Australia Journals

Australia's Red Centre

A travel journal to Australia by Heather F

Olgas at sunrise Photo, Australia, South Pacific More Photos
Quote: Imagine a central Australian landscape: the red-brown of the rolling hills interspersed with the occasional rocky outcrop, dry green where rings of spinifex grow or a bright dash of colour - spectacular wild flowers. This is Australia’s Red Centre, and there is much more than Ayers Rock!

Australia's Red Centre

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Overview

Chambers Pillar Photo, Australia, South Pacific
Quote:
Climb/explore Ayers Rock, sunrise at the Olgas, walk Kings Canyon, explore Palm Valley, fly over Ayers Rock & the Olgas.

Quick Tips:

Allow plenty of time and avoid a 'quick trip' from Alice Springs if you can.

Take lots of film.

Be prepared for the heat, take lots of drinking water, a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

Take care on the roads and watch for wandering kangaroos, cattle and camels.

Best Way To Get Around:

The best alternative is to have your own vehicle to get you from place to place. Walking is the best way to explore the actual sights.

Ayers Rock Tour

Attraction | "Ayers Rock (Uluru)"

Ayers Rock Tour Photo, Uluru, Australia
Quote:
Climbing Ayers Rock remains a highlight. It is still an option but it is hard work. Be careful when climbing (don’t chase your hat if it blows off as a number of people have been killed doing that!) Alternatively, walk around the base (some areas are off limits) to see the wild flowers, the aboriginal paintings, or else take an aboriginal guided tour or visit the cultural center.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2000

Ayers Rock Tour

Ayers Rock, Australia

Kata Tjuta/The Olgas

Attraction | "The Olgas"

Kata Tjuta/The Olgas Photo, Uluru, Australia
Quote:
Thirty kilometers west of Ayers Rock is the Olgas - thirty-six conglomerate domes up to 546 metres high. An excellent time to visit is at sunrise when these reddish domes are touched with a tint of gold and when there are few, if any, other visitors. Less people visit the Olgas than Ayers Rock. One of the best options here is to do the Valley of the Winds walk, either the eight kilometer or six kilometers to the saddle and return. As with Ayers Rock, wildflowers abound if the season has been right. The foreground is a riot of colour - gold, white, pink and purple.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2000

Kata Tjuta/The Olgas

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Kings Canyon Rim Walk

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Attraction | "Walk Kings Canyon"

Kings Canyon Rim Walk Photo, Northern Territory, Australia
Quote:
Another popular destination is Kings Canyon, tucked away in the George Gill Range. It is a spectacular mixture of hidden waterholes such as the Garden of Eden, sheer colourfully lined cliff faces, abundant plant life, hidden gorges and the conglomeration of layered domes whimsically called the 'The Lost City' due to its resemblance to an archeological site. Again, a range of walks are the best option for exploring Kings Canyon. Be prepared for 'heart-attack hill' the steep climb up to the ridge top. There is a circular walk which goes around the canyon, or for the more energetic there is the option of extending the walk along the ridge top.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2000

Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Alice Springs
Northern Territory

Arltunga

Attraction

Arltunga Ruins Photo, Australia, South Pacific
Quote:
Amid the East MacDonnell Ranges of Central Australia is a remarkable sight with an amazing story behind it. This is Arltunga Historical Reserve with its reminders of the gold-mining activities begun more than 100 years ago and the site of Central Australia’s first town. A modern day ghost town which also has the “Loneliest Pub in the Scrub”.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 23, 2000

Palm Valley

Attraction

A Lush Oasis Photo, Australia, South Pacific
Quote:
In the dry red sands of central Australia is the lush oasis of Palm Valley. Part of the 46 000 hectare Finke Gorge National Park, Palm Valley is home to the rare Red Cabbage Palm, just one of a diverse range of plant species. Entering Palm Valley the tall Red Cabbage Palms, they grow up to 25 metres in height, dominate the skyline while rich red cliffs form the backdrop. This species of palm, Livistona mariae, is found nowhere else in the world and is over 800 kilometres from its nearest relative.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 23, 2000

Trephina Gorge Photo, Australia, South Pacific
Quote:
To the east of Alice Springs is a less well known area the East MacDonnell Ranges. Spectacular mountain ranges and gorges, an arid desert landscape which can be rapidly turned into a colourful floral carpet after a sudden shower and an amazing history: geological, Aboriginal and recent, provide a range of experiences.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 23, 2000

And Much Much More

Story/Tip

Chambers Pillar Photo, Australia, South Pacific
Quote:
And there is much, much more -

Rainbow Valley - a striped, rocky outcrop with mirrored reflection in an adjacent lake. ideal to see at sunset.

Chambers Pillar - Once a focal point of navigation through Australia's harsh, arid centre, it is now an attraction to 4WD. Often surround by a blaze of colourful wildflowers, this rocky pillar also includes historic messages of some of the areas early explorers.

Ewaninga Rock Carvings - very abstract but so ancient that even the aborigines cannot tell the stories behind them with certainty.