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Adventure in the Australian Outback: A 2-week NT and WA Itinerary

Perhaps this is your second or third time to Australia. Maybe you’ve visited Cairns and Sydney and want to see something new? Or maybe you’re just a rebel and want your first time in Australia to be unique.

Oftentimes, I’ll share my experience living in Exmouth, Western Australia only to be told by my Melbournian friends that they’ve never been to WA. Whoever you are and wherever you’re from… this 15 day itinerary will ensure that you have the very best experience in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. You’ll see animals the rest of the world only sees on the internet. You’ll laugh (or cry) in the face of danger. And you’ll swim in some of the bluest water outside of Photoshop.

So stock up on Tim Tams, download Daryl Braithwaite’s The Horses, Men at Work’s Down Under and Can’t Get You Out of my Head by Kylie Minogue onto your phone, make a Vegemite sandwich and book a flight… You’re headed to the Outback!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you use them to purchase items or book a tour, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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The Australian Outback: A 2-week itinerary through the NT and WAThe Australian Outback: A 2-week adventure through the NT and WA

Adventure in the Australian Outback: A 2-week NT and WA Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Uluru

I don’t know where you’re coming from, but I can guarantee that you’ll want a window seat. I chose seat A on the left side of the flight from Melbourne (if you’re facing the cockpit) and was treated to a spectacular view of Uluru from my window. Some people pay hundreds for a scenic flight, but if you’re flying in anyways, fork over the extra $20 to choose a seat by the window. Your holiday has only just started and you’re already saving money. Well done, you!

Melbourne to Ayers Rock flight

On arrival at Ayers Rock Resort, which has an accommodation option for nearly every budget, I suggest you change into your togs / swimmers/ cossie / bathers (that’s Australian for swimsuit) and head to the pool.

We started the trip off with an outback twist and ordered emu sausage with salad and kangaroo croque madame.

Sails in the Desert kangaroo sandwich

After getting your tan on at the pool, head to the Camel Farm. It’s an enjoyable 30-minute walk from Sails in the Desert or reachable by the free Ayers Rock Resort by special request. Say hi to the friendly piggies, pat the attention-hungry water buffalo and attempt a selfie with a camel. We opted for a camel ride later in the week on Cable Beach, but you can ride a camel at Uluru, too!

Ayers Rock camels

Walk back to the resort and stop by the IGA for a budget-friendly dinner. Do yourself a favor and grab a Chocolate Malt Pure Pop for the walk back to your hotel. You’ll thank me later.

Raid your change purse for a few gold coins and head to the dune pavilion for some stargazing using the binoculars for an out of this world view.

Day 2: Uluru

There’s no time to sleep in, because today is going to ROCK! (That pun was way too easy.) Eat breakfast at the Ilkari Restaurant where there’s a flavor for every palate. Or if you’re like me, you may try a multicultural breakfast consisting of dumplings, eggs benedict, doughnuts, croissants, cheese and bacon. There’s no shame in going back two or three times… you’ve got a big day ahead!

Sails in the Desert breakfast buffet

Catch the 9am Hop On, Hop Off bus into the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park for $49 roundtrip. Be sure to book this the night before so there’s sure to be space on the bus. Onboard the bus, you’ll need $25 cash to purchase your park pass, which is good for three days.

Arrive at Uluru’s Mala Carpark in plenty of time to meet an Uluru Park Ranger for a free guided tour of the Mala Walk to the Kantju Gorge. We were lucky to tour with James, a soft-spoken indigenous man with a great sense of humor and some really awesome stories!

Aboriginal art at Uluru

Learn about the rock art made with red ochre, yellow coloring and ash that depicts scenes from the outback. My favorite painting was of a flower which James referred to as the lolly before the IGA. There are several rock paintings around the rock which have deteriorated with time. And one which has completely disappeared because someone threw sunscreen at it. Please respect the rock. Don’t touch or take anything and be sure to respect signs which prohibit photography in certain sensitive sites.

Uluru - don't climb Please don't climb Uluru

Continue on to the kitchen cave and learn about how the indigenous people hunted in the past and continue the tradition today. Learn about the spirit dog whose claw marks are evident on the rock and whose paw print is visible in the kitchen cave. The rangers aren’t allowed to tell the end of the story, but we were assured that it’s a good one!

