Painted Desert Discovery

Tour Code - PDES Destination - Product Type -

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7 days | Departs 10 Aug 2020 –
Adelaide » Peterborough » Marree » William Creek » Coober Pedy » Painted Desert » Port Augusta

Join us on an exciting tour through the northern parts of South Australia! Visit the incredible Painted Desert on a journey that will also take you to Coober Pedy, the Flinders Ranges & one of Australia’s most iconic Outback roads – the Oodnadatta Track.

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Discover more about this holiday

  • See the former home of Sir Sidney Kidman in Kapunda
  • Enjoy the award-winning Steamtown Sound & Light Show
  • Travel through the spectacular Flinders Ranges
  • Follow the old Oodnadatta Track to Lyndhurst & Marree
  • Explore the unique opal mining town of Coober Pedy
  • Visit an interesting Opal Interpretive Centre & Museum
  • Explore the Tirari Desert’s mysterious group of hills
  • See sandstone in a unique mixture of beautiful colours
  • Travel to Mt Willoughby & Cadney Homestead
  • Follow the Stuart Highway to Port Augusta
  • Visit the Wadlata Outback Museum
  • Explore the Arid Lands Botanic Garden
  • Guided touring with onboard commentary
  • Quality accommodation throughout your holiday
  • 6 breakfasts (B), 1 morning tea (M), 4 lunches (L) & 6 dinners (D)

Show / hide full Day by Day Itinerary

Pre-Tour Arrangements for Interstate Travellers

Your adventure begins with a flight to the beautiful city of Adelaide. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of your day is at leisure.

❱ 1 night: Mercure Grosvenor Hotel or similar

Day 1 / Monday 10 August: Adelaide to Peterborough via the Flinders Ranges (D)

Adelaide travellers will be met at home and transferred to the Central Bus Station to join the tour. Interstate travellers will be picked up from the Mercure Grosvenor Hotel.

Travel via Adelaide’s northern suburbs including Elizabeth, the home of Australia’s Holden Cars.

★ Stop at Kapunda and see “Eringa”, the former home of Sir Sidney Kidman.

The house was built by the famous “Cattle King” himself and it now serves as a building for the Kapunda High School.

After morning tea, we continue via the old Outback towns of Marrabel and Saddleworth to the old copper mining township of Burra. Burra is often referred to as ‘Little Cornwall’ and is one of the prettiest towns in the land. We continue to the old railway town, Peterborough, once an important stop for the Steam Trains on the way to Sydney.

★ This evening, enjoy the award-winning Sound & Light Show at the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre.

Sit comfortably in a restored 1916 historic rail carriage which is placed on an 85 foot long, 3 gauge turntable. Move through the tunnels of time to learn about Peterborough, about railways in South Australia and about the many fascinating personal stories associated with it. This awesome sound and light experience will have you becoming part of the last two centuries!

❱ 1 night: Roundhouse Motel

Day 2 / Tuesday 11 August: Peterborough to Marree (BLD)

★ After breakfast, we begin our tour into South Australia’s picture perfect Flinders Ranges.

We travel to Orroroo before entering the Southern Flinders Ranges to Hawker and continuing to Wilpena situated in the Flinders Ranges National Park. After a short stop for morning tea, we tour through the beautiful Valleys and Gorges to Blinman, Parachilna then onto Leigh Creek. On our arrival at Leigh Creek we stop for after lunch before we continue North to join the old Oodnadatta track at Lyndhurst.

★ Along the way, we stop to visit Talc Alf’s unique Outback Sculpture Gallery.

See a number of Cubist-looking sculptures carved from talc stone which contrast with the surrounding red earth & blue sky.

We continue to Marree, a historic town that served as a base for the workers who were employed to build the first Overland Telegraph line. The town also played a part in the laying of the historic Ghan railway track which ran from Adelaide to Alice Springs. Enjoy some time at leisure to explore the town before indulging in dinner at the hotel.

❱ 1 night: Marree Hotel

Day 3 / Wednesday 12 August: Marree to Coober Pedy via William Creek (BLD)

★ We depart Marree this morning and continue along the famous Oodnadatta Track, passing Lake Eyre South on our way to William Creek Hotel for lunch.

The basin here can change dramatically after floods & heavy rains. In dry years, the area becomes a shimmering white salt pan whilst in wet seasons, it becomes an inland garden. In 2019, the area was transformed into the world’s largest desert oasis when waters flooded both Lake Eyre North & South.

After lunch, we set off deeper to the remote outback wilderness passing Anna Creek before crossing old Dog Fence and through the ‘Breakaways’ Range to Coober Pedy.

❱ 3 nights: Desert Cave Hotel

Day 4 / Thursday 13 August: Coober Pedy’s Brilliant Colours of Opal (BD)

★ Today, we begin to explore one of the world’s most unique towns – the opal mining capital of Coober Pedy.

