Want to see the Red Centre's greatest natural attractions in under three days? Easy. Jump on this trip and you'll get to admire Uluru by sunrise and sunset, explore the natural wonders of Kings Canyon – the Lost City, Amphitheatre, Garden of Eden and North and South Walls – and weave through the gigantic boulders and gullies of Kata Tjuta. Experience the heart of the Red Centre with the best guides in the business who know the culture, people and Outback like the back of their hand. Spend you days gaining a deeper understanding into the spiritual importance of Uluru and its surrounds, and your nights camping on Australia’s red earth and dining under the stars.
Start: Alice Springs
Finish: Alice Springs
Ages: 8 - 99
Accommodation: Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (2 nights)
Destination: Alice Springs
Melbourne might have the arts scene and Sydney the beaches, but Alice Springs is really where you need to go to understand the heart and soul of Australia. Approximately 70% of the Australian continent is classed as arid or semi-arid – and little old Alice Springs sits right in the middle of it all. Whereas Uluru emerges from the earth as one giant boulder form, Kata Tjuta pops up as 36 different domes and you’ll get to know the site pretty well on an afternoon hike following lunch. As evening begins, enjoy some tasty snacks as the sun sets over Uluru casting incredible colours. The perfect end to a remarkable day is awaiting you back at camp, as you enjoy a delicious spread of food with your group. If the weather permits, sit outside under the stars.
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 people on an interpretive cultural walk with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Guide. Once you’ve had lunch, perhaps purchase some art and craft of the First Peoples of Australia, 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 (or up to 4 if you do the full 8.5km base walk.)
The main attraction of Watarrka is undoubtedly Kings Canyon – a humungous gorge enclosed by sheer rock walls hundreds of metres high. Offering a welcome escape from the dry desert heat, this site’s deep gullies and hidden rockpools provide shelter to more than 600 species of native plants and animals. Your guide will point these out on a guided trek that takes in the canyon’s most famous sites – the Lost City, Garden of Eden, Amphitheatre and North and South Walls. Then it’s lunch, rest, and back to Alice for farewells.
- Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Aurora Alice Springs departing 6:05am
11 Leichhardt Terrace
Central Alice Springs accommodation
To get the most out of this trip you need to be prepared for walks of between 3-9 km on some days. This may be on rough ground and perhaps getting feet wet in rivers and creeks. From Oct to March in the Red Centre, West Coast, and South of Australia you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (and sometimes well into the 40’s) so be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. In the Top End of Australia (Kimberley and Kakadu) temperatures in the shoulder months of April, May and September, October humidity levels can be high and sometimes slightly uncomfortable.
These extreme outside temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist in keeping well hydrated.
1.Trip commences in Alice Springs on day 1 at 6:05am and finishes in Alice Springs day 3 at approx 6pm.
2. For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you. Please consider bringing your own refillable water bottles.
3.You can join this trip in Yulara (Uluru) on Day 1; see tour code PAR3Y-O.
All group trips are accompanied by a group leader. In Australia your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a specialised vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Yor leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, organise the camp and cooking for camp or kitchen cooked meals (though passengers are required to help out) as well as recommend great local eating venues. They will also introduce you to our local friends along the way. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the areas visited on the trip, including historical, environmental, cultural and social aspects.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we make no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Wireless (wi-fi) is common across accommodation in Australia. Some properties may charge a fee for usage.
Cafe's and pubs across the Northen Territory may have wi-fi for a fee, with those in tourist area's offering it for free. Shopping centre's, airports and other public spaces offer limited free wi-fi access.
Even travelling a small distance from populated areas will see internet access stop. Many of our camps have little to no internet access (any access at all is expensive) being as remote as they are. Turn your phone off and enjoy the beauty of this part of the world.
Australia’s main telecommunication companies all operate in towns in the NT. Different networks will work in outback or regional area's. Pay phones (most are prepaid card only) are rarer than hen's teeth but can be found in most campsites we use.
