Red Centre & Uluru Explorer

Trip Code: POKR

Why we love it

Take part in a Welcome or Acknowledgement of Country at the beginning of your adventure to recognise the land of the Anangu – the First Nations custodians of this area., See the sacred wonder of Uluru at multiple angles and at different points of the day. Embark on a walk around its base, and enjoy a spread of locally sourced produce at sunset, watching the rock change as dusk breaks., Gaze up at the constellations on a special stargazing experience and bush tucker dinner. The night sky comes alive in the Red Centre, with no pollution to impede your view., Tour a wide range of landscapes around the Red Centre, including the West MacDonnell Ranges and Kings Canyon., Hike through the otherworldly Walpa Gorge and to several viewpoints for spectacular vistas of Kata-Tjuta, the towering domes that form something akin to a forest of rounded rocks.

Is this trip right for me?

For the first two nights of this trip, your accommodation is in a permanent tented camp. This isn't the most basic camping experience, as you'll have beds with bedding and linen, electricity, and cooling fans inside your tent. Please note that facilities are shared with others at the campsite, including toilets and shower blocks, which are a short walk from where we camp.

Temperatures in the Red Centre can be extreme. During the day the weather can be very hot (and the Australian sun is very strong) so please bring appropriate clothing, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. In the evenings temperatures really drop, so bring base layers and warm clothing, including to sleep in.

On some days of the trip, you’ll spend many hours driving through very sparse areas of Australia. Sit back and enjoy landscapes that you would miss in any other form of travel. Think of it as a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie.

Important information

LATE REQUESTS
Please note that if you book this trip very close to departure, it may take us longer than our usual 2-4 business days to provide you with confirmation. This is due to a number of external factors, such as staffing levels at some of our hotels which may impact their ability to confirm services in a timely manner. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience when requesting your trip. Alternatively, if you require a faster outcome, you could choose an alternative date further in the future that can be confirmed immediately by us.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability.

START POINT LOCATION & TIME
This trip starts Yulara with a welcome meeting on Day 1 at 5pm at the reception of Desert Gardens Hotel. For those who would prefer to join the trip from Alice Springs, we offer an arrival transfer to Yulara departing from Alice Springs at 9:30am on Day 1. Please contact us to book these transfers no later than 7 days prior to your trip.

FIELD OF LIGHTS
This is a popular optional activity enjoyed by many visitors to Uluru and is not included on this trip. To avoid disappointment, ensure you pre-book this activity prior to travel through Ayers Rock Resort. Bookings should be made for Day 2.

What to bring/pack

LUGGAGE LIMIT
Due to limited vehicle space and strictly enforced road laws regarding weight limits, your main piece of luggage must be soft-sided and weigh no more than 15kg/33lb. You can also bring a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, sunscreen, etc when you’re exploring during the day.

We are unable to carry large suitcases, particularly hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings., Below are some essential and recommended items for this trip. Please review the ‘Climate and Seasonal Information’ to ensure you pack appropriately for the weather at the time of year you are travelling.

ESSENTIALS
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing and layers. Long shirts and pants are useful to protect against the harsh Australian sun. Clothes should be easy to wash and quick to dry.
- Comfortable, sturdy, closed-in shoes. These will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grasslands and will act as a protective barrier in the rare case of a bite or sting.
- Sun protection. Wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, sunglasses.

RECOMMENDED
- A spare pair of shoes that can get wet, along with two lightweight towels.
- A pair of slip-on shoes/sandals that you can carry in your day pack for riding the bus and casual wear.
- A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your accommodation at night.
- Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hotter months you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you can be comfortable no matter what the weather.
- Seasonal sleepwear. It may get very chilly overnight in colder months, so ensure you have something appropriate to sleep in that can keep you warm.
- Ear plugs.
- Binoculars for spotting wildlife.

VALUABLES
Try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

BATTERIES/POWER
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. There are some days where there is no power at the campsites at all. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery or power bank for your phone/camera just in case. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and campsites may have sockets for guests to recharge personal items.

MORE!
If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

Physical rating

3

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

KINGS CANYON, ULURU & KATA TJUTA
This trip includes walks and hikes around the major landmarks of this area. Please read the daily itinerary carefully for details. Walking is the best way to explore these stunning geological features in this otherwise flat landscape, so make sure you bring along comfortable walking shoes.

Joining your group

Desert Gardens Hotel, 1 Yulara Drive, Yulara, AUSTRALIA

Joining instructions

This trip's default start location is at the Desert Gardens Hotel in Yulara, where you will meet your group and your leader. If you are flying into Ayers Rock Airport you can take advantage of the free shuttle bus service to Yulara Resort. This service does not need to be pre-booked. Store your luggage and return in time for the group meeting.

If you are flying into Alice Springs you can opt to start your trip there instead with a pick-up in Alice Springs in the morning of day 1 of the trip. This is available as an optional service at an additional cost. Your departure from Alice Springs will be at 9:30am at Stay at Alice Springs Hotel (formerly Aurora Alice Springs). Please speak to your booking agent for more details and to book.

Finishing your trip

Desert Palms Hotel, 74 Barrett Drive, Alice Springs, AUSTRALIA

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 3

Lunches included: 3

Dinners included: 2

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Australia eats multi-culturally. Everything from meat pies to ramen, tacos, curries, rice and pasta are part of the national diet. Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for in Australia and most restaurants and cafes will have a good selection of vegetarian meals. Gluten and lactose-free diets are also well catered for.

Climate & seasonal information

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
The following national holidays are observed in Australia, which can affect our itinerary as traffic can be extreme, and shops, restaurants and attractions can be closed:

New Year's Day (01 January)
Good Friday (date varies)
Anzac Day (25 April)
Christmas Day (25 December)
Boxing Day (26 December)

CENTRAL AUSTRALIA WEATHER
Central Australia, which includes Alice Springs, Uluru and the surrounding desert, has a semi-arid climate. The area experiences large variations in temperature from season to season. Temperatures can be extreme on either side of the scale. They can rise above 40C/104F in summer and can drop below 0C/32F overnight in winter. Make sure you are well prepared no matter the season!

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

ALL general enquiry must be directed to our reservations team. In case of a GENUINE EMERGENCY, or concerns about a missed pick-up on the day of departure ONLY, please contact our local Operations Team on the number listed below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +61 482 658 066

Accommodations

Transportation

DRIVING DISTANCES IN AUSTRALIA
Australia is a BIG country! In fact, the whole of Europe fits into Australia with plenty of room to spare. Australians are accustomed to driving long distances on holiday, but you may not be. Perth to Broome is roughly the length of Portugal. Driving from Alice Springs to Darwin is about the length of the UK, and Perth to Adelaide is about the same distance from Spain to Poland. However, that's why we think seeing Australia from the ground is better. We live in a country that has it all; stunning coastline and beaches, the outback, tropical rainforests, and some seriously amazing landscapes and wildlife. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.

HOT WEATHER
From October to March it is likely that you will experience temperatures over 35C/95F. These extreme temperatures place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your leader will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping cool and hydrated.


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