Most of the population here live in underground dugouts to be insulated from the intense summer heat which rises to the high 40s most of the summer.

★ We visit an interesting Opal Interpretive Centre & Museum during our town tour.

Here, you can watch craftsmen cut & polish beautiful black opals unique to the area, as well as see one of the extensive displays of opal in the world.

After lunch, we take a local tour which includes the unique underground church, local dug outs and places of interest. You’ll soon discover why Coober Pedy is one of the most interesting towns to visit!

Day 5 / Friday 14 August: The Incredible Painted Desert (BMLD)

★ We set off into the Tirari Desert to discover an amazing & mysterious group of hills & sandstone.

This truly amazing sight features a unique mix of beautiful colours which have taken over 80 million years to create. Bright sunlight brings out vivid colours such as ochre yellow, oxide red & deep rich brown which contrasts with crisp whites & jet blacks.
We tour into an area near Mount Barry Cattle Station and the ‘Moon’ Plains. This area has been used by Australian film makers for many feature films, due to the beauty and clear sky’s here. Morning Tea and Lunch will be provided for you while in the area.

Later, we travel to Mt Willoughby and then to Cadney Homestead. After time for refreshments here we travel back to our accommodation at Coober Pedy. Tonight, we visit a popular local restaurant for dinner.

Day 6 / Saturday 15 August: Coober Pedy to Port Augusta (BD)

★ We begin our journey south along the famous Stuart Highway – a highway which extends all the way from Adelaide to Darwin in the Tropical Top End.

Our tour makes its way between two of Australia’s biggest deserts – the Simpson and Great Victoria Desert before we arrive at the remote township of Glendambo. Later, we continue south to Port Augusta for our overnight stop.

❱ 1 night: Standpipe Motor Inn

Day 7 / Sunday 16 August: Port Augusta to Adelaide via the Arid Lands Botanic Garden & the Clare Valley (BL)

★ After breakfast, we visit the Wadlata Outback Centre where you will have an opportunity to enjoy its multi-million dollar exhibition.

Travel through a “Tunnel of Time” – a journey that will take you back 15 million years!
Join the early explorers Eyre, Sturt, Giles and Stuart on their brave treks to open up Australia’s vast inland. Take time out to watch and listen to the tales of the early settlers, of bullockies, wheat, drought and disasters in the three-screen theatre. The Wadlata exhibition is world-class and is a great highlight you can enjoy!

★ Later, we continue to the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden.

Established in 1993, the Botanic Garden researches, conserves & promotes the wider appreciation of Australia’s arid zone flora whilst offering spectacular views to the ancient Flinders Ranges. The lands are home to thousands of highly evolved plant communities that are specially adapted to thrive in an environment where temperatures are extreme and drought can last for decades.

Thanks to its coastal location, the garden also features a unique biologically rich marine environment which is dominated by grey mangroves. This rare side-by-side combination of arid and marine environments, together with a fascinating regional and cultural history, makes this botanic garden very special.

Later, we continue on your journey back to Adelaide via the beautiful Clare Valley. The area is famous throughout the world for the fine wines produced here.

★ A special delicious winery lunch awaits you along the way in the stunning Clare Valley wine region.

Your lunch which includes fine wines from the area served to you at a historic local Wine Cellar Door Restaurant.

After lunch, we follow the Horrocks Highway to Gawler on a journey that will take us past the small towns of Sevenhill, Watervale, Rhynie & Tarlee. We then continue on our journey south, arriving in Adelaide in the late afternoon.

Adelaide travellers will be met on arrival at the Adelaide Central Bus Station and transferred home by chauffeured vehicle. Interstate travellers will be dropped off at the Mercure Grosvenor Hotel.

Post-Tour Arrangements for Interstate Travellers

You will be dropped off at your hotel in Adelaide for your overnight stay.

The next day, enjoy some time at leisure to explore Adelaide. Ask us about optional tours that are available today including day tours to the beautiful Adelaide Hills & of the famous Adelaide Central Market.

Later, a chauffeured car will take you to Adelaide Airport in time for your flight.

❱ 1 night: Mercure Grosvenor Hotel or similar

Additional information
Departure City

Adelaide, Brisbane (includes pre & post tour arrangements), Hobart (includes pre & post tour arrangements), Melbourne (includes pre & post tour arrangements), Perth (includes pre & post tour arrangements), Sydney (includes pre & post tour arrangements)


10 Aug 2020


The following terms & conditions apply to your booking in addition to our General Booking Terms & Conditions:

  • Flights are included from all departure cities shown as required. These are based on Economy Class group airfares, and are subject to availability at the time of your booking confirmation.
  • The following fees apply for cancellations made once your booking is confirmed:
    After deposit is received – loss of deposit;
    Within 60 days of departure – 100% of total booking value.
    We recommend purchasing travel insurance for your holiday.

  • Images are courtesy of the South Australian Tourism Commission.
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