• Kelly Black

7 Best Budget Australia outback tours



In this post I break down the top rated budget Australia Outback tours so you can compare them side-by-side. The first five are tours around Alice Springs and Uluru. The last two are longer tours covering more of the Outback.


Cover Photo by Simon Maisch on Unsplash


WHY JOIN AN AUSTRALIA OUTBACK TOUR?


The Australian Outback is a truly unique environment filled with that famous red dirt and picturesque canyons. It’s something you should definitely include in your trip to Australia. However there are a lot of things to see and some of them are pretty far apart. Not to mention you cannot go into the Outback unprepared. Think spare tires and lots of extra drinking water. Which is why I recommend doing a group tour. Leave the logistics and heavy lifting to the professionals so you can just enjoy your Australia travel experience.


Below I’ve broken down the top rated budget group tours of the Australian outback so you can compare them side by side. I’ve also only included Australian based companies. Sure you can always go with a world-wide company such as Conitki or Intrepid but I think for the Outback it’s best to go with the people who specialize in Outback travel. That way you know you are getting the experts.


The below tours are Australia Outback tours aimed toward adventurous backpacker-types. Many ages are welcome but you will be sleeping on the ground under the stars and doing a fair bit of hiking. Even if camping isn’t usually your thing I recommend embracing your rustic side for this trip. For me sleeping outdoors was the coolest part of my Outback experience. It really helps you connect with nature and the night sky in the Outback is incredible, complete with numerous shooting stars and a very bright Milky Way galaxy. The campgrounds all also have toilet and shower blocks with warm water and flushing toilets. As well as power points at your campsite to charge your phone. So it’s not as rustic as you’d think.


You cannot go into the Outback unprepared, leave the logistics to the professionals so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure.


Left Photo by Karl JK Hedin on Unsplash  //  Right by Yong Chuan Tan on Unsplash
Left Photo by Karl JK Hedin on Unsplash  //  Right by Yong Chuan Tan on Unsplash



BEST AUSTRALIA OUTBCK TOURS


RED CENTRE TOURS



These are the top rated group tours that focus on the area in the heart of the Outback referred to as the Red Centre (or Red Center for my American friends). The Red Centre main highlights include Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs.


4-Day Red Centre Camping Safari (4 Days, 3 Nights)

Price: $351.54usd Operator: Wayoutback Australian Safaris Starts: Alice Springs or Uluru Ends: Alice Springs or Uluru Age Range: 18-40 (although they are flexible on the maximum age if you contact them and can assure that you can keep up on the hikes) Included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, 2 nights camping in swags + 1 night in dorm style accommodation, air-conditioned private bus, tour guide & National Park entry fees Upgrades Available: Field of Light, private tent if you do not wish to sleep under the stars in a swag Highlights: Alice Springs, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon


4-Day Camping Trip from Ayers Rock (Uluru) (4 Days, 3 Nights)

Price: $319.74usd + $20 aud sleeping bag hire Operator: Mulgas Adventure Tours Starts: Alice Springs or Uluru Ends: Alice Springs (they will transfer you back to Uluru for an additional $130/person) Age Range: 8-17 years must be accompanied by a parent. After that 18+ there is no maximum age Included: 2 nights in 4 person Safari tent, or choice of sleeping under the stars in a swag, air-conditioned private bus, tour guide & National Park entry fees Highlights: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs Upgrades Available: Twin tent for $75/person per tour


3 Day Alice Springs to Alice Springs Tour (3 Days, 2 Nights)

Price: $289.51usd + $25aud Uluru parking fee + $20aud sleeping bag hire Operator: The Rock Tour Starts: Alice Springs or Uluru Ends: Alice Springs Age Range: 18-49 Included: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, 2 nights camping in swags, air-conditioned private bus, tour guide & National Park entry fees except for the $25aud Uluru parking fee which you will need to pay at tour checkin Highlights: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs Upgrades Available: Field of Light, $20 sleeping bag hire


Overnight Uluru Camping Tour (2 Days, 1 Night)

