Tour Description

The Red Centre: Adelaide to Alice Springs & Uluru

Nine Days: 28th June 6th July 2019

Twin Share: $4595 per person. Sole Use: $5595 per person.

Included in the tour:
  • Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
  • Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
  • All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
  • Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.

 

Join us on this journey to the magical red centre of our vast country. Experience the dramatic changes in the landscape as we make our way north, through outback Australia. The highlight will no doubt be when we experience the incredible monolith of Uluru / Ayers Rock, as well as the many domes of the Kata Tjuta /Olgas and the wealth of wonderful places in and around Alice Springs. Don’t miss this iconic journey to the heart of Australia with its spectacular outback scenery and inspiring natural wonders.

 

Day One – FRIDAY 28 JUNE 2019

(includes lunch and three course dinner)

We depart this morning after home pick ups (limited areas*) and leave the suburbs of Adelaide behind. We’ll stop at Roseworthy for morning tea and the chance to stretch our legs before continuing north through the beautiful Clare Valley arriving in Laura in time for lunch.

We resume our travels, passing through Melrose, the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges, situated in the shadow of Mount Remarkable. We’ll take Horrocks Pass, touring through the ranges, with time to stop  and admire the views along the way. After arriving in Port Augusta, we check into the Standpipe Golf Motor Inn (Ph. 08 8642 4033), where there is time to settle in and freshen up before coming together for dinner.

 

Day Two – SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

We leave Port Augusta this morning for our drive to Coober Pedy, the opal capital of South Australia. Our journey first takes us to Pimba, a small settlement on the transcontinental railway line. We pause to enjoy our morning tea here before continuing north.

Travelling along the Stuart Highway the greenery fades and the earth moves from tones of brown toward the rich red colours of outback Australia. We arrive in Glendambo for lunch, a friendly town which provides essential services for travellers into this remote area.

This afternoon is spent driving through the ever-changing landscape of the outback, with its unique rugged beauty. Along the way we pause for a comfort stop to break the journey and the chance to stretch our legs.

By late afternoon we arrive in Coober Pedy, a remarkable town which owes its existence to the opal discovered in the area. In 1915, teenager Willie Hutchison found the first shimmering gemstone and ever since then, miners have come from more than 50 nations to find their fortunes in Coober Pedy and many have succeeded.  We check into our accommodation at the Desert Cave Motel (Ph. 08 8672 5688) where we will be staying for two nights.

 

Day Three – SUNDAY 30 JUNE 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

We start our exploration of Coober Pedy with a guided tour at Tom’s Working Opal Mine, an underground mine which gives visitors an insight into what it is like to be an opal miner. During this interactive tour we see opal seams in the wall and learn how a blower and a tunneling machine work. We can drill holes into the ground, experience a ride on the Bosun Chair, or try our hands with divining rods and noodling if we wish.

Following our morning tea, we enjoy a guided tour of the remarkable and spectacular area of the Breakaways where many movies have been filmed, travelling through the Moon Plain Desert and visiting the Dog Fence.

After lunch in town, we take a guided tour around Coober Pedy. This unique town has many sites of interest including underground homes and churches carved from the rocky hillsides. We’ll also visit the Umoona Opal Mine Museum, an original opal mine that was first worked in the 1920s and has now been converted into a ‘must see’ underground tourist attraction. We discover the beauty and history of Australia’s national gemstone and learn how opal is formed and mined. The museum also covers Coober Pedy’s Aboriginal history, the geology and fossil history of the area, as well as the local wildlife. At the end of the tour we have time to look through the displays or shop for a range of opals, exquisite jewellery and souvenirs.  We then return to our motel with time to freshen up for dinner.

 

Day Four – MONDAY 1 JULY 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

After a hearty breakfast, we leave Coober Pedy travelling along the Stuart Highway to the Cadney Homestead Roadhouse where we stop for our morning tea refreshments.

We continue north to Marla, situated approximately 150 kilometres south of the Northern Territory border and just a small town of around 100 residents. We have our lunch in the multifunctional complex consisting of roadhouse, motel, restaurant, service station and supermarket!

This afternoon our drive takes us out of South Australia and over the border to our comfort stop at Kulgera.  Then it’s less than an hours drive to our accommodation at Erldunda Desert Oaks Motel (Ph: 08 8956 0984). After a long day driving we’ll appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed dinner and good nights rest.

 

Day Five – TUESDAY 2 JULY 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

We leave Erldunda this morning and travel west along Lasseter Highway towards Yulara. The drive is one of beautifully rugged landscapes and sweeping vistas.

At the Curtain Springs Roadhouse we stop to stretch our legs and enjoy morning tea, before continuing along the highway.

We reach Yulara in time for a light lunch. We are staying at the Voyager Desert Gardens Hotel (Ph. 02 8296 8010) for the next two nights, so we can settle into our rooms before heading out for a scenic drive around the area this afternoon.

