Air Safari | Australia

Outback Crusade

Australia from East to West via the Red Centre

This epic air adventure covers a massive region of Australia stretching from New South Wales across Queensland, into the Northern Territory, Western Australia, the Red Centre and South Australia. There are few greater ways to understand the vastness of the Australian interior than by small aircraft; and when your aircraft is exclusive to just 11 people the experience is nothing short of magic.

There is just SO MUCH to love about this Ultimate Outback Crusade, and very few points of interest that are not included. Travelling by air, boat, four wheel drive and even on four legged creatures your experiences will be fabulous and your memories inumerable.

Soar over the Simpson Desert, Lake Eyre and the breathtaking Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park. Glide serenely on the Thomson River, through Katherine Gorge and the Yellow Water Billabong. Visit fascinating museums that showcase the history of Outback Australia from the Age of Dinosaurs to the story of the beginning of Qantas in Outback Queensland. Enjoy fine dining overlooking Uluru, Stockman’s ‘smoko’ and fireside tucker and some of the best ‘pub grub’ available across our vast land. Ride camels on the world renowned white sands of Cable Beach, toast the sunset on the tallest sand dune in The Simpson Desert and delve into Dreamtime as our indigenous guides provide us with insight into the local aboriginal culture and mythology. Every day brings a new adventure and will create memories to last a lifetime.

You will love

  • Ultimate Australia from above
  • The exclusivity of private plane travel
  • Incredible list of highlights: Longreach, Katherine’s Gorge, Kakadu, Kimberley, Broome, Uluru, Lake Eyre and much more
  • Cross 5 States of vast, epic landscapes
  • Good old fashioned Outback hospitality
  • Fabulous activities – from camel rides to river cruises
  • Only available through The Classic Safari Company



Be welcomed by our crew at Bankstown Airport (Sydney) before boarding our private aircraft for this unforgettable Outback adventure. Enjoy lunch in Queensland’s iconic Outback town, Charleville before arriving at our first overnight destination, the pioneering town of Longreach. After flying over 1300kms across the country we enjoy a relaxing dinner under the stars at the luxurious Mitchell Grass Retreat.
Accommodation: Mitchell Grass Retreat, Longreach – Luxury Glamping in The Outback
Flight Times: 5h30 – 3 flights – Flying from Bankstown to Moree (2hrs) to refuel, then onto to Charleville (2hrs) for lunch and finally onto Longreach (1h30).


Enjoy an Outback sunrise over the surrounding Mitchell Grass Plains. This morning we visit the Qantas Museum for a private tour celebrating the century-old history of the airline. An afternoon of discovery awaits at the legendary Stockman’s Hall of Fame, which showcases the history and culture of rural Australia.  Unwind as we glide down the Thompson river at sunset. There are endless photo opportunities of water colour skies and wildlife, before we go ashore for a traditional campfire dinner with live entertainment.
Accommodation: Mitchell Grass Retreat, Longreach


This morning our aircraft sweeps north west to where the Outback meets the tropics, Katherine in the Northern Territory. Take in the sights as we cruise past the Diamantina River – one of the river sources for Lake Eyre – this water travels approximately 1000kms into South Australia. The arid landscape of this region, almost unworldly, shows the ruggedness and resilience of this land. Enjoy the peace and serenity of glamping in the Northern Territory at the brand new Katherine Outback Experience glamping site.
Accommodation: Glamping at Katherine Outback Experience
Flight Times: 6h45 – 3 flights – Flying from Longreach Mt Isa (2h15) then Tennant Creek or Brunette Downs (2h10) and finally onto Tindal in Katherine (2h20).



Along the way our cultural guides will share their knowledge about the local flora and fauna, Dreamtime stories and culture. Our cultural interaction continues in the afternoon as we visit an art gallery where Top End artist Manuel Pamkal will demonstrate his Indigenous painting style and pass on his traditions from tribal life. Try your hand at painting traditional Arnhem Land style artwork and learn how to throw a spear, Woomera style! Animal lovers will be able to get up close to the local wildlife. Surrounded by limestone escarpments we spend the evening cruising the famous gorges of Nitmiluk National Park.
Accommodation: Glamping at Katherine Outback Experience



Red dust and horses! This morning we experience a hands-on workshop of what it takes to be a stockman or stockwoman on an Outback cattle station. You will be shown how to train the working dogs of the bush to muster stock before being allocated a dog to work yourself! Witness a young stock horse going through its training paces – this is raw and real.  Back in the sky we fly to the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Take in the sights and sounds of Kakadu as we cruise along The Yellow Water Billabong. Look out for giant crocs and the amazing bird life of the wetlands, including sea eagles, brolgas and kingfishers.
Accommodation: Cooinda Lodge, Kakadu
Flight Times: 40 mins – 1 flight – Flying from Katherine to Cooinda, Kakadu.



Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of Kakadu as you leisurely cruise up stream on the East Alligator River. An Indigenous guide provides us with an insight into the local aboriginal culture and mythology.

