THE RED CENTRE HIGHLIGHTS
- Experience the grandeur of the West MacDonnell ranges
- Visit Standley Chasm
- Visit Ellery Creek Big Hole
- Visit Ormiston Gorge
- Enjoy a Kings Canyon Walk
- Visit Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
- Take in the magnificent outback sunset at Kata Tjuta
- Sunrise tour, Field of Light
- Highlight dinner at Uluru
- Take in Uluru at Sunrise
- Witness the sunset view of Uluru, while enjoying a glass of wine
An easy to moderately paced tour. You will see a lot on this tour and cover a lot of ground. Touring is always most enjoyed with a good level of fitness. A minimum of an average level of fitness is recommended for this tour.
FREE TIME EXTRAS
If you have arranged to arrive a day/s prior to the tour commencement, here are some suggestions for activities you may like to consider.
A Town Like Alice
On this half day tour, learn about the town of Alice Springs and how it has evolved into the central hub of the Australian outback. Australia’s most famous outback town is now the central headquarters to a range of services and a thriving tourism industry.
- School of Air – lessons not operating on weekends
- Historic Telegraph Station
- Headquarters of the Royal Flying Doctors
- Alice Springs Reptile Centre
- Anzac Hill
AUD115 per person >> Ask us about booking this activity
Outback Ballooning Alice Springs
Your day begins in the cool pre-dawn darkness as you are picked up from your accommodation in Alice Springs. The balloon flight takes place to the south of Alice Springs over historic Owen Springs Station adjacent to the MacDonnell Ranges. Once floating gently in the air you will appreciate the vast remoteness of the Australian Outback. Wildlife, particularly big red kangaroos are seen nearly every day as the balloon crosses spinifex grasses, mulga scrub and cattle stations. Refreshments (a selection of muffins, slices and biscuits, cheese and fresh fruit) accompanied by Australian sparkling wine and fresh juice will be served ‘in the bush’ after every balloon flight. Return transfers and a souvenir flight certificate completes the morning adventure.
This activity can be booked directly with Outback Ballooning https://www.outbackballooning.com.au/
Arrive Alice Springs
Arrive Alice Springs. Welcome to The Red Centre! Today, arrive to Alice Springs Airport and make your way from the airport to our tour group hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
In the evening, we’ve arranged for fellow travellers to join together for dinner tonight at your hotel. We’ve set a reservation for 6:45pm for the group.*
* the evening dinner does not include an Encounter Travel representative. The evening is set so that group members can meet and join together for a meal before the touring itinerary starts the next day. The reservation is under ‘Encounter Travel’ and is a set menu, arranged as part of your package.
West MacDonnell Ranges
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before the group heads out for the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges. First stop is Angkerle (Standley Chasm). Take a walk along the stony watercourse, where spring-fed pools attract a great variety of wildlife and birds. Next, arrive at Ellery Creek Big Hole, a spectacular waterhole in the mighty Ellery Creek, which cuts through a gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Thousands of years of massive floods have carved out this beautiful waterhole and unlocked some amazing geology. At this location you can see the natural ochres in the cliff face that have provided a source of materials for Indigenous people for thousands of years.
A part of the West MacDonnell ranges is Ormiston Gorge offering spectacular geology and landforms. The rugged scenery of the gorge is complemented by a near-permanent waterhole, which attracts an interesting variety of native fauna and flora. Enjoy a casual lunch with your fellow travellers at Standley Chasm.
Surrounded by towering cliffs, incredible Simpsons Gap is one of the best known destinations in the ranges and features a number of walking tracks. Walk through Simpsons Gap to the waterhole, keeping an eye out for the elusive black-footed rock wallabies hiding among the rocks. Enjoy the late afternoon sun reflecting on the MacDonnell Ranges as you return to Alice Springs.
The evening is at your leisure to either dine in your hotel or find a local spot for dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Palm Valley 4wd Day Out
An adventure today as we travel in our custom-designed 4WD vehicle. You’ll reach off-road destinations that are otherwise difficult to access. Through the Central Australian landscape we’ll take you down the very edge of Finke River and into the amazing Palm Valley.
