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Flying into Ayers Rock or Alice Springs + Kings Canyon side-trip

Flying into Ayers Rock or Alice Springs + Kings Canyon side-trip

Oct 20th, 2010, 11:40 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Flying into Ayers Rock or Alice Springs + Kings Canyon side-trip

We will be in Melbourne in early November where I am meeting my husband as he finishes a business trip. Can we fly direct from Melbourne to Ayers Rock (preferably) or Alice Springs? In other words, we don't want to fly from Melbourne to Sydney and then to the Red Center. Is there an airline that flies direct, nonstop from Melbourne?

Have read lots of postings about Kings Canyon and still don't know what to do. We are in our early/mid-60's, and have some concerns about how we would handle the hike to the rim. I don't handle heat very well, and for medical reasons have to limit my fluid intake. Hubby has a bad knee (bone-on-bone arthritis and scheduled for a knee replacement soon). Would appreciate your advice on whether we should make the trip to Kings Canyon based on whether you think the hike is too strenuous for us or not. Or what alternative would you recommend if we skip Kings Canyon? We do plan to see Ayers Rock and the Olgas; and perhaps a quick visit to Alice Springs (would like your opinions on that too).

Knowing the answers to these questions will help us finalize our Red Center trip so we can move on to planning the Cairns/Port Douglas part of our trip.

Thanks.
B_and_B is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 01:15 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I suspect that Qantas will be your only option and that nonstop flights from MEL to/from Alice Springs or Uluru will be as few as once daily. If anyone knows otherwise, please correct me. As for the terrain and weather condidtions, the territory is harsh and it will be hot (>30ºC). There is more accurate info here: http://www.bom.gov.au/nt/forecasts/map.shtml
Given your medical conditions, I wouldn't if I were in your shoes (or boots).

Don't miss the chance to see Alice Springs. The camel ride + dinner (Take a Camel to Dinner) is especially memorable and the dinner afterward is excellent. Don't forget your mosquito headnet for the flies and, when offered a sheepskin for extra padding on the saddle - take two. The Alice Springs Desert Park is also worthwhile. http://www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au/

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Orlando_Vic is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 03:39 PM
  #3  
 
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Flights: http://www.virginblue.com.au/Persona...eFly/index.htm
http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airl...maps/global/en

Given your husband's knee, I wouldn't recommend the Kings Canyon walk.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 03:43 PM
  #4  
 
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The two airlines that fly to Uluru are Qantas and Virgin Blue. Neither flies direct from Melbourne. All of the Virgin Blue flights go through Sydney. The Qantas flights from Melbourne either go through Sydney, Alice Springs or Cairns. You can fly direct from Melbourne to Alice Springs on Qantas, but there may be only one flight daily.
Having been to Kings Canyon myself and considering the physical limitations you have listed for yourself and your spouse, I would not recommend you go to Kings Canyon--too hot and the hike up to the rim walk would be too strenuous.
longhorn55 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 04:14 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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QF796 departs MEL at 08:40 and flies nonstop to ASP, arriving at 10:05, so that may be interest to you.

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Orlando_Vic is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 05:54 PM
  #6  
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Thanks for the fast responses! I have heard about helicopter flights over Kings Canyon. Do they leave from Ayers Rock or Alice Springs, or only from Kings Canyon itself? Wondering if a flight over would be a satisfactory alternative.
B_and_B is offline  
Oct 20th, 2010, 06:24 PM
  #7  
 
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The Kings Canyon helicopter flights depart from Kings Canyon.

I'd not recommend the walk around the canyon rim, given your husband's poor knee condition. It does involve a lot - hundreds - of steps.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  

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