Accommodation: Cooinda Lodge, Kakadu



Enjoy the glorious views of Kakadu from a different perspective as we take to the sky to fly across the Northern Territory to “The Kimberley” and the town of Kununurra, in  Western Australia. Our local tour guide will meet us upon landing as we embark on a journey through the Cockburn Ranges to the stunning Emma Gorge.   This evening we are pleased to invite you to dine at the acclaimed PumpHouse Restaurant, overlooking the tranquil Lake Kununurra. Flavours and ingredients that reflect the rich diversity of Northern Western Australia are incorporated into the innovative menu that will delight the most discerning foodie.
Accommodation: Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments, Kununurra
Flight Times: 2h05 – 1 flight – Flying from Cooinda, Kakadu to Kununurra


This morning is yours to relax and explore the town. At noon we will board our private coach for the vast freshwater, Lake Argyle, known as paradise in the Outback. On the way we will stop to visit the Argyle Homestead Museum, built by the famous pioneering Durack family. Enjoy drinks on our lake cruise experience with the opportunity for a swim.
Accommodation: Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments, Kununurra


This morning is yours to either relax or take an optional scenic flight to the magnificent  El Questro Station or the amazing landform of the Bungle Bungles. (Please note these optional scenic flights are not included in your Outback By Air tour and are at Guest’s own cost). At noon we will board our private coach for the vast freshwater, Lake Argyle, known as paradise in the Outback. On the way we will stop to visit the Argyle Homestead Museum, built by the famous pioneering Durack family. Enjoy drinks on our lake cruise experience with the opportunity for a swim.
Accommodation: Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary, Broome
Flight Times: 2h50 – 2 flights – Flying from Kununurra to Derby (2h10) to refuel, then onto Broome (40min).



The day is yours today, leisure time means we can explore this unique port, steeped in pearling history or take a stroll to Gantheaume Point – home of dinosaur footprints.
Accommodation: Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary, Broome



As our aircraft departs Kununurra we will fly over the Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park before heading down the west coast to Broome. Leisure time means we can explore this unique port, steeped in pearling history or take a stroll to Gantheaume Point – home of dinosaur footprints. A camel safari along the world famous Cable Beach is not to be missed, before experiencing the spectacular sunset over the brilliant turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

Accommodation: Sails in the Desert, Uluru

Flight Times: 5h20 – 3 flights – Flying from Broome to Balgo Hill (2h30) to refuel and then onto Ayers Rock – Uluru (2h30).


An early start to witness the natural splendour of an Uluru sunrise. Our guide will share their knowledge as we drive around the superstar rock, stopping at waterholes and rock art. Our private aircraft will then fly us to a little oasis in the desert for lunch, The Mt Dare Hotel. Next stop is the iconic town of Birdsville, where our plane can taxi right up to the front door of the pub. Where else in the world can you do this? We will enjoy another amazing sunset at “Big Red” overlooking the Simpson Desert.

Accommodation: The Birdsville Hotel

Flight Times: 3h05 – 3 flights – Flying from Ayers Rock – Uluru to Mt Dare Station (1h40) to refuel and then onto Birdsville (1h35).


This morning we will track south west through the Simpson Desert then take in the views of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre on our way to the remote town of William Creek. Jump on board one of the Wrights Air planes to fly to the world’s largest cattle station, which is bigger than Belgium! Anna Creek Station is also home to the super model of the Outback, The Painted Hills. This flight gives us a unique and spectacular opportunity to view one of Australia’s hidden iconic landmarks with 30kms of sandstone formations, some curvy and soft, others tall and statuesque. The guided walk upon landing gives you the opportunity to truly appreciate the fragility of the landscape and perhaps even see some marine fossils. Enjoy true outback hospitality with drinks and dinner at the William Creek Hotel, on the famous Oodnadatta Track.

Accommodation: William Creek Hotel

Flight Times: 1h45 – 1 flight – Flying from Birdsville to William Creek.


Enjoy more mesmerising images as we fly over Lake Eyre and The Marree Man. More stunning scenery as we pass over The Flinders Ranges and Lake Frome before arriving in the mining town of Broken Hill. We will enjoy our farewell lunch together in the “Silver City” before a relaxing last leg in the air on our return to Sydney.

Flight Times: 5h20 – 3 flights – Flying from William Creek over the Maree Man to Broken Hill (2h20) and then onto Griffith (1h54) and finally Bankstown (1h45)


This itinerary is based on our 14 day set departure, however private tailormade adventures are also available. Celebate in style for a big birthday, bucks weekend, family adventure, boys trip, girls trip or just because you deserve it!

This set departure itinerary may vary slightly should factors beyond our control arise.

