13 days
Duration
PDF of Tour

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Small group tour exploring Alice Springs and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Discover World Heritage values of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This safari includes spectacular desert scenery and explores the Outback’s precious and resilient nature at the continent’s heart. Discover the rich cultural (especially Aboriginal) heritage, while exploring some stunning parts of this red landscape.

This, like all Odyssey Traveller small group tours is limited to 15 people.

This Odyssey Traveller small group tour is designed for mature and senior travellers, in couples or travelling solo, who want an in-depth and informed experience of their travel destination in the Northern territory. Since 1983, we have specialised in bringing Australian travellers to the world: now, our goal is to let you again rediscover your own country.

Our Alice Springs and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park tour lasts for 13 days, delving into the colourful landscapes and impressive landforms, Aboriginal culture, and rich wildlife of the Southern portion of the Northern Territory.

We begin and end at Alice Springs, where we learn about its surrounding beautiful desert landscapes, Aboriginal culture, and unique wildlife. Alice Springs, or simply ‘Alice’ as it is known now colloquially, is famous for the ochre sands and mountain ranges that surround it, its many Aboriginal art galleries, and cultural events. The Arrernte people, who have lived in the Central Australian Desert in an around what is today Alice Springs for thousands of years, still today sustain a strong connection to this land and a rich culture.

We spend four nights in Alice Springs, before making our way to enjoy the various sites and wildlife of the national parks in the southern portion of the Northern territory. The UNESCO World Heritage Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a major highlight as we explore two of Australia’s most magnificent geological and landform features: Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). The renowned Uluru is a giant, red sandstone monolith dome rock, comprised of sedimentary rock with sandstone, granite, and basalt. At a massive 9.4 kilometres in circumference and standing 348 metres high, it stands symbolically as the physical and cultural heart of Australia. About 25km west of here is Katwa Tjuta, translated to mean “many heads”, a collection of 36 variously sized rock domes. The domes cover an area of 3500 hectares with the highest dome, Mount Olga, rising to approximately 546 metres above the surrounding plain. Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta have sacred significance to the Anangu, the local indigenous people who have inhabited the land for more than 22,000 years. They believe both sites contain spirit energy, with the surrounding areas the home of their ancestors and inhabited by many ancestral ‘beings’. The park is also home to a fascinating array of plants and animals, including many rare species.

Other key highlights along the tour include trips to the spectacular canyons of Watarrka National Park, Finke Gorge National Park (home to a diverse range of rare plant species), the Aboriginal Community of Hermannsberg (once home to the great Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira), and the outstanding landscapes of both the West and East McDonnel Ranges (ancient landscapes sculptured over time by climatic elements and today refuges for many plants and animals).

Along our tour we take time to learn about the geology and biodiversity of the parks we visit as well as the different vibrant Aboriginal histories, cultures, traditions, and art styles. En route to our major destinations we also take stops at various locations to enjoy and learn about the dramatic surrounding scenery and sites along the way.

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link .

Odyssey Traveller acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

Articles about Australia published by Odyssey Traveller:

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Alice Springs & Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park 

Tour Notes
  • The order of visits may change due to individual venue opening hours and Covid-19 restrictions.

PDF of Tour

Overview: This small group tour begins with a welcome reception and dinner.

Accommodation: Alice Springs; Double tree or Equivalent

Overview: We have a walking tour of historic Alice Springs including a talk at the Central Desert regional council offices. In the afternoon we have a talk about the contemporary Aboriginal art movement to complement the visit earlier today

Accommodation: Alice Springs; Double tree or Equivalent

Overview:

This is a day to discover the secrets of the Australian deserts, the plants and animals, and their traditional use by Aboriginal people. These are all impressively presented at the Alice Springs Desert Park. We also plan to visit the Old Telegraph Station next to the springs which gave the town its name.

Overview: Today is a leisure day before we depart early tomorrow morning.

