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Australian Hand-Crafted Journeys

Around Australia by Air Itinerary by Janelle

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BLOG | Part of our Innovative Itineraries series, this itinerary was created by Senior Travel Designer Janelle Leske. Stitch together the most remote regions of Australia through the use of a private aircraft and immerse yourself into the mainland’s extraordinary landscapes.

At a Glance

This customised journey was created by one of our Senior Travel Designers, Janelle Leske for an extended family looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure exploring Australia’s most remote regions. Spanning across a full month of travel, this expedition bypasses major cities and prioritises sharing experiences with family above all else—discovering local cultures, landscapes, wildlife, and meeting the charismatic local characters who openly share their home with others.  

A shining example of Janelle’s creative and technical planning skills, this expansive voyage seamlessly connects guests to a range of far-flung locales, offering the luxury of slow and immersive travel to fully appreciate each area without rushing. Made to dazzle clients who were already well-travelled and well-acquainted with Australia’s beauty and brilliance, this expedition pushes the envelope and demonstrates how remarkable and eye-opening exclusive air travel can be.  

Australia is an enormous country, and this itinerary reflects that. From soaring up the western coastline to Ningaloo and Kimberley Coastal Camp, across to Bullo River Station and through the Top End to the Cobourg Peninsula, over to the Daintree Rainforest, off-shore on the Great Barrier Reef, across the Simpson Desert to Uluru-Kata Tjuta and culminating at the Ikara-Flinders Ranges, Janelle’s journey covers the bulk of the mainland in splendid detail.  

Take to the skies with this extensive, hand-stitched itinerary, showcasing the best of the best of Australia’s isolated and idiosyncratic regions and their unique characters.  

“With private plane for ease of travel and some of the most unique experiences you will find in Australia, it doesn’t get much better than this!”

Destination 1:

Ningaloo Reef

Over a thousand kilometres north of Perth lies your first stop, resting at the shore of one of the world’s largest fringing reefs. Escorted by air, touch down at Ningaloo—one of the Earth’s last pristine ocean paradises, offering 300 kilometres of corals, turtles, tropical fish, manta rays, humpback whales, and whale sharks existing in harmony.  

Nestle into beach-side paradise within the sand dunes of Cape Leveque’s picturesque coastline. Welcome to Sal Salis, offering sixteen luxury safari tents and a central lodge to immerse you in the surrounding landscape, mere metres from the sparkling waters. The only resort in the World Heritage Cape Range National Park, Sal Salis is dedicated to conservation, offering solar-generated power and delicious and sustainable meals prepared by their on-site chef. Team this sustainable indulgence with their select open bar, and indulge each evening while tucked under the blanket of the Milky Way.  

Your days are open for excursions, and each day’s activities adapt to the world’s whims. A range of water-sports equipment including kayaking, SUPs, snorkelling equipment and wetsuits are always available, while snorkelling tours amongst exquisite corals and guided walks in Cape Range National Park will provide rich insight from your guides. Depending on the time of year, you may enjoy nature in its splendour as whale sharks and humpback whales accompanied by baby calves migrate through its warm waters, manta rays glide alongside snorkellers, or loggerhead and green turtles lay their eggs along the shore.  

Three days in beachside bliss in this exceptional fringing reef will set the scene of the beachside beauty Australia has on offer. Make your way north to the Exmouth Airstrip, and reconvene with your dedicated pilot to take to the skies to your next locale, found on the other side of the north-western coastline. 

Destination 1: Ningaloo Reef has accommodation for three nights at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef in a Wilderness Tent.

Destination 2:

The Kimberley

Rugged, ancient, and vast, the Kimberley is spread across 423,000 square kilometres known for its sparse population of approximately 30,000. Mighty rivers, enormous ranges, unbelievable waterholes, sprawling station country, plus several uniquely Australian phenomena including Mitchell Plateau, Horizontal Falls, and Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Ranges) make up this incredible space, found roughly as far from urban sprawl as you can get.  

