• Sunset at Uluru away from the crowds
• Walking the Olgas mysterious "Valley of the Winds"
• Small group camraderie and outback camping
• The magnificent Rim Trail at Kings Canyon
• Alice Springs B&B, a spacious retreat in a quiet residential area
Overview - 5 Days / 4 Nights
We invite you to explore the windswept landscapes that have both enchanted and bewitched the indigenous peoples of The Red Centre.
Tracing the route of the ancients, you learn from a knowledgeable guide about both the geology and the stories of the indigenous Dreamtime. In a small group of no more than 16 people, you travel in purpose-built 4WD vehicles and camp each night under crisp outback skies.
Experience the power and silence of the desert while discovering the incredible amount of life that survives here. You walk among labyrinthine sandstone outcrops in Kata Tjuta's (the Olgas) Valley of the Winds, ascend Kings Canyon's towering escarpment and weave your way around Uluru's hidden crevices.
Bookending your outback safari is a stay in one of Alice Springs' cozy B&Bs where you're promised a warm welcome to this magical place.
Day 1: Arrival in Alice Springs
Today you fly into Alice Springs, the geographical centre of Australia and gateway to the geological wonders of the outback. It is also the traditional home of the Arrernte aboriginal people.
You are transferred to your B & B--a homey spacious retreat in a quiet residential area. You have the rest of the afternoon to relax by the pool or visit the towns highly regarded art galleries & stores. Alfresco dining is very much a part of the Red Centre’s way of life, and several restaurants in town are a great place to try Aussie “bush foods”.
Accommodation: A Good Rest B&B
Day 2: Camel Farm, Mt. Connor & Uluru (Ayers Rock)
This morning it’s an early rise to start your exploration of the Red Centre. After meeting your guide and the other travelers in your small group, you head south towards The Rock. According to the local aboriginal people, the Anangu, the Central Australian landscape was created at the beginning of time. Along your journey today, you will learn more about this rugged outback country, and you view the monstrous flat top mesa known as Mt. Connor, referred to by the traditional people as “atila” – the ice man. You keep a look out for wild camels, learn how they came to be in Australia, and even take a short ride on the “tame” ones during a stop if you wish (extra cost).
Note: Travellers flying into Yulara/Ayers Rock airport meet up with the group at this point.
After lunch, you head to the iconic Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park for your first glimpse of The Rock. Uluru is one of the largest monoliths in the world and it is here that you experience its power first hand. You do a full base walk to explore the Rock’s multitude of cracks and crevices, and visit the Rock’s Mutijulu Waterhole. Afterwards you visit the cultural centre to understand local aboriginal law and religion and understand the special connection the aboriginal people have to this sacred site.
No Uluru adventure would be complete without experiencing the famous changing colours of Uluru at sunset. With refreshing drinks and snacks at a special lookout point, you watch The Rock go ablaze with brilliant scarlets, coppers and crimsons.
Accommodation: Outback Camping
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Sunrise at Uluru & Kata Tjuta's "Valley of the Winds"
This morning you roll up the swags and head off to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) for an 8 kilometre (2.5-3.5hrs) walk through the “Valley of the Winds”. This is also a sacred site to the Anangu aboriginal people, and a superb gathering of red rock monoliths known as “many heads”. Mysterious canyons collect here, red rock towers overhead, and a feeling of calm pervades. Your guide teaches you about the geological and cultural significance of this place as you traverse this spectacular valley.
After a stop at Kings Creek for fuel and refreshments, you travel to Kings Creek Cattle Station and your camp. The camp has stunning views out over the George Gill Ranges and gives you the true essence of the outback. You enjoy dinner around the campfire with another night out under the stars.
Accommodation: Outback Camping
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Watarrka (Kings Canyon), The Lost City
& Garden of Eden
In the care of your guide today you visit Watarrka (Kings Canyon) for a mind blowing 7km (3-4hrs) walk through the towering walls, crevices and plateaus (Shorter walk available as an option) This scenic landscape of rugged ranges, rockholes and gorges acts as a refuge for many plants and animals, making the park an important conservation area and major attraction of central Australia. You can visit the Amphitheatre and the beehive formations at the Lost City plus a swim in the tranquil "Garden of Eden" if you wish.
At the end of the day you return to your Alice Springs B&B, and you can enjoy a dinner on the town in the company of your new-found friends.
Accommodation: A Good Rest B&B
Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5: Optional Acitivities, Extension or Departure
After breakfast today you can do some optional activities or extend your trip to another destination or you will be transferred to Alice Springs Airport for your flight home.
