Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park courtesy of MHutchinson clollection for the promotion of Aboriginal cultural tourism
The West MacDonnell Ranges and the East MacDonnell Ranges are known as the MacDonnells Ranges with the centre point commonly known as Heritage Gap at the commencement of Alice Springs in Northern Territory Australia
Home to the MacDonnells Ranges tourist information guide sites One day sightseeing, extended tours, premium coach touring, overnight to extend camping safaris to Uluru Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta - The Olgas, Kings Canyon, Mereenie Loop, West MacDonnells Ranges and East MacDonnells Ranges in Australia's Red Centre Way in Northern Territory Australia. Hire and rental such as a 2-3-4 berth camper van, 4WD Camper, luxury RV motorhome and selfdrive from Alice Springs to Uluru Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta - The Olgas, Kings Canyon, Mereenie Loop, West MacDonnells Ranges and East MacDonnells Ranges in Australia's Red Centre Way in Northern Territory Australia.  
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The Red Centre Way
To Uluru - Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta - the Olgas, Mereenie loop, Kings Canyon
in Northern Territory
Australia
A tourist selfdrive hire guide and information

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock

Welcome to Aboriginal land
Pukulngalya yanama, Ananguku Ngurakutu
(welcome greeting in Yankunytjatjara)
Pukulpa Pitjama, Ananguku Ngurakutu (welcome greeting in Pitjantjatjara)

The traditional land owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, are direct descendants of the beings who created our lands during the Tjukurpa (Creation Time). We have always been here. We call ourselves Anangu, and would like you to use that term for us.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a world-class visitor destination and a key part of Australia's iconic Red Centre. This living cultural landscape is the physical and metaphoric heart of Australia, and was one of the first areas to be identified as a National Landscape.

Ayres rock Uluru, also referred to as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs; 450 km (280 mi) by road. Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area.

It has many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site. The local Pitjantjatjara people call the landmark Uluru . This word has no particular meaning in their dialect, also known as Pitjantjatjara, but it is also used as a local family name by the senior Traditional Owners of Uluru.

On 19 July 1873, the surveyor William Gosse visited Uluru and named it Ayers Rock in honour of the then-Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers. Since then, both names have been used, although Ayers Rock was the most common name used by outsiders until recently. In 1993, a dual naming policy was adopted that allowed official names that consist of both the traditional Aboriginal name and the English name.

On 15 December 1993, it was renamed "Ayers Rock/Uluru" and became the first officially dual-named feature in the Northern Territory. The order of the dual names was officially reversed to "Uluru/Ayers Rock" on 6 November 2002 following a request from the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs.

Uluru is one of Australia's most recognisable natural icons. The world-renowned sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high (863 m/2,831 ft above sea level) with most of its bulk below the ground, and measures 9.4 km (5.8 mi) in circumference. Uluru is notable for appearing to change colour as the different light strikes it at different times of the day and year, with sunset a particularly remarkable sight when it briefly glows red. Although rainfall is uncommon in this semiarid area, during wet periods the rock acquires a silvery-grey colour, with streaks of black algae forming on the areas that serve as channels for water flow. Uluru is an inselberg, literally "island mountain", an isolated remnant left after the slow erosion of an original mountain range. Uluru is also often referred to as a monolith, although this is a somewhat ambiguous term because of its multiple meanings, and thus a word generally avoided by geologists.

The strata at Uluru are nearly vertical, dipping to the south west at 85°, and have an exposed thickness of at least 2,400 m (7,900 ft). The strata dip below the surrounding plain and no doubt extend well beyond Uluru in the subsurface, but the extent is not known.

Cultural Centre
When you visit Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, you should ensure that you explore the Cultural Centre first. You will enjoy exploring the Park much more if you understand Anangu culture and this very special cultural and natural environment. At the Cultural Centre you can get an introduction to Tjukurpa (law, knowledge, religion, philosophy), Anangu art, Anangu way of life (traditional and current), history, languages, wildlife and joint management of the Park. The displays feature photo collages, oral history sound panels, Pitjantjatjara language learning interactives, soundscapes, videos and artefacts. There are bush tucker sessions, plants walks and cultural sessions for visitors to experience. Cultural Centre notes are provided in Pitjantjatjara, English, Italian, Japanese, German and French. A touch wall for visually impaired people ensures that the messages are accessible to everyone. Daily schedules vary, so ask at the Cultural Centre Information Desk. Park Fees

Ayres Rock
Ayres Rock
Ayres Rock
Kata Tjuta
Thorny Devil
Ayres Rock visitors centre

The Mereenie Loop - Red Centre Way (formerly Mereenie Loop Road)
The route runs initially along a minor loop encompassing Larapinta and Namatjira Drives through Aboriginal land-holdings from Alice Springs on to Glen Helen or Hermannsburg, thereafter becoming a single road progressing on to Kings Canyon. From there Luritja Road runs down to join up with the Lasseter Highway, feeding off the Stuart Highway at Erldunda and on to Uluru. The route passes through some of the Northern Territory’s most spectacular countryside, and also offers an alternate route for visitors travelling to and from Uluru and Alice Springs.

