Lights Over The Centre

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6 days | Departs Mar to Oct –
Experience the best of Australia’s iconic Red Centre, visiting Uluru (Ayers Rock), the unique Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), spectacular Kings Canyon and the unique Outback town of Alice Springs.

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Highlights
  • Aussie-style BBQ dinner under the stars at Uluru
  • Explore the Field of Light at sunrise
  • Discover Aboriginal rock art & sacred sites at Uluru
  • Toast an Uluru sunset with sparkling wine
  • Explore the 36 mystical domes of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
  • Hike through Walpa Gorge
  • Dine under a Desert Moon at Kings Canyon Resort
  • Experience a spectacular Red Centre sunrise
  • Visit the Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve
  • Wander into Simpsons Gap
  • Discover the fascinating Standley Chasm
  • Take a dip in the Ellery Creek Big Hole
  • Taste traditional bush foods in Alice Springs
  • Visit the School of the Air & the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Inclusions
  • Return flights to Uluru & from Alice Springs (as required)
  • Luxury small group touring around Central Australia
  • 5 breakfasts (B), 3 lunches (L) & 5 dinners (D)
Itinerary

Show / hide full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Homeport to Uluru (D)

This morning, you will board your flight to Uluru (Ayers Rock) arriving early afternoon. On arrival, you’ll be transferred to your hotel. After time to check in a little free time to take in the atmosphere in Australia’s iconic Red Centre. Enjoy views of Uluru and stroll around the village.

This evening, you will be picked up to travel to enjoy a wonderful BBQ dinner under the stars near Uluru itself! Sip a complimentary glass of wine of beer as you watch the sun set over Uluru, followed by an Aussie-style BBQ dinner. Snap photos of the spectacular hues reflected on the iconic monolith, located in Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre. Feast on mouthwatering dishes as you watch a myriad of stars light up the night sky. After dinner, your central desert outback experience is enhanced with a star tour.

❱ Hotel stay: Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort (2 nights)

Day 2 – Field of Light Sunrise, Kata Tjuta & Uluru Sunset (BD)

This morning, explore Internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro’s Field of Light, inspired by a trip to Uluru 25 years ago. It is the largest Field of Light installation to date, with Munro and his team installing more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frosted glass spheres.

Your Driver Guide will provide insights and background into this emotive and unique desert art installation. Under the cover of darkness, you’re invited to wander through the pathways that encompass the 50,000 spheres of light in the desert, before making your way up the hill to the Dune Top viewing area. Watch the amazing transformation of colours and life as the Red Centre awakens, while enjoying tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Then as the first rays of sunlight creep across the desert sky, gaze in awe as the sun rises in the distance behind Uluru, flooding the landscape, including Kata Tjuta behind you, with light.

You’ll have an incredible view through stunning desert landscape as the sun rises over the Red Centre. As the natural light brightens the landscape, the Field of Light will dim for the day. Capture some amazing photos from this unique raised location, which allows you to view both Uluru and Kata Tjuta in all their natural glory.

After your visit to the Field of Light, travel to Kata Tjuta, where you’ll walk amidst the sheer rock-walls of Walpa Gorge, following the natural creek bed between two of the largest domes. This evening return to Uluru to see the sun set over the western horizon and witness the remarkable light that floods the monolith, changing it from red to vibrant orange and finally deep purple. Later, get to know your travelling companions over a relaxed meal at Ilkari Restaurant.

Day 3 – Uluru to Kings Canyon (BLD)

Your day begins with an iconic sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta at the Kata Tjuta dune viewing area. Move closer to Uluru this morning and explore the base of the rock. Several rock shelters house Anangu paintings dating back thousands of years. Your guide will explain their significance and relate timeless stories of the land. Visit beautiful Mutitjulu Waterhole, once a vital water source for the local inhabitants, before travelling on to remote Curtin Springs Station.

Tour the property’s boutique paper-making facility, and discover the processes involved in its production. Chat with one of the locals over a barbecue lunch, and learn about life on the million-acre cattle property that’s been home to the Severin family since 1956.

