearance an uncanny reflection of the various patterns and designs which appear in many Aboriginal Art Works.

Lake Eyre is Australia’s largest inland lake and seeing it from the air offers an unforgettable experience. View incredible colours and patterns that become accentuated from the air whether full of water or totally dry; the prehistoric river systems leave graphic patterns creating a magnificent natural art form and when the lake is 80% full of water, there are up to 85 different varieties of bird life with millions of different birds of all shapes and colours. Wow!
After lunch we will visit Anna Creek Station, the worlds largest working cattle station.
What an unforgettable day!

Overnight: William Creek

Day 10
Friday 26 May 2023

Oodnadatta Track to Marree

Heading South on the Oodnadatta Track, you will be amazed that, having travelled this same road Northwards, a totally different perspective on the scenery and hills in the distance await.

Overnight: Marree

Day 11
Saturday 27 May 2023

QLD Birdsville Track | Simpson / Sturt Stony Deserts

This morning we travel along the famous “Birdsville Track”, once used by drovers following the cattle routes from north-west Queensland to Marree in the south. It is desolate but beautiful country with the Sturt Stony Desert on our left and the great expanse of the Simpson Desert on our right.

We stop off at the Lake Harry ruins where a bore was drilled and a date palm plantation established more than 100 years ago. Although the date trees grew successfully, up to 2 000 date palms stood there in the 1930s, the project failed due to the lack of bees to pollinate the trees – the Outback has reclaimed its land and only the ruins remain. Just beyond here is the 5400km long Dingo Fence which meanders from the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight through Outback South Australia and NSW to finish on the coast north of Brisbane.

We stop at the Mungerannie Hotel on the Derwent River for lunch before we drive onto iconic Birdsville, a tiny frontier “town” whose population of just 115 swells to 7000 each September when it hosts the famous Birdsville Races.

Overnight: Birdsville

Day 12
Sunday 28 May 2023

✝️Worship | Birdsville | Big Red Dune

Today we will share in worship together as “The Church of the Moving Saints” – please feel free to invite any locals or campers you have met to join us. Learn the history and unique characters of Birdsville as a local expert joins the coach this afternoon for a town tour. Then it is off to explore Big Red, the tallest sand dune (40 metres high) in the Simpson Desert.

Overnight: Birdsville

Day 13
Monday 29 May 2023

Birdsville | Windorah | Quilpie

We are in Far Western Queensland now so we may see large movements of stock, forlorn windmills and isolated homesteads as we travel. To head North of Birdsville would mean following the Northern Territory border towards Boulia, Dajarra and Camooweal, retracing the watershed of the Georgina and Diamantina Rivers that flow into Lake Eyre. Instead we will travel East through very isolated country to Windorah and then onto Quilpie, the limit of the railhead from Brisbane where we spend two nights.

As well as being the literal “End of the Line” Quilpie is also home to “The Jewel of the Outback”, the exquisite boulder opal.

Overnight: Quilpie

Day 14
Tuesday 30 May 2023

Mobel Homestead | Eromanga Fossils

This morning, we visit Moble Homestead, home of the Rutledge family, proud wool producers and keen environmentalists. Join them on a tour of their property which has remained in the family for five generation before a wander in the homestead’s beautiful country gardens. This afternoon we travel to Eromanga Natural History Museum to meet titanosaur sauropods Cooper and George, the largest dinosaurs to have ever been found in Australia, and incredible megafauna fossils.

Join an experienced guide on a one-hour tour of the workshop laboratory and collection centre where guides will demonstrate how to prepare fossilised bone. A visit that sees History, Geology and Time-Travel all wrapped up together!

Overnight: Quilpie

Day 15
Wednesday 31 May 2023

Charleville | Bilbys, WWII site | Astronomy

We travel east through areas of vast cattle properties on our way to Charleville, a town immortalised in song by Slim Dusty. We are now in the heart of ‘mulga county’ and we are going to get to know some super cute local residents at the Bilby Experience. Enjoy some time to wander the town before a locally guided tour of Charleville’s WWII Secret base where 3500 United States Army Air Force personnel were stationed in 1943. After dinner you are in for a treat as we take in the incredible Outback Night Sky for an Astronomy Evening at the Cosmos Centre.

Overnight: Charleville

Day 16
Thursday 1 June 2023

Mitchell | Artisan Spa | St George | Cruise

We leave the dry semi-arid regions behind and travel through the water catchment of the Darling River; more regular rainfall has created the Mitchell Grass Plains so expect to see more cattle. We stop off in Mitchell for a locally guided town tour and something to eat. Enjoy a soak in the mineralized waters of the Great Artesian Basin when we visit the Spa (towel included) – it’s relaxing for the body and therapeutic for the soul. We drive on to St George, a small town on the banks of the mighty Balonne River where then will relax on the water, rather than in it, as we enjoy a late afternoon cruise.

Overnight: St George

Day 17
Friday 2 June 2023

QLD to NSW Moree | Trawalla Pecans | Tamworth

We are travelling into NSW today and our drive will reveal the amazing contrasts to be found in Australia. Whilst the country remains relatively flat – keep an eye out for the signs as you enter each town for its Height Above Sea Level – we will be crossing a growing number of rivers, all of which flow towards Bourke where they form the Darling River. Greater access to water means agriculture is intensified with crops such as cotton, wheat, barley being farmed. We travel through Goondiwindi and stop off in Moree for lunch before a guided tour and afternoon tea at Trawalla Pecan Farm.

Our destination tonight is Tamworth, home of the famous Country Music Festival. for our last night together. We check in and relax before our final Group Dinner together.

Overnight: Tamworth

Day 18
Saturday 3 June 2023

Hunter Valley | Home

We are homeward bound on the final leg of our journey as we travel through the Liverpool Ranges and cross the Great Dividing Range into the upper reaches of the Hunter Valley. We stop for lunch along the way as we travel through Muswellbrook and Scone and finally on to Sydney.
We return from our Outback Adventure feeling blessed to have shared so many wonderful sights and unique experiences with people who appreciate God and his glorious Creation.

All Inclusive Fares

Great Outback Adventure 2023 Pricing

Departs from: Description Twin PP Single
From Sydney $8,450 $9,950

Tour Code:

QLD23051

Departs:

Wednesday 17 May, 2023

Returns:

Saturday 3 June, 2023

Departing:

*

Flights from other capital cities and regional centres may be required to connect with this tour. We suggest you book your flights as early as possible in order to get the best price. CFT can assist you with flight bookings for an administration fee of $25.

EXPERIENCE THE CFT DIFFERENCE

Travel and fellowship
with other Christians

The care of a
Christian Tour Leader

Relax. Everything is
taken care of

Daily devotions and
organised Sunday service

Fully escorted with no
hidden costs

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Great Outback Adventure 2023
Wednesday 17 May, 2023
18 Days