DESTINATIONS - TAG-ALONG TOURS & TOUR OPERATORS
This company is operated by John Stafford, who has lived and worked in the Alice Springs area for the past 20 years, with Tourism NT. He is well qualified to be an expert guide for your Alice Springs Expedition through outback Central Australia.
John established relationships with many
tourism operators and has built strong personal connections with local Aboriginal people.
He has a passion for this land, its people and stories; its rich culture, and how this culture is strongly intertwined in the landscape.
His aim is to take you on a journey of discovery and share the connection between culture and country, and to leave you with an understanding of this special place that he is fortunate enough to call home.
John Stafford’s tours see visitors seated comfortably in his Land Rover Discovery 4, so there’s no driving necessary.
The tours take in all of the East and West MacDonnell Ranges, but our favourite destination is the Finke River area.
The Finke River system is dated at between 400 and 450 million years old and is arguably the world’s oldest continuously-used river bed. The Finke cuts through ancient mountain ranges creating spectacular gorges and permanent water holes.
The area has a rich Aboriginal culture and breathtaking scenes which inspired watercolour artist Albert Namatjira to paint from his home base of Hermannsburg.
Alice Springs Expeditions’ Finke tours are
one-, two- and three-day adventures, starting at $380 per adult, up to $1370 and kids are half-price. The multiple-day tours feature gourmet campfire cooking and sleeping in swags, under the brilliant Central Australian starlit sky.
All tours cover the Finke Gorge area, but the three-day tour is the most comprehensive, including Ormiston Gorge and the Finke River’s source in the West MacDonnell Ranges.
The tour also takes in many sites along the West MacDonnell Ranges as well as Tnorala (Gosse Bluff), the historic Lutheran mission and Aboriginal community of Hermannsburg, the Finke riverbed and Henbury Meteorite Craters.
The first night’s camp is on the edge of the Krichauff Ranges at Ipolera, the traditional homelands of the Malbunka family.
The second day’s drive is down the (usually) dry riverbed of the Ellery Creek. Meandering along the river, it quickly turns into a series of gorges and links back to the Finke River.
The gorge system continues and the next night’s camp is under the open sky, but not before witnessing the amazing colours that come with sunset.
Guests enjoy a gourmet dinner around the
campfire and can be mesmerised by the flickering flames before retiring to the comfort of their swags.
The journey continues down the Finke River, exploring a number of interesting sites along the way before visiting the Henbury Meteorite Craters. The site consists of a cluster of 13 craters that date back around 4700 years. From there it’s back on the bitumen, returning to Alice Springs in the late afternoon.