Day 1 - Ayers Rock:

Pickup your sexy camper at our shop and hit the road. You’ll want to leave by 10am so you can reach Ayers Rock by sunset. But don’t rush - there’s plenty of time and a heap of things to see along the way! First things first though - you’ll need to fill up the tank as there’s no more fuel until Erldunda!

As you head south along the Stuart Highway, you’ll be amazed by the sheer beauty of the MacDonnel Ranges on your left. It’s an ancient landscape and as the sun moves across the sky, the colours and shades of the desert change. This stretch between Alice Springs and Erldunda is around 200km so when you reach Erldunda, take a break and fill up with petrol again - you should only need half a tank. There’s a few Emu’s in the area so keep an eye out!

Take the turnoff for Uluru and Kata Tjuta and keep on going! You’ve got around 270km until you reach Uluru and the Olgas, which should only take around 3-4 hours. Along the way, checkout Mt Ebenezer - which looks like a mini version of Uluru. A little further along is the roadhouse at Curtain Springs where the resident emu is known to attack visitors! Stop here for a nice outback burger if you’re hungry or just keep on cruising to Ayers Rock.

Things get exciting from here on end - you’ll see camels, emu’s, kangaroos and the odd dingo! You can see Ayers Rock from around 40kms away so get the camera ready! You’ll have to pay $25 park entry fee to get into Kata Tjuta National Park and look around, but it’s well worth it!

By now the sun should be dipping towards the horizon, intensifying the reds of the desert. There’s a perfect sunset viewing area in the park, so grab a beer and sit back to watch the sun go down over Ayers Rock. The size of the Rock is something you truly can’t grasp until you’ve sat in front of it! You’ll also be able to see the Olgas in the distance. It’s at this time of the day that you can really appreciate your surrounds. The beauty, the isolation and the feeing of comraderie amongst travellers in this desert stop is overwhelming.

Day 2 - Kings Canyon:

Get up nice and early and head out to Uluru for the sunrise. It’s definitely worth it, despite the chilly temperature! Drive out to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). This should only take 20 minutes or so. The Olgas are equally as impressive as Uluru without the crowds - so I highly recommend making the trip out here!

If you want to climb Ayers Rock (take note: locals consider Uluru to be sacred and request that visitors do not climb it) then you’re best to do it before the winds pick up. If it’s too windy, they close the climbing track and you will miss out! Be sure to take water and decent shoes as there are some very hot, steep areas on the monolith.

A quick walk or drive around Ayers Rock reveals the different caves and waterfalls that have been carved over millions of years. Up close, the real size of Uluru is overbearing. If you’ve seen enough, then get back in the minicamper and head on out towards Kings Canyon. This trip will take around 3 hours or so. Be sure not to drive on unsealed roads as this will damage the camper!

Once you reach Watarrka National Park & Kings Canyon have a rest or a beer and find somewhere to sleep for the night. Once you’ve found your nest for the night, go for a walk and stretch those legs! Nowhere in the world will you feel so disconnected from civilisation. If you’ve timed your trip, you’ll have missed the school holidays and have any camping areas to yourself - bear this in mind when you book in your trip!

Camp out by a fire for the night and enjoy and outback feast. Don’t forget to look up at the stars - they’re pretty amazing out here!

Day 3 – Canyon Hike and the road back to Alice

Kings Canyon is breathtaking and a national Australian Treasure. With cliffs at the top of the Canyon sitting more than 300m high, the hike is tough – but manageable. The cliffs overlook the “Garden of Eden” and the Kings Creek below.

Many sites in this area are sacred Aboriginal sites – so please be respectful in hiking this ancient landscape. There are 2 main canyon hikes at Kings Canyon: Firstly, there’s the 6km Kings Canyon Rim Walk – a crazy 500-step climb – so again take water and wear decent shoes. At the top you can peer across the whole of Watarrka National Park before hiking down towards the lush, tropical Oasis at the bottom – the Garden of Eden! This walk should take around 3 hours if you’re fit, a little longer if not.

Secondly, the easier hiking path is the 2.6km Kings Creek Walk which follows the bottom of the gorge, wedged between the two cliff walls. It’s a more relaxed, shady way to experience Kings Canyon if you’re a little daunted by steep climbs.

When you’ve completed your hike it’s time to head back to Alice, this should take around 3-4 hours so leave plenty of time to arrive back at the shop before closing time at 4pm.

Ayers Rock Tours, Car Hire and Campervan Rental ph: 1800 24 68 69

Alice Springs 4x4 Rental and 4WD Hire ph: 1800 24 68 69

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