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Self-Drive - Uluru, Glamping and Kings Canyon
Experience Uluru and Kings Canyon on your own by car. Stay in a luxury tent under the stars.
Best time to travel: Year round
A self-drive is the best way to see the Australian Red Centre. The car gives you freedom and you decide when you go and what you want to see.
Uluru, Kata-Tjuta and Kings Canyon are easy destinations to explore independently. You can choose whether to go for a longer walk or choose a shorter route. However, please note that the distances in the desert are long and allow enough time for each drive.
Day 1 Uluru and dinner under the stars
Day 2 Valley of Winds hike
Day 3 Sunrise Camel safari and Kings Canyon
Day 4 Rim Walk at Kings Canyon
Day 5 Where to next?
Day 1. Welcome to the Red Centre
When you arrive at the Red Centre, pick up your rental car at Ayers Rock Airport. Drive a short distance to Ayers Rock Resort, where you will stay for the next two nights.
Admire the beautiful landscape of the desert with Australia's most famous landmark, Uluru in the background.
In the afternoon, drive to Uluru and do a base walk around Australia’s most known landmark. Please note that during the summer months some of the routes are closed after the morning due to the heat. The walk around Uluru is about 10 km. Remember to bring water with you.
Also note that you need a permit to enter the national park. You can buy a permit online before the trip (not part of the package): https://parksaustralia.gov.au/uluru/plan/passes/
Tonight, enjoy a dinner under the stars. Dinner begins with canapes and chilled sparkling wine on the sand dunes overlooking Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. When the sun sets and darkness descends, you can listen to the sound of the didgeridoo and meet other travellers at the dinner table, with whom you will enjoy an unforgettable dining experience.
A selection of Australian wine and beer will be served while the first course is served to your table. Enjoy the main course from the chef's buffet, where there are plenty of options from a freshly prepared, bush tucker-inspired menu.
Your star guide tells you about the stars of the southern night sky. Locate the Southern Cross, zodiac signs, the Milky Way, and planets and galaxies.
• Outback-style appetisers
• a three-course buffet inspired by bush tucker (vegetarian food and other dietary options available with advance notice)
• Beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee
• A guided tour under the stars
• Return transportation from your hotel
• A didgeridoo performance.
Day 2. Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and the Field of Lights
An independent day trip to the Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), where you can explore the domes on a three-hour Valley of Winds walking trail.
Step into another world in the Valley of the Winds. The views from this challenging walking route are breathtaking and worth the effort.
On the walk in the Valley of the Winds, you can get to know the dome of Kata Tjuta. It offers unparalleled views of the stunning landscape surrounding Kata Tjuta from two vantage points along the trail.
The route is classified as category 4. It is steep, rocky, and difficult in places, so be careful and allow time.
The full Valley of the Winds tour takes 3-4 hours. Drinking water is available halfway along the route.
I recommend leaving early in the morning when you avoid the hottest time of the day. Bring water with you. You also need the same permit as for Uluru.
In the afternoon, visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuja Cultural Centre, where you can learn about the culture and art of the indigenous people. Please note, any entrance fees or guided tours are not part of the package and must be paid/booked on site.
After the sun goes down, see the Field of Lights. This art piece contains about 50,000 lights in an area the size of more than seven football fields. Beautiful lights shine in different colours as far as the eye can see. Return transportation and entrance tickets are included in the package.
Day 3. Sunrise camel ride at Uluru and Kings Canyon
Start the morning with a peaceful, guided one-hour camel ride over the red sand dunes in the cool, clear morning air.
See a spectacular sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta as the desert comes to life where your expert guide will tell you about the flora and fauna along the route.
After riding, check out of your hotel and start your drive towards Kings Canyon, which is about 300 km away.
Once you arrive, you can walk the short Kings Creek Trail that takes you to the middle of the canyon to a viewpoint. The Kings Creek hike is an easy 2.6 km walk that follows a path between two towering canyon walls. When you arrive at the lookout, you'll be greeted by a stunning view of the steep cliffs on the other side of the canyon. The hike is a wonderful experience, because you can see, feel, and smell the wonders of nature and admire the flora and fauna of the canyon.
You will spend the next two nights in glamping accommodation with all the comforts. Each luxury tent has access to quality linen, a modern lounge, dining area, outdoor terrace and seating, air-conditioning and private ensuite bathroom.
Guests at Kings Canyon Glamping Tents enjoy the following:
• Local information pack and touring option guides included on arrival
• Spacious and luxurious interiors
• Designer furnishings and amenities
• Nespresso machines
• Small fridge
• External lounge seating and table
• Dining table with 4 chairs
• Lounge area with lounge, seats and coffee table
• Local Aboriginal artifacts adorn the room
• Soft, subdued lighting inside and out
• Optional extras
• Private touring options
• Couples only tents
• Access to all resort facilities
Day 4. Kings Canyon hike
Today, join an independent hike to the top of Kings Canyon on the Rim Walk.
The Rim Walk takes you on a 6-kilometre route that goes down to the Garden of Eden and back to the top, where you can enjoy a 360-degree view. Depending on the pace at which you take in the spectacular scenery, the walk can take 3-4 hours.
The beginning of the walk is the most difficult, as there are about 500 steep steps. When you get there, it will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. After taking in the views from the top of the stairs, continue through Priscilla's Rift (also featured in the famous Australian classic film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and to the first viewpoint.
From there you can see the wonderful sandstone domes (mini-Purnululu). They are known as the lost city because it resembles an ancient city.
Next, you can continue to the top or go down the stairs to the charming and lush Garden of Eden, where you can cross a protected bridge over a sacred watering hole. After capturing this iconic moment, head up the stairs to the south side of the canyon.
The best time to enjoy this experience is during sunrise, when the sun reflects off the sandstone and shines back in gold and red colours.
After the hike, optional activities include relaxing by the pool or explore the indigenous culture at Karrke: https://karrke.com.au/ (not included in the package).
Alternatively, you can take a helicopter flight or a Segway tour (not included in the package, ask for more information when booking).
In the evening, visit the Sunset Viewing Platform to admire the beautiful desert sunset.
Day 5. Where next?
Drive back to Ayers Rock Airport, return the car and fly to your next destination.
Alternatively, ask for a return from Alice Springs airport, where the driving distance is about the same length. We can also arrange additional days in Alice Springs.
Starting from AU$ 2,260.00 per person twin/double share, 4 star hotel option and glamping tent
Ask for a quote. The total price depends by your travel time, availability, number of people and your accommodation level.
The itinerary is mostly an independent tour. All hotel reservations, breakfasts and the mentioned transfers, excursions or meals are included in the package.
The itinerary is an example as the tour may change, depending on the season. We will confirm the program as we plan your itinerary.
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