If you are spending longer in Australia, it might be a good idea to purchase a local SIM card for data and your mobile device. if you need to purchase a phone locally. look for Telstra's 'blue tick' phones with better coverage in rural areas.
Guides are equipted with satellite phones for emergencies only
All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check the following website or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalities requirements. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/
Why we love it
Join an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Guide on a walk around the base of Uluru and gain an insight into the land and the local Mala people.
Discover the spiritual importance of the outback landscape to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on guided nature walks.
Wander through the iconic domes of Kata Tjuta, gaze in awe at the sacred rock of Uluru and hike through natural amphitheatres, rocky chasms and lush oases in Kings Canyon.
Discover ancient cave paintings near Mutitjulu Waterhole as a local Anangu guide explains the culture and stories behind the art and its connection to the land.
Dine under the stars and camp within privately owned sites on the red earth of the Outback and experience the true magic of the Red Centre.
Is this trip right for you
This isn't a basic camping experience, as you'll be treated to creature comforts such as proper beds, linen, electricity and cooling fans.
Temperatures in the Red Centre can be extreme. During the day the weather can be very hot (and the Australian sun is very strong) so please bring appropriate clothing, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. In the evenings temperatures really drop, so bring base layers and warm clothing.
This trip requires a moderate level of fitness as it involves a lot of walking, allowing you to really get among nature. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.
On most days of the trip, you’ll spend several hours driving through very sparse areas of desert. Crank up the tunes and sit back to enjoy landscapes that you would miss in any other form of travel.
Camping out in the open may not appeal to some people, although a proper bed, linen and electricity are provided.
Group participation makes up a lot of this trip, so you'll be required to help with preparation of meals and cleaning up. These are the kind of tasks that bring a group closer together.
Food and dietary requirements
On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included.
Our tours are activity and participation based. During your travels with us you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer.
All food for this trip is purchased and packed prior to your group leaving on day one. After we’ve left town it can be very difficult to source special dietary requests.
Travellers with special dietary requirements or food allergies are required to advise us at the time of booking.
You may be asked to pay for any additional food if you have not advised us of any special dietary requirements. Due to the often remote nature of our trips, food is basic but plentiful and delicious.
The below dietary needs can be easily catered for.
Dairy Free (soy available )
Please bring your own staples (nuts, bars, snacks) if you require a diet differing from the above.
* Religious and more specific dietary requirements are generally unable to be catered for on these trips.
NOTE: For those passengers commencing their trip in Yulara, lunch will not be provided on day one.
The Australian Dollar (A$) is the currency of Australia.
Credit and debit cards are readily accepted just about everywhere in Australia. Occasionally there may be a minimum spend for both in smaller shops. You can usually withdraw money from shops where EFTPOS is available. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are common across Australia. ATM's may be limited in remote areas and your leader will advise you when to withdraw extra cash.
Credit cards in Australia require a pin number rather than a signature and may have a small surcharge for purchases.
Tipping is not expected but appreciated.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.
Please keep your luggage to a minimum. Due to limited space and strictly enforced road laws regarding weight limits, Intrepid travellers can carry a maximum of 15 kg. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack is essential. We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip. If your trip does not return to the same starting point we suggest you look at freighting your excess luggage. One option is with greyhound: http://www.greyhoundfreight.com.au/
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. For the Kings Canyon Rim Walk it is a requirement that you have a minimum of 3 litres of water with you.The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
SLEEPING BAG & MAT:
Comfortable sleeping mats are provided when camping.
If you are travelling on a Basix style trip please bring a travel pillow and sleeping bag or pre-purchase a sleeping bag from us. If you do not wish to keep your sleeping bag we will return them to our Operations Department, where they will be washed and donated to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
If you are travelling on an Original style trip all linen and bedding is provided, so no sleeping bag is required.
Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.
Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing and layers. Long shirts and pants are useful to protect against the harsh Australian sun. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry.
