Salt & Light in Outback Australia 2024

Duration

16 or 22 Days

Departs

Sunday 28 July, 2024

From

$11,790

Optional 16 Day Holiday from $8,450

“We enjoyed our time with CFT people – lots of fun and laughter”

This Tour Includes

A Christian Tour Leader throughout your holiday

Air-Conditioned Touring Coach with Toilet

21 Breakfasts
13 Lunches
21 Dinners

Daily Devotions and time for Worship

Economy-Class Airfares where applicable

Sightseeing as outlined and All Entry Fees

Quality Accommodation with Private Facilities

Tour Summary

Come and explore the very heart and soul of Outback Australia – travel to fantastic destinations, enjoy unique experiences, visit local churches, and meet those people spreading God’s Word in
remote regions.

This very special holiday has been designed in conjunction with Bush Church Aid (BCA), an organisation working for the Lord across Australia for over 100 years.

Enjoy fun, fellowship and friendship on a holiday that celebrates our faith.

Highlights & Inclusions

Tour Map

Your Travel Itinerary

Day 1
Sunday 28 July 2024

Sydney | Art Gallery of NSW | Worship | Welcome Dinner

Our wonderful journey starts in Sydney, the city where the Bush Church Aid Society started over 100 years ago.

A relaxed start as we meet up at our Sydney Hotel in the early afternoon before visiting the newly renovated Art Gallery of NSW; this superb combination of art, architecture and landscape connects the new and old buildings by way of a public art garden overlooking Sydney Harbour.

We return to check-in to our hotel after which you have the option of relaxing in your room or attending a contemporary, informal service at St Andrew’s Cathedral that includes a performance by the Cathedral band.

Tonight, is a chance to get to know your fellow travellers over dinner and learn more about the inspiring work of Bush Church Aid from our tour leader, Kerry Medway.

Overnight: Sydney

Day 2
Monday 29 July 2024

Blue Mountains | Dubbo

Our Outback adventure begins! A scenic drive through the Blue Mountains stopping at Echo Point, Katoomba, for our morning break to catch up with the CFT Team. We cross the Great Dividing Range and travel onto the regional city of Dubbo, our destination for the night. In Dubbo we will host Rachel Bell (BCA Field Development Manager) and hear of the work that BCA’s faithful Christians do to spread the gospel.

Overnight: Dubbo

Day 3
Tuesday 30 July 2024

Royal Flying Doctor Centre | 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. We depart Dubbo and head through Nyngan where the land starts to flatten as we leave Dubbo behind and travel to Nyngan on the Bogan River. It is then to Cobar, an historic mining town still drawing copper from its rich lodes. Tonight, we will host BCA Family James & Brittany Daymond.

Overnight: Cobar

Day 4
Wednesday 31 July 2024

Wilcannia | Broken Hill

From Cobar we drive to Wilcannia where we meet the Darling River; during the great river boat era of the mid-19th century this was the third largest inland port in Australia. From Wilcannia we continue west to Broken Hill a frontier mining town set in a sprawling, desert landscape of red earth and huge skies. Tonight, we will host BCA Family Brendan & Laura Hurley.

Overnight: Broken Hill

Day 5
Thursday 1 August 2024

Broken Hill | Sightseeing & Sculpture Symposium

Enjoy sightseeing in and around this interesting and historic town; many people know Broken Hill as the home to BHP, Australia’s first large scale mining company, but it also was Australia’s first heritage-listed city and in September 2023 the town’s Trades Hall was endorsed for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. The hugely prosperous silver, lead and zinc mining industries of the 19th Century left the city a legacy of grand architecture and today Broken Hill is known as a cultural hub, home to many art galleries and museums encapsulating the city’s rich history.

Enjoy the various attractions at your leisure with our own “Hop on / Hop off” bus service stopping at selected museums and galleries throughout the afternoon.
We cap off a wonderful day with a sunset tour of the dramatic Sculpture Symposium, a group of monumental sandstone sculptures, set in the Living Desert State Park.

Overnight: Broken Hill

Day 6
Friday 2 August 2024

SA | Northern Ranges | Port Augusta

We will see such varied countryside today as we travel into South Australia; we pass through the Northern Ranges that lead into the Flinders Ranges and stop in Peterborough to share lunch and fellowship with locals at Peterborough Community Christian Church.