Accommodation: Alice Springs; Double tree or Equivalent

Overview:

We  depart early today, before 7.00 am and head south along the Stuart Highway with a possible diversion time permitting  to visit the Henbury Meteorite Reserve. The small craters result from the impact of meteorites from outer space. But are key visits today are first to Walingyna (cave hill), this is a significant site in the seven sisters dream time  (Tjukura) in the Anagnu, Pitjantjatjara,  Yankunytjatjara community. The group requires consent to visit this sacred site.

We then return after this visit to follow the Lasseter Highway west to Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park, where we settle into the resort before setting off to watch the sunset over Uluru.

Accommodation: The lost Camel Hotel or similar

Overview: The only way to truly experience Uluru (Ayers Rock) is to visit it. No picture can show the magnificence of the size and colours of the rock (348 m high). Like the Olgas, Uluru is set within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and the same pass that you use for the Olgas covers Ayers Rock. Take a wonderful day walking around “The Rock” inside this World Heritage National Park without climbing it out of respect for the traditional owners.

In the afternoon we will also explore the interesting and sculptured Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), a mass of smaller nearby monoliths, full of legends. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and watch the sun set there.

Accommodation: The lost Camel Hotel or similar

Overview: Travel to Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), a wonderful area for walking through a colourful and sculptured landscape. This is an area of grand scenic vistas. Breathtaking, 300 m, sheer cliff faces, a geological “lost city” of sandstone domes, and a cycad-fringed waterhole are among the special highlights and are a spectacular climax to the day accompanied by a local guide.

Accommodation: Kings Canyon or equivalent

Overview:

Explore around Kathleen Gorge within the Watarrka National Park. This is one of the most spectacular spots in Central Australia. Discover something about the Aboriginal life and traditions of this region.

Accommodation: Kings Canyon or equivalent

Overview:

Make an excursion to the Finke Gorge National Park, where tall cabbage palms and other rare plants grow along the several water-courses which cut through this park’s dry stony hills. The remarkable scenery includes the picturesque Palm Valley. We travel round to Glen Helen.

Accommodation: Glen Helen or equivalent

Overview:

Travel via the Mereenie Loop Road to visit Tnorala (Gosse Bluff), where a comet crashed to earth 142 million years ago forming a mammoth crater surrounded by tall rock hills. This area is now a conservation reserve. Travel from here on to Hermannsberg, the site of an old Lutheran Mission, and once the home of great Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira. We have a guide wth us for the day, in the afternoon we return to Alice Springs.

Accommodation: Double tree Alice Springs

Overview:

This small group travels today to explore and learn about the West MacDonnell Ranges. This is Namatjira country and true to the famous artist’s colours. Visit many features along this dazzling drive, including Simpson’s Gap, Standley Chasm, the ochre pits and Glen Ormiston.

The West MacDonnells landscapes are internationally famous.

Accommodation: Double tree Alice Springs

Overview: Today this small group tour explores the best features of the East MacDonnell Ranges which, although less famous than the West MacDonnells, are equally as impressive. Excursions include the old gold town of Arltunga, as well as Trephina Gorge and Emily and Jessie Gaps, along with significant relics of Aboriginal heritage.

Accommodation: Double tree Alice Springs

Overview: Tour concludes after breakfast.

1
Explore and learn about the UNESCO World Heritage Uluru-Kata Tjuka National Park.environment and importance to Aboriginal history.
2
See East & West MacDonnell Ranges.
3
Learn about the Aboriginal and colonial history as well practices today in managing the Landscape.
4
Learn and see contemporary Aboriginal art from Papunya region and the Hermannsburg mission.
5
Visit ecological and extra terrestrial sites of importance close to Alice Springs in the National parks.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 12 nights in cabin and hotel accommodation,
  • 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 9 dinners.
  • Lectures and handouts as indicated.
  • Services of a program leader and guides.
  • Complimentary wifi.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Transport to and from Alice Springs
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Costs of a personal nature.
Mount Connor in Australian OutBack
Alice Springs Telegraph Station
Coober pedy
Aerial view of Alice Springs skyline in Australia from Anzac Hill Memorial lookout with main buildings of Alice Springs city downtown. Red Centre desert with Macdonnell ranges