We return to the hotel mid-afternoon with time to freshen up. Tonight will be one of the highlights of our journey, an unforgettable dinner experience. The Sounds of Silence is a magical dinner under the sparkling outback sky. Uluru puts on a remarkable natural light show as it changes from red to orange to lilac in a matter of minutes as the sun goes down.  A delicious buffet dinner begins with canapes and chilled sparkling wine served at a viewing platform overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.  As the sun sets and darkness falls, we listen to the sound of a didgeridoo and settle back to hear the resident ‘star talker’ decode the southern night sky. We will be able to locate the Southern Cross, the signs of the zodiac, the Milky Way, as well as planets and galaxies that are visible due to the exceptional clarity of the atmosphere here.

After this spectacular experience we return to our accommodation for a good nights rest.

 

Day Six – WEDNESDAY 3 JULY 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

This morning we return to Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park to visit the world famous monolith, Uluru / Ayers Rock in the daylight. We have a local guide who brings to life the local indigenous culture. It is only by driving around Uluru that we can start to appreciate the massive size as it towers above us. Uluru has so many different features and facets to appreciate, and we have plenty of free time here with a number of options available to us. We may choose to take a short walk, or simply sit and take in the size and atmosphere of this incredible landmark.

Following lunch back at Yulara, we depart for the nearby Kata-Tjuta, also known as the Olgas. These unusual rock formations, consist of 36 conglomerate rock domes stretching up to 500 metres high. On arrival, we take a walk around the Olgas which are often described as being just as impressive as Uluru.

Back in Yulara, we can relax in our rooms or for those who wish to make the most of their time here, you may want to see the sun set once more on Uluru.  In the evening we come together for our three course dinner in this inspiring location.

 

Day Seven – THURSDAY 4 JULY 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

We farewell Uluru to begin our journey to Alice Springs. We retrace our steps stopping for morning tea at Curtain Springs, and travel along the Lasseter Highway to Erldunda where we enjoy lunch.

From here we turn north on to the Stuart Highway which leads us straight to our destination. The entrance to the township of Alice Springs is quite something, through Heavitree Gap in the MacDonnell Ranges alongside the Todd River which is usually dry. For the next two nights we will be staying at Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters (Ph. 08 8950 7777), so we can settle into our rooms before dinner together.

 

Day Eight – FRIDAY 5 JULY 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

After breakfast this morning we set off to visit Simpsons Gap, a stunning gorge carved out of the West MacDonnell Ranges by Roe Creek, where water flows through a small gap in the range. The gap is home to various plants and wildlife, including the black-footed rock-wallaby. It is the site of a permanent waterhole, rock features, ghost gums and red gums. We have morning tea here and can enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Standley Chasm is another inspiring natural attraction located in the West MacDonnell National Park. A 1.5 kilometre walk along Angkerle Creek, filled with cycads, ferns and red gums, leads to the Chasm with its impressive cathedral-height walls. Named after Mrs Ida Standley, the first formal school teacher in Alice Springs and reputedly the first white woman to walk through the gorge, the Chasm has a narrow gap with beautiful rock walls towering high above the path. We have plenty of time to wander into the Chasm and there are various places to rest along the way.  It should be noted that the walk is through natural bushland and the ground is uneven, so care does need to be taken.

After lunch in the National Park, we return to Alice Springs to visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), one of the largest and most comprehensive aero-medical organisations in the world. We visit the original Alice Springs working base that commenced operating in 1939 for a comprehensive guided tour, where we will learn about the importance of the RFDS to outback Australians and the medical care required to service isolated regions. Using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology, it delivers primary health care and a 24-hour emergency service to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia. History is brought to life through an amazing holographic presentation by the founder, the late John Flynn, as he tells the story of his vision and its realization into the RFDS of today.

We have a the chance to look inside a full scale replica of the fuselage of an operational Pilatus PC 12 Aircraft as well as a look around the museum and souvenir shop.

Later this afternoon, our driver will take us to Anzac Hill for panoramic views of the town and surrounding area. We then have some free time to explore Todd Mall where there are some wonderful galleries and souvenir shops to peruse before returning to our accommodation.

 

Day Nine – SATURDAY 6 JULY 2019

(includes cooked breakfast and light lunch)

We begin our last day with a virtual journey into ‘The World’s Largest Classroom’  as we visit The School of the Air.  Since 1951 this uniquely Australian school has been bridging the education gap caused by the remote locations in which people live and work in the outback. We have the chance to see recorded lessons, and learn the fascinating history of a unique educational facility and its world-renowned innovations.

After lunch we make our way to the Alice Springs Airport arriving with plenty of time for a relaxed check-in. We are assisted through the check-in process and onto the departure gate.

On arrival at Adelaide Airport we are met at the gate by an Endeavour Tours representative who will take us along to the cars and drivers who will take us home to our doors. Our visit to the red centre, Uluru and Alice Springs will be a holiday to remember for some time.