Pack your sturdiest hiking boots and don’t forget the snorkel – itineraries like this are a very rare thing indeed. For those keen to check out two of Australia’s best-known attractions – and cover some serious ground while at it – this off-road adventure across the Red Centre and into Cairns offers the chance to encounter an Australia few ever do. Starting off in the archetypal outback town of Alice Springs, spend a few days exploring the region’s spectacular natural features – Uluru and Kata Tjuta not least of them – before hitting the road east into Queensland. Over the next few days you’ll be getting to know a part of Australia very rarely travelled, with myriad landscapes whizzing past and included stop-offs at little-known outposts like Boulia, Hughenden and Winton. As you near Cairns and its coastline, the scenery unfurls in lush, tropical rainforest and waterfall-fed swimming holes. This journey is equal parts road trip and environmental showcase of Australia’s incredible biodiversity.
Starting in Alice Springs, we set off to experience the wonder of the iconic Uluru. We make a stop at an authentic outback camel farm and for those that are keen there is the option to go for a short ride on the back of one of these desert animals (at your own expense). Continue on to the permanent campsite at Yulara for lunch before embarking to explore the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta, getting up close to this ancient geological formation.
As the sun begins to disappear below the horizon, take a glass of sparkling wine and watch the rock’s rich colours change against the backdrop of a blazing Red Centre sunset. This is the perfect end to a remarkable day. Your tour host will have dinner and a glass of wine awaiting your arrival back at camp.
Notes: Total driving time is approximately four and a half hours. Total walking time is around an hour.
An early start is rewarded with a glorious Uluru sunrise. While the morning is still fresh enjoy an unguided walk around the base of Uluru. Deepen your understanding of the land during a cultural interpretive walk with an Aboriginal guide. It is a unique opportunity to share experiences, and to connect with and learn about the oldest culture on earth. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to purchase Aboriginal arts and crafts at the Cultural Centre before we travel to our exclusive campsite within the Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) where we sleep for the night.
Note: Total driving time today is around three and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately two hours.
Discover the Lost City and the Garden of Eden on a 6km hike in Kings Canyon. Admire and explore the towering walls and crevices of Watarrka National Park. The photo opportunities are endless in Kings Canyon so be sure to bring your camera. At the end of the trek it’s time to refuel with a bite to eat before making the journey back to the remote centre of Alice Springs.
Note: Total driving time takes around five hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.
Departing Boulia we travel through the remote country towards our first stop – Winton (Home of Waltzing Matilda). This is truly a very special part of the world. Experience ever-changing scenery from the dry desert country in South Western Queensland into the tropical north.
Note: Total driving time takes around six hours.
Visit the cliffs of coloured sandstone, vine forest and deep permanent waterholes along Porcupine Creek contrast strikingly with the savanna plains surrounding Porcupine Gorge. We stop at the smallest pub in Australia at Lynd Junction. Before reaching our destination we drive through the Atherton Tablelands where we visit Millstream Falls. Arrive in Cairns in the early evening.
Note: Total driving time takes around six and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately three hours.
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