We travel through the delightful little township of Orroroo; said to have the widest street in Australia it is also very close to Goyder’s Line which, when surveyed in 1865, was deemed the limit of productive land in South Australia. Our destination is Port Augusta at the head of the Gulf of St Vincent. Port Augusta has long been known as the “Crossroads of Australia” and the “Gateway to the Outback” and, by strange serendipity, the roads really do head to the primary points of the compass – north, south, east and west.

The award-winning Wadlata Outback Centre provides a wonderful introduction to this region and the lives and history of the Aboriginal desert people who, for over 40,000 years, have lived in the lands that surround this city. We are at the edge of the Outback – only one more sleep….

Overnight: Port Augusta

Day 7
Saturday 3 August 2024

Outback Begins | Woomera | Roxby Downs

Where does the Outback begin? It is safe to say that we now really are entering that elusive region, central to so much Australian folklore.

We stop for a morning break in Woomera and to visit the National Aerospace and Missile Park; the rockets are a legacy of the town once being one of the most secret allied establishments in operation during the Cold War.

From 1947 – 1982 Woomera Village operated as a “closed town” to support the operations of the Woomera Rocket Range during the Anglo-Australia Project. It’s hard to imagine but this tiny town in the middle of the Outback (permanent population now 136) was once was home to around 7000 people!

Our destination is Roxby Downs; originally a cattle station, the town was purpose built to support the BHP Olympic Dam Mine Site which mines for copper, uranium, gold and silver. Roxby Downs is a BCA Ministry Centre and we will be visiting Glen & Beth McDonald who minister to a very transient population.

We travel out of town to visit Arid Recovery, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of Australia’s arid lands. The 123 square km fenced enclosure has 60 square km where feral cats, rabbits and foxes have been allowing the regeneration of native vegetation and introduction of five locally extinct mammals (western quoll, greater bilby, burrowing bettong, stick-nest rat and western barred bandicoot). Enjoy a guided tour of unique habitats, identifying tracks, burrows, and plant species, watch a spectacular desert sunset from the viewing platform and savour a Starlight Dinner (cooked by the local Rotary Club). Finally, we go spotlighting for some of the native species that now thrive in this location.

What an experience!

Overnight: Roxby Downs

Day 8
Sunday 4 August 2024

Worship | Roxby Downs Sightseeing

This morning we join the McDonald family at Roxby Downs Christian Community Church for Sunday worship. Enjoy fellowship with the local congregation, drawn from around 40 different nations. Roxby has a permanent population of around 4500 plus 1,000 fly-in fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in drive-out workers who can be in town depending on shifts at the mine.

We drop by the Visitor Centre to browse the exhibits and Art Gallery and see a short film to learn all about the BHP mine and town. Did you know that the region’s water is pumped 200km from the Great Artesian Basin near the southern and eastern areas of Lake Eyre? After lunch, we travel out to the nearby opal mining town of Andamooka to discover the unique ‘matrix opal’ and see the rare beauty of the famous local crystal opal.
Visit the semi-dugout cottages made in the 1930s by early pioneers and miners – these National Heritage listed cottages help us understand what it was like to live in early Andamooka.

Overnight: Roxby Downs

Day 9
Monday 5 August 2024

Coober Pedy

We are travelling through true Outback scenery – marvel at the distant desert landforms called Mesas as the many salt pans / lakes and the vegetation has become stunted with low level spinifex. Our surroundings feel immeasurably vast with the road extending to the horizon – and beyond. We are heading to Coober Pedy; set in a sunbaked “lunar landscape” this is a truly unique township where most buildings are built underground creating a labyrinth of houses, hotels, shops and churches. Drive around this iconic Outback town before visiting the underground Catacomb Church, meeting the BCA Field Staff and learning of the long-term ministry that has been provided by the Bush Church Aid Society. Enjoy an incredible Outback sunset before sharing a meal and fellowship with the new BCA Field staff.

Overnight: Coober Pedy

Day 10
Tuesday 6 August 2024

Coober Pedy

This unique Outback town needs to be seen to be believed and today we will explore Coober Pedy to experience how the locals live, worship and work underground. A visit to award winning Umoona Opal Mine is a must-do; first worked in the 1920s it is now a museum; learn how opal was formed and mined, about Australia’s ancient past and the area’s Aboriginal and European settlement before browsing the town’s largest opal showroom.

Late afternoon we travel out to nearby Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, an area of spectacular coloured hills, flat topped mesas and gibber covered plains (locally referred to as “moon plain”). On our return we will see part of the “Dog Fence”, a 2m high wire barrier stretching over 5,300km across three States erected to protect the sheep country in the south from dingoes.