Ultimate Outback Crusade Air Safari

14 Nights / 15 Days - 15-29 July 2023

14 Nights / 15 Days - 15-29 July 2023




Destinations : Lightning Ridge, Charleville, Longreach (Day 1 and 2), Katherine (Day 3 and 4), Kakadu (day 5 and 6), Kununurra (Day 7 and 8) (Bungle Bungles), Broome (Day 9 and 10), Uluru Day 11), Birdsville (Day 12), William Creek (day 13), Broken Hill, Bankstown (Day 14)


  • Private chartered aircraft transportation, fuel & airport fees throughout
  • Services of a qualified pilot/s and tour director
  • All accommodation as listed in the itinerary – in twin share rooms (double beds on request and en suite is usually available, however cannot be guaranteed in all rooms in all properties)
  • Excursions & activities as per the itinerary (and as detailed below)
  • Services of qualified and/or indigenous guides on all excursions
  • Private transportation provided to and from daily excursions & accommodation
  • National Park Fees & Permits for daily excursions
  • Bottled water onboard the aircraft

* Daily Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. (Select wines are served with dinner)
For this tour, the evening meal highlights are:
– Dine under the stars at Thomson River, Longreach
– Stockman’s Bush Camp Tucker Dinner, Katherine
– The Pump House Restaurant, Kununurra
– Zanders, Cable Beach, Broome
– The acclaimed Sounds of Silence Dinner, Uluru
– Traditional pub dining at William Creek and Birdsville


  • Transport to and from Bankstown Airport
  • Additional food and beverages other than specified
  • Accommodation upgrades
  • Any additional or optional excursions and/or transfers other than specified
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Items and/or purchases of a personal nature
  • Any item not specified

Minimum – 10 travellers

Maximum – 11 travellers

CANCELLATION DUE TO COVID-19: If the air safari is cancelled due to Covid-19 Government imposed border restrictions, you have the option to receive a full refund or transfer your reservation to a future departure date. If you have to cancel your participation on an air safari due to your inability to enter NSW due to Government imposed travel restrictions, or you reside in a ‘locked down hotspot’, no refund is available; however 70% of the value of your confirmed air safari can be allocated toward a future air safari departure.

EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES : * Excursions: The included excursions on this tour are;
– Tour at the Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach
– Visit the legendary Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Longreach
– Sunset Cruise on Thomson River including dinner and show, Longreach
– Top Didj Indigenous Cultural Experience, Katherine
– Katherine Outback Experience – hands on Stockman’s Workshop
– Katherine River Gorge Cruise
– Cruise the Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu
– East Alligator River Cruise, Kakadu
– Visit Argyle Homestead Museum
– Lake Argyle Cruise
– Camel Safari, Cable Beach, Broome
– Guided Sunrise tour of Uluru perimeter, including waterholes and rock art
– Toast the sunset at “Big Red”, the tallest sand dune in The Simpson Desert, with drinks and canapés, Birdsville
– Scenic flights in our own aircraft (weather permitting) over Lake Eyre, The Bungle Bungles, Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

* Accommodation:  Accommodation venues are listed in the itinerary. Guests are accommodated in twin/double share rooms (bedding subject to request)  A limited number of single rooms is also available.  All rooms are air conditioned with a private ensuite,  unless stated otherwise. Glamping at Katherine Outback Experience has shared bathroom facilities.

* Taxes & National Park Passes: All Air Transport taxes and National Park Passes are included for daily excursions.
* General: Guests will be accompanied by two experienced Outback by Air pilots.

Travel is in a privately chartered Cessna Grand Caravan turboprop aircraft. Capable of landing on gravel and remote airfields, where other aircraft cannot, the Cessna Grand Caravan is a fast, reliable machine ideal for flying in the Australian Outback. The aircraft is operated by our trusted partners Outback by Air who hold an Air Operators Certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). All highly experienced Outback by Air pilots carry a Commercial Pilots License. The Cessna Grand Caravan is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and impressive safety features. The interior is comfortable, climate controlled and has large windows, making inflight viewing a joy.



The Owners - Phil Hines & Glenn McGrath

Phil Hines (Founder & director) - Phil has been flying since 1990 and holds licences for both fixed wing and rotary aircraft as well as a commercial helicopter licence. He has flown multi engine charters, scheduled Regular Public Transport flights, and also has agricultural ratings in both aero plane and helicopters. Outback and bush flying has been a big part of his aviation history and he has placed second in the Royal Flying Doctor Service Outback Air Race - twice! There’s barely a patch of our great land he hasn’t seen from the air. Safe to say he knows his stuff. On top of all that he’s just a bloody good bloke – a cheerful ‘salt of the Earth’ type from a farming background with plenty of tales to tell. A great host!

Glenn McGrath (Partner) - Former international cricketer star and McGrath Foundation co-founder and president, Glenn McGrath is born and bred in country NSW and has always had a passion for the Australian Outback. By joining the team at Outback by Air, Glenn can combine his passion for flying and travel throughout The Australian Outback. He believes the iconic destinations we offer on our trips should be on everyone’s bucket list.

The Crew

Outback By Air tours are operated by two experienced pilots who are there to take care of your entire journey through the Outback. From flying you to your destinations, to providing commentary, to taking you on ground tours, the crew provide the highest level of safety and customer service.

The team includes Phil Hines, Andrew Hines, Natalie Tierney, James Branch and Joseph Hallam. The crew have a combined total of over 50,000 flying hours and extensive experience flying throughout the Outback and across the globe, having flown a large range of aircraft and worked at major Airlines. They pride themselves on providing a professional, safe and enjoyable experience for the guests.

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