Tucked away on the far-north shores of the Admiralty Gulf rests the welcoming Kimberley Coastal Camp. Only sixteen guests and a small group of dedicated staff will be your company in this remote retreat, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest town and only accessible by light aircraft. Enjoy company in the communal pavilion lovingly named ‘The Shed’, and bask in the ambience of isolation as you overlook white beach sands and rugged natural cliff-face with a beverage in hand.  

Set your own pace of barefoot luxury on the coastline’s untouched beaches. Those seeking cultural immersion can discover Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock art that has rested for thousands of years in inaccessible rock shelters. Nature lovers can look for dugongs and dolphins on boat cruises and feed sharks in the crystal-clear waters while going bushwalking and bird-watching on land. Anglers will adore their range of all-inclusive fishing tours, including mud-crabbing, oyster-gathering, and seasonal barramundi fishing. All activities offer spectacular views of the surrounding Kimberley region, and will immerse you into this fragile and incredible environment.  

Soaking up the ambience of this secluded hideaway, your time at Kimberley Coastal Camp will return you to nature at the cusp of earth and sea, before you jet off to the Top End.  

Destination 2: The Kimberley has accommodation for three nights at Kimberley Coastal Camp in a Beach Front Bungalow.

Destination 3:

Top End

Soaring over the rugged north as your pilot points out station country from thousands of metres in the air, you’ll touch down in the middle of the half-a-million acres that make up Bullo River Station, a working cattle station found in the Northern Territory. With the coffee-coloured Victorian River winding throughout, this enormous stretch of land is home to buffalo, barramundi, crocodiles, and encompasses incredible tidal river systems as well as an amphitheatre of ancient Aboriginal rock art.  

Your stay in the Bullo homestead is chic and casual and includes all meals, beverages and activities, quickly mustering you into station life. Only twelve rooms allow an intimate experience, with opportunity to stay in secluded huts overlooking a buffalo and cattle watering hole under the twinkling night sky. These huts are perched 100m above the water, along the sandstone ridgeline for breathtaking panoramic views of country.  

Staying at Bullo is an experience in outback lifestyle. Accompanied by your hosts, you can get mustered into vibrant station life activities such as fishing, horseback riding, 4WD safaris, cattle mustering, cruises along the river and gorge, leisurely swims in hidden waterholes, helicopter journeys, and much more, all contained within the station’s vast expanses.  

After this deep immersion into daily station life, reboard your aircraft and touch down into one of Australia’s most remote and revered areas—Arnhem Land.  

Destination 3: Top End has accommodation for three nights at Bullo River Station in a Guest Room.

Destination 4:

Arnhem Land

cobour peninsula

Stretching from Kakadu up to the isolated Eastern coast across 97,000 square kilometres, historic and remote Arnhem Land offers breathtaking scenery and maintains the traditional cultural standards of multiple Aboriginal cultures that have persevered for tens of thousands of years. This incredible place is your next stop, where you’ll be hosted by acclaimed guides.  

Accessible only via permit, your accommodation is at the hidden Cobourg Coastal Camp on the Cobourg Peninsula within exquisite and wild National Park. Limited to fifteen vehicles at a time, Garig Gunak Barlu National Park and Marine Park is the first National Park in Australia to be jointly managed by its Traditional Custodians of the Iwaidja speaking people in conjunction with the local government. Here, you’ll be enveloped into stunning natural landscapes, home to an enormous diversity of sea life, roaming wild cattle, and colonial ruins.  

Arnhem Land is the perfect place to discover Aboriginal Australian culture and get immersed into some of the country’s most striking landscapes. Venture through Kakadu and learn about ancient rock art sites including Injalak Hill, and more contemporary options at the local art gallery Injalak Arts. While exploring the peninsula, tread fragile ground at the Victoria Settlement ruins where they decay against RAMSAR Wetlands; go fishing and learn about Aboriginal hunting methods passed through generations; visit special access areas only accessible through your guides; and enjoy a nocturnal animal wildlife spotting experience after basking in the incredible views of a Port Essington sunset.  

