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Thursday, 24 April 2008

Peregrine Adventures: Another Way to See Australia

 
Another Way to See Australia
 
It's easy enough to head out bush and tick the 'icons' off on the itinerary: Uluru, Kakadu, Kata Tjuta… But Peregrine's new Australian small group tours prove that, with a little more time and a knowledgeable guide, it's possible to see the country's raw beauty beyond the beaten track, and to gain a deeper understanding of the 'spirit' of the outback.
 
The eight-day Kakadu Wetlands and Gorges tour begins in Darwin and heads to Katherine Gorge, where paddling a canoe gives an alternative impression of the towering cliffs as they catch the fiery colours of the afternoon sun. Heading into Kakadu, the trip visits the popular sites such as Gunlom for a dip in the natural 'infinity' pool overlooking the floodplains; spectacular Jim Jim and Twin Falls; and includes a cruise on Yellow Water to see saltwater crocodiles and the profuse bird life of the wetlands.
 
Beyond the well-worn trails, a highlight of the trip is a day in Koolpin Gorge. With a limit of just 25 visitors a day, it's a chance to soak simultaneously in the spirit of the ancient landscape and the crystal-clear creek waters as they flow over natural rock terraces.
 
The Kakadu Wetlands and Gorges adventure has departures from July to September, 2008 and between May and September, 2009. It costs $2675 per person, twin share, including most meals, transport in a comfortable 4WD safari vehicle, Peregrine guide and entry fees.
 
The Uluru and Outback Trails is a seven-day trip starting in Alice Springs that offers an Aboriginal perspective on the landscape. It heads west through Hermannsburg and the gorges of the East MacDonnell Ranges to Kings Creek Station – a working cattle station in proximity to Kings Canyon. After a dawn walk around the canyon rim, the trip heads to Uluru and Kata Tjuta, where Aboriginal guides explain the Dreamtime stories associated with the World Heritage site.
 
Then, in keeping with the aim of going deeper into country, the trip travels to Cave Hill, just over the SA border, where the traditional Aboriginal landowners share insights into their lifestyle and the extraordinary cave paintings that date back over 20,000 years. Around a campfire they will relate stories of the songlines that cross their country as the group beds down for a night under the desert stars.
 
Further south, the group is met by the traditional custodians of Mt Woodroffe, the highest mountain in South Australia, and shares a meal, a campfire, traditional lore and another night under the stars. Rising early for the desert sunrise, the trip finally returns to Alice Springs.
 
Uluru and Outback Trails has departures between July and September, 2008 and May and September, 2009. It costs $2690 per person, twin share, land only, including most meals, accommodation, transport, guide and entry fees.
 
For further information, contact your travel agent or Peregrine Adventures on 1300 854 500 or visit www.peregrineadventures.com.


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