- 5-day 4WD outback camping tour from Alice Springs
- Watch Uluru (Ayers Rock) change color at sunset, and see the sun rise over Kata Tjuta
- Visit the Oak Valley Aboriginal Community, and swim in rock pools
- See ancient cave paintings and carvings, and admire the stunning West MacDonnell Ranges
- Take guided walks around Uluru, Valley of the Winds, Watarrka and Ghost Gum Walk, and learn about Aboriginal traditions from your guide and hosts
- Enjoy campfire dinners and sleep under the stars at bush camps
- Small-group tour with maximum 16 people provides a more intimate experience
What You Can Expect
On your first day, travel either from Alice Springs or Ayers Rock to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The 270-mile (450-km) journey by 4WD vehicle passes through the desert heartland of Australia, with stops along the way for refreshments, a chance to ride a camel (own expense) and to purchase authentic paintings, traditional wood carvings and jewelry made by people from the bush. In the afternoon, experience Uluru, where your guide will lead you on a full base walk around this incredible natural wonder. Later, witness awe-inspiring Uluru at sunset and watch as the fading light bathes the rock in shades of color, from pink to mauve.
Overnight: Campsite in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Day 2: Uluru -- Kings Canyon (B,L,D)
On your second day, enjoy a stunning sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta from a lookout close to the campsite. After breakfast, take a 3-hour walk through Kata Tjuta and the magnificent Valley of the Winds. After lunch, travel to Curtin Springs and see a working outback cattle station before arriving in Kings Canyon. Feel the true sense of the outback with a campfire dinner under the millions of stars twinkling in the night sky.
Overnight: Campsite in Kings Canyon
Day 3: Kings Canyon -- Oak Valley (B,L,D)
Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before embarking on a 3-hour walk through the towering walls, crevices and plateaus of Watarrka. See the Amphitheatre and Lost City and take a dip in the tranquil Garden of Eden. Later, travel across the famous Hugh River Stock Route to reach the Oak Valley Aboriginal Community. You'll camp here for the night; while enjoying dinner, be entranced by stories told by your Aboriginal hosts.
Overnight: Campsite in Oak Valley Aboriginal Community
Day 4: Oak Valley -- Glen Helen (B,L,D)
This morning, take a guided tour of Oak Valley with your Aboriginal hosts. Listen as the stories and legends passed down through generations come to life in the ancient rock paintings and carvings. Then, travel back along the Hugh River Stock Route to the West MacDonnell Ranges. Stop at Ormiston Gorge to hike the ‘Ghost Gum Walk’ and take a refreshing swim in the beautiful rock pools. Visit Glen Helen, an oasis in the desert, before making your way to the campsite for another relaxing night in the outback.
Overnight: Campsite in Glen Helen
Day 5: Glen Helen -- Alice Springs (B,L)
On your last day, enjoy breakfast and head to Hermannsburg, a historical Lutheran mission established in 1877. Stop to view Gosse Bluff, a comet crater, before arriving at the mission to explore the buildings and grounds. Then, it’s off to Palm Valley (subject to track conditions) for lunch, followed by a hike to explore this unique area that was once a rainforest. Return to Alice Springs early in the evening to conclude your tour.
What to bring:
A hands-free headlight/torch is highly recommended for after-dark activities
Any required medication
Water bottle (at least 3-4 liters)
Comfortable walking shoes/boots
Warm clothing (in winter)
Swimsuit and towel
You will sleep in enclosed swags; a mattress, pillow, sheets and woolen blankets are provided. Please note: You will be required to carry your own day pack on the walks and assist with putting up and taking down the tents.
Respecting indigenous culture:
Visits to indigenous sites may change at short notice, due to the cultural and ceremonial obligations of your indigenous hosts and guide.Uluru is sacred to the local Anangu Aboriginal people, and it is preferred that you do not climb it.
Oak Valley Aboriginal Community may be substituted for Rainbow Valley, which also offers an authentic indigenous experience.
I really enjoyed this tour and would happily recommend it. Our tour guide was wonderful and kept everyone happy with his enthusiasm, consideration, knowledge of the sites we visited, pleasant disposition, plus his organisational skills generally.
We helped with food prep, clean up, firewood collection but nothing too onerous. We stayed at simple but well maintained private camp sites. 3 of the 4 had permanently erected tents, while on the last night we slept in swags under the amazing night sky.
The group was made up of mixed nationalities and ages, and this worked well - I was a little concerned that I would not be fit enough (in my fifties in a sedentary job) but I managed the walks OK and I enjoyed the company too.
This trip was over the top....GREAT! It couldn't have been any better. Our guide, Jenner (sorry dude if I mispelled your name!), was exceptionally knowledgeable about history, geology, indigenous cultures, dream stories, plants, animals and birds. He is also an exceptional cook, cooking our healthy and fresh dinners over a nightly campfire. Jenner truely loves being a guide, cook, safe driver, and sharing his love and knowledage of the outdoors and of this particular part of the world....the Australian Outback, with fellow travellers. Jenner has a keen respect and knowledge of the aboriginal cultures. There were 13 fellow participants on this trip and we all felt the same way....it was a super special experience and Jenner had a lot to do with making that happen. Options were always provided for participants regarding length of hikes; accomodating everyone and being safe too. I just can't say enough about this trip, the tour company (Way Outback Adventures...I met the owner and told him how fortunate he is to have such a superb guide/driver), our guide Jenner, the accomodations (swags or tents), the quality of the food, and the itinerary. THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING THIS AN ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC TRIP!