Overnight: Coober Pedy

Day 11
Wednesday 7 August 2024

Northern Territory | Yulara

Great excitement and anticipation today as we travel North towards the very heart of the Red Centre and Uluru (Ayers Rock) A ritual border crossing as we drive over into the Northern Territory and also the chance to stand on the Tropic of Capricorn before turning West into Yulara (Ayers Rock Resort) with its magnificent backdrop of Uluru. Enjoy a delicious dinner and a good night’s sleep before a full day’s sightseeing.

Overnight: Yulara Village.

Day 12
Thursday 8 August 2024

Field of Light | Uluru Sunrise | Uluru Walk | Kata Tjuta | Dine Under the Stars

What an incredible way to start the day as we rise before dawn to view the breathtaking Field of Light. Overwhelming in size, covering more than seven football fields, this exhibition invites immersion in its fantasy garden of 50,000 spindles of light, the stems breathing and swaying through a sympathetic desert spectrum of ochre, deep violet, blue and gentle white. Enjoy a hot cuppa as you watch the sunrise and soak up the changing colours of Uluru (and Kata Tjuta in the distance.

We return to our hotel for breakfast before visiting “The Rock” for a tour around the base followed by the short Kuniya Walk to see the Mutijulu Waterhole.

This afternoon our drive will take us out through the desert to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) where there is a chance to walk into a part of this amazing geological feature. Whilst Uluru is the largest sandstone monolith in the world, Kata Tjuta (meaning “many heads”) is made up of 36 giant domes spread over more than 20km. The colour of the rocks has to be seen to be believed!

Then enjoy drinks and canapes as we take in the incredible colours of an Outback sunset followed by a heavenly evening of stargazing and wonderful fellowship as we dine under the stars at the base of Uluru. Glory in God’s Creation – a day certain to live in your memory as well as your heart!

Overnight: Yulara Village.

Day 13
Friday 9 August 2024

Alice Springs

We farewell Uluru and rejoin the Stuart Highway with our sights set on Alice Springs; located 1500km from both Adelaide and Darwin, ‘Alice’ was once an integral part of the Overland Telegraph Line as well as the terminus for the old Ghan train.

The entrance to Alice Springs is spectacular as we pass through the Heavitree Gap, a narrow space shared with the new Ghan Railway line. A drive around town will help you get your bearings before enjoying some time at leisure.

Overnight: Alice Springs

Day 14
Saturday 10 August 2024

Alice Springs Sightseeing

Experience the main attractions of this very special Central Australian township starting with a panoramic view of Alice Springs and the beautiful surrounding ranges from ANZAC Hill. We also visit the original Overland Telegraph Station and the Alice Springs Desert Park to take in the Birds of Prey Show. Tonight, we will host the BCA Family of Topher & Chica Hallyburton.

Overnight: Alice Springs

Day 15
Sunday 11 August 2024

Worship | West MacDonnell Ranges | Spirit of the Outback Show

We attend church in Alice Springs for another wonderful opportunity to gather with local Christian people to share in worship and fellowship. After church we drive into the nearby West MacDonnell Ranges – be amazed by the beauty of the sheer walls of the Standley Chasm as they glow a rich deep pink-red from the reflected sunlight and enjoy the stunning gorge that is Simpson’s Gap. We finish our day with a visit to the Earth Sanctuary to enjoy their Spirit of the Outback dinner & show. Soak up a spectacular sunset over the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges then listen to stories about local ecology, culture and astronomy under an awe inspiring canopy of stars. A perfect way to end a Sunday!

Overnight: Alice Springs

Day 16
Monday 12 August 2024

Wauchope | Devil's Marbles | Tennant Creek

We farewell “Alice” to follow the remnants of the path of the Overland Telegraph line; we pass the turn off to the Tanami Track and the Plenty Highway and through places such as Barrow Creek, before stopping in Wauchope for a lunch break. We visit Karlu Karlu , gigantic boulders also known as the Devil’s Marbles, before continuing on to Tennant Creek, a genuine Outback Australian town. Whilst it has a population of only 3080, Tennant Creek is the seventh largest town in the Northern Territory and is known for its blue skies, boundless horizons, million-acre cattle stations and gold mining heritage.

Overnight: Tennant Creek

✈️Passengers who have opted for the 16 Day Tour will fly to Sydney today.

