Probably one of the coolest holidays I have been on what was a 3-day 2-night trip to Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and Australia’s most recognizable natural landmarks – Uluru. I slept underneath a starry night’s sky in a swag, I walked the base route of Ayers Rock and hiked to the Garden of Eden.
It was just one thing after another with its unique and breathtakingly beautiful scenery and that all whilst learning about the Aboriginal culture.
If you are thinking of taking an organized trip but don’t want to spend a fortune, then check out this blog post. I will take you along with my trip and show you what it was like, whether I recommend going on this tour or even at all. (Spoiler alert: This trip is bloody brilliant)
I had flown in the day before with my friend Esther. We stayed 1 night at Toddy’s backpackers where we got picked up early in the morning (6 am). The backpackers is unfortunately permanently closed (according to Google) which is a shame as it was a nice and budget place to spend 1 night prior to taking the tour.
The tour that is shown online on Emu Run, is showing a different order of stops. Depending on how busy it is, the tour drivers mix it up a little, so that not all tour groups stop at the same stop around the same time.
DAY 1 | ALICE SPRINGS TO ULURU
The first day involves quite a bit of driving because Alice Springs is still almost 500 Kilometer from Uluru. We made a couple of stops, amongst a camel farm, wood collecting for a campfire and general rest stops and at the cultural center before reaching Uluru.
Our guide, who was bloody brilliant, told the story of the Mala people during a short but super interesting walk. He described how they lived, how they hunted for food, what is a walkabout and much more.
After that, you got the option of doing a walk around the base of Uluru. Because it was raining some of the roads where flooded, making it kind of hard to walk the entire 10 K route.
Our tour guide informed us that we wear super lucky, as only 1% of the visitors to Uluru get to see waterfalls. The Northern Territory is one of the driest regions in Australia, experiencing extremities ranging from as high as 47 degrees in the daytime to below zero at night. When it does rain – a grand total of, on average, 300mm per year – water pours off the rock, creating spectacular waterfalls that most tourists seldom see.
After this, we headed out to the official sunrise and sunset are. With a glass of champagne and a couple of snacks, we watched the sunset over Uluru. Because it was cloudy, we didn’t have the most spectacular sunsets. (But we did have waterfalls – so you can’t have it all)
We bunkered in for the night in our swags at a location nearby, preparing for the next amazing day.
DAY 2 | KATA TJUTA – SUNRISE AND WALK OF THE WINDS
Getting up early in the morning for a quick breakfast and off to Kata Tjuta for the sunrise. If you have been following me for a while then you know that I am not a morning person. But for a sunrise like this, I don’t mind getting up early at all.
After that, we embarked to explore the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta Kata. Here, we got up close to this amazing ancient geological formation during a 5.5K hike. The highest point is Mount Olga, named in honor of Queen Olga of Württemberg by the explorer Ernest Giles.
Please keep in mind that this is a pretty strenuous walk so please bring lots of drinking water, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, and a hat. (Your tour guide will remind you as well, but better to be safe than sorry).
We had a couple of people go missing and it took us a couple of hours to be complete again. Apparently, they took a wrong path and ended up lost. They got so lucky that they found the right path again. After a well-deserved lunch, it was time to head to our next overnight destination.
DAY 3 | KINGS CANYON AND ALICE SPRINGS
The last morning that we had to get up early. This time not to see a sunset, but in order to be the first group at Kings Canyon. In order to actually see the Kings Canyon, you have to climb 500 steep steps. And they are not normal sets of steps, but uneven rock steps that take a lot out of you. The hike to the top of Kings Canyon is known as the spellbinding Rim Walk.
One on top of the canyon you will know it was worth all your pain and efforts. What a stunning view.
After that, we did the Rim Walk which took us on a 6-kilometer circuit transcending down into the Garden of Eden and back to the top to wonder at the 360 views. Absolutely amazing but I was glad I was with a tour guide, blimey I did not want to get lost here! In total, the walk was about 4 hours long. The toughest part is the steps at the start of the climb. That is definitely not for everyone.
At the end of the trek, it’s time to refuel with a bite to eat before making the journey back to the remote center of Alice Springs.
I absolutely loved the trip from start to finish. It was such a unique experience, from sleeping in a swag underneath the stars to hiking Uluru, Kings Canyon, and Kata Tjuta. It has been a while since I have done this, and now that I have written this I have lots of amazing memories that have come back to me. If I can, I might do it again.
Now you can do this on your own as well. But please prepare yourself as you are heading into the Australian outback. There will probably be no phone service and if you get lost, you’re in trouble.
In summer it can reach 40 degrees easily, so the environment is not for everyone. Make sure you are prepared when heading out. My advice would even be, don’t do it in summer, but in spring or autumn instead.
I love Emu Run and the guy who ran my tour (I have forgotten his name). This tour attracted a mixture of people, young and old. It was definitely not a drinking and party group, which I loved. If you are thinking of doing a group tour, then I suggest checking this organization out.
PLANNING TO GO TO AUSTRALIA? THEN CHECK OUT SOME MORE TRAVEL TIPS HERE:
- Perth City Guide
- The best of Australia’s Red Centre
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