- 2 nights in a B & B in Alice Springs (standard room, single occupancy)
- 2 nights outback camping in a swag * (see FAQs for defiintion)
(basic shared toilet/shower facilities available)
- All meals specified in the itinerary
- All activities as specified in the itinerary
- Guide for 3 days
- All transportation to activities
- Transfers from Alice Springs Airport (or Ayers Rock Airport) and back to Alice Springs Airport
- ClimateCare™ carbon-offsetting for a carbon-neutral trip
- Comprehensive travel notes, maps, background and logistical information
What's not Included:
- Flight to/from Alice Springs
- Optional camel ride (from $5)
- Items of a personal nature (internet, phone, laundry, etc.)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary
- Optional guide gratuities
IMPORTANT NOTE: This trip is operated by one of our partners in the Red Centre. Due to large distances between towns, we remind you that we may be many hours away from medical facilities. We reserve the right to seek a Medical Clearance before travelling with us. You are encouraged to carry enough medication required for the duration of your safari. Cold storage is available where required.
Other Destinations in Australia, Pre or Post Trip:
Once I arrive at the airport - what next?
We will arrange a transfer from the airport to your B&B. Details will be provided in your final itinerary.
What is the weather like?
Alice Springs and The Red Centre is a desert environment. This means there is a great difference between daytime and night time temperatures. Summer is hot and dry, with average temperatures at 21-36 degrees Celsius/70-98 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is not frequent, with the most rainfall occurring during December - February. Winters can be cold, with average temperatures at 5-20 degrees Celsius/40-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
What should I bring with me?
We will provide you with a suggested packing list in your Confirmation Packet. Remember in the winter months that nighttime temperatures can be cold.
*What is a "swag"?
A "swag" is also known as an Aussie bush bed. It is a foam mattress encased in a canvas sack that zips on both sides, and your sleeping bag goes inside. Tent hire is available at no extra cost, but most guests choose to sleep in their swag out under the stars. Nearby shelter is available in case of inclement weather. You may bring your own sleeping bag if you wish, and tents are available for no extra cost.
How much am I expected to help out on this small group trip?
Your guide is responsible for transportation as well as cooking meals. However, this camping safari will require a degree of participation with the preparation of meals, (such as cutting tomatoes for lunch), loading and unloading camping equipment, collecting firewood and the washing of dishes after meals.
How do I arrange airfare?
We do not arrange airfare in house, however we do work closely with several travel agents. In Australia, we recommend Kim Salter, our Melbourne-based travel agent. Contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call + 61 0433 324 455 or toll free within Australia 1 300 640 821.
In the US, we recommend:
Sandra Marron at Millennium Travel California. Contact Sandra at
email@example.com or call toll free at 1-888-700- 2182.
Do I need a visa to visit Australia?
All visitors to Australia need a visa, with the exception of visitors from New Zealand. An Australian entry visa, commonly known as an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) will let you spend up to three months in Australia. In most countries it is easily obtained by the travel agent who issues your ticket, and should be free of charge. You can also get an ETA on line by visiting www.eta.immi.gov.au. There is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office to submit an application, and you do not need a stamp or label in your passport. Upon check in at the airport, the airline agent will be able to confirm your ETA electronically. All visitors will also need a passport, valid for at least six months after the planned return date.
Why should I travel with Small World Journeys?
LOCAL SUPPORT & KNOWLEDGE
Our office is in Cairns – this means we are right around the corner for 24-hour support, to answer your questions, or if you have an emergency in the middle of the trip.
Local knowledge means we know the restaurant owners who catch their own fish (and then deliciously prepare it for you!), where to buy the real indigenous-made souvenirs, and where the mobs of people will be on the morning of the eclipse (hint: we’re not going there.)
Being an “eco” tour operator means more to us than just offering walks outdoors. It means we pay to offset the carbon emissions from your trip, give a percentage of profits to local environmental and community organizations, plant trees, recycle, and participate in Rainforest Rescue’s Adopt-a-Square program. See 10 Reasons Why We’re Eco for more on what we do for our environment and community.
HUNDREDS OF HAPPY GUESTS
We could tell you that we provide highly professional customer service, respond attentively and consistently exceed our guests’ expectations. But don’t believe us! Read some of our testimonials or ask us for references from past guests who are willing to tell you all about their experience with Small World Journeys.
You get a Small World Journeys water bottle, a cloth carry bag, a regional field guide, and a 5 square metre of Daintree rainforest adopted in your name, plus a certificate detailing where your rainforest square is located. Plus you get an unforgettable trip too.
Once you book your trip, we will send out a Confirmation Packet to you with detailed information that should answer most of your questions. In addition, you can feel free to email us anytime at: firstname.lastname@example.org