The Mereenie Loop Road
The Mereenie Loop Road is an unsealed road for 197km of 337km, a 4WD is required. This drive is one that memories are made off and photo's will fill your home with. Imagine the 4 great Central Australian icons areas all in one trip being Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta (formerley known as The Olgas) and Uluru (formerley known as Ayers Rock) . The Red Centre Way is the gateway to an abundance of natural and aboriginal attractions through the ancient heart of the Australian outback. Allow a minimum of 5 to 7 days for this journey through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest.

Red Centre Way 5 Day Intinerary
Alice Springs to Glen Helen, 130 kms.
Glen Helen to Kings Canyon, 260 kms.
Kings Canyon to Uluru, 300 kms.
Continue experiencing Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Uluru to Alice Springs, 445 kms. Highlights along the way include Glen Helen Gorge, the Gardner Range, Finke Gorge, Mount Connor and Palm Valley. 4WD is recommended on the Meerenie, although conventional cars have been known to survive the trip. My advice is drive slow - veyr slow and enjoy the view (RAB2009)

Permits To Drive On the Mereenie Loop Through Aboriginal Lands
The Loop will take you through areas where ten distinct Aboriginal languages are spoken. Also, a permit is required to travel on the Loop. You can obtain them from the Central Land Council in Alice Springs ([08] 8953 4345), Glen Helen Resort, Hermannsburg Petrol Station and Kings Canyon Resort. The permit costs just $2.

Outback Driving
Outback Driving
Outback Driving

Ayers Rock Resort

Regardless of where you stay while you're at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, from the sanctuary of one of the five hotels, or the intimacy of Voyages Ayers Rock Resort Campground, you can experience the beauty of the living cultural landscape of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in Australia's Northern Territory. With over 65 tours, local activities and attractions within the Resort and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, your days will be action-packed. Ride a camel across the desert dunes. Hop on a Harley, or embark on a base walk of Uluru (Ayers Rock).

Getting There

Ayers Rock Resort Airport Fly direct to the heart of Australia ... You can fly daily from Perth, Sydney, Cairns and Alice Springs direct to Ayers Rock Airport. Direct flights operate twice a week from Melbourne. Flights from Darwin and Brisbane connect from Alice Springs through to Ayers Rock Airport. Ayers Rock Airport is conveniently located just six kilometres from Voyages Ayers Rock Resort (10 minutes' travel). The airport services both fixed and rotary winged aircraft and receives up to on average 350,000 - 400,000 commercial passengers per year. It's also a popular stopping off point for private pilots and passengers travelling in their own aircraft. From Ayers Rock Airport, you can enjoy scenic desert flights over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. You will find hire car companies, tour desks, a Qantas desk, Ayers Rock Design retail outlet, and an information desk at the airport.

Airport Transfers - Complimentary return coach transfers from Ayers Rock Airport to Voyages Ayers Rock Resort meet every scheduled flight. The return transfer to Ayers Rock Resort Airport collects you from your hotel approximately 2 hours prior to flight departure please check with reception for exact time. http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/

Ayres Rock Resort
Qantas plane
Ayres Rock Resort
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta have great cultural significance for the Anangu Traditional landowners, who lead walking tours to inform visitors about the local flora and fauna, bush foods and the Aboriginal dreamtime stories of the area. Kata Tjuta, also called Mount Olga or The Olgas owing to its peculiar formation, is another rock formation about 25 km (16 mi) from Uluru. Special viewing areas with road access and parking have been constructed to give tourists the best views of both sites at dawn and dusk. The rock was originally sand, deposited as part of an extensive alluvial fan that extended out from the ancestors of the Musgrave, Mann and Petermann Ranges to the south and west, but separate from a nearby fan that deposited the sand, pebbles and cobbles that now make up Kata Tjuta. The similar mineral composition of the Mutitjulu Arkose and the granite ranges to the south is now explained. Kata Tjuta
Kata Tjuta

Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park

Voyages Kings Canyon Resort is located in a loop off the main highway running between Ayers Rock and Alice Springs. The sensitively designed resort is just seven kilometres from Watarrka National Park, the home of the magical sandstone formation of Kings Canyon.

Due to Voyages commitment to best environmental practice, the resort has been built to blend harmoniously with the surrounds. Kings Canyon Resort offers a wide range of accommodation from the campground that enjoys the outdoor stillness of the Red Centre to deluxe spa rooms - offering understated comfort rather unexpected in such a remote location.

It is the perfect oasis from which to explore the wonders of Kings Canyon including the amazing rock formation called the Lost City and the Garden of Eden an oasis of an entirely different kind at the foot of the Canyon. The flora of Kings Canyon offers a clear indication that the climate of this whole area was once vastly different.

Getting There

There is no better way to explore Central Australia then at your own pace. As Kings Canyon lies just 3 hours from Uluru (Ayers Rock) and approx. 4 hours from Alice Springs, self drive is a popular option. The drive passes some incredible sites including Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek and Ormiston Gorge.