Aptly named, as it is the only area in Central Australia where red cabbage palms survive, Palm Valley is an incredible outback oasis. Despite the harsh conditions, the gorge is supported by small pockets of spring-fed pools that ensure the survival of a diverse range of plant species. From the 4WD on foot, you’ll be amazed by the enormous rock formations, pinnacles, gorges and endless palm trees in the area.
Sit back and relax as you enjoy a picnic lunch in the Finke Gorge National Park. Covering a staggering area of 46,000 hectares, it’s noted for its ancient palms. The park holds great cultural significance for the Arrarnta people and there is also evidence of early European settlement.
Visit Hermannsburg, known to the Arrarnta people as ‘Ntaria’. Established as an Aboriginal mission in 1877, the land was returned to the Traditional Owners in 1982. It is the birthplace of celebrated Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira in 1902 and is renowned for its indigenous art collection. Here you can wander through the amazing artworks at the gallery and explore the historic buildings, many of which are now protected by the National Trust.
Afterwards, sit back and enjoy the view as we take you back to Alice Springs. The evening is at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Alice Springs – Kings Canyon
Today travel through beautiful desert landscapes from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon.
EASY PACE WALK
On arrival set off on a two kilometre walk along the creek bed with views of the impressive canyon rim, while taking in the sights. The Creek Bed walk is an easy going pace.
Dinner tonight is at our hotel; either a three course meal of buffet (decided by the hotel based on hotel capacity on the night).
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Kings Canyon - Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Enjoy the morning at your own leisure before travelling to Uluru (Ayer Rock) via Curtin Springs. Arrive to our hotel with some time for lunch.
This afternoon, watch the sunset at Uluru while enjoying complimentary wine and canapes. After sunset, a highlight dinner under the stars. Enjoy sparkling wine on arrival, then an award-winning Australian barbecue dinner including steak, sausages, chicken skewers and garlic prawns, salads and tasty dessert, all accompanied by a selection of wines, beers and soft drinks. There’s time for stargazing too (outdoor setting is weather permitting).
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Field of Lights | Uluru
Early this morning, travel to a desert location overlooking Uluru to view the ‘Field of Light’. Your Driver-Guide will provide insights and background to the art installation. Under the darkness you’re invited to wander through the pathways that encompass the 50,000 spheres of light in the desert, before making your way up the hill to the Dune Top viewing area, where you’ll see the first rays of sunrise.
After your Field of Lights experience, you will join your driver guide for a tour around the base of Uluru. Travel by coach to the Mutitjulu Walk where you will be escorted to the beautiful Mutitjulu Waterhole. View Aboriginal rock paintings and learn about the area as your driver guide indicates some native flora and explains the Aboriginal and European history of Uluru. Later visit the Uluru - Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre.
This afternoon travel to Kata Tjuta (the Olga’s) where your Driver Guide will explain the geological history of these giant domes. This incredible formation of rock domes extends six kilometres into the ground and is the remains of erosion that began more than 500 million years ago.
Join your Driver Guide for the walk to the first lookout, Karu – your Guide will point out interesting rare plants along the way. Also visit the walk through Walpa Gorge, following the path between two of the towering domes of Kata Tjuta.
As the sun sets over the western horizon, we arrive at the Sunset Viewing Area. Marvel at the unique flora and admire the view of the central valley of the domes of Kata Tjuta as you take in a magnificent outback sunset while sipping chilled sparkling wine.
As the day comes to an end we return to our hotel and this evening enjoy a three course dinner.
Note: Uluru is closed for climbing due to cultural significance in the community. Your guide will brief you with the information on the day.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Depart Ayers Rock
Today you will depart Ayers Rock. Depending on your flight time, you may want to do a free activity offered at the Ayers Rock Resort. Contact Ayers Rock Resort to ask about the list of activities or click here to visit their website.
Your hotel provides a free shuttle service to the airport. There is the option to extend your stay at the time of booking your place on the tour.
Itineraries may be subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. IF there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel. Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.