Alice Springs & Surrounds
Experience the grandeur of the West MacDonnell ranges
- Visit Standley Chasm
- Visit Ellery Creek Big Hole, and Simpsons Gap
- Visit Ormiston Gorge
- Experience Palm Valley by 4WD
- Visit Hermannsburg, renowned for its indigenous art collection
- Karrke Aboriginal Experience
Kings Canyon & Surrounds
- Take in the immense Kings Canyon
- 2 optional walks including the Rim Loop Walk
Uluru & Surrounds
- Sounds of Silence’ Uluru Dinner Event
- Witness the sunset view of Uluru, while enjoying a glass of wine
- Sunrise tour, Field of Light
- Uluru touring
- Visit Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
FREE TIME EXTRAS - DAY 1
- Outback Ballooning sunrise experience
- Town Like Alice, afternoon tour
These optional activities require an additional night of stay, arriving the day prior to tour commencement.
CLICK TO READ DETAILS ABOUT THESE OPTIONS
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 the group hotel tonight.
FREE TIME EXTRAS:
If you have opted to arrive a day prior there are optional tours:
- Sunrise hot air balloon flight
- An afternoon ‘Town Like Alice Tour’
It is possible to join both of these tours; you will be back from hot air balloon flight with free time before the afternoon tour.
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 tour starts the next day. It is a 3 three course set menu.
West MacDonnell Ranges
Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges. Our discoveries today include the major sights surrounding Alice Springs including Ormiston Gorge, Ellery Creek, Standly Chasm and Simpsons Gap.
- 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.
- At Standley Chasm (Angkerle) take a walk along the stony watercourse, where spring-fed pools attract a great variety of wildlife and birds.
- Ellery Creek Big Hole is 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.
- Simpsons Gap. 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.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
There may be time for a swim today; bring your swimmers.
Palm Valley 4WD Day Out
An adventure today as we travel in a custom-designed 4WD vehicle, reaching off-road destinations that are otherwise difficult to access. Through the Central Australian landscape we take you down the very edge of Finke River and into the amazing Palm Valley. It’s true four wheel driving; bumping along to reach the valley.
On the day out we also 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.
An outback oasis, Palm Valley, is the only area in Central Australia where red cabbage palms survive. 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. Finke Gorge National Park covers 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.
After a full day out, the evening is at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
There will be time to take a hike in Palm Valley; walking shoes & water required. The path is an uneven service with varying inclines & declines and steps. The 4WD road is very bumpy.
Alice Springs – Kings Canyon
Today travel through beautiful desert landscapes from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon.
On route, we stop at Karrke for a 1 hour Aboriginal Experience. This tour will give you a unique look at Australia’s oldest cultures, the Karrke Aboriginal people. With your guide, learn about traditional bush tucker and bush medicine used for spiritual healing. You’ll also learn about ancient wooden artefacts and how they were used. Explore the culture of the Luritja and Pertame (Southern Aranda) people, too.
CREEK BED WALK - EASY PACE
On arrival to Kings Canyon set off on a walk along the creek bed (about 2km) with views of the impressive canyon rim, while taking in the sights. The Creek Bed walk is an easy going pace.
A group dinner tonight at our hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Kings Canyon - Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Enjoy the morning at leisure or opt to complete an early Kings Canyon Rim Walk before breakfast.
From Kings Canyon, travel by road to Uluru (Ayers Rock) via Curtin Springs. We arrive to Ayers Rock Resort and check into our hotel.
Towards the end of the day , we travel out to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and visit Kata Tjuta.
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. Walk through Walpa Gorge, following the path between two of the towering domes of Kata Tjuta. We then make our way to Uluru and watch as it changes colours as the sun sets over the Outback, complete with sparkling wine and canapes.
We return to our hotel for dinner together.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Kings Canyon morning walk is the 6km Rim Walk Loop. A walking shoe or boot is required (runners not suitable), long walking pants, backpack, and water bottle. We recommend having a (protein) snack with you due to the pre breakfast departure.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) & Kata Tjuta
Set out before sunrise for the ‘Field of Light’ 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. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, return to Uluru Kata Tjuta National park for a base tour. Get up close and walk along the Kuniya Trail to the Mutitjulu Waterhole. View Aboriginal rock paintings and learn about the area including the Aboriginal and European history of Uluru. Later visit the Uluru - Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre. After return to the hotel for some free time and lunch by your own arrangement.
Sounds of Silence Highlight Dinner
For our last night in the Red Centre, experience a special evening at the Sounds of Silence Dinner. This experience begins with canapes and chilled sparkling wine upon a dune top overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park as the sun sets. Enjoy Australian wine and beer and a menu consisting of freshly prepared, bush tucker inspired dishes incorporating native bush ingredients under the desert sky as a star talker decodes the southern night sky
- Fly Nets for heads/hats recommended
- 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.