Ayers Rock Tours Vs Car

Dec 29th, 2003, 03:33 PM
  #1  
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Ayers Rock Tours Vs Car

G'Day,
I note the tours are quite pricy vs. renting a car for a couple of days. Are the tours worth the extra money or can you enjoy the Rock & Olgas on your own? There's two of us. Thanks.
YankerJohn
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Dec 29th, 2003, 07:56 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yes, you can enjoy Uluru and the Olgas by yourself. There is a good tourist office in Alice Springs and another at Yulura. Get as much information as you can and take off. If you are on a tour, you are restricted by their timelines. By car you can go where and when you choose. You can't get lost if you stay on the bitumen. If you want to do some walking, the walk through the Valley of the Winds in the Olgas takes about 3 hours and is worth doing. Another good place to visit is Kings Canyon - I can recommend the walk around the top of the canyon which takes 3-4 hours.
Just make sure you have water in the car, and carry water when walking. Use sunscreen and a hat, and it's a good idea to take some fruit with you too.
marg is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 06:45 PM
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I think you can happily go either way. For us, the Discovery Ecotours day trip to see the Olgas and Dunes at sunset was well worth it. First of all, it's a slightly long drive over to the Olgas so it was nice to let someone else take care of that while we relaxed. But more importantly, we had an excellent guide and a very congenial small group of people on the tour, both of which enhanced the experience.

However, if you don't usually like tours or would rather save the money, then yes, I do think you can enjoy both the Rock and the Olgas on your own. And as marg pointed out, going on your own will give you more flexibility. The Anangu sunset tour we did at Uluru spent way too much time at the Cultural Center for our taste and we resented having to spend so much of our scarce time there.
Miranda is offline  
Jan 1st, 2004, 02:40 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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We hired a car for our visit and enjoyed the greater freedom and, of course, the lower cost.

The thing with Uluru and Kata Tjuta is that they are such amazing places that you will want to photograph them from all different angles and viewpoints. Having your own car means you can exlpore and stop as much as you want, whereas a tour will only take you to predetermined 'photo opportunities'.

We had gone with tour groups during the rest of our Oz trip so it made a nice change to get in a car and drive ourselves. It was more of an adventure. In our own car, it felt like we were 'discovering' Uluru for ourselves, rather than being taken there.

I guess the only disadvantage is that you don't get the kind of background info or stories a tour guide would give you, but the cultural centre has lots of material that you can read up on.

Our full trip report is here
(http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34455339)
stevelondon88 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 02:00 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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We just got back from Ayers Rock and we did the tours for both Ayers Rock and the Olgas.

If you want to get a good explanation for both of the places, taking tours would be worth it, but if you're the type of person who can enjoy nature as is, I reccomend renting the car. As much as we enjoyed the tour and the stories about the Aborigines, the nature factor is so breath taking that we felt like we could have just sit there and enjoyed the whole atmosphere.

Another thing we found was that when we had BBQ dinner at the Outback Pioneer, there were so many people that came back from the tours, you can actually talk to them and find out what they actually remembered.... a good summary of the whole story behind the two places.
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