Travel challenge: A holiday in Australia's 'Top End' and Outback

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The Independent Travel

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: the Northern Territory and Queensland. Prices are per person and based on two people leaving from Heathrow in September...

Bridge & Wickers

£3,199: Top End and Red Centre escorted tour

Includes flights to Darwin with regular September departures, returning from Sydney, 14 nights' accommodation (in Darwin, Kakadu NP, Katherine, Litchfield NP, a night on The Ghan train, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, Ayers Rock and Sydney), transport, some meals and touring. "An escorted tour not only offers great value for money, but guests also benefit from the tremendous local knowledge shared by the guide," says Suzy Higgs at Bridge & Wickers (020-7483 6555; ).


£2,679: Top End Discovery and Red Centre

Includes flights to Darwin on 5 September, returning from Alice Springs via Sydney, 14 nights' accommodation (in Darwin, Alice Springs, Outback camping safari and a night on The Ghan), six days' car hire, transfers, a tour of Alice Springs and some meals. "This fantastic trip allows guests the freedom to experience the state on their own self-drive tour, relax on an epic train journey and even soak up the culture of the Outback," says Ben Briggs at Austravel (0800 988 4834; ).

Qantas Holidays

£2,369: Tropical North

Includes flights to Darwin on 9 September, returning from Cairns, nine nights' accommodation, transfers and a Kakadu and Arnhem Land tour. "You will get a rare opportunity to visit an aboriginal settlement, learn about bush skills and visit aboriginal sites as well as enjoying a tropical resort near the Great Barrier Reef," says Esther Ward at Qantas (020-8222 9124; ).