On arrival at the Kantju Gorge, the free guided tour is over, but you’re not done walking yet! Continue on for a 9.4km walk around the base to experience its beauty from every angle and to read stories about the Woma Python and Blue Tongued Lizard Man which teach life lessons on proper behavior.

Walk around Uluru

Once you complete the walk, continue on to The Cultural Centre to learn more about the Ananou, the local Aboriginal people. Watch a video on the Uluru Handback, when on October 26, 1985, custodianship was given back to the traditional owners.

Don’t miss Walkatjara, the Mutitjulu Community’s art center, which is owned and directed by the local Ananou people. When we visited, eight women were working on gorgeous paintings depicting scenes from the outback in the traditional dot painting style. The center is a non-profit organization, and 60% of each sale goes back to the artist, and the other 40% goes into running the art center.

If you make it to the Cultural Centre before 2pm (you speed walker, you), grab a burger for $8.50 at Ininti Cafe… it’s the best deal around and the profits benefit the local community!

Uluru Cultural Centre

Once you’ve shopped till you drop, hail the Hop On, Hop Off bus for a ride back to the resort. Freshen up and head back to the dune pavilion to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets in Australia. The rock changes from red to pink to purple, and the crowds oohs and ahhs are audible with each color change.

Get some rest tonight… tomorrow is going to be an early one!

 

Day 3: Uluru

Rise and shine and put on every piece of clothing you own. The outback is COLD at 5:45am, which is when AAT Kings will pick you up for your sunrise field of light experience in the winter. If you’re visiting in the summer, be prepared to get up even earlier!

As soon as you reach the top of the dune pavilion overlooking Uluru and Bruce Munro’s Field of Light, any post-sleep sugar plums dancing in your head will be replaced with 50,000 spindles of light mimicking desert flowers.

Field of Lights Uluru Australia

If you have a camera, you’ll want to bring a tripod, because the long exposure shots are where the Field of Light really shines.

FIeld of Lights Uluru

After getting your overview shots of the field of light, head down into Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku (which means ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’) to get a close up view of this gorgeous installation. The lights, which cover more than seven football fields in size, gradually change color, lending to the feeling of being in a magical field of wildflowers.

As the sun begins to rise over Uluru, make your way back to the dune for a hot cocoa. Have you ever seen the Earth’s shadow?! Watch for the dark band (Earth’s shadow) and the Belt of Venus, visible as a pink band atop the shadow. As the sun crests over the horizon, Uluru’s vibrant colors really come alive.

Sunrise at Uluru

Once your fingers have turned into popsicles, it’s time to return to the resort… just in time for breakfast! Ooh and ahh over your photos while you enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee before crawling back into bed for a power nap. Don’t sleep too long, though.

One of the best ways to learn about the indigenous culture is through the free programs offered at Ayers Rock Resort. Learn about Bush Tucker with Leroy Lester, a local indigenous man who previously worked as a park ranger at Uluru. You’ll even learn a thing or two about incorporating bush tucker into your Western dishes. Or perhaps you’d like to learn a bit of the local language. These opportunities are crucial if you want to learn about the traditional owners of this incredible place. Be sure to puck up a pamphlet at reception so you can attend your favorites!

As your time in Ayers Rock comes to a close, head to the sand dune lookout for one last sunset and then, it’s time for the punniest restaurant in the NT: Ayers Wok. Choose from a recommended list, or create your own dish. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to wok… I mean, rock!

Day 4: Uluru – Darwin

It’s time for one last Uluru sunrise and four more plates of breakfast at the buffet. Today, we’re moving on up to the Top End of Australia! Be sure to check with reception for the timing of the free shuttle that will take you to the airport.

 

Touch down in Darwin, check into your hotel or AirBNB, and head out for a little bit of exploring! Walk around the CBD to find the Wave Pool, a safe swimming spot where you’re guaranteed a crocodile-free encounter.



Booking.com

When you’re ready for dinner, check out Sweetbrew, a cute cafe with amazing food! The ingredients are high-quality and you’ll pay for the experience, but my squid ink linguini and crab pasta was delightful!

Sweetbrew Darwin

Day 5: Darwin

Rise and shine and skip the coffee! Today is going to be one of the most exciting and adrenaline filled days of your life, so caffeine is optional.

Outback Floatplane Darwin

Outback Floatplane Adventures will collect you at your accommodation dark and early for transfer to the Darwin Airport where your adventure begins. Choose a window seat (or volunteer for the co-pilot spot) and watch the sun rise over Darwin as your scenic flight takes you over mango groves and billabongs before your aquatic landing in Sweet’s Lagoon.