- During the winter months of June / July / August temperatures in the Red Centre can drop to 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight so it’s important to also have some warm layers
- Comfortable closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your guide, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent.
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity.
- A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your accommodation at night.
- Camera with spare batteries.
- Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
- Ear plugs
- A good book, a journal and music player
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list.
Climate and seasonal
Central Australia, which includes Alice Springs and the Uluru/Kata-Tjuta region, has a semi-arid climate. The area experiences Australia’s four typical seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring, with large variations in temperature from season to season.
In summer (December–February), average temperatures range between 20C (68F) and 35C (95F). In winter (June–August), the average temperature range is 3–20C (37–68F). Spring and autumn in Central Australia see warm days and cool evenings.
Temperatures in Central Australia can be extreme and can drop below 0C (32F) overnight in winter, and rise above 40C (104F) in summer.
Please check the weather conditions in the days leading up to your trip.
A couple of rules
Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.
Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.
The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.
By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.
If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
RED CENTRE: In the case of a genuine emergency, or concerns about a missed pick-up on the day of departure please contact your local ground operator on 1800 883 355. For all other enquiries please contact our reservations team on 1300 654 604.
Outback Tour Services Alice Springs office: 08 8950 9900
Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.
Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:
RED CENTRE CAMPING:
PAR3-B / PAR3-O & PAR3Y-B / PAR3Y-O
Both Basix and Original level camping accommodation are available on this trip. Basix accommodation consists of simple permanent twin share tents with single sleeping platforms. Each sleeping platform has a rubber sleeping mat, we also have swags (Aussie bed rolls) available at our campsites if you would like to experience sleeping in a swag. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag or pre-purchase one from us. Please also provide your own pillow if you wish.
Original camping consists of twin share permanent tents equipped with proper beds, linen, pillows and towels. A single supplement (sole use tent) is available at Original level. Please ensure you have selected your desired camping style correctly.
PAR3-B - Basix Trip start Alice Springs
PAR3Y-B - Basix Trip start Yulara
PAR3-O - Original Trip start Alice Springs
PAR3Y-O - Original Trip start Yulara
Night 1: Yulara - Simple permanent tents (Basix) permanent tents with furnishings (Original)
Night 2: Kings Canyon - Simple permanent tents (Basix) permanent tents with furnishings (Original)
Australians are not required to be covered for hospital care due to being covered by Medicare. However we strongly recommend that Australians have a domestic travel insurance policy which covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. It is also strongly advisable that Australians have current ambulance cover in the case of emergency evacuation or incidents requiring ambulance transportation.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all international travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it. If you obtain travel insurance through us you acknowledge that you are satisfied with the level of insurance we have arranged.
Your fellow travellers
On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour but you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer.
The relationship between ATA and Intrepid Australia
For over 25 years, Intrepid Travel and Adventure Tours Australia have been leading brands in the adventure travel business. With Intrepid’s global product range and Adventure Tours’ local knowledge, the two brands joined force in 2011 to provide the ultimate range of Australian product with Intrepid running all of it’s local trips under the Adventure Tours Australia name. Today we’re proud to bring Aussie-made trips to the world, both here with Adventure Tours and overseas through the Intrepid brand, so no matter which brand you have booked through, you’re travelling with the best.
Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CULTURAL EXPERIENCES & COMMUNITIES:
Please note due to cultural sensitivities, entry to particular parts of local First Nations communities may be unavailable. Where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guides are unavailable in the Red Centre an Intrepid guide will lead the interpretive cultural walk. Top End cultural experiences are only available during the dry season (May-Oct) as site is subject to flooding (contact our customer service team for availability). Participants may be absent due to cultural commitments with minimal prior notification and Intrepid reserves the right to amend the itinerary in these circumstances with no obligation to refund.
Permanent, furnished tented camp (with shared facilities) (2 nts)
More from Australia
3 Days from$665
START: Alice Springs
FINISH: Alice Springs