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OUTBACK WILDFLOWER SAFARI

29 August – 13 September 2017

ITINERARY
Buckle up – get ready to explore the real Outback Australia in comfort; an unforgettable journey into Australia’s heartland. Our journey makes a connection with a vast, timeless, magical landscape. Travel in comfort in 4 wheel drive vehicles, in early spring, to experience the Outback at its best.

“On many occasions I was moved to tears. I can still feel a shiver as I recall:
the sight of so many kangaroos and emus enjoying their freedom.
the spirits of the shearers in old shearing sheds.
the feeling of intruding on the awesome, yet vulnerable landscape at Lake Mungo.
the courage and tragedy of the explorers and early settlers
the feeling of triumph when we reached Innamincka
…. it has been the experience of a lifetime. Thank you for making it possible.

Moira Rien, Gladesville NSW

DAY 1
Tuesday 29 August 2017
Sydney – Dubbo (L/D)

Depart Sydney from Eddie Avenue, Sydney Coach Terminal. We’ll discover the development and natural landscape of the Greater Sydney Region as we drive westward over the Blue Mountains. Lunch today at Lowe Winery in Mudgee with seasonal tasting platters and wine tasting … fine organic wine.
We’re heading to Dubbo for our first night with dinner included this evening.

Accommodation: Quality Inn, Dubbo

DAY 2
Wednesday 30 August 2017
Dubbo – Bourke (B/L/D)

Travel the Mitchell Highway through to Bourke this morning with picnic lunch along the way. Learn the stories of the outback, the riverboats, the wool story and the life and times of Henry Lawson at ‘Back O Bourke’ exhibition.
Discover the mighty Darling River this afternoon as we cruise on the paddle vessel (PV) Jandra.

Check into Back O Bourke motel with dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: Back O Bourke Motel, Bourke

DAY 3
Thursday 31 August 2017
Ledknapper Nature Reserve (B/L/D)

Cameras ready today as we learn about wildflowers, archaeology, landforms, Indigenous culture and pastoralism in Ledknapper Nature Reserve. Picnic lunch today. Back to Bourke with a stop at the grave of Fred Hollows. Dinner included this evening.

Accommodation: Back O Bourke Motel, Bourke

DAY 4
Friday 1 September 2017
Bourke to Tibooburra (B/L/D)

We’ll leave by the North Bourke Bridge over the Darling River and set out through the vast north/western divisions of New South Wales. If we are lucky there will be water in Paroo River at Wanaaring and we’ll stop here for lunch. Then it’s great red-dirt roads as we head westward to Tibooburra; saltpan and coolabah country along with mulga, ironwood, black box, gidgee, beefwood and leopardwood, all great Aussie bush trees. An orientation tour of Tibooburra then check into our motel for the next two nights.

Accommodation: Granites Motel, Tibooburra

DAY 5
Saturday 2 September 2017
Tibooburra (B/D)

This is corner country and the gateway to the Outback! Tibooburra is an interesting historic town where gold was discovered in 1880 and today we will explore it.
We’ll head out to Golden Gully to see remnants of gold mining operations (and hope to see Sturts Desert Pea growing there). We’ll visit Pioneer Park where there is a replica of Charles Sturt’s boat, and the NPWS centre. There will be time to call in to old hotels which dominate the main street of the town, and meet the locals. We’ll visit the Granites, piles of boulders after which the town was originally named. Visit the Family Hotel famous for the original paintings on its walls by artists including Clifton Pugh.

Accommodation: Granites Motel, Tibooburra

DAY 6
Sunday 3 September 2017
Tibooburra to Innamincka (B/L/D)

Today we follow sandy roads through Sturt National Park to ‘Jump-Up’ country.
We’ll be searching for the rare Grevillea Kennediana and vast aboriginal flint ‘working sites’. Lunch in Cameron Corner (where the three states meet) then we’ll cross Charles Sturt’s tracks from his 1844 expedition.
Now we’re in South Australia, travelling past Bollards lagoon and Merty Merty Station to join the outer Strzelecki Track. Giant red sand dunes line this track, so it’s an afternoon tea stop under a Coolabah tree in a dry creek bed adjacent to a dune. Cameras ready! Now we head north past the Moomba Gas & Oilfields to the remote desert town of Innamincka. It might be dark when we arrive but the lights will be welcoming and dinner will be waiting.