The Mereenie Loop Road brings you right to the doorstep of the Resort. Please note: the Mareenie Loop Road is an unsealed road for 197km of 337km, a 4WD is required. Alternatively travel via the Stuart Highway, approx. distance from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon 461km and 4.5 hours travelling time. http://www.kingscanyonresort.com.au/

Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon

The Simpson Desert

The Simpson Desert, southeast of Alice Springs is one of Australia's great wilderness areas containing giant red sand dunes and interesting rock formations such as Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley.

 

Chambers Pillar

Larapinta Trail

The 223 km long Larapinta Trail follows the West MacDonnell Ranges and is considered among the world's great walking experiences.

 

Larapinta trail

The Alice Springs Desert Park

The Alice Springs Desert Park was created to educate visitors on the many facets of the surrounding desert environment.

A must see for every visitor to Alice! In the space of just a few hours, you can discover many of the secrets of the Central Australian deserts at the Desert Park. Hundreds of species of plants and animals found across Central Australian deserts can be seen, smelt and heard. You will even have the opportunity to experience desert habitats as they are at night, seeing some of the animals near impossible to see in the wild.

Take an easy walking trail through three desert habitats and discover Desert Rivers, Sand Country and the Woodland habitat, witness free-flying birds of prey in the nature theatre, see rare and endangered animals in the spectacular nocturnal house, hear the insights into the interlinking world of plants, animals and people from our local guides and enjoy a cinematic journey through four-and-a-half billion years of desert evolution during the 20 minute cinematic journey of “The Changing Heart”. When you leave the Desert Park you will go away with new stories, skills and some of the secrets of the desert. www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au/

Alice springs Desert Park

The MacDonnell Ranges

The MacDonnell Ranges run east and west of Alice Springs and contain a number of hiking trails and swimming holes such as Ormiston Gorge, Ormiston Gorge Creek, Red Bank Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge.

 

Swiming hole
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Photographs Courtesy Of: NTTC - Northern Territory Tourism Commission.
Maps Courtesy Of: NTTC - Northern Territory Tourism Commission.
Photographs Courtesy Of: PJ B & M Hutchinson Private Collections
Information courtesy of Parks and Wildlife Service NT for the promotion of tourism for the Larapinta Trail.

Photographs Courtesy of NTTC - Northern Territory Tourism Commission
Information courtesy of Parks Northern Territory

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East MacDonnell National Park and West MacDonnell National Park
in the MacDonnell Ranges in Northern Territory, Central Australia
A tourist selfdrive tourist guide and travel information

East MacDonnell National Park and West MacDonnell National Park in Central Australia
• West MacDonnell Map • West MacDonnell National Park • East MacDonnell National-Park
• East MacDonnell Map

West MacDonnell National Park and surrounding areas
• Larapinta Trail • Glen Helen Gorge • Glen Helen Lodge accommodation • Ellery Creek Big Hole • Ochre Pits • Ormiston Gorge • Redbank Gorge Waterhole • Roma Gorge • Serpentine Chalet • Serpentine Gorge • Simpsons Gap • Standley Chasm • Honeymoon Gap • Palm Valley

• Albert Namatjiras Monument • Namatjira Drive • Namatjira Twin Gums • Hermannsburg • Ghost Gum • Wallace Rockhole • Palm Valley

East MacDonnell National Park and surrounding areas
• Arltunga Historical Reserve and hotel or camping • Trephina Gorge • Emily Jessie Gap • Corroboree Rock • Ross River Resort • Ruby Gap • N'Dhala Gorge Nature Reserve • Gemtree • Chambers Pillar • Rainbow Valley

Other Highways, Scenic Routes, Ways, offroad 4wd Tracks and Roads in Central Australia
• The Mereenie Loop • Red Centre Way • Explorers Way • Stuart Highway • Ernest Giles Road • Namatjira Drive • Larapinta Drive • Luritja Road • Lasseter Highway • Binns Track

Top End - Natures Way in Northern Territory Australia
• Darwin • Tropical Darwin • Map of Northern Territory • Katherine Gorge • Tennant Creek • Devils Marbles • Kakadu National Park • Natures Way Top End • Katherine Gorge • Litchfield National Park

Alice Springs and Uluru and on the way
• Alice Springs • Alice Springs Airport • The Ghan Alice Springs • Alice Springs Heavitree Gap • Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park • Uluru Ayers Rock • Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara • Voyages Resort at Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara • Ayers Rock Airport 'Connellan Airport' • Kata Tjuta 'The Olgas' • Sounds of Silence dinner • Mount Sonder • Mount Connnor • Mount Ebenezer • Curtin Springs • Stuarts Well • Erldunda

Kings Canyon
• Watarrka National Park • Kings Canyon • Kings Creek Station • Kings Canyon Resort • Glen Helen Lodge accommodation

Remote access sites
• Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve • Gosse Bluff Tnorala Tylers Pass • Haasts Bluff - lkuntji

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Uluru guided camping tours and Kakadu guided camping safaris
• Across Australia Adventure Tours at http://www.australia4tours.com/
• Uluru Northern Territory www.uluruadventuretours.com
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