Australia Journals

Tour of the Red Centre

A January 2005 trip to Australia by Slaney

Ayers Rock Tour Photo, Uluru, Australia More Photos
Quote: This tour was run by Australian Pacific Touring (APT). It was three days and two nights, and we visited Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, and Alice Springs.

Voyages Outback Pioneer Hotel

Hotel | "Outback Pioneer Hotel"

Voyages Outback Pioneer Hotel Photo, Yulara, Australia
Quote:
This hotel is classed as standard, and it is. The room consisted of two twin beds, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and a patio window at one end. The bathroom had the usual facilities, with a shower over the bath. The room was clean and functional, and as we were only in it for a few hours, very satisfactory. The hotel has a swimming pool, restaurant, barbecue and bar, and a burger hut.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 22, 2005

Voyages Outback Pioneer Hotel
Yulara Drive
Yulara 0872
61 2 93391040

Kings Canyon Resort Photo, Northern Territory, Australia
Quote:
The room contained two twin beds, tea- and coffee-making facilities, a bathroom with a shower over the bath, and patio doors leading to the deck. It was very clean, and the whole place was very quiet and peaceful. The restaurant, Carmichaels, on site seemed to be very expensive, and I don't think anyone from our party ate there. The brochure also states that there is a George Gill Bar and an Outback BBQ and Grill, but these were closed. (I did hear the coach drivers talking about problems with the restaurant as we were exchanging passengers. There may be a staff problem, as the resort is quite isolated). Luckily, there was a filling station with a café and bar, with Internet access, and small sup...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 22, 2005

Kings Canyon Resort
Luritja Road Watarrka National Park
Northern Territory 0871
+61 (8) 8956-7442

Desert Palms Resort Photo, Alice Springs, Australia
Quote:
This accommodation was a self-catering detached wooden villa. It had a kitchen area with cooking facilities, a microwave, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. There were two twin beds, a colour TV, and a bathroom with a separate shower. Outside was a pleasant deck with a table and chairs.

The swimming pool has palm trees and an island in the middle. There is a golf course close by, and it is 1km from the town centre. There is a small shop in reception and a free shuttle to the airport.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 22, 2005

Desert Palms Resort
74 Barrett Drive
Alice Springs, Australia
+61 8 8953 4176

Ayers Rock Tour

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Attraction | "The Olgas and Sunset at Ayers Rock"

Ayers Rock Tour Photo, Uluru, Australia
Quote:
We were collected from our hotel at about 2pm and taken first to the Olgas. Our coach driver was a dour Scot named Gordon, but he certainly knew everything about our trip. The Olgas - known as Kata Tjuta to the aboriginals - is 36 domes and is believed to be a rock many times larger than Uluru (Ayers Rock). The bus pulled in to a park area, and we were allowed to walk up through the Olga Gorge, which most of our people did. The sheer walls rose above us, and the heat was so intense that we were glad to sit under what little shade there was on our return and gaze out at the red, barren landscape. The water we were advised to bring was now warm, but Gordon had some ice-cold water in the back of ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 22, 2005

Ayers Rock Tour

Ayers Rock, Australia

Ayers Rock Tour

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Attraction | "The Sunrise "

Ayers Rock Tour Photo, Uluru, Australia
Quote:
It was 4am, and we dragged ourselves, bleary eyed, out of bed for the coach, which was collecting us at 4:50. Before leaving, we had to pack everything and check out, leaving our luggage in reception. On arrival at our allocated place, we were given a cup of tea or coffee (when I returned home, I read in the brochure that we got champagne!!), then disbanded each to find their own view of the rock. This is the highlight of any Red Centre Tour. There is a proper viewing area, but most people just stayed at the side of the road. I couldn't believe how many people there were, some were on the roof of a jeep, some sat on car fronts for warmth - it wasn't cold, but a wool jacket was nice. A...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 22, 2005

Ayers Rock Tour

Ayers Rock, Australia

Kings Canyon Resort

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Attraction | "Kings Canyon"

Kings Canyon Resort Photo, Northern Territory, Australia
Quote:
Arriving at Kings Canyon Resort, we found the restaurant to be quite expensive and walked on the road to a small supermarket/café/filling station. The café was closed, so we bought provisions and went back to our room for another early night in preparation for an early start. This start was at 5am, ready to go at 5:40am to Kings Canyon. Apparently an early start is advisable due to the intense heat. On arrival we had a choice of two walks. The one requiring a good level of fitness was along the rim of the canyon to the Lost City and Garden of Eden, and the other easier walk was along the canyon floor. We opted for the latter and found it a bit boring. We were escorted by our coa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 22, 2005

Kings Canyon Resort
Luritja Road Watarrka National Park
Northern Territory 0871
+61 (8) 8956-7442

Arrival at Ayers Rock

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Story/Tip

Ayers Rock Photo, Australia, South Pacific
Quote:
Our flight from Sydney touched down midmorning at Ayers Rock’s small airport. We had good views of the rock as we were approaching, and everyone was excited. The airport being small, we had to walk to the terminal, and the heat was already intense. Inside we were met by a representative of APT who gave us our itinerary for the 3 days and our instructions for the afternoon’s activities. We were then herded onto free buses to Ayers Rock Resort and our hotels. There are three hotels at the resort, which are quite well camouflaged in the middle of the desert. The standard hotel is Outback Pioneer, the first-class one is Desert Gardens, and the deluxe is Sails in the Desert. There are also camping...Read More

Alice Springs

Story/Tip

Alice Springs Photo, Australia, South Pacific
Quote:
Alice Springs seems to consist of one main street where there are cafes, shops, and restaurants. Unfortunately, our hotel was about 30 minutes' walk away from this area and it was late afternoon when we arrived for our one-night stay. I was hoping to see more of Alice, which our schedule didn't allow, but I was determined to see what I could. Our walk took us by the side of the Todd river bed and by some open ground, where, to my delight, I saw a flock of wild parrots. They were grey with red flashes. Then a flock of emerald green ones flew by, and then a flock of white cockatoos - it was wonderful to see them flying free. The date farmers have to cover the dates as they are growing, or the p...Read More
Kings Creek Cattle Station Photo, Australia, South Pacific
Quote:
Kings Creek Station is a huge cattle station which also specialises in camel herding for export to Arabian countries. Our stop here was to give us a chance for something to eat, as the road to Alice Springs is desolate. There is a cafe where we were told kangaroo burgers, which are very healthy, would be on offer; however, they were out of them, so most of us settled for a bacon sandwich. There is a small indoor seating area and one or two chairs and tables outside. There are also restrooms. They have a few captive kangaroos, which were languishing in the shade; camels, which were for hire - one or two in our party had a ride round the enclosure; a cockatoo in a cage; and a few dogs wand...Read More