Red Centre in three nights ????

Old Mar 12th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Red Centre in three nights ????

We are planning a trip at the end of the year - mid December to Mid January. (Not ideal timing but you have to work with what you have!!)

It will be our first trip to Aus from the UK and we want to see GBR, Sydney, Daintree, Melbourne,GOR or Taz as well as the red centre.

We realise that we can fly to Ayres Rock but we are wondering whether to fly into Alice Springs and drive via Kings Canyon - to get a real sense of the landscape and vast open space. We could

a) pick up a car from Alice and take one night at Kings Canyon and 2 at Ayres
Rock/Olgas and fly out of Ayres

b)pick up a car at Ayres and spend three nights at Ayres Rock and use it as a base to tour a little

c)pick up a car at Alice and do a circular drive to Ayres and back

Any thoughts ?

Thanks

Annelli
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 03:37 PM
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Hi, Annelli!

I gather from the parenthetical addition to your first paragraph that you have already considered the weather conditions in the centre at this time of year, and -- maybe even more importantly -- the FLIES.

So, if we can't persuade you to take it off the itinerary altogether -- not forever, of course -- by all means come back for a second visit in mid-year and do the centre trip then -- then I guess that the best thing to do would be to look at your three options with regard to cost. Without actually having the first-hand knowledge of having stayed there (so I am open to correction), I would say that three nights at Ayers Rock would be easily the most expensive of the three options, as accommodation around there is hugely overpriced.

The other two options, using Alice Springs as a start-off point, would certainly be kinder on the budget, but you have a lot of outback driving to look forward to! Whichever you choose, I would shorten your stay at Ayer's Rock to a single night, which may be usefully added to Sydney or the Tasmanian leg of the trip. Once you have seen the rock, there's not much else to do with your time there.

By all means do the Great Ocean Road -- certainly, you have the time -- but don't get your expectations up too high; at best, it's a semi-great ocean road, and its reputation in recent years has bemused quite a few locals, including Liz and myself. Like Oscar Levant, who famously said that he knew Doris Day before she became a virgin, Liz and I knew the Great Ocean Road before it became great.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 07:07 PM
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If this is the only time you can visit Ayers Rock and you are prepared to cope with the heat and the flies.......
Then I'd suggest you hire a car and drive to Kings Canyon. Next day, as early in the morning as possible, do the canyon walk. Take plenty of drink, something to nibble, hat and sunscreen.
Allow about three hours. If it's too hot to walk, do the half-hour walk along the creek bed and take a helicopter flight over the canyon. Back track to Kings Creek or Kings Canyon resort to have some lunch, then drive to Yulura - you should be there late in the afternoon. Have two nights there, then drive back to Alice Springs. Don't make the mistake of taking the Mereenie Loop - really bad road and your car may not be insured on it. Make sure you visit the Olgas - just as spectacular as the rock.
I'm sure you are aware that December-January is our main summer holiday period and you will need to book ahead for accommodation.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 05:37 AM
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Hi - to be honest I wouldn't do any of them. (b) means staying in Yulara which as Alan has pointed out, is expensive. Not only that, but you would be on the road all the time from there to the Olgas; from there to Kings Canyon. NO.

(c) lots of miles for no benefit.
(a) the best of the options but still not what I would do.

With respect there are better ways to enjoy that stunning sense of being in the middle of nowhere. Kings Canyon and the Olgas feature in all the standard tourist itineries. There are alternatives.

You have to see the "Rock" and if you have loads of time you can visit at sunrise, and walk around early when it's cool, and go again at sunset).

But if you don't have loads of time then fly into Yulara in time to see the sunset and the sunrise (but one will do if that's the way it pans out); fly out to Alice next day. Stay overnight and hire a car to go out along the West Macdonnel range - IMHO that is a far better use of a day.

If you have another day - then take a 4wd day trip out to Chambers Pillar.

The best value ever!! But maybe not in high summer. I did it late January but I think I was lucky in that temps were reasonable and no flies.

If you fixated on KC and Olgas, then to be honest I'd take a tour. The distances are huge.

And if you are squeezed for time I'd skip the GOR too.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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I would try to spend more time in Sydney, Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road, and even TAS, and come back in a few years during June/July for GBR, Ayers Rock.

I'm not saying don't do the center or GBR, but limit your time there and spend more time further south.
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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We are considering visiting the Red Centre in October. How will the flies be then? Will we be able to do hikes (i.e. the Kings Canyon rim) if we do them first thing in the morning, or will it already be too hot?
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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 03:33 AM
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Anyone would think the flies were maneaters !!!! Simply buy a $5 fly net to put over your hat and problem solved. They are not the worlds best fashion statement but they work. It really is a waste of time going to Kings Canyon unless you are prepared to do the rim walk. It is not super difficult, just hard at the start to egt on top of ther canyon. Take your bathers for a swim in the waterhole as well
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