Darwin floatplane sunrise

If you’ve visited the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, you’ll be familiar with Sweetheart, the 5.1 meter saltwater crocodile who was accidentally drowned during capture from this very spot. Sweetheart had a taste for machinery and was known for attacking large outboard motors in the area. Thankfully, this landing was croc-free.

Outback Floatplanes adventure Darwin

Disembark the floatplane and hop onto a relaxing cruise of Sweet’s Lagoon. Climb onto the roof of the boat for 360° views of the lagoon and soak in the peaceful atmosphere, broken only by the call of birds and the sounds of fish jumping. Enjoy a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon and mushrooms on toast and have a coffee if the excitement hasn’t pumped you full of all the energy you need.

Prepare to get wet, because up next up is an exhilarating airboat ride with hairpin turns and 360° spins! Similar to jet boats in New Zealand, these airboats are operated in minimal water and cruise over marshland with ease.

Airboat - Outback Floatplanes adventure Darwin

For $100, you can hop into a door-less helicopter for an additional thrill. Spend the money. You’ll visit the Cathedral termite mounds, go croc-spotting from above and get an overview of a sacred Aboriginal women’s site. Later in the chopper tour, fly over the Australia-shaped moat built by Outback Wrangler, Matt Wright. One day this will be a resort, where guests and crocodiles can co-exist in this mini Australia!

Aerial view of Australia moat Darwin from Outback Floatplanes

Back at the base in Sweetie’s cove, get back into the airboat for a chance to see crocodiles up close. Our amazing airboat guide brought along a few fish and demonstrated just how quickly crocs go in for the kill. We even got to see a larger croc scare off a smaller crocodile… those guys can move!

Outback Floatplanes Darwin crocodile feeding

On conclusion of the airboat tour, you’ll have a chance to cool off in a croc safe pool. If Sweet’s Lagoon’s resident croc, Otis, is around you’ll have a chance to see him up close from the comfort of a reinforced cage.

It’s time to head back to Darwin, but the thrills aren’t over yet! The floatplane departs from the water and you’ll get to experience the gorgeous scenery one more time before being transferred back to your accommodation.

Outback Floatplane Darwin

Or you can keep the croc party going. And I definitely recommend that you do. Stop off at The Tap Bar for a light lunch in the shade of the Banyan tree before heading next door to Crocosaurus Cove.

Eating crocodile at The Tap Bar

Located in the heart of the CBD is the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles, including some of the largest crocodiles in captivity. While most tours instill a legitimate and healthy fear of crocodiles, Crocosaurus Cove aims to educate and inspire a sense of awe around these prehistoric creatures.

Saltwater Crocodile at Crocosaurus Cove Darwin

Warm up to these cold-blooded crocs when you meet Fluffy. Say hello to the baby crocodile and feel its bumpy skin before posing together for a photo shoot. It’s hard to believe that this little cutie will one day be a 5 meter monstrosity.

Fluffy at Crocosaurus Cove Darwin

Visit the Fishing for Crocs exhibition, where you’ll have the chance to feed juvenile crocodiles living together. Go for a swim in the croc-free pool attached to the juvenile pool for a free opportunity to swim next to these baby beasts.

Speaking of beasts… now that you’re gaining confidence, it’s time for the Cage of Death. The ominous-sounding activity is Australia’s first and only opportunity for a guaranteed swim with crocodiles. Climb down a ladder into a plexiglass tube, with three backup chains for your ultimate safety. The chains will lift you and carry your cage to a waiting pair of jaws… ahem.. I mean, a lovely crocodile.

Crocosaurus Cove Darwin, NT Cage of Death

As you descend into the crocodile’s pool, the tube fills up with water to about shoulder height, so you can see the croc from above and below the water line. We had a great experience with William and Kate, named for the royal couple after their engagement. Although there was initially some trepidation inside our tube, seeing William up close was a game changer. His enormous teeth, heart-shaped nostrils and intricately patterned skin gave us new respect and admiration for these living dinosaurs.

Crocosaurus Cove Cage of Death Darwin

We learned that crocodiles have an aptitude similar to dogs and can learn tricks and remember people and voices. William and Kate knew just what to do to get the perfect photos and we left this urban wildlife adventure with a newfound love for saltwater crocodiles, mixed with that hefty dose of well-earned fear.

