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Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

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Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

1. What is the suggested itinerary for a trip for 6 days and 5 nights from Alice Spring to Ayers Rock (one way)?

2. Is it safe and secure to drive from Alice Spring to Ayers Rock and around? Are the roads condition good? Any unpaved roads? Do we need a 4 wheel drive car or just standard car?

3. Is it easy to locate the sight seeing places?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

Hi,

The Stuart Highway is sealed and well sign posted. It takes approx 5 hrs drive South from Alice Springs along the Stuart and West on the Lasseter Hwy. (445kms) to Uluru.

The first service facilities can be found at Stuarts Well which is 91kms from Alice.

After Stuarts Well , Eridunda is located at the Lasseter Hwy junction which caters for accommodation , petrol, food , takeaway or dine in plus a good camping ground.

After Eridunda approx 57kms away is Mt Ebenezer which also caters for tourists with fuel , food, bar and accommodation. The last stop before Voyages Resort (Ayers Rock) is Curtain Springs where fuel and food is also available.

You can also drive via by the Mereenie Loop - 4WD only. Starts at the Namatjira Drive to the West MacDonnell Ranges in Alice Springs , passing through the major sights and later leads into the Mereenie loop which continues onto Kings Canyon.

You need to have a 4WD drive and a permit from the Central Land Council to drive through Aboriginal country, which is apart of the Mereenie Loop. All information can be found at the tourist information centre in Alice Springs .

For accommodation - at Kings Canynon.

www.voyages.com.au - Voyages Kings Canyon Resort.

Kings Creek Station - camping and safari cabins. www.kingscreek station.com.au

Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge - www.aptouring.com.au

Info on kings Canyon

http://www.kingscanyonresort.com.au/

www.nt.gov.au/nreta/parks/find/watarrka.html

For additional information see the link below.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i17672-Uluru_Ng…

Melb
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2. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

2. Road from Alice to the Rock is paved. About 450kms (from memory so may not be right.. best check Google). Safe to drive assuming you don't fall asleep at the wheel! (450km = 4-5hrs driving time plus sight-seeing/rest stops). Driving long distances for many hours can get tiring if you're not used to doing it. Normal car is fine. Road around Uluru itself is paved and out to Kata Tjuta is too I think (my trip there was in 2007 and I've forgotten!)

3. Yes.

1. One way? Does that mean you're flying out of Uluru? for 5 nights I'd go

- Alice Springs to Kings Canyon via Erldunda (there is a 'back' way (Mereenie Loop rd) but rental cars are probably not allowed to go that way and also a short cut (Ernest Giles Rd) but I have read reports that it's a very rough road so it's probabl;y best to stick to the paved road)

--- either stay 1 night, do rim walk in the morning then drive to Yulara (300kms, so 3-4hrs) or stay 2 nights and drive to Yulara in the morning

- stay 3 or 4 nights depending on how many you stayed at Kings Canyon.

- Your park entry pass that you need to buy is good for 3 days so you can drive in and out the park as much as you want (to go to sunset viewing area, the rock itself, Kata Tjuta)

Cheers, Nige

Edited: 28 July 2011, 23:49
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3. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

Hi,

There's plenty of things to do in and around Alice so you may want to spend a night or two in town before you head off. With 6 days you could comfortably have 2 nights in Alice, 1 at Kings Canyon and 2 at Uluru, or if you have a 4WD 1 (or 2) in Alice, 1 at Glen Helen, 1 at Kings Canyon and 2 (or 1) at Uluru.

So what to do in your time in Alice?

First up, the Desert Park, allow 3 - 4 hours to check out the visitor centre, all the aviaries, the nocturnal house and the birds of prey exhibit.

The reptile centre - here allow an hour or two (depending on if you make it in time for one of the talks) - you get to see and handle a huge variety of reptiles from the NT.

School of the air - about 1/2 hr, see how kids in remote areas do school through a combination of radio and interactive distance learning over a computer. The kids are at home maybe 700km away and the teacher is in a studio in Alice.

Royal Flying Doctor Service - visitor centre, museum, video. See how remote areas get their medical services. Allow up to 1 hr. Also has a fabulous cafe.

Araluen Art gallery & museum. Art displays from the central desert regions.

Telegraph Station - the site of the original "Alice Springs" waterhole and historical buildings from the first white setlement here in 1872.

Olive Pink Botanic Gardens - flora & fauna of central Australia.

Feed the wallabies at Heavitree Gap Resort at sunset.

Then out of town to the West you have Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen and more - all gaps/gorges in the West MacDonnell ranges with walking tracks ranging from 15 minutes to several hours or even overnight. (If you were to spend a night at Glen Helen you could make a day of it and visit these places on your way out of town)

Also west is Hermannsburg aboriginal community with some really good local art.

To the east more gaps and gorges - Emily Gap, Jessie Gap, Trephina Gorge and more.