Accommodation: Innamincka Motel

DAY 7
Monday 4 September 2017
Innamincka (B/L/D)

Wake this morning and survey the scene in this remote outpost. It’s quite remarkable!
We’ll follow in the footsteps of Burke and Wills to the ‘Dig’ tree and learn about the ill- fated mission of these explorers who first explored these vast outback frontiers. Check out Elizabeth Symonds Nursing Home that was restored in 1994.
Evening cruise on the serene Cooper Creek at sunset – the birdlife is prolific, not to be missed; then dinner in our hotel.

Accommodation: Innamincka Motel

DAY 8
Tuesday 5 September 2017
Innamincka to Marree (B/L/D)

We’ll set off early and follow the Strezecki Track to Marree an old Afghan and railhead town, arriving late afternoon. We’ll have gorgeous views of the Flinders ranges as we travel south-west to Marree.

Accommodation: Marree Hotel

DAY 9
Wednesday 6 September 2017
Marree to Wilpena Pound (B/L/D)

Optional flight over Lake Eyre is available early this morning before we leave for Wilpena Pound and the magnificent Gorge Country of the Flinders Ranges.
A morning tea stop at Lyndhurst to see the ochre pits. This small railway town at the junction of the Strzlecki and Oodnadatta Tracks has ochre pits nearby that are still used by Arrarnta people and are registered and protected as a Sacred Site by NPWS legislation.
A picnic lunch in Parachilna Gorge under giant River Red Gums. Stop to photograph the iconic Cazneaux tree that was photographed by Harold Cazneau in 1937 with international acclaim.

Accommodation: Wilpena Resort

DAY 10
Thursday 7 September 2017
Wilpena Pound (B/L/D)

Another opportunity early this morning for an optional flight over Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges. We’ll spent today in the Flinders Ranges, in Bunyeroo Valley and Brachina Gorge to understand this unique geology and its flora. There will be an optional walk into Wilpena Pound, passing by the ruins of the Hill family farm. We’ll have a picnic lunch along the way. These ancient landforms date from 500 million years ago. Mallees, native white cypress and wildflowers dominate this rugged scenery. It’s home to the elusive Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. Dinner tonight at the resort.

Accommodation: Wilpena Resort

DAY 11
Friday 8 September 2017
Wilpena Pound to Broken Hill (B/L)

We’re off to Broken Hill today through the east Flinders. Stop for a tea break in Hawker then we’ll travel through country that has broken so many dreams, derelict farming properties, a major social and environmental disaster of the 19th century. We join the Barrier Highway at Yunta where we’ll stop for lunch. We’ll be watching for Shingle back lizards (outback relative of the Blue Tongue). Back into NSW travelling the Barrier Highway to Broken Hill, known as “Silver City”, a major producer of silver, lead and zinc since 1883. Charles Sturt gave Broken Hill its name in 1844 when he climbed it looking for the inland sea that was not there.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles, Broken Hill

DAY 12
Saturday 9 September 2017
Broken Hill (B)

We’re off to Silverton, proclaimed a township on March 20, 1885. Take a walk around the town. See the Silverton Jail (1889), Court House, Silverton Hotel on the site of the original Post Office that has featured in many movies. Visit Pro Hart and Jack Absalom galleries.
Free time in Broken Hill this afternoon then a sunset walk around the internationally acclaimed Sculpture Park, including the one dedicated to Fred Hollows – ‘in the afterlife’.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles, Broken Hill

DAY 13
Sunday 10 September 2017
Broken Hill to Lake Mungo (B/L/D)

Depart Broken Hill travelling southeast to Menindee in Kinchega National Park. Stop at the Kinchega Wool Shed built in 1875 of corrugated iron and river red gum. This vast woolshed is a very well preserved classic piece of Australian pastoral heritage. In 97 years of operation, six million sheep were sheared here.
Kinchega National Park lies amongst the beautiful Menindee Lakes, fed by the Darling River, and home to grand forests of River Red Gum, coolabahs and black box. It’s an oasis for birds, great kangaroo, emu and goanna. Menindee is the oldest town west of the Darling and last outpost for Burke and Wills.

