Uluru is one of the most impressive and iconic places in Australia. Its history and importance to Australia as a nation is unparalleled and it is surely one of the natural wonders of the world.
We sent one of our Ultimate Travel gurus to the Northern Territory to explore the area. Max Lightfoot Brown, our tour leader and travel expert, jumped on a flight to Alice Springs and took part in the four day, four wheel drive Wallaby Dreaming Red Centre tour with Wayoutback.
Here is what he got up to…
You arrived in Alice Springs, ready to go on this great sounding tour – what was Alice Springs like? Did you get to spend some time there?
We spent a little bit of time there and it was a cool city. It is a mix between old and new, it still has elements of a country town next to shopping centres. The flight from Sydney was about 2 or 3 hours and can be quite expensive if you are doing it that way so keep your eyes open for a flight sale!
It was getting a little bit cooler when I went as it was coming into winter but it was still about 22-25 degrees and I still got a little tan!
Then you set off on the tour? Can you give us a little rundown of what you did and what the tour included?
We started the the four day Uluru trip bright and early, so early we got to see an awesome sunrise in the outback! We were on the way to Uluru but before our stop at The Rock, we had a go at camel riding!
This was as awesome as it sounds! We hopped on board our camels and had a little wander in the desert. It was a bit of a bumpy ride but it was so much fun and, of course, I got a selfie with the camel! Here’s a fact to take to the next pub quiz, Australia has the largest population of wild camels in the world…. well, I thought it was a pretty mad fact anyway.
After saying farewell to my beloved camel we headed to the famous Uluru. It is crazy the first time that you see it, it is such an iconic image that it is pretty breathtaking. Once we all took a few photos, we went on a tour around the giant monolith.
Uluru is the biggest monolith in the world and rises 348 metres high and about 10kms around which is pretty insane!
That evening we watched the sunset over Uluru which was unforgettable. As the sun dipped beyond the horizon, Uluru turns some awesome colours and it changes all the time. While I was there, Uluru turned this really deep red which was incredible.
We headed to our campsite for the night where we were greeted by a friendly scorpion! This isn’t as bad as it sounds and was pretty cool really. It was a big looking thing and was pretty scary at the time but our guides took care of it and we went to sleep, hoping not to be woken up by another scorpion!
The next morning, we got up really early again and watched the sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Again, this was amazing. I’m not normally a fan of early mornings but this trip changed my mind totally!
After breakfast we headed to Kata Tjuta where we had a guided tour throughout the whole national park. The walk itself was 7.4km but the views were well worth the hike. Kata Tjuta isn’t as well-known as Uluru but it is just as beautiful.
Shortly after the tour of Kata Tjuta we headed back to camp stopping off at a salt lake where I decided tasting the salt was a good thing to do (it definitely wasn’t, so don’t do that).
The next day we headed to Kings Canyon which didn’t disappoint – providing incredible views and breathtaking scenery. I think I took about 600 photos in four days!
We went off road for a little four wheel drive experience too which is pretty fun! It was hard on the backside but well worth it, if it is something you’ve never done before it is something definitely worth checking out as you can do it in many places across Australia.
That night we stopped at our new campsite and decided to check out a nearby lake whilst the sun set. The water was pretty cold but it was refreshing after a couple of days of serious outback adventure!
On our last day we set off to view the Ormiston Gorge which was incredible. It was kind of like a mini-Grand Canyon covered in that Australian red dirt. We had a little walk around, worked up a bit of a sweat and swam in the cold but refreshing water.
After lunch (bacon & eggs – awesome!) we did some more four wheel driving and saw wild horses and dingos!
We got back to Alice Springs looking like intrepid explorers! The group had gotten really close over the four days and we went out together for one final meal with our guides before we all went our separate ways.
It sounds like you had an awesome time! Seeing all of those animals must have been pretty cool as well?
It really was. The camel riding was amazing but seeing the scorpion was a real reminder of what was out there.
The guides are the best though, they pointed out everything that we saw and had loads of information about everything. I’d already seen dingoes on Fraser Island but seeing them in the outback felt like a real Australian moment.
I love horses and seeing them wild was great too. When you see Uluru and those places on TV, you can’t understand how plants and animals can live somewhere like that but now that I’ve been, you see so much more than you would expect.
A tour with that many highlights, it’ll be hard to think of anything that really stands out but was there something that will really stay with you?
Watching the sunset over Uluru, definitely.
Once-in-a-lifetime gets bandied around a lot when travelling but that was a moment that will stay with me forever. When the sunset hits a perfect line with Uluru lighting up the giant monolith in a red glowing colour it is incredible. The sunrise was great too but the sunset was amazing!
I loved Kata Tjuta too. That was a real surprise. Obviously, when you head out on a tour like this Uluru is the headliner but the things we did either side of Uluru where just as memorable. the bush walk in Kata Tjuta was great and the views at the end were just unforgettable.
If you like the sound of the trip that Max absolutely loved, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org