6 day outback cultural experience

This unforgettable six-day trip of Australia's Red Centre brings you to some of the country's most important cultural landmarks. You'll make your own dot painting, see a sunset over Uluru, go outback driving, see the legendary Kings Canyon, have a private tour of the East MacDonnell Ranges, and much more.

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6 day outback cultural experience

Your cultural tour of the Red Centre

Amazing stories, cultural landmarks, and arts and crafts abound in Australia's Red Centre. You only need to know where to go to find the best of the best. Book a comfy rental car, make a playlist of motivational music to listen to while driving, and be ready to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Day 1

Land in the spiritual heart of Australia

See if you can locate the most iconic rock in Australia when your plane drops into the desert town of Yulara, which is the closest settlement to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru is readily visible from Yulara and is a beautiful site to view from the air - your first glimpse of it will undoubtedly pique your interest in the cultural tour of the Red Centre that you're about to embark on.

Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park
Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park
Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Lasseter Hwy, Uluru NT, Australia

Settle in at your deluxe hotel

The Desert Gardens Hotel, a 4.5-star hotel within the Ayers Rock Resort complex, will be your home for the night. Many of the suites have spectacular views of Uluru and are surrounded by lush native gardens. Freshen up with a dip in the lovely pool before heading out for the day's cultural experiences.

Desert Gardens Hotel - Ayers Rock Resort
Desert Gardens Hotel - Ayers Rock Resort
Desert Gardens Hotel - Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara Drive, Yulara NT, Australia

Get creative at a dot painting workshop

What better way to kick off your Red Centre cultural tour than with a dot painting workshop? Join Maruku Arts in Yulara for a morning session taught by a local Anangu artist and interpreter. Learn about the ancient symbols that appear in Anangu art and teachings, as well as some Pitjantjatjara phrases.

Maruku Arts Gallery
Maruku Arts Gallery
Maruku Arts Gallery, Petermann NT, Australia

An extraordinary way to experience Uluru

The next step is to go on an SEIT Patji tour. In this special journey, you'll spend time with a traditional Uluru owner on their homelands, learning about the world's oldest living civilization. Outside of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Patji is located just south of Uluru. After an afternoon tea around the campfire, head to a private sand dune to marvel at the vastness of the desert while sipping drinks and light refreshments as the sun sets over Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

Day 2

An early morning walk around Uluru

Breakfast should be consumed early in the morning before embarking on the free guided walk from the Mala parking. At Uluru, a Ranger will take you on a shaded route, pausing along the way to talk about Tjukurpa (Aboriginal law), rock art, traditional Anangu culture, history, and the environment.

Settle in for an outback drive

Getting behind the wheel (or, if you're lucky, being a passenger) and hitting the road is an important aspect of the outback experience. Prepare for the journey ahead by stocking up on supplies. Today, you'll travel to Kings Canyon, which is roughly a four-hour journey away.

Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon, Petermann NT, Australia

Spot wildlife in Watarrka National Park

Watarrka National Park has the notorious Kings Canyon, an immense area where the magnificent terrain of steep mountains, rockholes, and gorges serves as a haven for many flora and animals that would otherwise suffer in the harsh central Australian environment.

Watarrka National Park
Watarrka National Park
Watarrka National Park, Luritja Road, Petermann NT, Australia

Unwind at Kings Canyon Resort

The Kings Canyon Resort is a tranquil haven in the heart of Australia, just a short drive from the stunning Kings Canyon and Lost City rock formations. The air-conditioned deluxe spa and ordinary rooms are nestled in the tranquility of a rough bush setting, providing welcome relaxation after a day of adventure and exploration.

Kings Canyon Resort
Kings Canyon Resort
Kings Canyon Resort, Luritja Rd, Petermann NT, Australia

Catch a spectacular sunset

As the sun sets behind Carmichael's Crag and the George Gill Range, take a stroll to the Sunset Viewing Platform at Kings Canyon Resort to witness the landscape come alive with color. Before the stars appear, see how the sandstone and sky colors shift. Bring your camera and a chair, have a drink from the pop-up bar, and take in the enchanted setting.

Have dinner under a desert moon

Treat yourself to Under a Desert Moon, an exclusive dining experience at Kings Canyon Resort. With the only light coming from the moon and the flickering glow of the fire, and the only sounds being the whisper of the breeze and the crackling flames, you will feel as though you are at one of the most remote places on earth – all while enjoying a superb six course menu along with some of Australia's finest wines.

Day 3

Set off at sunrise to walk the rim

The Rim Walk, often known as the classic hike to the top of Kings Canyon, is best done around sunrise. It's a six-kilometer circuit that begins with a difficult 500-step stair climb, but you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the Lost City and the chance to drop into the Garden of Eden's lush foliage and natural swimming hole at the summit.