West & South of town is Owen Springs reserve with some great 4WD and camping spots. Also Rainbow Valley to the south - need 4WD again.

Happy planning!

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4. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

I would derinitely encourage you to spend some time in Alice Springs, doing some of the items mentioned in the post above. I also think you will enjoy Kings Canyon, and almost think you need an extra day or two. as Uluru can be done in one whole day, but not easily and very full up. hope your flight out of uluru is a late afternoon so you have more time to see it all.

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5. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

I think Imadesertgirl's advice is good.

After Alice, head west along the West MacDonnel range via the gorges she's mentioned and plan to stay at Glen Helen Resort overnight. http://www.glenhelen.com.au/

From there head south via Gosse Bluff to the Mereenie loop road and on to Kings Canyon. Do the Kathleen Springs walk (easy) when you arrive. Stay overnight and do the Kings Canyon Rim walk (moderately difficult) before heading off in the late afternoon to go to Uluru. http://www.kingscanyonresort.com.au/

You will need a 4WD to do the Mereenie Loop and also a pass for the aboriginal lands, which you can get at Alice Springs Tourist Info or Glen Helen.

At Uluru you'll still have a couple of days to fill in. Do a dawn tour (Desert Awakenings is good.) And head out to Kata Tjuta in the afternoon.

If you have another whole day, I recommend the Cave Hill tour which goes to the biggest rock art site in Central Australia.

You'll pay a penalty for a one-way car rental, but not much choice if your flights are booked.

And get a map to check this out before you go. :)

Luigi

Edited: 29 July 2011, 13:06
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6. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

Thanks for your information.

Our initial plan is

A) Staying 2 nights in Alice Spring - driving along Namatjira Drive to and back from Glen Helen Gorge including Simpson's Gap, Standley Chasm...), Ross Highways to Emily Gap and Trephina Gorge and also sightseeing places in Alice Spring.

B) 1 night in Kings Canyon - from Alice Spring driving south along Stuart Hwy and turning west taking Ernest Giles Road (whether unpaved?), and Luritja Road to Kings Canyon.

C) 2 nights in Uluru - from Kings Canyon taking Luritja Road and Lasseter Highway passing Curtin Springs to Uluru/Ayers Rock.

1. Please advise whether we can drive by standard car instead of 4W drive through this route and which section are unpaved roads.

2. Whether a permit and/or park entry pass is required from the Central Land Council to drive along this route.

3. Any recommended company or website for renting of cars.

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7. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

Hi,

Your itinerary looks good.

We always use Thrifty in NT. You only need a 4WD if you go via the Mereenie Loop which starts at the Namatjira Drive to the West MacDonnell Ranges in Alice Springs , passing through the major sights and later leads into the Mereenie loop which continues onto Kings Canyon.

You need a 4WD & a permit from the Central Land Council to drive through Aboriginal country only if going on the Mereenie Loop.

The Stuart Highway sealed. - 2WD vehicle okay.

Lasseter Hwy is a fully sealed 244 kilometre highway and well sign posted.- 2WD vehicle okay.

Edited: 02 August 2011, 17:46
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8. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

HI,

Thanks for your speedy response.

1. Is our proposed driving along Namatjira Drive to and back from Glen Helen Gorge including Simpson's Gap, Standley Chasm...) mentioned under (A) is part of the Mereenie Loop?

2. Is Ernest Giles Road mentioned under (B) is paved or unpaved?

3. Some car rental company only include limited mileage of 500 km for 5 days. What is the estimated mileage that would be exceeded for our proposed route above?

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9. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

You will need a 4WD to do the Ernest Giles Road. The rental companies will not allow it in a 2WD car.

You do NOT need a Lands Council permit to do any of the trips you describe. You will not be going on the Mereenie Loop.

You would need one if you went from Glen Helen to Kings Canyon direct. You could get it at the Tourist Info Centre in Alice or at Glen Helen Resort.

You will have to pay $25 per person park entry fee at Uluru and a $10 entry fee at Standley Chasm. Everywhere else is free entry.

Ernest Giles is a dirt road. Stop at Henbury Meteorite craters on the way.

You will need about 300km per day to do your trip. Try Central Car Rentals in Alice, or else book through the tourist info centre in Alice with one of the majors.

Luigi

Edited: 02 August 2011, 19:34
Alice Springs...
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10. Re: Trip to Alice Spring and Ayers Rock

Hi again,

As Luigi said, Ernest Giles Rd is dirt and therefore requires 4WD. Your alternative is to continue south to Erldunda where you turn right onto Lasseter Hwy, then right onto Luritja Rd (both bitumen). This is 137km longer than using Ernest Giles, but you would have considerable savings on the cost of your hire car by sticking to the bitumen.

This map gives distances around Central Australia centralaustraliantourism.com/uploads/File/ce…

Cheers,

Desertgirl

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