Darwin's Crocosaurus Cove Cage of Death

This experience has been on my bucket list for years, and it was even better than I imagined! It will remain as one of the coolest things I’ve ever had the opportunity to experience, right next to swimming with humpback whales in Tonga, dolphins in Kaikoura and whalesharks in Exmouth, Western Australia.

 

Even though its been a full day, you’ll be riding the Cage of Death high for another couple of hours at least! Make your way to the Mindil Markets (open Thursdays and Sundays only) for a meal from a food truck and some good Australiana culture. Listen for men playing the didgeridoo or other live music. And after you’ve eaten, head down to the beach for the famously gorgeous sunset. As the sky lights up, look around for fire twirlers as the sun goes down.

Mindil Markets sunset Darwin

That my friends, is the recipe for an amazing day.

Day 6: Darwin

Part of being a savvy traveler is knowing when to splurge and when to save. I’m going to let you in on a BIG secret about the best value tour in Darwin. Wayoutback Australian Safaris offers a $99AUD day tour to Litchfield National Park and you’ll get your money’s worth in the first 3 hours of this 10 hour tour.

I hope you got some sleep last night because pickup is between 6-7am! If Joey is your tour guide, thank your lucky stars because you are about to have the most amazing outback experience. I’m sure all the other guides are lovely, too, but Joey is a bloody ripper (Aussie slang for totally awesome). This tour is affordable, but targeted to all ages and demographics. Some of the stops have ‘choose your own adventure’ options depending on mobility and swimming capability.

Wayoutback Safaris snake holding Australia

This is a day full of characters from the cowboy/ snake wrangler at Banyan Tree Caravan and Tourist Park to the mango smoothie slinger/ crocodile owner at the Butterfly Farm… and those are just the snack stops!

Banyan Tree Caravan and Tourist Park in Litchfield National Park

Check out the cathedral termite mounds and move on to the tombstone termite mounds. And while insect habitats may not be your cup of tea, once you see the sheer size and strength of these structures, you’ll change your tune.

Termite mounds on Wayoutback Australia Safaris tour

Next up, it’s Wangi Falls for a photo stop and a delicious barbecue lunch. This is an all hands on deck tour, and my American friend Emily and I were stoked to (wo)man the grill at a real Aussie barbecue!

Aussie style BBQ - LItchfield National Park

With full bellies, it’s time for a swim! Hop back in the bus and head to Florence Falls, where the powerful falls will leave you refreshed and in awe!

Buley Rockhole is comprised of rock pools and cascading waterfalls, which makes it an amazing place to sit and relax. But that’s not what we did. Joey took us on a barefoot bush adventure! We followed him down a path and into the river where we got a real taste of nature as we swam down the river and listened to his stories about the area. Pro tip: Keep your mouth closed— the little fish will attempt to jump in.

With informative and hilarious commentary throughout the day, it’s evident that Joey enjoys what he does, and his enthusiasm was contagious. From 19-year-old backpackers to the 70+ crowd, everyone had a great time.

Playing in waterfalls and swimming in the river means you’ll be hungry right about now, so on arrival back in Darwin, ask to be dropped at Tim’s Surf ’n’ Turf for a good feed! Don’t be surprised if a bespectacled man comes to your table and steals your napkin. That’s Tim, and he loves doing magic and talking about the delicious (and enormously portioned) food on the menu.

Waygu Beef at TIm's Surf & Turf in Darwin

And when you pay, be sure to say hello to Schnitzel, Tim’s pet crocodile! Schnitzel was snoozing for most of our meal, but as soon as Tim placed a prawn within snapping range, his eyes opened and he launched himself toward the prawn in one fell swoop. Even baby crocs have killer instincts!

baby crocodile at Darwin restaurant - Tim's Surf & Turf Tim's Surf & Turf baby crocodile

After dinner, you’ll probably be exhausted and ready for bed. If not, head across to Mitchell Street where the nightlife has already kicked off!

Day 7: Darwin – Broome

Wake up early for brunch at Alley Cats— they’ve got freakshakes, so you know it’s a must on my list! Alley Cats freakshake Darwin

Their eggs benedict with beetroot and halloumi was just what the doctor ordered to balance out the sweet, mixed berry freakshake. And just in case you’re not completely sugared-out (is that even a thing?), get a gluten-free brownie or three for the road. It’s one of the best brownies I’ve ever had.