Immerse yourself in Central Australian culture

Gather your belongings and drive to Kings Creek Station, where you will participate in the Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience Tour. This trip covers everything you need to know about Aboriginal culture, including bush tucker, bush medicine, birds, plant knowledge, clapping sticks, dot paintings, seed necklaces, wood artefacts, and other crafts.

Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience & Tours
Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience & Tours
Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience & Tours, Wanmara, Petermann NT, Australia
Kings Creek Station
Kings Creek Station
Kings Creek Station, Luritja Road, Petermann NT, Australia

Hit the road, destination Alice Springs

It's time to hit the road after a fantastic morning spent taking in the beauties of Kings Canyon and learning about Central Australia's old culture. Alice Springs, about a five-and-a-half-hour journey from Kings Creek Station, is your goal today.

Alice Springs
Alice Springs
Alice Springs NT, Australia

Check in at the Squeakywindmill

The Squeakywindmill Boutique Tent B&B is your overnight accommodation, with stunning views of the outback from your comfy tent. Check out some of the Aboriginal Art Galleries in and around Alice Springs if you have time after your road trip. If not, relax on the deck with your favorite beverage and take in the scenery.

Squeakywindmill Boutique Tent B&B
Squeakywindmill Boutique Tent B&B
Squeakywindmill Boutique Tent B&B, White Gums NT, Australia

Dinner around the campfire

You might be able to attend the Mbantua Dinner Tour with RT Tours, which will pick you up from your accommodation at 4pm and transport you out along the Western McDonnell Ranges to a beautiful bush location, depending on your drive time. Dinner is a delectable three-course meal prepared in a bush oven or over an open fire while gazing at the Milky Way.

Day 4

Take a private tour of the serene East MacDonnell Ranges

Sandrifter Safaris' East MacDonnell Day Tour starts early with a visit to Emily Gap to see ancient rock painting. Then it's on to Coroboree Rock, where you'll take a brief walk around this billion-year-old seabed remnant before enjoying morning tea with fresh scones and a hot beverage. Then it's time to have a look at the breathtaking mountains and rock formations. You'll also learn about the Northern Territory's first European settlement. A trek up Trephina Gorge is followed by a private picnic lunch beneath the shade of a gum tree.

Macdonnell Ranges
Macdonnell Ranges
Macdonnell Ranges, Hugh NT, Australia
Emily Gap
Emily Gap
Emily Gap, Hale NT, Australia
Trephina Gorge
Trephina Gorge
Trephina Gorge, Hart NT, Australia
Corroboree Rock
Corroboree Rock
Corroboree Rock, Hale NT, Australia

Day 5

Hit the road and head north

Today's destination is Tennant Creek, 500 kilometers along Highway 1. Start your journey early in the morning so you have plenty of time to stop and see one of the country's most iconic rock formations.

Tennant Creek
Tennant Creek
Tennant Creek NT, Australia

Explore Karlu Karlu

On your route to Tennant Creek, stop by the renowned Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles). The Warmungu Aboriginal people consider this amazing rock structure to be the Rainbow Serpent's fossilized eggs. Take a short self-guided stroll around these gigantic granite boulders, which can reach heights of up to six meters.

Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve
Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve
Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, Stuart Highway, Davenport NT, Australia

Spend the afternoon immersed in art

The Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Facility, a fascinating art centre, gallery, and culture museum where you can learn more about the indigenous Warumungu culture, is your major focus in Tennant Creek. Have a conversation with a knowledgeable native Warumungu, who are always willing to share their stories.

Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre
Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre
Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, Paterson Street, Tennant Creek NT, Australia

A good night’s sleep at the inn

The Bluestone Motor Inn provides comfortable and relaxed accommodation with a friendly local vibe, ensuring a restful night's sleep.

Bluestone Motor Inn
Bluestone Motor Inn
Bluestone Motor Inn, Paterson Street, Tennant Creek NT, Australia

Day 6

An early drive back to Alice

Rise with the sun – or even earlier if you want to see a stunning sunrise – and head back to Alice Springs as soon as possible. Take some time as you travel south to reflect on the incredible cultural experiences you've had in the last several days.

Alice Springs
Alice Springs
Alice Springs NT, Australia

A final cultural immersion

There's just one more thing to accomplish before you board your afternoon flight home. Join the amazing Rainbow Valley Cultural Tour, where your friendly Aboriginal guide will show you through Rainbow Valley's stunning art site. Learn about the cultural significance of this distant location by viewing rock art, engravings, and occupancy sites.

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