Upon departing from remarkable area, your wilderness landscapes will fade from rugged cliffs and plains into lush tropical rainforest as you fly east to the coast.   

Destination 4: Arnhem Land has accommodation for three nights at Venture North’s Cobourg Coastal Camp.

Destination 5:

Daintree Rainforest

discovering the daintree

Cross the threshold of the Great Dividing Range into Tropical Northern Queensland, where you’ll discover where Two World-Heritage areas meet—the Wet Tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. The jewels in the crown of this region include the primordial Daintree Rainforest, the iconic Great Barrier Reef, and the ancient cultures of the local Aboriginal peoples of the region which stretch all the way up to the tip of Australia.  

Upon touching down in Cairns, hop straight into immersive ground-touring in a comfortable 4WD, led by your local guide. Driving throughout the region, you’ll stay at a range of hidden retreats ranging from hidden lodges nestled within rainforest, to private campsites owned and hosted by local families who offer exceptional wisdom of their home and surrounds.  

This region offers a whirlwind of activity. Accompanied by your guides, you’ll be welcomed into local Kuku Yalanji experiences, including a Welcome to Country and exposure to unique Quinkan Rock Art. Nature lovers will enjoy a biologist-led wildlife experience, getting you up close and personal with sugar gliders, carpet pythons, bearded dragons, green tree frogs, baby crocodiles, blue tongue lizards, and turtles, following a visit to the largest collection of tropical ethnobotanic fruits in the world. Tread the precipice between the Reef and Rainforest, including exploring Wujal Wujal lands through rainforests and waterfalls over five incredible days.   

Departing this incredible region is an adventure in itself—you’ll travel the Bloomfield Track via 4WD to the Cooktown Airport, then embark on a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef up to your exclusive, all-inclusive island, Haggerstone Island.  

Destination 5: Daintree Rainforest has accommodation for four nights across a range of private camping destinations with North West Safaris.

Destination 6:

Great Barrier Reef

Haggerstone Island Jetty

A small island found in the far-flung northern tip of the Reef, Haggerstone is exclusive by nature—it’s only accessible by charter boat or air transfer. This secluded paradise is surrounded by lush jungle, white-sand beaches, and blue lagoons filled with birdsong and aquatic life.  

Offering a tropical excursion to paradise, Haggerstone has six hand-crafted huts and beach houses for twelve total guests. Perfect for whole-island bookings, guests will be satisfied throughout with dinner served upon sand quays, featuring local fare including freshly-caught coral trout, white wine, ginger, chilli, garlic, and tropical fruits of pawpaw, banana, coconut, jackfruit, citrus, and mint.  

On the doorstep of your private island, the Great Barrier Reef is waiting for you to explore its treasures. Quintessential regional adventures including snorkelling, diving and fishing are all available right on your doorstep, while island exploring opens your days up for leisurely walking trails, relaxing in the huts, and frolicking upon the sands.  

After you’ve spent your time surrounded by the sparkling Coral Sea, head to the Red Centre on your aircraft. The lush greens of Queensland’s Cape York will fade into the red outback to the Simpson Desert, as you continue past Alice Springs to arrive in the humble township of Yulara found another 440 kilometres away—the closest town to the mighty Uluru-Kata Tjuta.  

Destination 6: Great Barrier Reef has accommodation for four nights at Haggerstone Island in Kwila Huts.

Destination 7:

Red Centre

longitude 131 uluru

Touch down into the iconic Red Centre itself—made famous for Uluru Kata-Tjuta, red desert sands, and its vibrant local Anangu culture. The iconic rock formations coexist with diverse plant and animal life, and carry ancient wisdom and history.

