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Admire the imposing rock walls, some of which are over 100 meters high.
Kings Canyon is the largest gorge in Australia. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Like Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, Kings Canyon is part of the Red Centre.
From Alice Springs, head to Kings Canyon via the Mereenie Loop to Uluru. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Glen Helen Gorge
Make sure to stop at Glen Helen Gorge.
Cross Kings Canyon Gorge over a bridge. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Stand on the rim of Kings Canyon. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Experience the outback landscape of the Red Centre.
The Kings Canyon Rim Walk guides you through the main attraction of Watarrka National Park in the Western Territory. Copyright: Tourism Australia
The Kings Canyon Rim Walk is a circular hike that takes about 3 - 4 hours. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Kings Canyon is a plateau with rock domes and rugged red rock formations. Copyright: Tourism Australia
In Alice Springs, you can opt for a hot air balloon ride.
Drive the red dirt roads of the outback. Copyright: Tourism Australia
The desert is alive. As barren as the landscape may seem, it's also alive for many species; for example, the Turquoise Wren which you can see in the West MacDonnell Ranges.
The leopard Ctenotus is a skink species endemic to Central and Western Australia, which can be seen here.
West MacDonnell Ranges
Uluru is the highlight of any trip to Australia. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Uluru: an Australian landmark. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Walk at the foot of Uluru and learn more about Dreamtime. Copyright: Tourism Australia
A visit to the Kata Tjutas is a must. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Kata Tjuta are a group of 36 mountains. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Kangaroo sightings are guaranteed in the outback!
The thorn devil thrives in the Australian desert.
Join us on a tour to the Australian outback.
Uluru is a sacred mountain for the Aborigines. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Go exploring with the Aborigines. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Enjoy a Sounds of Silence dinner in the outback. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Stay at Kings Canyon Resort. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Kings Canyon Resort - accommodation example. Copyright: Tourism Australia
Gourmet “Sound of Silence” dinner under the Uluru stars
Enjoy a glass of champagne during Uluru’s sunset and sunrise hours
Hike the Rim Walk at King Canyon’s edge
Four-wheel drive adventure on the Mereenie Loop from Alice Springs to Uluru
Discover the real Australian outback — red slopes and authentic adventure
Dry, desolate deserts and tropical, wild vegetation: For some, the outback in central Australia is what defines the continent. Your journey through the heart of Australia, the outback, begins in Alice Springs and continues to Kings Canyon and the legendary Uluru. With an off-road vehicle, you will jet over the MacDonnell Ranges over the red slopes, admire the unique natural wonders of the Northern Territory, and get to know the endless expanses of Australia - a real outback adventure!
The best time to travel through the Australian outback is between April and September. It’s not too hot during the day and not too cool in the evening. July and August are delightful months to visit the area.
Welcome to the outback!
Get to know the real Australian outback and visit its destination highlights: Uluru and Kings Canyon.
When you arrive in Alice Springs, you’ll first check into your hotel. There are lots to explore in the city: from the historical telegraph station, where you’ll learn about how Alice Springs arose in the middle of the desert, to the base of the Royal Flying Doctors, where the staff supplies the 16,000 people living around the 1.25 million km² Alice Springs area.
Another highlight is the School of Air. Here, children who live on remote farms learn in virtual classrooms. If you’re interested, you can take a tour and learn more about the great school.
In the evening, you can go to Anzac Hill and enjoy the golden sunset over Alice Springs.
Our tip for the following morning: a hot air balloon ride over the desert (optional). When it’s dark, shortly before 06:00, your adventure will begin. A transfer will pick you up from your accommodation and explain today’s procedure to you on the way to the starting point. When you arrive, you will begin the flight and already see the first rays of sunshine blanket the soft red tones of the MacDonnell Ranges landscapes. Enjoy the stunning surroundings and observe the fascinating animal world, like the famous kangaroos and cattle ranches.
After an hour, you’ll safely land and have a small toast of a successful excursion with sparkling wine. Enjoy a few breakfast snacks before a transfer takes you back to Alice Springs. Don’t forget to bring warm clothes with you since the temperatures are lower in the early morning hours.
1 night at Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia
Today you’ll travel through the West MacDonnell Ranges and its stunning landscapes. Start the day early and experience as much of the region as possible.
The mountain range boasts a unique natural area with gorges, bizarre rock formations, and numerous water sources. Ormiston Gorge is an impressive site created by the Ormiston River — the rock walls shine in different colors because of the high mineral content. Walk to the Ghost Gum viewpoint and soak in magnificent views of the surroundings.
Travel time Alice Springs - Glen Helen Lodge: approx. 6 hours 30 minutes / approx. 133 km
Overnight in West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Continue driving through the Australian outback. We recommend a trip on the Mereenie Loop, a four-wheel-drive route where you will follow the Dirt Road to Kings Canyon. This unpaved red sand road will take you into the real outback for an exciting adventure. You can also reach Kings Canyon with a standard car by driving via the Stuart Highway and Luritja Road to Kings Canyon.
When you arrive at Kings Canyon, you can let the overwhelming nature work its magic on you. The gorge is the largest in Australia and, in some places, up to 250 meters deep. Despite the desert climate, unique flora and fauna have developed since it has permanent water holes and high humidity. Palm ferns, blooming bottle brushes, and fig trees adorn the landscape. You can also spot dingoes, wallabies, reptiles, and more than 80 bird species.
Explore more of the landscape on the gorge’s various hiking trails. Our tip: Kings Canyon at sunset is an unforgettable view.
Driving time Glen Helen Lodge - Kings Canyon: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes / approx. 225 km
Bed and breakfast in Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia
Before continuing toward Uluru, you will start the day with a six-kilometer Rim Walk. The well-marked circular route guides through the upper canyon cliffs’ spectacular rock formations, up some rock stairs to the canyon edge, and to a viewing platform that looks out over the gorge. The hike lasts approximately three to four hours.