Brunch at Alley Cats in Darwin

Now, head to the airport for your flight to Broome! Say goodbye to Darwin as you fly high above The Kimberley region along Australia’s northern coast.

On arrival into Broome, make your way to your accommodation via taxi or the Town Bus. A 5 or 10 ride pass is an easy and affordable way to get around. Check into Seashells Broome, a 4-star, self-contained apartment-style resort. With the holiday lasting over a week already, you may need to do some laundry. Thankfully, each apartment has a washer and a dryer with detergent for about four loads of laundry. Sometimes, adulting feels so good.

Now, it’s time to get your tan on. Don your bathers and head to Seashell’s newly renovated resort pool. It’s heated to 30°C, so even during winter, you’ll be happy to jump in.

Relaxing at Seashells Broome - the best pool in Cable Beach

The beach is a 10 minute walk from Seashells and I recommend staking your claim 30-40 minutes prior to sunset. You’ll want to turn right when you arrive at the beach and walk for 5-10 minutes. Pass the camels and find a spot with no vehicles blocking the ocean. This is the prime spot to get a shot of the famous camels at sunset.

Ride a camel on Cable Beach at sunset in Broome Australia

Once the sun has set, stick around to see the stars come out before heading back to the resort.

Day 8: Broome

Enjoy a lie in this morning, because today is a day of rest and exploration at your own pace. Staying in Cable Beach means you’re a bit out of town, but it also means you’re right next door to Zookeepers. We all know about Melbourne’s Instagrammable brunches, but The Zookeepers Store’s Keeper’s Benedict might just put them all to shame flavor-wise. Today’s only day one… but if you’re anything like us, I predict you’ll be back two or three more times before you leave town.

The Zookeepers Store - Keepers Benedict

Hop on the Town Bus just in front of The Zookeepers Store and hop off at the Visitor’s Centre. Peruse the tours to see if anything takes your fancy. The staff is helpful and can check availability and book tours for you.

Shop your way through town and make your way to Matso’s Brewery, home of my favorite Ginger Beer. If they’ve got Lychee Beer as well, stop reading and start drinking! That’s my favorite beer in the whole world!

Matsos Lychee Beer

Matso’s offers tasting flights, and if you’re brave enough, try the Chili Beer or the Angry Ranga! Matso’s offers lunch, and the Waygu Beef Burger is highly recommended!

Unique things to do in Broome Australia- Matso's brewery tour and tasting

Once you’re fully stuffed and satisfied with all the beers you’ve tried, make your way up the hill to the Mangrove Hotel, which offers the most gorgeous views of Roebuck Bay. We arrived the week they premiered their new menu which offers Broome’s only freakshake! It’s topped with freshly made waffles and it’s one you can’t miss!

Freakshake at Mangrove Hotel in Broome

Last night you saw the camels at sunset. Tonight, you’ll see the sunset atop a camel, so hop on the bus and make your way back to Cable Beach. Alison at Broome Camel Safaris is known as a bit of a camel whisperer. She rescues camels destined to be dog food and trains them up to work on Cable Beach. Although in a previous working life, they’d carry half of their 900kg weight, on the beach, they’ll never carry more than 200kg.

Cable Beach Camel ride Broome

Learn why the alpha male hangs out at the back of the pack and be sure to ask the team about your camel. Our camel, Zoarim, is the prettiest camel of the bunch, with great hair, great teeth and a diva attitude. He stood on his time and made Chewbacca noises to let us know that this was his party, we were just lucky enough to attend.

Cable Beach Camel Ride

Watch the camels’ shadows grow longer as the sun sets and enjoy being part of the great camel parade along the beach.

Camel Ride on Cable Beach Australia

 

Say thanks to your camel with a parting carrot and head home to change into movie-watching clothes… you’re headed to the world’s oldest operating outdoor cinema! Take the bus into town and wait for the ticket office to open. If you’re lucky enough to catch the cinema open earlier or on a previous day, you can buy in advance, or purchase the night of. We had no trouble getting in and even got to wait with an adorable green tree frog.

Sun Pictures Broome Australia

The cinema sells movie snacks and ice cream cones… just order quickly or the ice cream cones may sell out!

My favorite part of the movie experience was watching the planes fly low overhead as they make their descent into Broome Airport.

After the movie, you’ll need to get a taxi back to Cable Beach. We found two other groups going back to Cable Beach and split the cab fare for a far more manageable fee.

