We are currently planning a holiday to the Top End in July, and I thought I would write about another holiday in NT! NT and really any part of Northern Australia is the perfect place for a winter getaway, the monsoon season is gone, it’s clear bright skies, it’s not ridiculously hot, most of the roads have opened because the rains have gone, and because of JetStar, it no longer costs a small fortune to get out there and see the remotest parts of Australia!
I have been wanting to go to Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) since as long as I can remember! I missed out on a school camp, and since then I’ve constantly tried to plan it with friends and for one reason or another the plans had fallen apart.
We got some Buy 1 Get 1 Free return tickets from a JetStar sale. This was totally a bargain, seriously $260 for both of us return, even at their usual price of $129 each way, it is still a bargain. Before JetStar was around, tickets return to Alice Springs/Ayers Rock was about $500 return per person!!! So we booked our tix around Queens Bday, but to get those sale tickets, we ended up with 5 days that we had to fill up!
So, the fun of planning for a holiday began! This is one of my favorite parts of any holidays, the initial excitement of planning the “perfect” getaway with the hope that when you get there, that the research has paid off.
Things to remember when you fly into the Ayers Rock Airport, the Ayers Rock Airport is owned and operated by the Ayers Rock Resort, which also operates the various types of accommodation (from camping all the way to five-star glamping accommodation). You could stay outside of the Ayers Rock Resort, but most the accommodation outside of the resort is at least an hour away, so if you plan on trying to see the sunrise (and this is a must!), that’s a very early morning wake up call!! There are shuttle services at the resort, so you can get away with just doing day tours and using the shuttle services, and/or hiring a bicycle to get around if you are on a budget.
Hiring a car comes with its own additional costs, any car hire in NT comes with 100km per day, and anything on top is charged at per km. When we booked we didn’t know this, also to try and find out the km cost you need to call up the various car hire companies, the price varies quite a bit and at an additional 800kms (which is what we ended up with), this makes a big difference to your budget! We found that we very easily hit 200kms+ in a day depending on what we had planned to do that day. Our trip plan was to basically do a big loop, start at Ayers Rock -> West MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs -> Kings Canyon -> Ayers Rock and this would fit perfectly into our schedule.
Summary of our itinerary is as follows:
- Fly into Ayers Rock around mid day
- Grab our car and check into the accommodation
- Base walk of Ayers Rock and any other walks of interest
- Head back to camp, and relax by the pool/explore the galleries and shops
- Head out for sunset at Ayers Rock
- Stay the night at Ayers Rock
- Check out the sunrise at the Olgas
- Do one of the walks in the Olgas
- Drive out to Alice Springs via Curtin Springs for lunch
- Stay the night at Alice Springs
- Head out towards West MacDonnell Ranges, stop by the following stops:
- Serpentine Gorge
- Ormiston Gorge
- Glen Helen
- Tyler Pass Lookout
- Drive out to Kings Canyon
- Stay the night at Kings Canyon
- Hike at Kings Canyon
- Drive to Ayers Rock
- Sunrise at Ayers Rock
- Check out any of the additional walks
- Head back to the resort to relax or head out to the airport
So our adventure began!! Check out the weekly posts to see what happened 😊
Happy Trip Avenging!