Day 1 - Alice Springs to Uluru
The major point of difference with this trip is that the itinerary is flexible. Where you go and in what order will largely depend on what your group want to see, what the weather's doing, and what your trip leader recommends. Therefore, the following description is only a rough outline of what you can expect. The region's big name attractions, however, you're guaranteed to see: Uluru/Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, Palm Valley and the Western MacDonnell Ranges. Several lesser known attractions – Rainbow Valley, Owen Springs, Ruby Gap and the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges – you'll get to visit if seasonality and time permit.
The following itinerary is therefore only an example of the form your trip could take.
Starting off in either Alice Springs or Yulara, set off to experience a working camel farm, perhaps even enjoying a ride. Make our way to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and take a guided walk through the awe-inspiring Domes of Kata Tjuta. Then head to Australia's most iconic landmark: Uluru (Ayres Rock). As the sun begins to set below the horizon, take a glass of sparkling wine and watch the rock's rich colours change against the backdrop of a blazing Red Centre sunset. Head back to camp for a hearty dinner, and ponder what the following day may hold.
Notes: Total driving time is approximately five and a half hours. Total walking time is around an hour.
Day 2 - Uluru Sunrise
An early start this morning is rewarded with an Uluru sunrise. While the morning is fresh enjoy a walk around the base of the rock, gaining insights into the land and the local Mala Aboriginal people on an interpretive cultural walk with an Aboriginal guide. Once you’ve had lunch, perhaps purchase some Indigenous art and craft at the Uluru Cultural Centre. Travel onto the exclusive campsite within Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), where the group will eat and sleep for the night.
Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.
Day 3 - Kings Canyon
After breakfast, get your hiking shoes on and head out to explore the impressive formations of Kings Canyon. You’ll be left breathless by the sheer beauty of the canyon, as you trek through the Amphitheatre, the Lost City, the lush and ancient Garden of Eden and the North and South Walls. Lunch is a welcome prospect, and after you’ve relaxed for a little while we head along an iconic Red Centre dirt track to the Western McDonnell Ranges where we stay overnight at our permanent campsite at Glen Helen.
Note: Total driving time takes around five hours.
Total walking time is approximately three hours.
Day 4 - Western MacDonnell Ranges
This morning we journey through Ormiston Gorge, witnessing contrasting colours as the light reflects off the cliffs. Keep your eyes peeled for wallabies and other wildlife. Move on to Ellery Creek to enjoy panoramic views of the area, perhaps taking a dip in its still waters. After lunch, visit the world famous Simpsons Gap, an important site to the local Aboriginal communities. Watch the colour of the peaks transform under the setting sun.
Note: Total driving time is about 45 minutes.
Total walking time will be up to 10km
Day 5 - Eastern MacDonnell Ranges/Alice Springs
Today we’ll be exploring one of the Outback’s best kept secrets – the Eastern Macdonnell ranges. Learn about the ‘Caterpillar Dreaming’ on a short walk at Emily Gap, then travel on to Trephina Gorge for a 1-hour guided walk through this area of beautiful rock formations and myriad birdlife. For lunch we’ll be calling in at the historical Ross River Homestead, an iconic building established in the 1890’s as a regional supply centre to the goldfields. Back on the dirt track, next stop is the ‘Ghost Town’ of Arltunga, which serves as a magnificent example of early European settlement. Learn about the case of mistaken gemstone that led to a mining rush here, and which also precipitated its abandonment. After exploring the best of the Eastern Macdonnell Ranges, it’s back to Alice Springs for a late afternoon arrival.
Note: Total driving time will be about three hours
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
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