Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Journey into Olkola Country tour

Journey into Olkola Country

Adventure Tours Australia
4.7 . Excellent
89%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
6 days
From: $ 2,845 $ 474 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Join the Olkola people's long journey home, and help them preserve their culture and landscape by building a sustainable future through eco-tourism
  • Be part of the rediscovery of almost two million acres of traditional Olkola land on a pioneering adventure, where every day can bring a new surprise or unpredictable encounter
  • Journey through a living cultural landscape, an incredible environment that gains greater meaning through authentic experiences and authentic stories from the traditional custodians
  • Their return to country helps safeguard the history and knowledge of the Olkola people and their lands – learn about the backbone of their culture firsthand

Short Description

Olkola people would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land in which we travel through and our partnership with Eastern Kuku Yalanji, Rinyiirru and Agnarra People Traditional Owners.

Journey to the heart of Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula as guests of the Olkola people - the Traditional Owners of over one million hectares of biodiverse savannah woodlands, river systems, lagoons and rocky escarpments northwest of Laura. The Olkola regained control over their country in 2014 and will guide you on a unique journey to learn about the stories of their country, the uses of plants and animals, and their work as land managers to keep these pristine landscapes healthy. From your base camp at Killarney station you will venture out to special places, see the signs of an ancient Olkola culture etched into the rocks and trees. Enjoy spotting the abundant birdlife along the way before coming back to enjoy a hot shower, home cooked meals, billy tea and yarns around the campfire. Add in some amazing outback sunsets, serene forest streams and a new way of seeing the world though Aboriginal eyes and you have one of Australia’s most unique cultural and travel experiences.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Cairns
End City Cairns
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Itinerary

Day 1: Cairns/Olkola Country
Leave Cairns behind and travel up the Peninsula Development Road to Laura, the small gateway village to North Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula and the end of your mobile phone reception. Along the way enjoy a quick break at Mareeba, the last stop on the muster route that drove cattle down the Cape to be transported across Australia and overseas. Leaving Laura we travel over seasonal river beds and the forested Kimba plateau in Southern Cape York along the Great Dividing Range to arrive at Killarney homestead and settle into your base camp for the next four days. Meet your Olkola hosts and enjoy a delicious dinner before hearings stories of the country around the campfire.

Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

Meals Included
Lunch
Dinner

Day 2: Olkola Country
Set out in the four wheel drives to enjoy bird-filled lagoons and waterways for a traditional Olkola welcome to country. Along the way learn more about the meaning of places to different Olkola clans, and of life for the Olkola in the cattle mustering years which continues elsewhere on Olkola country to this day. Relax in a shady spot by the water for lunch, boil a billy of tea over the fire, and see how many waterbirds and freshwater crocodiles you can spot. Return to Killarney learning along the way about the different uses of plants in Olkola culture. Then watch the sun set over Killarney while sharing stories and dinner with your hosts.

Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 3: Olkola Country
Today we head out to the escarpment country – etched with the symbols and signs from the ancient Olkola culture. See scar trees from Olkola camps long ago, and understand some of the traditional bush medicines growing around you. Enjoy lunch overlooking the vast savannah plains and distant ranges. Your Olkola guides can explain how Olkola Land Managers now manage fires to keep the country healthy and to earn income from reducing greenhouse gasses. If you want to stretch the legs, climb a small rocky peak where you may find small boats sheltering in rock crevices. Or you may be lucky to spot the rare Alwal or Golden Shouldered Parrot, or its nesting site dug into the site of special conical termite mounds. We have a stop at Maryanne Yard, an old stockyard with a working windmill which is an important source of water for the birdlife. Return to Killarney base for a hot shower, delicious dinner and tea around the campfire.

Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 4: Olkola Country
Today we head to Jungle Creek – a lush spring fed permanent stream feeding into one of the five big rivers which rise on Olkola country and flow both east and west to the Pacific Coral Sea at Princess Charlotte Bay and to the Gulf of Carpentaria. A short walk across the creek are cave shelters with recently discovered rock art. Then its time to relax in a shady spot by a pool for a leisurely lunch and perhaps a refreshing dip in these croc free waters. On the way home stop at “the dancing grounds” where the ground below your feet wobbles above the water table, and perhaps collect some bush oranges on the way back to Killarney base and your final sunset on Olkola country.

Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 5: Olkola Country
Leaving the cultural landscapes of the Olkola we head back east to Laura then along the sandstone country of Battlecamp Road descending back into rainforest country and across the river to Cooktown. We stop at Old Laura where we visit an historic homestead by the river. After a week of open skies and tents relax tonight in a friendly local guest house, and enjoy dinner and perhaps a stroll along the foreshore of the Endeavour River in the balmy evening.

Accommodation
Hillcrest GuestHouse (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch

Day 6: Cairns
After breakfast at the guest house you are free to wander through Cooktown’s local Saturday market and the weekly meeting place for locals, or to explore the local museum. Visit Grassy Hill lookout in Cooktown and the mysterious Black Mountain on your way down the Bloomfield Track – arguably the most spectacular coastal rainforest drive in Australia – to Cape Tribulation, stopping at the iconic Lions Den Hotel to check out this quirky pub. We take the ferry across the Daintree River and head back through the sugarcane country and the spectacular coastal highway to Cairns where the tour ends. But why not enjoy the optional farewell dinner together with your fellow travelers at one of Cairns most atmospheric restaurants, the Bayleaf, a short stroll from the hotel.

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,845
Price Per Day: $ 474 per day
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19 Adventure Tours Australia Travel Reviews & Ratings

89%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
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Average 1
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Terrible 1
Value
4.7
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Journey into Olkola Country

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Incredible trip in the Northern Territory, I will be recommending your tour!

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I had an amazing experience "glamping" under the stars in Uluru. My tour guide Dave and chef Kelly were fantastic. I learned quite a lot in my 3 day tour and would not have been able to see so much by myself had I travelled on my own independently. Thank you for an incredible trip in the Northern Territory, I will be recommending your tour!
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Really enjoyed it!

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21 days Perth - Broome was great!
Beautiful part of Australia, great food, great tour guide, great variety, really enjoyed it!

Tremendous enthusiasm from start to finish

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Awesome four day trip through Litchfield kakadu and Katherine. Jerry our tour leader was awesome. Tremendous enthusiasm from start to finish.

Highly recommended

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We are just back from the 3 day Kakadu Litchfield trip with guide Nick. Amazing trip for my teenagers. This is not the upmarket tour but packed with beauty and information about the area. Highly recommended. Thankyou
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We really loved it!

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Our family did the 2 night, 3 day trip to Uluru, The Olgas and Kings Canyon in July 2016. We really loved it! The walks were stunning. Our guide "Disco Dave" was great and very knowledgeable. One of the best family trips we have done. Our kids are 13 & 15.
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My family had a fabulous 3 days adventure

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Just wanted to drop a note to say that my family had a fabulous 3 days adventure at the Red Centre with Adventure tours. We had the best group and most of all the best guide Ross who was very knowledgeable, sociable and had a great sense of humour!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 10

Age Notes

Min. Age: 8

Additional Information:

  • The Olkola land remains the same untouched wilderness that their ancestors walked, so accommodation is basic bush camping with basic facilities, but in a unique environment, under incredibly clear, star-filled skies.
  • This is a truly remote region, home to the world’s largest unbroken savanna and still being explored by the Olkola and invited scientists – there is no Wi-Fi and no phone coverage. This is an ultimate bush experience.
  • This is still the start of the Olkola people’s story back home, the beginning of them willingly opening up the land to the outside and their time as a tour operator. Therefore the itinerary is subject to change as methods are tested and improved.
  • The Olkola people’s culture and history is incredibly important to them, and they want to share it with the outside world. To be part of this is a privilege and requires sensitivity and patience towards guides and staff.

Trip ID#:

JouOlkCouAdvAus

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