Landscapes that are epic. Wildlife abounds. And the opportunity to sleep under the stars under canvas. These safari tour in Australia are similar to their African counterparts, but with a distinct Aussie spin…
1. Travel to Australia’s fabled East Arnhem Land
On an expeditionary excursion to East Arnhem Land with Intrepid, go to the outermost regions of isolated Northern Australia.
The Yolngu people have lived in this vast and rugged wilderness for millennia, and tribes can still be found fishing, sailing, and enjoying their ancestors’ homeland. Of course, you’ll have the good fortune of being shown the best wildlife viewing sites. Crocs, dugongs, and barramundi fish, among other animals, can be seen.
Under the leadership of clan leaders, you’ll gain special – and exclusive – access to this gorgeous stretch of traditional territory, learning how to hunt and gather, dance, and produce bark drawings.
You’ll depart the mainland for adjacent Bremer Island, a true castaway experience, after sitting around a campfire with East Arnhem Land’s traditional owners and hearing to their people’s stories and songs.
2. Go on a wildlife adventure along the east coast
On this fantastic adventure from Kangaroo Island to the Great Barrier Reef with Cox & Kings Travel, you’ll get up close and personal with Australia’s famed animals while also enjoying a touch of decadent luxury.
Your journey begins on Kangaroo Island, where nature considerably outnumbers humans, before flying to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, where you’ll snorkel with manta rays and swim with turtles.
You’ll visit Mossman Gorge, take a tour along Rainbow Beach’s colourful sands, and visit the zoo made famous by ‘crocodile hunter’ Steve Irwin. You’ll stay in a luxurious rainforest treehouse, an eco-retreat on its own private island, and a resort in an East Coast nature reserve along the way.
3. Visit the Galapagos Islands in Australia
On an immersive journey to Kangaroo Island with Intrepid, meet the magnificent fauna of Australia’s very own Galapagos Islands.
Visit a sea lion colony at Seal Bay, go sand boarding in Little Sahara, and go for a walk in Vivonne Bay to see the wildlife.
This short-but-sweet excursion makes for a unique island escape, with plenty of activities and plenty of gorgeous fauna.
4. Go on a Kakadu game safari
On this excursion in Kakadu National Park with Wildlife Worldwide, discover a wild region where brolgas fly over the sunset, gigantic crocodiles laze on riverbanks, and the sandstone shimmers with the world’s oldest art.
Kakadu is an emerald jewel of Australia’s tropical Top End, a large wetland teeming with wildlife but few humans. You’ll wake up to the cacophony of flying foxes and cockatoos, gaze out over a billabong brimming with waterlilies, and walk on 600-million-year-old rocks.
If you enjoy adventure and the great outdoors, this journey through Kakadu and Mary River National Parks is for you.
5. The Great Ocean Road is home to penguins and koalas
On an 11-day tour through Victoria’s spectacular Great Ocean Road and beyond, enjoy a unique urban-based safari.
Back in the city, you’ll join a four-day small group tour to explore East Gippsland’s woods and the Wilderness Coast with a naturalist guide, before visiting Phillip Island and seeing the best of local wildlife, including the charming fairy penguins.
6. Get a taste of Western Australia’s Coral Coast
On this 17-day adventurous west coast safari with Flight Centre, you’ll see Western Australia’s incredible scenery and unique animals.
The adventure starts on Rottnest Island, where you’ll encounter curious quokkas and swim in crystal-clear waters.
Back on the mainland, you’ll travel north to Ningaloo Reef, passing by vast sandy beaches and the stunning desert terrain of The Pinnacles, as well as waterfalls, canyons, and rainforests. You’ll be able to swim alongside whale sharks in this distant and unspoilt marine reserve.
7. Travel from the desert to the coast in South Australia
With Wildlife Worldwide, go from the outback to the sea on this South Australian trip from Gawler Ranges National Park to Kangaroo Island.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see koalas, red, western grey, and euro kangaroos, Australian sealions, glossy black cockatoos, echidnas, and, if you’re lucky, platypus up close and personal.
You’ll start in the Gawler Ranges National Park, which is noted for its stunning rock formations, and travel to Baird Bay, where you’ll share the shallow seas with sea lions and dolphins, before heading to Kangaroo Island, a haven for Australian native wildlife.
8. Discover Kimberley’s hidden gems
With Wexas Travel, see one of the world’s last frontiers on a small group 4WD tour through the supposedly impenetrable Kimberley.
You’ll travel through one of the world’s last major wildernesses, a breathtakingly colourful environment of piercing blue skies, ochre red dirt, and ancient rock art dating back thousands of years.
Before following the famed Gibb River Road and the Bungle Bungle range’s unique honeycomb striped domes, you’ll journey through a landscape of craggy gorges and falling waterfalls plunging into the calm depths of watering holes.
9. Go on a traditional outback camping trip
On this five-day small-group excursion with Intrepid, spend your nights camping beneath the stunning outback stars while exploring some of Australia’s most renowned locations.
You’ll explore the Red Centre at your own leisure, with no planned itinerary and in the company of a knowledgeable local guide.
You’ll see Uluru/Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, and the West MacDonnell range, but it’ll be the lesser-known vistas like Trephina Gorge, Owen Springs, Ruby Gap, and the East MacDonnell range that will stick with you the longest.
With the stories imparted to you by the local aboriginal people, the once-in-a-lifetime experience of witnessing an Uluru sunset will mean even more.
10. Take a stylish walk along the Larapinta Trail
On this World Expeditions-supported walking holiday, explore the best sections of the famed Larapinta desert path while staying in the comfort of a stunning semi-permanent campground.
The enormous flood plains that create this ancient land will be dwarfed by the vastness of Ormiston and Serpentine Gorge as you follow the high ridge lines of the West MacDonnell hills.
Before returning to your architect-designed camp, take a dip in lovely waterholes while watching the stunning colour changes in the rock formations at Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm. Hot showers, plush lounges, and delicious three-course dinners are all on the menu.
11. A safari in Australia’s outback is a must-do
On this legendary six-day trek from Alice Springs to Kakadu, explore Australia’s wild and rugged north.
You’ll get a taste of Australia’s Top End at its finest. It’s an adventure you simply must experience, with hidden waterfalls, towering gorges, bubbling hot springs, gigantic termite mounds (yes), croc cruises, and everything in between.
What’s the best part? Every night, I slept under the star-studded Australian sky in a traditional Aussie swag.