Day 9: Broome

Never been fishing? That’s all about to change! Absolute Ocean Charters will collect you from your accommodation and bring you out to their dedicated fishing vessel.

Absolute Ocean Charter Broome

The crew loves fishing and are insanely good at helping newbies love it too. Our charter was a mix of seasoned fishermen and first-timers, and I think everyone had an equally amazing time.

Absolute Ocean Fishing Charter Broome

The day started out a bit slow, and we found that we were competing with sharks, who would chase any catch to the surface. One fisherman reeled up only the fish head. By the end of the day, though, every group left with a mackerel. We also had two Spanish Flags, and a Black Snapper… plenty of food for the remainder of our time in Broome.

Catching a mackerel with Absolute Ocean Charter Broome

Absolute Ocean Charters offers a free filleting service, but we opted to take our chances and made fish three ways. (How very MasterChef of us!)

After a quick trip into town to visit Coles and the bottle-o for Matso’s Ginger Beer, we pan-fried the mackerel with lemon, butter and garlic for a surefire, light and delicious meal. We got a little creative with the Aussie suggestion of crunching up a bag of Salt & Vinegar chips, and using that as a crumb before pan frying the Salt & Vinegar crusted mackerel in butter. And lastly, we stuffed the Black Snapper with lemon, butter and garlic, wrapped it in aluminum and barbecued it whole. By the time it was done cooking, the skin fell off the meat and we enjoyed the most tender, fresh fish of our lives. (As for those Spanish Flags and the rest of the mackerel? Our neighbors had a nice dinner, too!)

Fishing is hard work, so tonight will be an early night! You deserve a soak in the spa tub and lots of sleep!

Day 10: Broome

Broome’s main industry is tourism, but this town was built up around the pearling industry. It seems only fair that to really know the city, you need to go to the pearls. Willie Creek is one of the main pearling businesses in town and they offer a great tour out at their pearl farm.

Boat tour at Willie Creek Pearl Farm

Attend a Pearling Master Class to learn more about how Broome pearls are made, and how to value a pearl. Board a river cruise to see how oysters are cleaned and learn about the diseases affecting shells and innovation to remedy the disease. And finally, end up in the showroom, where you’ll get to put your new knowledge to use assessing and valuing pearls. If you’ve got a deep pocketbook, there’s an Opera Strand of pearls on sale for $150,000!

Finding a pearl at Willie Creek

We opted, instead, for a $30 taster plate of seafood, which includes a tiny taste of pearl meat. This rarity goes for up to $500/ kilo in some places around the world!

Seafood platter at Willie Creek Pearl Farm

On the way back along the bumpy, red pindan roads, enjoy a free Kimberley Massage as you bounce on your seat all the way back to the paved road.

 

When I visited Broome for the first time in 2017, I had the pleasure of attending an Astronomy Tour with Greg Quicke. My head has been in the stars ever since. Space Gandalf, as he’s affectionately known, will challenge your perceptions about the world and try to rid your brain of any flat earth thinking. You’ll be surprised how much of our language regarding the stars, sun and moon are about 400 years outdated!

Broome Australia astro tour Greg Quicke

Look through telescopes at clusters of 10,000,000 stars and see if you can spot the Traffic Light within the Jewel Box. And if Zubenelgenubi isn’t your favorite word to say after this evening, I’m not even sure we can be friends.

Astro tour with Greg Quicke Broome Australia

Day 11: Broome – Exmouth

Before moving into the future of your holiday, you must first visit Broome’s past. Further back than the first pearlers. Back to the age of the dinosaur!

Broome Australia hovercraft dinosaur footprints

Join a Broome Hovercraft tour for the opportunity to zip across Roebuck Bay in a futuristic hovercraft, which takes you places inaccessible by any other means.  Hop out to explore evidence of Broome’s earliest inhabitants.

Broome Australia hovercraft dinosaur footprints tour

Before leaving Broome, you must experience the Thursday night market at Town Beach. Peruse the jewelry stalls, indigenous art and of course, the food. My favorite is the Mango Thing tent, where frozen fruit is fed into a machine and turned into nice cream. I’m a big fan of mango, coconut, ginger and bahini (banana/tahini mix). Once you’re full of frozen goodness, take a taxi to the Broome Visitor Centre to begin your journey south.

