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How to see Alice springs and Uluru (Ayers rock) in 3 days?

How to see Alice springs and Uluru (Ayers rock) in 3 days?

Sep 21st, 2001, 07:58 PM
  #1  
kelli
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How to see Alice springs and Uluru (Ayers rock) in 3 days?

I am looking for any input you may have on how we can best see Alice springs and Ayers rock in three days. Our flight would come into Alice springs. Should we rent a car and drive ourself? Should we take a three day bus tour? Where should we stay near the region of the rock? Is there anything else in the area that is a must see during our short visit there? Thanks.
Kelli
 
Sep 23rd, 2001, 11:08 AM
  #2  
tina
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h kelli,
we took a 3 day camping trip (sahara outback) to uluru/ayers rock and kings canyon and it was great. fly directly into ayers rock airport and the tour company can pick you up and start the tour there (not worth the trouble flying to alice springs and sitting on a bus for 4+ hours each way. most tours end in alice springs anyways). here's what we did:
day 1: flew to ayers rock; set up camp (nice, pre-erected tents with really comfy bed rolls) and had lunch. drove to the olgas, short walk. drove to view point where we could see both the olgas and ayers rock. sunset viewing of ayers rock. dinner.
day 2: very early breakfast. sunrise viewing of ayers rock. did the base walk around ayers rock. spectacular! went to visitor's center (which, in my opinion, should have been done earlier in day 1, so people could form a better opinion on whether to do the climb or not). lunch, followed by short swim. packed up camp and headed to kings canyon campground (a nice campground with a pool and orphaned roos that you can feed). it was a longish 3 hour drive on mostly unpaved roads. dinner.
day 3: after breakfast and breaking camp, went for a nice hike in kings canyon. some went for a swim at the watering hole (it looked kind of unsanitary to me though...) spectacular views there. worth going there! after having lunch when we finished the hike, we headed back towards alice springs. a long drive, about 4 hours, with a couple of short stops in between (one at yet another watering hole, but this one looked much cleaner!).
we ended up staying in alice springs an extra day to recoup and went to a nice tour at the aboriginal cultural center and went to the date farm and played with all the roaming animals.
btw, if you decide to go to ayers rock on your own, all the hotel/motels are in yulara and they are really expensive (i didn't see much below us$150 when i was researching).
have fun,
tina
 
Sep 26th, 2001, 11:20 AM
  #3  
Jane
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Kelli:
My husband and I did it in 3 days last year--we flew from Cairns to Alice Springs in the morning, explored Alice Springs, spent the night, got picked up at 7 a.m. by a camping tour to Ayers Rock, climbed the rock (my husband--not me!), watched the sun set over the rock, spent the night at the already set-up camp site, watched the sun rise over the rock, and caught another tour bus back to Alice Springs, spent the night in Alice Springs, rented a car and drove around the area until our flight to Hobart, Tasmania. (We had a Quantas pass)

I had misgivings about a camping tour but it turned out to be really fun. If you are ever going to camp out, the outback seems like the appropriate place to do it! Anyway, we enjoyed driving through the outback with a knowledgable guide, avoiding camels on the highway; seeing "truck trains" and hearing about the strange flora and fauna. On our tour we had 16 people--4 British, 4 Germans, 4 French, and 4 Americans. All spoke English, and everyone but us spent another day camping. One was enough!


 
Sep 26th, 2001, 05:30 PM
  #4  
lady
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Why go to Alice Springs at all? Fly direct to Uluru and save yourself a 250 km drive to Uluru.
 
Sep 28th, 2001, 07:13 PM
  #5  
Francine
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Please ignore the person who said skip Alice Springs. Its a wonderful small town with some interesting Aboriginal Art, and interesting Aboriginal community and fascinating history. There you can learn about the flying doctor service and why it is so important to these people. You will also see and hear a demonstration of the children who are educated via the air waves. These children live so far apart from one another, that it would be impossible to build schools for them. So they and their teacher communicate via radio. The teacher comes out to the station to visit each child once or twice during the school year. I was fasinated by both experiences.

You can fly from Alice to Ayers Rock or vice versa, but by the time you drive to the airport, check in, fly, and drive to the hotel, you could have taken the bus. Taking the bus gives you a much better feeling of the vastness of the outback. These stations are huge. And they are so remote.

At Ayers Rock, be sure to take the morning sunrise visit. The climb is a purely personal decision, but you can also do a walk around the perimiter of the rock. If you have 2 days you can do The Olgas/Ayers Rock at sunset one evening and The Sounds of Silence another. I met more people from more parts of Australia at Ayers Rock then in any of the rest of my travels.

Francine
TravelScape
 
Sep 28th, 2001, 07:15 PM
  #6  
Francine
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Kelli,

I failed to mention in my previous reply, I am a travel agent who specializes in Australia and would be happy to assist with your travel arrangements if you'd like. Send me your particulars and I can make suggestions.

Francine
TravelScape
 
Oct 1st, 2001, 10:59 PM
  #7  
kelli
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Thank you all for your input. Since my husband and I would rather spend more of our time hiking than seeing museums, we chose to fly directly to Ayers rock. Now I am simply trying to figure out where we will sleep? Are there any public camping areas, or are they all owned by the tour groups? At this point we are deciding between sleeping in a car and paying the steep prices for a bunk at the resort. Any tips?
Thank you so much for your input.
Kelli
 
Oct 7th, 2001, 11:54 PM
  #8  
Janine
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Hi Kelli

I worked out at the Rock some years ago. Unless things have changed greatly, Yulara (the tourist resort) is a company town controlling all the accommodation. Therefore, no cheaper alternatives such as public camping - unfortunately. Also, because the only accommodation is at the resort, this is often fully booked (hence the high prices) and I would not recommend arriving without a booking.

Lastly, please make sure you visit Kings Canyon (featured in "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert") as it is truly spectacular. There is also accommodation there or you could go as a day trip from the Rock.

Have a wonderful trip. This is a truly magnificent part of the world!!
(Shame you don't have time for Alice Springs as well - it's an interesting town, and there are also some beautiful sights in and around the Macdonnell Ranges.) - but it's actually 450km by road, not 250 as someone else said.

regards
Janine
 

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