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Outback Australian Wildflowers - Ross Garden Tours Australian Collection
Outback Australian Wildflowers - Ross Garden Tours Australian Collection
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Description

Outback Australian Wildflowers - Ross Garden Tours Australian Collection

16/08/2009 - 1/09/2009
Fully escorted throughout 

Please note our years of experience means that our tours are timed to exactly coincide with the peak times for Gardens and Flowers around the world and so if you have missed this years tour - you can still contact us to ensure you have all the information possible for our next tour - simply CLICK HERE
   
Day 1 Sunday, 16 August 2009
Sydney - Coonabarabran
 L / D
Depart Sydney from Eddie Avenue, Central Coach Terminal, on your 6,000 km safari.  Our tour commences in the city as we discover the development and natural landscape of the Greater Sydney Region.  We then travel westward over the beautiful Blue Mountains and environs.  Then it is on to Mudgee for lunch at Wild Oats Cafe. Drive through Gulgong with the roadside in full bloom with wattle.  Stay overnight in Coonabarabran at the foot of the Warrumbungle Ranges.  Welcome dinner will be at the motel this evening.
Accommodation: Country Gardens Motel, Coonabarabran

    
Day 2 Monday, 17 August 2009
Coonabarabran - Bourke
 B / D
Breakfast at the hotel this morning. Travel into the Warrumbungle National Park for early morning views of the wildflowers, fauna, volcanic peaks and rocky spires over 13 million years old. In 1818, John Oxley described the Castlereagh River region and the wildflowers here as "grand picturesque scenery".  
After a stop at the National Park's HQ and a wildflower walk we drive on to Coonamble, through some of the outback's largest properties. You will see emus and kangaroos, and lots of them.  Lunch stop at Coonamble, and then continue on to Bourke, "Gateway to the Real Outback", for our overnight stay.  'Keep a look out for Henry Lawson'.  
Accommodation: Major Mitchell Motel, Bourke

Day 3 Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Bourke - Tibooburra
 B / L / D
After breakfast we visit the grave of pioneer eye surgeon and great Australian, Fred Hollows. Drive through Bourke's tree-lined streets with historic buildings and see the re-constructed wharf. Leave by the North Bourke Bridge over the Darling River. Head out through the vast North/Western Divisions of New South Wales across the Paroo River at Wanaaring for lunch. Now we're onto red-dirt roads westward to Tibooburra.  This is saltpan and coolabah country, home of mulga, ironwood, black box, gidgee, beefwood and leopardwood, great bush trees of Australia. Watch the sun set over the 'Granites'. Accommodation for the next two nights in Tibooburra with dinner this evening at one of the famous old hotels.

Accommodation: Family Hotel, Tibooburra

Day 4 Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Tibooburra
 B / D
Today we visit the School of the Air and see first-hand how children in isolated areas, cope with education.  We inspect the 'Radio Room', the unique music 'room' and their native garden. Visit the National Parks and Wildlife Service HQ then drive out of town to Golden Gully, an old gold mining area, in search of Sturt Desert Peas.
This afternoon is free to explore this independent, historic town.  Dinner this evening at a local hotel.
Accommodation: Family Hotel, Tibooburra

    
Day 5 Thursday, 20 August 2009
Tibooburra - Innamincka
 B / L / D
Breakfast.  We leave Tibooburra, following sandy trails through Sturt National Park to  "Jump-Up" country to search for the rare Grevillea kennediana and nearby vast ancient aboriginal flint  'working sites'.  On our way to Cameron Corner we cross Capt. Charles Sturt's tracks from his 1844 expedition. 
Lunch today where the 'three States meet'. We are into South Australia now, on past Bollards lagoon and Merty Merty Station to join the outer Strzelecki Track.
This afternoon it's a classic afternoon tea stop with a 'cuppa under a Coolabah' in a dry creek bed next to huge red sand dunes on the Strzelecki Track...a great photographic opportunity!  Heading northwards past the Moomba Gas & Oilfields to Innamincka.    This evening soak up the atmosphere of this remote outpost, hear a few yarns and country songs around the campfire and  'call home' on Telstra's satellite solar powered public telephone. A bush dinner will be provided at the Hotel this evening, your accommodation for the next three nights. 

Accommodation: Innamincka Hotel

Day 6 Friday, 21 August 2009
Innamincka
 B /L / D
Today we follow the footsteps of Australia's most famous explorers Burke and Wills.  We visit the final resting place of Robert O'Hara Burke and the infamous 'Dig Tree' where you get the feeling of reliving the past with these 'Iron Men' who first discovered these vast outback frontiers.  We will have a picnic lunch at this fabulous place.

Accommodation: Innamincka Hotel

    
Day 7 Saturday, 22 August 2009
Innamincka - Birdsville
 B / L / D
Today another outback adventure travelling through the Strzelecki and Sturt Stoney Deserts, passing hakea covered giant red sand dunes.  We will call in to see the restoration of the outback Station shearing shed and pass ancient Aboriginal middens.  At the end of the day we arrive at the renowned western Queensland outback post of Birdsville.
Dinner tonight in the famous pub's century old dining room.
Accommodation: Birdsville Hotel

Day 8 Sunday, 23 August 2009
Birdsville
 B / L / D
Morning visit to Big Red with picnic lunch.  Afternoon visit the working museum and historic store and meet the local owners.