Broome Australia night market mango thingy

You’ve got a few options to get from Broome to Exmouth:
1. Rent a car for two days. With the one-way relocation fee, this can cost up to $3,000.
2. Fly. But you’ll have to fly to Perth and then connect on to Exmouth, which will cost at least $500.
3. Take the bus. At $240, Integrity Coachlines’ Broome to Exmouth route will get you there in 17 hours and for less than half the cost of any other option. I think that’s a pretty good deal.

Day 12: Arrive Exmouth

For me, arriving in Exmouth is like coming home. I lived here for nearly five months in 2017, learning about the town’s American history, playing on the water and exploring all the awesome things to do in Exmouth. For inspiration, check out this list of 50+ things to do in Exmouth… I promise you won’t be bored!

For dinner, go see the cowgirls at Cadillac’s for pizza, steak, and burgers served up with a huge helping of country music. They just got Budweiser on tap, so you can enjoy the full American experience!

Cadillacs Exmouth Keith Urban

Lucky you! You’ve arrived on Friday arvo, which means party at the Potshot! Exmouth is an active town, which means most restaurants close by 9pm so everyone can be rested for early morning activities. But on Fridays, The Potty is open until midnight! Bust a move on the dance floor, but I recommend you stay away from those goon sunrises if you’re planning on doing anything tomorrow (which, you are!).

Day 13: Exmouth

Get ready to have a whale of a good time! Today is a day for swimming with the largest shark in the world… the whale shark! (I hope you booked in advance, these tours fill up quickly!)

It’s an early-ish morning so I hope you heeded my warnings against goon sunrises! Enjoy the scenery of the West Side and see the former American Naval Base on your way to meet your boat at Tantabiddi Boat Ramp.

Prepare to be WOW-ed by these finned giants, but don’t forget to pay attention to the details. They travel with a mob of fishy friends, which is pretty fascinating. Once, I saw a cleaner fish’s tail hanging out of the whale shark’s ear hole – he’s a professional q-tip!

Whale shark season NIngaloo Reef

Photo courtesy of Ningaloo Whaleshark-n-Dive

After a day of chasing whale sharks, it’s time to start heading back to shore. The adventure’s not over yet, though! Jump back into the water to snorkel on the Ningaloo Reef, one of the world’s largest fringing reef systems. If you’re lucky, you might just see a manta ray or a dugong!

Underwater Scooter Ningaloo Reef

Photo courtesy of Ningaloo Whaleshark-n-Dive

 

Day 14: Exmouth

I hope you saw whale sharks yesterday. But just in case you didn’t, most operators offer a whale shark swim guarantee. Today is a “just in case” day.

If you swam with whale sharks yesterday… YAY! Today is a beautiful beach adventure day! Pack a lunch, rent some snorkel gear and a car and drive out to the West Side.

Turquoise Bay best beach Exmouth Australia

Turquoise Bay has been named one of the top ten beaches in Australia and for good reason! The color of the water looks Photoshopped but this is real life, my friend. Snorkel the drift and keep your eyes peeled for turtles, colorful fish and rays.

Snorkeling Exmouth

Day 15: Depart Exmouth

It’s your last morning in the outback… and you’ve got time for one last quintessentially Aussie experience! It’s time to meet a joey. The Exmouth Wildlife Care Group fosters baby kangaroos whose moms aren’t able to care for them. (If you hit a kangaroo while driving, be sure to check for a joey in the pouch!) For a small donation, you can play with a joey and get pics with your new best friend.

foster a joey in Exmouth WA

If the joey hasn’t convinced you to live in Western Australia forever, it’s time to pack up and head to the airport. Be sure to stop by the IGA first to stock up on Tim Tams, Vegemite and Wagon Wheels for the flight home… it’s going to be a LONG one!

I hope you had the very best time in the Aussie Outback! What is your favorite Outback experience mentioned in this NT and WA itinerary? Is there something I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the activities mentioned in this posed were hosted. As always, all options are my own and I’ll only recommend things I think you’ll enjoy!

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The Australian Outback: A 2-week adventure through the NT and WA The Australian Outback: A 2-week itinerary through the NT and WA

Tracey Fickling

Saturday 14th of July 2018

I'm an Aussie girl and I've 'been to each of those places but I have only done about a quarter of the activities you listed. So many family arvo cuties that will suit the rest of my mob.

Thanks for the checklist I can use on future visits.

Regards Tracey

Brittany

Saturday 14th of July 2018

Oh man! I hope you get to try some more of them soon... with a freakshake first on the list ;)