Day 17
Tuesday 13 August 2024

Katherine

We continue our journey north, passing roadhouses and tiny settlements in the middle of extremely large cattle stations. As we travel through this vast landscape, we imagine the pioneering lives of the drovers that shifted large mobs of cattle through this area to settle the Kimberley, or to take them to markets in Queensland. We are headed to Katherine and pass through Newcastle Waters, Daly Waters and Mataranka on our way there.

Overnight: Katherine

Day 18
Wednesday 14 August 2024

Nitmuluk | Katherine Gorge Cruise | Kakadu

Katherine is famous for its dramatic Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge) and this morning we will cruise two gorges in this wonderful inland waterway. NOTE – as we walk across rocks between gorges, good shoes and light trousers are recommended.
As we head north today the distinctive change in vegetation makes it obvious we are now in the lush “The Top End”. Entering Kakadu National Park, we will visit Bowalli Visitors’ Centre where you can collect information and maps that will add to your experience. We travel to Ubirr Rock, famous for its ancient Aboriginal rock art – tour several “art galleries” set amongst the rocky outcrops and admire the sensational views over Arnhem Land floodplains.

Overnight: Kakadu

Day 19
Thursday 15 August 2024

Kakadu Sightseeing

Covering an area of 19,800 square kilometres the World Heritage listed Kakadu is also the largest National Park in Australia and today we have a full day to further explore its beauty; learn more about the local Aboriginal culture at the Warradjan Cultural Centre and walk around the Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie Rock and take in the breathtaking views across the vast plains.
We top off a fantastic day with a cruise on Yellow Water Billabong surrounded by wildlife (including the ever- present crocodile).

Overnight: Kakadu

Day 20
Friday 16 August 2024

Darwin | Nungalinya College | Fannie Bay | Sunset Dinner Cruise

We leave Kakadu behind and travel towards Darwin, Australia’s only tropical capital city. Enjoy a scenic drive as we cross the Marrakai Plains, with its many magnetic and cathedral anthills. These plains and lagoons are a haven for grazing wild buffalo, wallabies, Jabiru, Egrets, Magpie Geese and Brolga. Along the way we pass Humpty Doo, one of the earliest but failed attempts at agricultural irrigation for farming the Far North.

In Darwin we visit Nungalinya, the BCA supported the Bible Training College empowering Indigenous Christians. Later this afternoon we will travel to Fannie Bay and on to East Point to enjoy beautiful views across the Timor Sea. Tonight we will enjoy a Sunset Dinner Cruise. What a day!

Overnight: Darwin

Day 21
Saturday 17 August 2024

Darwin | WWII History

This morning we will enjoy sightseeing with a difference on the Darwin History & Wartime Experience Tour; we journey back through time in a genuine WWII army truck to relive Darwin’s exciting and historic past.

Darwin has a dramatic history, from its bombing by the Japanese during WWII to the devastation of Cyclone Tracy in 1974. Today it is relaxed, modern city celebrating its cosmopolitan mix of over 50 nationalities, and tonight we are fortunate to be able to socialise with the locals rather than just interact as tourists. BCA has a strong presence in Darwin with different Field Staff. Children’s Ministry and Field Development Officeholders plus those who work with Nungalinya College. On this, our final night, we celebrate a wonderful tour by sharing dinner and fellowship with these inspirational people who really “go the distance for God”.

Overnight: Darwin

Day 22
Sunday 18 August 2024

Worship | Fly Home

Enjoy Sunday worship with the locals before we fly home from Darwin with full hearts and wonderful memories.
Our Outback tour may have ended but it has been a fun-filled holiday of incredible scenery, wonderful experiences and fellowship shared with new friends.
What a wonderful experience!

All Inclusive Fares

Salt & Light in Outback Australia 2024 Pricing

Departs from: Description Twin PP Single
SYDNEY $11,790 $13,990

Tour Code:

AUS24072

Departs:

Sunday 28 July, 2024

Returns:

Sunday 18 August, 2024

Departing:

Sydney

*

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 administrative fee of $25.

Payment Schedule
Deposit of $800 upon booking
50% of Tour Fare - Friday 23 February 2024
Final Balance - Friday 24 May 2024

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Salt & Light in Outback Australia 2024
Sunday 28 July, 2024
16 or 22 Days

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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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Salt & Light in Outback Australia 2024
Sunday 28 July, 2024
16 or 22 Days