    
Day 9 Monday, 24 August 2009
Birdsville - Leigh Creek
 B / D
The adventure continues crossing the Diamantina River and then travelling the whole distance of Australia's most famous road, the Birdsville track 540 kilometres long.   This means an early start, experiencing the Simpson Desert arriving in the late afternoon at Leigh Creek.  Our lunch stop will be at Mungeranie Station Road House.

Accommodation: Leigh Creek Hotel

    
Day 10 Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Leigh Creek - Wilpena Pound
 B / D
Today we head into the magnificent Gorge Country of the Flinders Ranges stopping to photograph the dramatic Walls of China geological feature, various lookouts and the spectacular scenery along the way.  We will visit Parachilna Gorge in the shade of giant river red gums and then on to Blinman for lunch.  The town was established in 1864 and is located on one of Australia's geological earth-plate faults.  We also call in to photograph the famous Cazneaux Tree.  Dinner this evening will be at the resort.

Accommodation: Wilpena Pound Resort

    
Day 11 Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Wilpena Pound
 B / L / D
This morning, weather permitting, you will have the great opportunity of an optional flight over Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges.  Then we explore further into the picturesque Northern Flinders Ranges region, taking time around Wilpena Pound, Bunyeroo Valley and Brachina Gorge with its unique geology and wildflowers.  Nothing quite rivals the majesty of the ancient landforms of the region dating from 500 million years ago.  Here mallees, native white cypress and wildflowers dominate rugged scenery, and the home of the elusive Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby, which we will endeavour to sight.  Picnic lunch in Wilpena Pound included and time allowed for a walk around the Pound.   We should see Australia's National Floral Emblem, the Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha, in full bloom.  Dinner tonight at the resort. 

Accommodation: Wilpena Pound Resort

    
Day 12 Thursday, 27 August 2009
Wilpena Pound - Broken Hill
 B
Today depart Wilpena Pound for the journey to Broken Hill.   With mudmap at the ready we bush track today through the east Flinders passing large derelict farming properties, a major social and environmental disaster of the 19th century, to join the highway at Yunta for a late lunch*.  Today has earned the nickname by previous groups of "shingle back day", with the infamous outback relative of the coastal Blue Tongue lizard making a guest appearance.  We then cross back into NSW traveling the Barrier Highway, to Broken Hill.  Broken Hill, known as the "Silver City", has been 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.
Accommodation: Royal Exchange Hotel, Broken Hill
    
Day 13 Friday, 28 August 2009
Broken Hill
 B
Morning is at leisure.  After lunch we visit Silverton, a ghost town out of Broken Hill.  Silverton was proclaimed a township on March 20, 1885.  Take a walk around the town or even take a short camel ride.  See the Silverton Gaol erected in 1889, the Court House, which was officially opened in 1889, and the Silverton Hotel, which is situated on the site of the original Post Office.  Take time to visit the galleries in Silverton and walk around the internationally acclaimed Sculpture Park, including the one dedicated to Fred Hollows - 'in the afterlife'.  
Accommodation: Royal Exchange Hotel, Broken Hill

Day 14 Saturday, 29 August 2009
Broken Hill - Lake Mungo
 B
Early morning visit to the Aboriginal Community Centre where we can find out how didgeridoos and other Aboriginal artefacts are made - and perhaps buy one!  We depart Broken Hill and travel southeast to Menindee. Visit Menindee Lakes in Kinchega National Park including the historic 1870's Kinchega Wool Shed.  This is where Sturt searched for the inland sea in 1844.   Menindee is the oldest town west of the Darling and last outpost for Burke and Wills.  Visit the historic Maidens Hotel for lunch before continuing on to Mungo.
This afternoon we drive to Lake Mungo within the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Region, inscribed in 1981 because of the significant record of both Aboriginal heritage and past climates preserved in the landscape.  Watch for kangaroos along the road as we approach our overnight stay.   BBQ dinner tonight at the Lodge.

Accommodation: Mungo Lodge, Lake Mungo

    
Day 15 Sunday, 30 August 2009
Lake Mungo
B L
After a visit this morning to the Mungo National Park Visitors Centre, we drive across the lakebed to the "Walls of China", ancient lunettes of sand and one of Australia's most significant archaeological and geological features.   Here 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 in this area when Burke and Wills passed just south of Mungo in 1860.   Today, the Balranald and Dareton Local Aboriginal Land Councils are involved in the planning for the future of Mungo National Park and the World Heritage Region.  Later we take a 60 km track around the Park visiting the various historic and scenic spots.  Lunch is provided along the way.
Accommodation: Mungo Lodge, Lake Mungo

    
Day 16 Monday, 31 August 2009
Lake Mungo - Griffith
 B / D
We leave the arid landscape of Lake Mungo and the Outback for the final time this afternoon and head south east towards the lushness of the Murrumbidgee River valley and the MIA.  . 
After lunch visit Pioneer Park Museum, located in 11 hectares of natural bushland on the outskirts of Griffith for an journey through the unique character of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, from pre history, through the sparsely settled 19th century to the multi-cultural oasis of today.
A farewell dinner tonight.
Accommodation: Kidman Wayside Inn, Griffith

Day 17 Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Griffith - Sydney
 B / L
Depart Griffith this morning passing a wide range of horticultural and agricultural farming pursuits while travelling back to Sydney.  Lunch will be at the Kariong Station with a shearing demonstration and farm tour.  Travel on to Sydney arriving at Central Railway station at approximately 6:30 pm.

How to Book:
Please complete the online booking form and forward a deposit of £350.00 to Ross Garden Tours International, 17 Sycamore Lodge , 1 Gypsy Lane ,London SW15 5RH United Kingdom or call us on +44 (0) 208 878 9384