Day 1: As the alarm sounded at 5am, it was time to go. We hit the road, and the first stop of the day was the camel farm. When we arrived a few of the group decided to partake in the camel rides. I have to say that there is nothing more hilarious than getting the chance to ride a camel. See for yourself!
Following lunch, we arrived at Uluru. Commonly referred to as Ayers Rock… or the big red rock in the centre of Australia, Uluru is truly a spectacular sight. We made our way through the information centre – taking in the history of the site, reading stories passed down through the indigenous culture as well as a being given a better understanding of the importance and meaning of Uluru.
There are various walk options around Uluru, our group decided to do a shorter walk to allow for more time at the sunset Uluru viewing (you don’t want to miss this!) When we completed our Uluru walk, we headed straight for the Sunset viewing; which included various photo opportunities as well as champagne and snacks – yummy! Uluru at sunset is one of the most remarkable sights I have ever seen – make sure you catch the moment when Uluru lights up in a beautiful bright red colour!
Our first evening with Wayoutback was spent camping at our own private campsite, which gave us the option of permanent tents or a swag sleeping options (I definitely recommend the swag!) as well as full toilet facilities. Katie our guide impressed us all with her campfire prepared kangaroo bolognaise cooking skills! One of the best meals I have ever had on a tour – Cheers for that Katie!
Day 2: An experience that some people only dream about – but for me, this was the second time I would be seeing the sunrise over Uluru. The group woke up before the crack of dawn and we headed to our private Wayoutback lookout point perfectly located to have both Kata Tjuta and Uluru in the near distance. The colours that lighten up the sky as the sun rises will blow you away.
Following the sunrise viewing, we headed our main destination of the day; Kata Tjuta. Kata Tjuta, formerly known as The Olgas, is a group of large ancient rock formations approximately 30 kilometres away from Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre.
Our walk for the day was the “Valley of the Winds” walk, which is a 7km hike through the 36domes. Out of all the ancient landmarks in the outback, Kata Tjuta seems to be the one that most people’s expectations are surpassed after visiting. Kata Tjuta’s has an incredibly rich history and geology behind it, alongside beautiful landscapes and photo opportunities to capture.
Subsequent to lunch, we began our journey to Kings Creek Station (campsite for the night). After a long bus ride, we finally arrived and I knew this would be a highlight of my outback experience.
Not only was it in the middle of absolutely nowhere, there was a bush shower and bush toilet. The way a “bush shower” works is by putting wood in the fire directly beside it, it heats the pipes, which feed to the showerhead! For many people, this would be something they couldn’t ever imagine enjoying… for me – it was one of most enjoyable experiences of my life! There is nothing more revitalizing than taking a shower in the middle of the outback, with no one around and being able to gaze at the stars directly above you. It was complete paradise, and I could have stayed in there all night.
Day 3: Today was another one of the highlights of the Red Centre Famil trip for me. With great memories from the first time I hiked around the beautiful Kings Canyon, I had very high expectations for doing it a second time. With an early morning wake up call, we packed up at camp, and headed straight to the Watarrka National Park (home to Kings Canyon). Today was the day I had been really looking forward to all week -In tribute to the film Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, the group was told to pack their outback bag with a “shiny dress”… even the boys. We were to reenact Priscilla, and hike Kings Canyon in our drag queen wear.
After a few group photos, we were off on our 7km hike around the canyon! Along the walk, you get spoiled with exceptional panoramic views of the canyon. The richness of red in the sand and amongst the bouldering rocks is hard to not take notice. Each and every corner you turn has the ability to blow you away with its beauty.
About 3km into our hike, we made it to the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden is a permanent waterhole found in the oasis desert of Kings Canyon. It was the perfect rest stop to sit back, relax and take in the beauty of your surroundings.
We continued the rest of our Priscilla walk through Kings Canyon, and took advantage of every spectacular photo opportunity we could. Around lunchtime, we found ourselves back at the car park, ready for some lunch and ready to set out to the West MacDonnell Ranges.
The West MacDonnell Ranges was one place on this tour that I had not been before.
Accessible primarily by 4WD vehicles, it was off the beaten track of most Red Centre tours. Our first stop in the West MacDonnell ranges, was Glen Helen Gorge & Resort – this were we were staying for the night.
The campsite that we stayed out was only accessible by 4WD vehicles – you had to take a small dirt road to get to the entrance. When we arrived, we unpacked our belongings from the truck and set up camp for the night. We had an amazing smorgasbord meal for dinner, and spent the rest of the night telling stories and drinking around the fire.
Day 4: Tear, tear… it was the last day of our tour. I couldn’t believe how fast this experience happened… I guess they say, “time flies when you are having fun.” We headed straight back to the West MacDonnell Ranges and our first stop was Ormiston Gorge.
Ormiston Gorge delivered incredible panoramic views from the lookout, and when you finally make yourself down to the heart of the Gorge you are taken back by the complete serenity and beauty that surrounds you. Some of our group decided that despite the chilled water, they would take the plunge and go for a dip in the Gorge.
After spending time appreciating the beauty of the gorge, and grabbing a midday snack – the group decided to “create our own adventure” and rock climb our way back to the car park. Our rock-climbing experience is one that I won’t forget for a long time.
Our lunch stop (and the best lunch on tour – bacon and eggs) was at the Ellery Creek Big Hole – extremely underrated, and somewhere not visited as much by travellers as it should be. The Ellery Creek Big Hole instantly blew me away, and managed to take the top spot for my favourite Red Centre landmark – coming in on top of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon – I kid you not! Look for yourself – you can’t put into words how incredible this place is – it really takes someone visiting here to really appreciate it.
As sad as it was, we began our 4WD journey back to Alice Springs. The bus was buzzing, and you could tell how amazing of a time everyone had. Before we got back into town, we stopped for the obligatory tourist photo at the Alice Springs sign – “Say Cheese” everyone!
Overall the Wayoutback Red Centre 4WD Wallaby tour was one of the best travel experiences I have ever had. Our tour encompassed everything you could want in an Australian outback tour – sleeping under the stars, campfire meals and stories, amazing rich history, beautiful vast landscapes and last but not least adventure and fun to last a lifetime.
Until next adventure…