Ayers Rock/Kings Canyon/Alice Springs?

Oct 11th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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Ayers Rock/Kings Canyon/Alice Springs?

We will have 19 days total to spend in Australia and New Zealand on vacation. With limited time in Australia, we want to know if a trip to the interior is worth the time or not to see Ayers Rock, the Olgas and Kings Canyon. We definitely plan to do a few days in Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns before heading off to New Zealand. Would appreciate your advice/suggestions/comments. Thanks!
B_and_B is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 06:16 PM
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It would help to know what time of year you are planning to visit. I don't think you can beat the beauty of our Red Centre - I think it's the best place on earth! BUT I wouldn't want to be there during an Australian Summer!

If you are travelling through our winter - June/July/August - then I would highly recommend you visit the area - it's simply stunning.
stormbird is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 07:26 PM
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I was there in March/April and it was warm/hot in the middle of the day but nowhere near sweltering. Cold enough for coats/sweaters/jumpers in the evenings & early mornings.

Cities are cities are cities - and Sydney is certainly a show stopper. But, as Stormbird says, Central Australia is unique.

I'm a huge fan of Alice Springs too and would encourage anyone to spend a couple of days there - even if it means deducting one from Uluru.

Whether it's "worth it" to you, B & B, only you will know.

There was a NT (Northern Territory) advertisement a few years ago which summed it up perfectly, IMO. "If you never, never go, you'll never, never know"
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 09:28 PM
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If you only have 19 days for both Australia and New Zealand (and it's not high summer), then maybe cut out Sydney and Melbourne and just do Cairns and the Red Centre.

I am also a huge fan of central Australia but I think you need a minimum of 4-5 days to see Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and Uluru. Just seeing Uluru, which is a very isolated resort, won't give you much insight into the area.
Susan7 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 10:26 PM
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Hi, B_and_B,

We were in Alice Springs / Uluru in July this year, and just loved the place. Even though it was rather colder and wetter than expected, we still found lots to do when our planned trips were cancelled. I would certainly recommend exploring this area over 5 - 7 days.

I posted a report recently on our trip in this area, if you would like somne ideas of what to do. We have not yet been to Kings Canyon - that is on our itinerary for our return trip to the area next July.
dotty is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 11:10 PM
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And a very good report it was too, Dotty. If I remember correctly, you amended your itinerary to spend some/more time in Alice Springs?

I feel like a cracked record sometimes, but it just breaks my heart to see people either flying directly in & out of Uluru or doing a "touch & go" at Alice Springs, just stopping long enough to collect a rental vehicle & head out. There is, as Susan7 says, more than enough to fill 4 or 5+ days - but you can get a sense of it in 2 or 3 if your timeframe really is that skimpy. I was there for a fortnight & could easily spend that time again & still not see everything.

Sometimes, we need to allow a couple of hours just to sit quiet & still to sniff the air & let the land speak to us. Ours is a very old country. She speaks slowly & quietly - and we can't hear her when we're rushing around at a million miles an hour yabbering.

Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 03:37 AM
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Hey friend!
I read your post and would like to suggest you to have some more time in Melbourne. There are many beautiful places to visit. Hope you will have a good time there. You can even go for chauffeurs to make your trip easy and less time taki8ng as they will make you visit most adorable places first.
JackDarcy is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Our trip is planned for early November this year. I think that is equivalent to spring in Australia, correct? My husband will be in Melbourne on business, and I will be joining him there. JackDarcy,we thought about a day to tour Melbourne, but are open to suggestions. My brother-in-law and his wife took the Wayward Bus trip on the Great Ocean Road when they were there last and recommended it, so would appreciate any comments about that.

Dotty, I started reading your trip report and will definitely go back to it as I think it will be quite helpful. I think we want to go to the Red Centre, and it is just a matter of how we can prioritize what we want to see, and extrapolate from that how long we need to be there.

Since Dotty hasn't been to Kings Canyon yet, I hope someone can comment on that.

Thanks everyone!
B_and_B is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 11:15 AM
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Once we did a 3 day outback tour:
- Syndney - ULuru AIR
- rental car from Uluru to Alice
- Air from Alice.

It was a wonderful experience not only to visit Uluru (not climbed! respecting it's an Aboriginal's sacred site) but also to experiencing some of the scenery between Uluru, Olgas and Alice.

To us it was more than just worthwhile the trip.

spassvogel is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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I've done the Uluru-Kata Tjuta-Kings Canyon-Alice Springs trip and I wouldn't recommend trying to do it in less than 5 - 6 full days. You'll want a minimum of 2 full days at Uluru/Kata Tjuta; you'll want another full day and night to drive to Kings Canyon and do the hikes; you'll want at least 2-3 full days for the drive to Alice Springs and sightseeing there.
I enjoyed our day and night at Kings Canyon very much. The hiking and the scenery were excellent.
longhorn55 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 01:14 PM
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In response to longhorn55's post, 5-6 days for Uluru-Kata Tjuta-Kings Canyon-Alice Springs is longer than we can do.

If we allow 2 full days for Uluru-Kata Tjuta, how long should we allow for the Alice Springs visit? How long a drive is it from Ayers Rock to Alice Springs? Can you fly from Ayers Rock to Alice Springs? If so, how long a flight and how costly is it?
B_and_B is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 02:46 PM
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It is about a five hour drive from Ularu to Alice Springs.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 10:29 PM
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Alice Springs doesn't have much to offer in itself but is a good base for exploring the country side. The West MacDonnell Range would be the go. A taste of some of the gorges like Standley Chasm, Simpson Gap etc.could be done in a long day; two days would be better; three day would be great. Up you you as to how much walking you want to do. You can "See" a lot at most places in a ten minute walk and get the key photographs etc. You could spend months here and not see everything.

As a rough guide, the average tourist spends 1.6 days at Ayers Rock/Olgas.

If time is short you will need to make a compromise. I would suggest giving up on Kings Canyon on this trip as it is a long drive through a lot of similar landscape. It is a good 4-5 hours from either Alice Springs or Ayers Rock. So ten hours of driving would be a bit of a waste I think.

With only a few days, I would fly direct to Ayers Rock and take a tour or two and stay overnight. Fly to Alice Springs and do a day trip or two from there. Then fly out. It will be busy but doable and you will see a great deal without all the driving. Four days would give it a good go, but will only scratch the surface, same as four days in most places.

The flight to and from Alice Springs from Ayers Rock is about 30 minutes. Better than a 4-5 hour drive!

There really is little to see or do between the key attractions. Mother Nature was not so generous in this part of the world in that regard. It is a great experience and we loved it when we went in July this year. But we had some time up our sleeves.

Trybr /> http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/getting/
peterSale is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 10:32 PM
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Bokhara2. Do you think JackDarcy is Ashlee, in disguise?
peterSale is offline  

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