Afternoon drive to Lake Mungo within Willandra Lakes World Heritage Region, inscribed in 1981. Since Dreamtime, the Aboriginal people have walked here at Lake Mungo like their ancestors did. This world heritage site is of natural and cultural significance – it is a place to share in the story of a journey through time – from the evolution of land to its people. It’s an ancient place, one you’ll never forget.

Accommodation: Mungo Lodge

DAY 14
Monday 11 September 2017
Lake Mungo (B/L/D)

First up a visit to the Mungo National Park Interpretative Centre for an overview of this significant place. Then we drive across the lake bed to the ‘Walls of China’; these ancient lunettes of sand are one of Australia’s most significant archeological and geological features. You can walk back in time through the layers of sand dunes up to 50 metres in height. Climb to the top of the drifting sands for a spectacular view across the lake floor. Aboriginal people were still living here when Burke and Wills passed just south of Mungo in 1860. The Balranald and Dareton Local Aboriginal Land Councils are involved in planning for the future of Mungo National Park and this World Heritage Region.

Accommodation: Mungo Lodge

DAY 15
Tuesday 12 September 2017

Lake Mungo – Griffith (B/D)

As we head east we’ll leave the dirt roads near Balranald, famous for its rare Southern Bell Frogs. Then we’ll head across the Hay Plains, with a lunch stop in this lovely old town. We’ll pass broad acre crops and see bright yellow canola. Our stop tonight is in Griffith, in the Murrumbidgee River Valley.

Accommodation: Kidman Wayside Inn, Griffith

DAY 16
Wednesday 13 September 2017
Griffith to Sydney (B)

It’s a land of plenty as we pass through horticultural and agricultural farms today as we head back to Sydney. First stop is Temora bakery for morning tea. The countryside is idyllic as we pass through historic towns like Harden. We’ll share happy moments at lunch, our last meal together in Binalong in the Yass Valley. Arrive late afternoon back where we started, in Sydney Central.

HOW TO BOOK

To secure your booking and make your deposit, please complete our online booking form. You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.

CANCELLATIONS

Cancellations received 180-120 days prior to departure will incur loss of deposit.

Cancellations received between 119-60 days prior to departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Cancellations received between 59-30 days prior to departure will incur a 75% cancellation fee plus any non-recoverable costs incurred.

Cancellations received within 30 days prior to departure will incur 100% cancellation fee.

Cancellations must be sent in writing.

Cancellation fee is based upon the total amounts paid including tours, airfares and all other travel arrangements.

Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions.

TOUR INCLUSIONS
TOUR ESCORTED BY
LIBBY CAMERON
  • Air-conditioned 4WD motorcoach throughout tour
  • Best available accommodation for 15 nights
  • Breakfast daily, 12 lunches and 13 dinners
  • Entrance fees to all national parks
  • Gratuities for porters and drivers
  • Fully Escorted by Libby Cameron
TOUR PRICE

Twin Share land only $7,995 per person
Single Supplement $850

All prices in Australian Dollars.
Prices based on minimum 15 passengers.
Price is based on departure Sydney.

DISCOUNTS

Book and pay in full by 28/4/2017 to receive the Early Bird Discount of $200.00 per person off the final instalment.
Previous Traveller Discount $100.00
Garden Clinic™ Member Discount $50.00

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POSTCARDS

Read what our tour leaders have written about England here.

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