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The Red Centre in 10 Days

Think of this as a how-to guide on experiencing one of the most epic Australian icons.


 WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Get up close and personal with Uluru.
  • Swim in a waterhole hidden deep inside a gorge.
  • Learn about the Aboriginal culture of the Anangu and Pitjantjatjara people.

FAST FACTS

Time: 10 Days
Transport: Car & Plane
Price: $$

If you come to Australia and leave without seeing Uluru, we’re sorry but we can’t be friends anymore. You get to experience the outback of Australia in all it’s red-dusty glory and tick a major item off your bucket list. 

Day 1: Alice Springs

Alice Springs is a gem of city. Known to locals as "Alice" this is the beating heart of Australia's Red Centre. It's a great base for exploring the Northern Territory's outback, including Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and much more.

Stay overnight at Alice Spring YHA which is built within the grounds of an historic outdoor movie theatre, located in the centre of the city.

 

Day 2: It’s time to explore the West MacDonnell Ranges, kids. 

Today is all about the West MacDonnell Ranges, and you best be ready. The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are pretty epic.

While you’re in the area, stop at Ellery Creek Waterhole and Ormiston Gorge. The water and the shelter of the rocks make it perfect for swimming.

After your swim, visit the Glen Helen Homestead. The lodge is a destination in its own right so spend your afternoon exploring various sites such a Glen Helen Gorge, the Ochre Pits - a sacred aboriginal site, Serpentine Chalet and Gorge for an epic lookout.

At the end of the day, it’s beer time at the bar before dinner in the Namatjira Gallery Restaurant or if you’re handy with a BBQ, cook your own feast while enjoying the sunset over the stunning cliffs of the Glen Helen Gorge.

 

Day 3: Drive back to Alice Springs

Spend the morning having a good ol’ sticky beak around Glen Helen Homestead. Trust us, there’s so much natural amazingness going on here like Stadley chasm and Simpsons Gap, Mt Sonder, Tylers Pass.

In the afternoon, drive back to Alice Springs where you’re spending the night. Try out Uncles Tavern for dinner. It’s the perfect place for a beer or two after a long day of sightseeing.

 

Day 4: Adventure to Kings Canyon

And by adventure we mean a five hour drive. But it’s totally worth it. Kings Canyon has been 440 million years in the making so it’s hella old and obvs amazing. It rises 270 metres above sea level and has been forged through layers of sandstone and hard shale creating soaring domes and plateaus that plummet to an oasis of natural rock pools and native flora and fauna.

When you get there, check in to Kings Canyon Campgrounds (where you’ll spend the night) and head over to the Kings Canyon Sunset Viewing Platform. Bring your camp chair and grab a drink from the pop up bar. 

 

Day 5: Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Time to dust off your hiking boots (or whatever shoes you have that are comfortable, because who has hiking boots, really?)

You’ll want to get up before the heat sets in and watch the sun come up from the top of Kings Canyon.  Allow at least four hours to tackle the six kilometre (3.7 mile) Kings Canyon Rim walk, with its spectacular views of the gorge and surrounding landscape below. Or if you want to be super cultured, opt for a guided walk with an Aboriginal elder and learn about the significance of the area to its traditional owners.

After the walk, stay in a safari tent at Kings Creek Station, an operational camel (yes, camel) and cattle station located 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Kings Canyon. 

 

Day 6: Kings Creek Station Helicopter Flight and Quad Safari

Never ridden a quad before? Neither. But YOUR time has come! Your Quad Safari will have you cruising over rolling red sand dunes, and weaving through thick Mulga scrub and golden fields of spinifex. Your adventure takes you through part of the King Creek Station property where you may get to see some Shorthorn cattle, as well camels, horses, and occasionally kangaroos or even the odd dingo.

If the quad ride is not for you, try a Kings Canyon scenic flight for a bird’s eye view. 

 

Day 7: Uluru - Day 1

Guys, the time has come. It’s Uluru day.

It’s a four drive from Kings Creek Station to Uluru, located in the heart of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre. There are many ways to experience Uluru; take a walk with an Aboriginal guide and learn about ancient traditions and stories, see it from the skies by helicopter, hot air balloon or with a skydive experience. OR, ride across the desert on a Harley Davidson motorcycle or on the back of a camel.

At sunset we suggest the sunset camel experience with Uluru Camel Tours. Return to the farm at twilight to relax and enjoy beer, wine, and champagne with outback bush foods including famous freshly baked beer bread damper.

Stay overnight at Uluru Outback Pioneer Hotel.

 

Day 8: Uluru - Day 2

You can’t just stop at sunset. Oh, no. Witnessing a sunrise over Uluru is a 'must do'. This morning we suggest you try something different with Uluru Motorcycle Tours. These guys offer a fun-filled adventure on the back of a Harley Davidson Motorcycle or a 3 Wheeler Trike.

After such an early start you will have the entire day to explore the area. Emu Run Experience offers a great day tour option to explore Kata Tjuta, the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Uluru and the Mala Walk and Mutitjulu Waterhole

 

Day 9: Uluru - Day 3

Lucky you, this is another full day in the Red Centre.

Today we suggest you get arty with Maruku Arts Dot Painting Workshop which provides a fun introduction to local Indigenous Art. Join local Indigenous artists and learn about the different symbols depicting Creation Time (Tjukurpa) stories.

If you’re brave, in the afternoon try Skydive Uluru. Stay overnight at Uluru Outback Pioneer Hotel. For dinner enjoy a beer and some outback delights at the do-it-yourself Outback BBQ.

 

Day 10: Drive back to Alice Springs

Time to head back to Alice for your last night in the Red Centre. Pack some snacks (maybe pringles?) and take on the road for the five hour drive.

Once in Alice Springs, check into Alice Springs YHA, kick back and relax before a Night Sky Tour with Earth Sanctuary Tours.  

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