Price: $245.69 + $25aud Uluru parking fee + $20aud sleeping bag hire Operator: The Rock Tour Starts: Uluru Ends: Uluru Age Range: 18-65 Included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, 1 night camping in swags, air-conditioned private bus, tour guide & National Park entry fees except for the $25aud Uluru parking fee which you will need to pay at tour checkin Highlights: Uluru, Kata Tjuta Upgrades Available: Field of Light, $20 sleeping bag hire


Ayers Rock Day Trip from Alice Springs (1 Day)

Price: $168.88usd Operator: Emu Run Experience Starts: Alice Springs Ends: Alice Springs Age Range: All ages over 2 years are welcome. Children 2-17 years must be accompanied by a parent Included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, air-conditioned private bus, tour guide & National Park entry fees Upgrades Available: none Highlights: Uluru, Kata Tjuta. The longest walk on this tour is 1 hour at a relaxed pace



TOURS FROM THE TOP OR BOTTOM OF AUSTRALIA


If you have the time and truly want to get a feel for the how expansive the Outback is there are Australia Outback tours going from Darwin, stopping through Uluru down to Adelaide. You could choose to do only half was well, flying into or out of Uluru.




6-Day Rock Patrol Trip

Price: $674.81usd Operator: Groovy Grape Tours Starts: Adelaide (*or Alice Springs/Uluru see below) Ends: Alice Springs or Uluru (*or Adelaide see below) Age Range: Children 8-14 must be accompanied by a parent and stay in private accommodation. 15-17 allowed to travel alone and stay in dorms but must have parental consent form. 18+, no maximum age limit as long as you are able to hike 3-4 hours in heat at a moderate pace. Included: 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners, 3 nights camping in swags + 2 night in dorm style accommodation, air-conditioned private bus, tour guide & National Park entry fees Upgrades Available: Upgrade to private room for hotel nights only. Uluru Skydive, Camel Safari, Helicopter Flight, Segway Tour, Field of Lights. Highlights: Alligator Gorge hike in the Flinders Ranges, sift for Opals in the underground town of Coober Pedy, hand feed joeys at Joephine’s Kangaroo Orphanage, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon

*You can also do this exact same tour in reverse starting in Alice Springs/Uluru and ending in Adelaide. It is called Rock 2 Water


11 Day Darwin to Uluru (11 Days, 10 Nights) Price: $1,590aud Operator: Wayoutback Tours Starts: Darwin (*or Alice Springs, see below) Ends: Uluru or Alice Springs (*or Darwin, see below Age Range: 18-40 recommended Included: 7 breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 6 Dinners, 6 nights camping in swags + 4 nights in dorm style accommodation, air-conditioned private bus, tour guide & National Park entry fees Upgrades Available: Twin or Private room, tent when camping, Nitmiluk National park boat cruise, canoe or scenic flight Highlights: Mary River Wetlands Crocodile Cruise, Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park, Mataranka Thermal Pools, Devils Marbles, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs

*You can also do this tour in the reverse direction starting in Alice Springs and ending in Darwin



Photo by Vish K on Unsplash
Photo by Vish K on Unsplash

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR OUTBACK TOUR


Any of these Australia vacation packages would be an awesome adventure into the heart of the Outback.


Whenever traveling outside of your home country it’s always smart to purchase travel insurance. In particular travel insurance which covers medical emergencies, stolen luggage and travel delays. I recommend going with World Nomads insurance. They are one of the most recognized and reliable providers in the business and I use them for all of my personal travel.


Always have the necessary amount of water on you while doing any hikes. Your tour leader will tell you how much you need.


Also make sure to dress appropriately and for the correct season. The Outback can be a harsh place, so don't forget your sunscreen and mosquito spray and have the time of your life during your Australia travel!


*Full Disclosure guys. I do use affiliate links in my content. Meaning that if you make a purchase through those links I will earn a commission. I of course only recommend products that I have either used myself or have done some serious research on. These commissions are what help me with the costs of running this site and allow me to not have to resort to banner ads all over my posts :)

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