Do the Red Centre - discoveraustralia.com

ULURU & SURROUNDS SEVEN DAY ITINERARY

 

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See Australia’s most iconic landmark from every angle – by foot, camel, on the back of a Harley or from the air. No matter which you choose, the view of Uluru will not disappoint, particularly at sunrise or sunset. This seven day itinerary takes you from Uluru and the nearby Kata Tjuta on a trip to Watarrka National Park to see the majestic Kings Canyon and on to Mt Conner and the ancient salt lakes of Lake Amadeus. You will learn more about Uluru’s significance to the local Anangu people, as well as get to know what life is like on a working outback camel station at Kings Creek Station.

DAY 1

Start your day at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre to find out more about the park, activities and the local Aboriginal culture. The Anangu people are Uluru’s traditional custodians and have lived in the area for at least 22,000 years. At the Cultural Centre you can purchase Anangu art, watch craft demonstrations, or join a bush tucker session and guided walk.

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See Uluru from all angles on The Mala Walk. The walk is wheelchairfriendly, and takes you to the caves of the Mala people and to the sacred Kantju Gorge, a quiet waterhole at the base of a dramatic rock face. Only 90 minutes (return), you will also see examples of Anangu rock art and learn about their creation beliefs.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, take to the skies on an adrenaline-pumping skydive to see the incredible size and features of Australia’s most famous natural landmark; soak up the panoramic views and take plenty of photos on a helicopter flight; or jump on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle for an adventure ride with spectacular views.

At Ayers Rock Resort you can choose to stay overnight in an apartment, a five-star luxury wilderness camp, hotel, backpacker room or campground. Try a new dining option every night, such as the Outback Pioneer Hotel’s open-air barbecue where you can buy and cook your own steak.

DAY 2

Enjoy the view of the desert scenery atop a camel for a unique perspective. Climb aboard for a quiet, leisurely walk to watch the sun rise over Uluru. Your guides will prepare you a breakfast of billy tea and freshly baked beer bread.

The Anangu traditional landowners prefer visitors don’t climb Uluru because for them it’s a sacred site. Instead, join a walking tour led by an Aboriginal guide or hire a bike near the Cultural Centre, and circumnavigate Uluru on the 10.6 kilometre base walk, which is dotted with interpretive displays. It’s a great way to see the many springs, waterholes, rock art caves and ancient paintings at Uluru’s base. In the afternoon, jump on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle and enjoy the spectacular views.

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Make dinner memorable; the Sounds of Silence is a unique dining experience that starts with canapés and a 360-degree view of the sunset over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Enjoy your next course, a gourmet barbecue of native game, with bush salads and fine Australian wines, which is followed by an indigenous dance performance and an explanation of the night sky, guided by the resident ‘star talker’.

DAY 3

Nearby is Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), which means ‘many heads’ and is a series of enormous rock domes that date back 500 million years. Start your morning early with a drive to the Kata Tjuta dune viewing area. A short walk from the carpark offers magnificent panoramic views of the domes and a relaxing place to sit and absorb the ever-changing colours of the landscape.

Continue on the road to Kata Tjuta and find out just how ancient and imposing the domes are by tackling one of the two popular walking tracks. The Walpa Gorge Walk is an easy walk which takes an hour return and follows a stream to a grove of flourishing spearwood. The famed Valley of the Winds walk is a moderately difficult 7.4-kilometre circuit which weaves through the immerse domes and treats you to spectacular views over the desert plains from its two lookout points. Finish off the evening at the Sunset viewing area and observe the sun go down over the spectacular Central Australian landscape.

DAY 4

No drive into the Red Centre is complete without a trip to Watarrka National Park and the magical sandstone formation of Kings Canyon just 3 hours from Uluru. Break up your journey with a stopover at Curtin Springs to indulge in the authentic home-style meals on offer at the historic Bough Shed. The restaurant uses the stations very own meat for a multitude of the delicious dishes. Walk the gardens and learn about the rich history of area and of the working cattle station. Be sure to take home some handmade Curtin Springs Paper created from the native grasses as a distinctively beautiful souvenir of Central Australia. Following on along the Lasseter and Luritja highways, in just over 2 hours you will arrive at the ancient sandstone walls of Kings Canyon that tower 100 metres over a lush waterhole.

Explore the valley floor and climb up to the rocky domes on the canyon rim. The gentle, shady Kings Creek Walk trail extends 2.6 kilometres along the valley floor to a viewing platform. Guided ranger walks and talks are run May–September. Stay to see the changing colours of the canyon at sunset.

At Kings Canyon Resort, just seven kilometres from Watarrka National Park, choose accommodation ranging from motel-style rooms to campsites. There’s a service station and convenience store at the resort as well as bars and restaurants – splurge on a romantic Under a Desert Moon dinner, a six-course alfresco indulgence for two (available April– October).

DAY 5

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Get up early to see the sunrise and walk around the Canyon rim to take in magnificent views of the weathered, buttressed domes of The Lost City and the sheltered lush valley below in the Garden of Eden.

Bid Kings Canyon farewell and drive the 35 kilometres to Kings Creek Station – a working cattle and camel station at the foot of the George Gill Range. Explore this epic slice of the Australian outback on a short or overnight quad bike tour. Look for kangaroos, wild camels, wedge-tailed eagles and colourful parrots.

Find a seat at the stock camp show, and learn the history of the area through the eyes of locals as you watch live demonstrations of animal handling, and end your evening with a traditional supper of damper and billy tea. Pitch your tent or stay in a safari cabin set among natural bush, try a famous Kings Creek camel burger, or stroll to the George Gill lookout for magnificent views of the range. Or for an even more exclusive experience, head down the road to Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge for an evening of gourmet Australian cuisine served around the campfire and your very own luxury tented cabin.

DAY 6

Travelling back along the Lasseter and Luritja highways today towards Uluru, make another stop over at Curtin Springs, this time you will be spending the night. There is lots to see and do in this area including viewing the famous Salt Lakes and getting up close to Mt Conner, both which can be accessed on a tour with Curtin Springs, so be sure to check out one of their guided walking tours or the SEIT four wheel drive tour. Mt Conner is not quite as famous as Uluru, but it is no less remarkable. It is a flat-topped and horseshoe-shaped mountain that stands 300 metres above the surrounding desert. The ancient inland salt lake ‘Lake Amadeus’ is the largest salt lake in the Northern Territory and makes for fantastic photos.

As the daylight hours wane, enjoy a glass of wine and watch the changing colours of sunset over Mt Conner followed by a three-course outback dinner prepared by the cook at Curtin Springs. There are many accommodation options to choose from tonight at the Curtin Springs Wayside Inn including ensuite, budget and family rooms as well as powered and unpowered campsites.

DAY 7

Enjoy breakfast and a hot coffee this morning at the Curtin Springs Bough Shed before you making the journey back to Uluru. Take your time and stop along the way for some last minute photos of the majestic ‘Rock’ as it comes into view. Before bidding farewell to this iconic Australian location, pay a quick visit the township of Yulara which is the perfect spot to visit for some last minute souvenir shopping and also has some great cafes to choose from for lunch. Recap on an incredible week of adventures and once in a lifetime experiences of getting to know the area a little more intimately. It is time to make your way to the airport to catch your flight home.