An iconic road trip to Australia’s most famous landmark: Uluru!
There are few (if any!) landmarks in Australia more deserving of icon status than Uluru. Oz’s mega monolith is known the world over for its historical and spiritual significance, as well as its sheer size! Around half a billion years old, 348 metres high, and 9.4km around, Uluru is the curvaceous, full-bodied pin-up all Australians should clap eyes on and pay homage to at least once in a lifetime… and here’s the best way to do it. Read on for our essential itinerary that will take you on one of the most enchanting cultural journeys you can experience right here at home.
Start your pilgrimage in vibrant Alice Springs, one of Australia’s most central settlements and indeed one of the most remote communities anywhere in the world! Spend a day here (at least) immersing yourself in the rich Indigenous culture and history of the region. Visit the Alice Springs Desert Park, where you can learn about local flora and fauna and witness captivating bird shows. Don't miss the opportunity to experience the renowned Aboriginal art galleries and discover the intriguing Dreamtime stories that connect the Indigenous people to this sacred land.
Time to hit the road. The drive to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a scenic and awe-inspiring experience in itself. As you traverse the vast desert landscapes, you'll witness the ever-changing colours of the outback and the mesmerising beauty of the Red Centre. Keep an eye out for local wildlife including kangaroos and emus—just beware attempting a cooling waterhole dip. You might get a bit too up close to local wildlife of the big, leathery, snappy persuasion!
Once you’ve reached Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, prepare to be nothing short of gobsmacked by the sheer magnitude and almost tangible energy Uluru. The massive sandstone rock formation rises dramatically from the desert, changing colours and emitting varying auras throughout the day. Take a guided walk around the base, where you'll gain insight into the cultural significance of this sacred site for the local Anangu people. Witnessing the sunrise or sunset against the backdrop of Uluru is a truly magical experience that should not be missed.
Spend at least two days here to ensure you take in all the exciting experiences the region has to offer, from sunrise camel rides and skydiving to the eye-popping Field of Light installation and, if funds permit, a luxurious stay at Longitude 131º, where you’ll have front row views of Uluru from your bed!
When (if!) you can drag yourself away, continue your journey to Kings Canyon, a hidden jewel in the heart of Watarrka National Park. The substantial 321km drive takes you through more striking landscapes of the Red Centre, with towering cliffs and vibrant desert flora. If you need to break up the journey, consider a stop for food or lodging at atmospheric Kings Creek Station.
Once at Kings Canyon, you can choose to embark on a challenging hike along the rim of the canyon, where you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the rugged gorges and ancient rock formations. Take pause in the Garden of Eden—a lush oasis nestled within the canyon—and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this wonderous and biodiverse microclimate. Remember, swimming in the waterhole is not permitted as this hidden paradise is a sacred site for the local Indigenous people.
Bidding farewell to Kings Canyon, it’s onwards to Glen Helen, a picturesque oasis surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and the mighty Finke River. Relax and unwind at the Glen Helen Homestead, where you can enjoy the tranquil, spiritual atmosphere amidst the 800-million-year-old landscapes. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the nearby Ormiston Gorge, with its refreshing waterholes and spectacularly scenic walking trails.
From Glen Helen it’s a straight shot back to Alice Springs, where your Uluru adventure comes to an end, though the memories of your cultural and spiritual journey will no doubt last a lifetime. And remember—you could discover this icon in your very own icon… a 79 Series LandCruiser GXL complete with over $99K in modifications! Check out the current Cars for Cancer lottery to secure your tickets today!