If you want to avoid the hassles of getting yourself around this vast region, then a tour group is certainly an option. Hundreds of tours and tour operators cover Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and can introduce you to the many experiences on offer here: four-wheel-drive treks, helicopter flights, bush-tucker-gathering expeditions, Aboriginal-guided walks, fishing safaris, and national park tours to name a few.

You can also take a day tour or shorter overnight tours up to, say, five days. Most of these operate from Darwin, Broome, Perth, and Alice Springs. The benefit is that all your transport, accommodation, meals, and sightseeing arrangements are preset, and you will get to see and do things you may otherwise miss if you try to organize them yourself.

Bill Peach Journeys. This agency runs Aircruising Australia, using private aircraft to fly you to the icon attractions of central Australia, staying overnight in best-available hotels and motels. Their 12-day Great Australian Aircruise departs from and returns to Sydney, and includes stops at Longreach (Queensland), Katherine, Kakadu, and Darwin in the Northern Territory, Kununurra and Broome in Western Australia, and finally Uluru and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. The inclusive cost starts at A$14,995. 02/9693–2233.

North Star Cruises. North Star Cruises operates the small luxury-expedition cruise ship True North, which takes just 36 passengers on 7-, 10- and 13-night cruises between Broome and Wyndham along the inaccessible Kimberley coastline. The cruises are adventure oriented, with daily activities including scenic walks, fishing, diving, snorkeling, and on-shore picnics. The ship has six expedition craft and its own helicopter for scenic flights. Shop 2, 25 Carnarvon St., Broome, WA, 6725. 08/9192–1829.

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