Perfectly positioned to directly overlook Uluru and across the desert to Kata Tjuta, you’ll stay at Longitude 131°, one of Australia’s esteemed luxury camps. Offering sixteen exclusive tented pavilions designed to immerse you into the outback landscape and heritage, the site also offers a stylish central lodge including a high-end restaurant, bar, multiple lounging areas, dedicated spa Kinara, and a refreshing swimming pool to indulge and unwind.  

Uluru-Kata Tjuta, and the land around them remain profoundly special places, and have been recognised as UNESCO World Heritage sites for cultural and natural values. Many activities are centred around this sacred ground: enjoy a base walk, indulge in personalised touring to your interests, explore via camel-back, soar above on a scenic plane flight, zip around on motorcycle tours, and more. Be sure to watch both a sunset and a sunrise, and admire the beauty of Australia’s heartland in two different lights.  

After two beautiful evenings, soar over the desert APY lands of South Australia’s North-West, and make your way eastward to one of Australia’s oldest landscapes—the Ikara-Flinders Ranges.  

Destination 7: Red Centre has accommodation for two nights at Longitude 131° in luxury tents.

Destination 8:

Ikara-Flinders Ranges

Cross the Simpson Desert over the border into South Australia, into some of the most arid parts of the country. Soaring across the expanse of the Far North and over Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, touchdown in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges. Home to some of the world’s most ancient fossil sites, the Wilpena Pound Geological Landform, and a rich pastoral history, this primordial, stoic and breathtaking space will awe you.  

Experience outback hospitality at Arkaba Homestead. Nestled within 60,000 acres of conservation park in the exquisite Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, Arkaba offers a blend of conservation and luxury tourism. This is an exclusive stay in one of Australia’s strikingly ancient and beautiful landscapes, offering just five ensuite bedrooms for its guests.  

From your homestead, dive into the heart of the outback. Immense and splendid, there’s a rich and textured landscape to discover, either via 4WD or by foot for a slower-paced and more intimate experience. Traverse the rugged landscape and cover immense terrain via 4WD, touring through working sheep properties, nature reserves, and scenic tracks. Discover the history and lifestyle of the region’s pastoralists at cattle and sheep stations, and participate with their lifestyle to get a hands-on experience learning about wool, pioneering history, and everyday lives. Visit the major natural attractions, including Brachina Gorge and Nilpena Station’s ancient history, hiking across Wilpena Pound, or hiking bush trails while keeping your eyes peeled for the dynamic and varied animal and birdlife.  

It’s within one of Australia’s most ancient landscapes that your journey begins to slow and settle. You’ll fly back into urban expanse for a final stop to rest and replenish before embarking home—or onwards to the next grand adventure.  

Destination 8: Ikara-Flinders Ranges has accommodation for three nights at Arkaba Homestead in a Homestead Room.

Why do you love this itinerary?

“I love this itinerary as it takes in some of the most spectacular landscapes and unique properties in Australia and it really doesn’t miss much—from the West Coast and Ningaloo Reef to the remote Tropical Far North Queensland coast, Kimberley, Cobourg & Arnhem Land, Daintree, Iconic Red Centre & Flinders Ranges––this is the Australian trip of a lifetime!”

Where to next?

Traversing Australia by air allows you to explore with the flexibility of choice, creating space for the impromptu and unexpected to elevate the journey. This comprehensive itinerary covers over half of the country in splendid, thorough detail—offering plenty of time to thoroughly enjoy each experience, and leaving behind just enough mysteries to pique your interest and encourage you to come back and explore further.

Which Australian experiences are on your bucket list? Which adventure best suits your family? Be sure to let us know.

Keep Exploring

Aerial view of the Daintree River in Tropical North Queensland
Queensland Frontiers: Cape York & Great Barrier Reef by Angelica

BLOG | Part of our Innovative Itineraries series, this itinerary was created by Senior Travel Designer Angelica Aidone. Wade into the remote and natural beauty of Tropical North Queensland and the Torres Strait to discover profound and enduring cultures alongside nature at its most exquisite.

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