After lunch, follow the Luritja Road towards Kings Canyon and view Atila (Mt. Conner), the ‘forgotten wonder’ of Central Australia. Pause briefly at Kings Creek Station, established in 1982 by Lyn and Ian Conway and now Australia’s largest exporter of wild camels. Continue to Kings Canyon Resort, where you can relax and unwind before enjoying a unique evening dining experience, Under a Desert Moon, set in the silent wilderness under a canopy of the southern night sky. Enjoy canapes and a glass of sparkling wine followed by a delicious four-course meal incorporating fresh produce and unique ingredients native to the Australian Outback.

❱ Hotel stay: Kings Canyon Resort (1 night)

Day 4 – Kings Canyon to Alice Springs (BLD)

Kings Canyon is a deep, narrow valley cut into the Earth over millennia by running water. Its ancient red rock walls soar 100 metres above Kings Creek to a plateau of rocky domes. Wake early this morning to explore the spectacular Canyon at sunrise, the best time for observing the changing colours of the landscape. The 6-kilometre Canyon Rim Walk, considered one of the best and most varied walks in central Australia, begins with a strenuous climb but soon evens out once you reach the rim. As you follow the path, you’ll find yourself among the weathered sandstone domes known as The Lost City.

There’s also an opportunity to descend into The Garden of Eden, a lush, sheltered valley with a permanent waterhole. A shorter, more relaxed walk takes you along the sandy creek bed and leads to a lookout point affording excellent views of the towering canyon walls. Travel off the beaten track later today to the Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve. Here, nearly 5,000 years ago, a dozen fascinating craters were formed when a meteor struck the Earth’s surface with immense force. Explore the craters, the largest of which measures 15 metres in depth, before driving on to Alice Springs, where you’ll enjoy dinner at your hotel.

❱ Hotel stay: Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters (2 nights)

Day 5 – West MacDonnell Ranges (BLD)

The town of Alice Springs, the heart of the Red Centre, is located at a gap in the MacDonnell Ranges. After breakfast this morning, travel the short distance to the West MacDonnell Ranges, an ideal location to experience the geology, flora and fauna of this unique region. Visit Simpsons Gap and dramatic Angkerle (Standley Chasm). This formation was created over millions of years, the deep red sandstone walls of the Chasm contrasting dramatically with the carpet of lush green ferns and towering gum trees on the valley floor. Before you leave, there’ll be time to take a cooling swim in Ellery Creek Big Hole.

Returning to Alice Springs, you’ll visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service to see how this iconic facility has provided emergency medical assistance to those living in remote outback Australia since 1928. An exceptional dining experience in a natural bush setting awaits you this evening. Enjoy a drink, explore your surroundings and watch the sun set while your host cooks a delicious 3-course meal in a bush oven. Dine under the Milky Way as he shares his knowledge of traditional Indigenous bush foods and stories of the land.

Day 6 – Alice Springs to Homeport (B)

At School of the Air this morning learn how children living in an area extending over 1.3 million square kilometres receive education via radio and internet. You’ll also visit the Overland Telegraph Station. One of the great engineering feats of 19th-century Australia, it allowed communication between the Outback and the rest of the world. Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your journey comes to an end this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Alice Springs Airport in time for your flight home.

Additional information
Departure City

Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Departure

27 May 2019, 10 Jun 2019, 24 Jun 2019, 22 Jul 2019, 05 Aug 2019, 19 Aug 2019, 02 Sep 2019, 16 Sep 2019, 14 Oct 2019, 09 Mar 2020, 16 Mar 2020, 23 Mar 2020, 13 Apr 2020, 20 Apr 2020, 27 Apr 2020, 11 May 2020, 25 May 2020, 08 Jun 2020, 22 Jun 2020, 06 Jul 2020, 20 Jul 2020, 03 Aug 2020, 17 Aug 2020, 31 Aug 2020, 14 Sep 2020, 28 Sep 2020, 12 Oct 2020

Terms

The following terms & conditions apply to your booking in addition to our General Booking Terms & Conditions:

  • Flights are included from all departure cities shown as required. These are based on Qantas ‘Q’ Class Economy airfares or Virgin Australia ‘T’ Class Economy airfares, and are subject to availability at the time of your booking confirmation.
  • The following fees apply for cancellations made once your booking is confirmed:
    After deposit is received – loss of deposit;
    31 to 60 days before departure – 50% of total booking value plus deposit;
    Within 30 days of departure – 100% of total booking value.
    We recommend purchasing travel insurance for your holiday.
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