After the hike, head to Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, and pass Mount Connor’s rock formations, which look similar to Uluru. However, the mountain is much larger and has a flat plateau.
With your included Piti Pass, you’ll have the opportunity to see the Uluru sunset in the evening. The warm rays of the sun turn the Aborigines’ sacred mountain into a fiery red stone — a sight you’ll never forget. With a guide, hike to the Mutitjulu waterhole, discover numerous cave paintings and learn more about the Dreamtime, the Aborigines’ worldview. Finally, make a sunset toast with a glass of sparkling wine and a few snacks.
Driving time Kings Canyon - Uluru Hotel: approx. 3 hours 30 minutes / 305 kilometers
Overnight at Uluru, Uluru-Kata-Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Head to the Uluru viewpoint Talinguru Nyakunytjaku at dawn and enjoy the best sunrise over the famous red mountain. Experience the first rays of sunshine that fall on Uluru and bathe in soft red tones with a morning coffee or tea. Do you recognize the different colors compared to the sunset last night?
Afterward, you’ll drive with your guide to the dome-shaped 36 mountains of Kata Tjuta, formerly called Olgas. On the way, stop for a view of the southern part of Kata Tjuta. Translated, it means “many heads” because when you look at them, you will notice these so-called heads. Similar to Uluru, the Kata Tjuta rock formations formed around 550 million years ago.
Tonight you’ll dine under a starry sky during the “Sound of Silence” dinner. A storyteller will describe the different star constellations while enjoying a glass of sparkling wine and canapés on a viewing platform. Listen to the magical sounds of the didgeridoo and stories about the Aborigines’ culture and Dreamtime worldview. You will also experience a short dance performance! For dinner, a gourmet BBQ buffet will pamper your palate. Australian specialties, such as kangaroo and crocodile meat, giant perch (barramundi), and some fine wines are on offer. And after the meal, enjoy a delicious dessert served with a glass of port wine, coffee, or tea. Soak in the evening’s absolute tranquility as you get lost in the starry sky.
Overnight at Uluru, Uluru-Kata-Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Today your adventure in the Australian outback ends. However, you can continue the journey to other exciting destinations! Contact your travel consultant to find out what options you have.
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Aurora Alice Springs****, Alice Spings, Northern Territory, Australia
The hotel is an ideal starting point to explore the city and the outback. The on-site restaurant specializes in modern and traditional Australian dishes. In the inner courtyard, you’ll find a pool and wellness area. Parking spaces are also available.
Glen Helen Lodge***, West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Glen Helen Lodge is the only accommodation in Tjoritja West MacDonnell Ranges National Park. There are 25 rooms and an extensive campsite. There’s a restaurant, bar, and bistro that serves meals, cold drinks, and snacks.
Kings Canyon Resort****, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia
The resort offers two restaurants, two pools, and an on-site gas station. In addition to the hotel building, there’s also a campsite, tennis court, supermarket, and souvenir shop. All rooms are on the ground floor and have air conditioning, tea/coffee making equipment, and insect screens.
Desert Gardens Hotel****, Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, Australia
The hotel nestles in the middle of a natural garden and is only five minutes away from a gorgeous Uluru viewpoint. Bunya Bar offers delicious cocktails, which you can enjoy while relaxing by the pool. Arnguli Grill offers traditional Australian dishes.
The air-conditioned rooms have tea/coffee equipment, a TV, radio, and a minibar.
Closest city: Alice Springs
Closest airport: Alice Springs Airport
Duration of the trip: 6 days / 5 nights
5 nights in the accommodations mentioned above or similar:
1 night at Aurora Alice Springs****, standard room in Alice Springs, Northern Territory
1 night at Glen Helen Lodge*** in the Lodge Room, West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, Northern Territory
1 night at Kings Canyon Resort**** with breakfast in a standard room, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory,
2 nights at the Desert Gardens Resort**** with breakfast in the Garden Room, Ayers Rock, Northern Territory
5 days rental car Toyota RAV4 or similar including unlimited number of kilometers, vehicle insurance without excess, additional vehicle travel liability insurance from HanseMerkur (cover max. 1,000,000 EUR), state taxes (GST), registration fee (Vehicle Registration Recovery Fee), fees for additional drivers, Max Cover
International and/or domestic flights
Rental cars: petrol, tolls, special equipment (e.g., child seats: 16.50 AUD/day — max. 82.50 AUD/rental), any station surcharges (e.g., location fee at airports and other selected rental stations), processing fees (for traffic violations, accidents, and self-inflicted breakdowns), credit card fee (0.88-1.23%)
Meals and drinks not mentioned in the scope of services
Personal expenses, such as tips, etc.
Driver & driving license:
Minimum age: 21 years (Category. R: 25 years), must have had a driving license for at least 1 year.
Drivers between 21-24 years pay a surcharge of 16.50 AUD/day (max. 115.50 AUD per 30 rental days).
Additional drivers are free of charge but must be written in the rental agreement.
In addition to a valid national driver's license, each driver must have an international driver's license or a certified English-language translation.
When renting a deposit in the additional costs incurred (at least 100 AUD in Zone A or at least 200 AUD in Zone B), it must be paid by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express). The driver must be the credit cardholder.
Driving areas & restrictions
In the state of Northern Territory, you can drive on the following unpaved roads: Oodnadatta Track, Plenty Highway, Finke Road (between Alice Springs and Oodnadatta), Central Arnhem Road, and Arnhem Land (Group V & R are also allowed on the Mereenie Loop)
We are happy to make you an offer for the trip to be reverse (Uluru to Alice Spings)
Surcharges may apply during certain seasons or events