Northern Territory Questions

Old Dec 20th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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Northern Territory Questions

Unfortunately, only 4 days have been allocated to see some of the highlights of this vast territory so I need some help to maximize the time.

We get into Alice Springs at around noon and have the rest of the day there. The next day, I was hoping to do one of those long same day trips to Uluru. I've seen one company, Emu Run Tours. Does anyone know of any others that may be better? Here is the info on Emu Run's tour:

Emu Run collect you from your Alice Springs accommodation at 6am, stopping at Mt Ebenezer for a light breakfast.

We arrive at Ayers Rock about midday and stop at the Visitors Centre (warmer months only). We have lunch and travel to the Olgas. Back to Ayers Rock and visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre. We do guided walks at Ayers Rock, or you may choose to climb. (The order of this part of the itinerary may change between hotter and cooler months.)

The highlight of this great day of touring is a fabulous BBQ Champagne Dinner at Ayers Rock while watching one of our magnificent Central Australian Sunsets.

We depart for Alice Springs after sunset, arriving back into town approx midnight in cooler months and 1.00am warmer months.

Anyhow, we leave Alice Springs the day after and get into Darwin early afternoon and have the rest of the day to explore it. The next day we want to do a same day tour of Kakadu. We could drive ourselves to Kakadu, but I think we would get more out of a organized guided tour.

Again, I want to stress that I am fully aware that this isn't enough time to fully appreciate this part of the country, but in my mind, some is better than none.

DasFX is offline  
Old Dec 20th, 2005, 08:30 PM
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It's certainly better than not going but gosh, you're going to be tired the next day. Are there any tours that fly to Yulara? It's at least four hours driving each way and flying in would allow a more relaxing day.
Mt Ebenezer is only a roadhouse so don't expect a fancy breakfast.
The same applies to doing a day trip to Kakadu - it's about 300 km to Yellow Waters which is a must in Kakadu. Would it be better to do either Alice Springs or Darwin, rather than trying to do both?
marg is offline  
Old Dec 21st, 2005, 03:19 AM
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Hi DasFX, Re: Darwin/ Kakadu etc.
I went with Billycan Tours on a 4/5 day tour, but believe they have shorter. They were excellent - particularly the guide, Wes Ellems.

In Darwin, I can't recommend Dawn Hunt highly enough. Now at Travelworld in the Mall.(Used to own her own travel agency business). Great source of unbiased (!) info. Her number is 08 8981 7655 email [email protected]

My only comment about Alice/Ayers Rock is that if you can possibly fly, it would give you more time & options. I can't remember when you're going, but midday in summer will be very, very hot (high 40's (C)). It's an astounding area and (IMO) if you can possibly catch it in different lights (dawn/daylight/dusk) you will really start to capture the essence of Uluru in particular. We were there in early April (autumn) and whilst it was quite cold at dawn, it quickly became very hot.

I love Alice Springs, quite to my surprise. The Desert Park is an absolute must, also the Cultural Centre/museum. There are some good galleries in the Mall, and off in the side streets, showcasing some excellent Aboriginal Art, whether you're in buying or looking mode. If you're there on the weekends, there are some local artists/relatives, selling paintings on the grass outside the John Flynn Church in the Mall.

Also "must sees" in Alice Springs: The Flying Doctor Service; School of the Air; Reptile Park; First Hospital (in the mall - have a look at the airconditioning system). There's an excellent "hop on, hop off" bus $38 for 2 days - buy tickets at the tourist agency just off the Mall. (Can't remember it's name - but easy to find.)

Ask away if you have specifics - I'm not an expert by any means but have been around that area a little in the last couple of years & there will be others much more experienced who will give their advice.

Bokhara is offline  
Old Dec 21st, 2005, 07:09 AM
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I was also pressed for time in Darwin. I did a Kakadu tour with Aussie Adventures and was really satisfied with the tour I got! Usually the guide said the bus was a nice mix of young backpackers, adults and a few seniors. But on this day I was with older adults and seniors! I liked the small group. It was enjoyable... I got to see a lot... The paintings and walking up top for a view of the Billabongs, the Yellow Waters with 2 crocodiles, etc. Beautiful scenery. A friendly tour guide too...
christellefv is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 03:33 AM
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Bless you for trying to do this! My advice would be to just find several tour companies which do the one day trips and compare them to one another for what you will do and then close your eyes and pick! I would not recommend driving as you are quite right about getting so much more out of an organised tour. But more to the point, this is a very, very tight schedule and you will be very tired unless you sit back and let other people do most of the work. And also you do not have time to figure it out once you get there. So I'd say trust the professionals, but unfortunately I have no one to recommend.

If this is your first trip to Australia, you are in for a bit of a shock as to how isolated some of the places actually are. But that is definitely a big part of the draw card. The Ayers Rock thing sounds fine, under the circumstances, and you can sleep on the drive home; so if you have those blow up neck cushions bring them on that day. August is Winter in Australia, and although the days will be warm, even hot, in the center it will get very, very, very cold in the evenings and mornings. VERY. So make sure you have something warm to put on. I'm talking about frosty cold. I was there in August and I, being a wimp, wore my down jacket, my wool hat, my wool scarf, my gloves, and my earmuffs to climb the rock (which I regretted every single step of as the part seen from the ground is the easy part). Here is a link with temperature details to help you:

We were just in Darwin and Kakadu last September and it was warm all the time, even hot and humid, maybe cooler in the evening, but pleasant. I don't think it's as humid in August thought. In Kakadu be sure to go on a tour which includes or has an option of doing the Yellow Waters boat cruise because it is stunningly beautiful and you will love it. Everyone does. It isn't as easy as I thought it would be to find a 'one' day tour to Kakadu, but there are some. Here are two I just found for you:

You will definitely need extra strong, tropical strength insect repellent and 30+ sunscreen.

You'll love it up there. It's amazing.
tinydancer is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 05:14 AM
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Sorry, seems crazy to me. Is the rest of your Australia trip just as rushed? Plenty to see in either area (Red Center or Top End). I would pick one. You'll also get more value for your travel dollar.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 12:00 PM
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This thread is 5 years old, but good advice for anyone else on such a short time restriction.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 03:13 PM
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Yikes! I never thought to look. But glad someone else can benefit.
tinydancer is offline  
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