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Australia’s northern territory, 5 nights, $987

Explore the wilds of the Northern Territory with this guided itinerary that includes hikes in Watarrka National Park, Uluru, and the Olgas.
/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Real Deal: Five nights' accommodations (one in a hotel in Alice Springs, four camping in the bush); an itinerary that includes guided hikes of the the monolithic Uluru (a.k.a. Ayers Rock), the gorges and sandstone domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Watarrka National Park, and Oak Valley, where you'll see rock paintings and carvings; 13 meals; a swag (a sleeping bag with a waterproof cover); ground transportation by 4-wheel-drive jeep; and the services of a local guide, for $987—all taxes included.

When: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays Dec. 4, 2009-Feb. 26, 2010, except Dec. 30, 2009. Call for departure dates for September through November.

The fine print: The trip price includes a $205 AUD ($172 at press time) local payment, to be paid in cash at the time of arrival. Based on single or double occupancy. Use promo code POC. Maximum group size is 14. Allow about $100 AUD ($84) for meals not included. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Intrepid Travel, 800/970-7299, intrepidtravel.com.

Why it's a deal: The Central Explorer package includes lots of experiences that would be hard to book on your own—a swim in a rock pool, stays at remote cattle bush camps, guided hikes of about six miles a day—all with the valuable services of a local tour guide. The trip price breaks down to about $197 per person per night.