This group guided walking holiday samples the highlights of the very heart of Australia. Look at these images – the rich reds of the ochre cliffs and rocky gorges contrast with the azure skies. Brilliant greens dot the outback landscape and the startling whites of the ghost gums reflect into crystal clear waterholes.
“Red Centre” is a highly appropriate description for this area, both because of it’s location close to the geographical centre of Australia, and also because of the amazing vivid red colour everywhere you look. The colouring comes from iron in the soil and rocks. It’s a landscape made famous by Albert Namatjira, hailed as one of Australia’s greatest artist and pioneer of Aboriginal art. You’ll be surprised by how many magnificent trees, shrubs and grasses grow in the bush here.
Hike in the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park World Heritage Area. At the major tourist sites of Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Uluru (Ayers Rock) we’ll spend more time than most other tour groups, enjoying our knowledgeable guide’s in-depth interpretation of these special places. For most people, the first glimpse of Uluru is a spiritually uplifting experience.
As you walk around the base of this massive monolith, it gradually reveals numerous sculpted gullies, caves and crevices. Sunset, with champagne in hand, is when Uluru shows its true self through a display of colours guaranteed to delight all.
Sit back and sip champagne under the Southern Cross whilst the sun sets over this evocative landscape and the dingoes howl in the distance. At the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) we’ll hike amongst gigantic domes of the Valley of the Winds. At Kings Canyon, skirt the rim of the canyon before descending into the lush Garden of Eden.
After walking at these iconic places, we’ll take you to our favourite sections of the Larapinta Trail in the West Macdonnell Ranges. Challenge yourself hiking up Mt Sonder, walk in awe at Ormiston Pound and marvel at the rich red walls at Serpentine Gorge.
Central Australia also has a rich Aboriginal culture, with people and the land peacefully co-existing together for many thousands of years. Along the way you’ll learn about the Aboriginal culture, from the early days to the first settlers, the “Stolen Generation” and modern issues. You’ll stay in remote working cattle stations, each an oasis in the outback that stands as testament to the ingenuity of early settlers.
Starts and finishes in Alice Springs.
The walking at Uluru is flat and easy. Most of the other walking has moderate gradients, although many tracks are rough and rocky underfoot. The longest day has 16km of walking. This trip operates with two guides so we can offer easier and harder walk options along the way.
For more detailed information including daily walk distances and times please download our Fact Sheet below.
There are less accommodation choices in the Red Centre than in more populated locations in Australia. We’ve chosen a range of accommodations that reflect the special character of the outback – not simply sterile resort properties.
Each is special and each is different. Some are so remote that they have to generate their own electricity and supply their own water.
All rooms have ensuite bathrooms and most rooms are motel style.
Two guides, all transport from Alice Springs, 6 nights accommodation, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners, champagne sunset viewing, entry to Alice Springs Desert Park, nocturnal tour at the Desert Park, National Park fees, insulated lunch bag, maps & map case & info pack.
Alcohol, meals not listed in itinerary, drinks with meals (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).
The cooler winter months are the best time to hike in the centre of Australia.
See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.
You may have the opportunity to try indigenous foods like kangaroo, emu, crocodile, wattle damper.
Starts at 9.00am in Alice Springs. A visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park provides and excellent introduction to the unique flora and fauna of the Red Centre. The raptor display will have you on the edge of your seat!
Travel to Curtin Springs for the night. This outback cattle station of over a million acres is a real remote experience.
Accommodation: Curtin Springs outback station
Travel to the Olgas, known as Kata Tjuta to the local Anangu people. Our morning walk will be along the Valley of the Winds trail. The gigantic domes, towering rock walls and an array of fascinating plants just don’t seem real.
After lunch at the Cultural Centre it’s on to Uluru. For most people the first glimpse of Uluru is a spiritually uplifting experience that never fades. The massive monolith gradually reveals numerous interesting rock formations, gullies, caves and crevices, each of which plays an important role in Aboriginal stories. You will learn about the special Aboriginal connection with this place as you walk around the base of the rock.
Uluru reveals its true self as the sun begins to goes down. Witness a display of colours from gentle, dusky blues and purples to fierce oranges and reds, glowing with the last remnants of the day – with champagne in hand of course!
Accommodation: Curtin Springs outback station
Travel to Kings Canyon, one of nature’s finest creations. The track meanders through this inspirational landscape, skirting the rim of the canyon then descending into the lush Garden of Eden. During the afternoon, travel to remote Erldunda, another working cattle station.
Today we leave the tourists behind and travel to the more remote West MacDonnell Ranges.
Our first trek will be to Simpsons Gap where we often see rock wallabies. Your guides will provide an insight into the spectacular geology and landforms of the MacDonnell Ranges. We’ll walk at Serpentine Gorge to a lookout high above the valley floor and we’ll visit the Ochre Pits.
For the next two nights we’ll stay at our favourite remote outback station. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink watching the setting sun turn the cliffs vivid orange. Surely there could be no better place in the world to view the thousands of stars in the night sky!
Accommodation: Glen Helen
A major highlight today as we climb Mt Sonder at the western end of the Larapinta Trail. From the summit you can see for hundreds of miles in all directions. This is truly remote and rugged walking through outback wilderness. Note that we will also offer an easier option including Mt Sonder Lookout and the stunningly beautiful Redbank Gorge.
Accommodation: Glen Helen
Today’s hike is the Ormiston Pound loop on the Larapinta Trail. This dramatic gorge country usually contains deep permanent waterholes. The ochre coloured cliffs of the gorges contrast with the shimmering white of the ghost gums, made famous by Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira. In the evening we’ll visit the Desert Park again to observe nocturnal animals in the wild on a private tour and enjoy a gourmet BBQ dinner.
Accommodation: Alice Springs
The holiday finishes in Alice Springs after breakfast. We highly recommend you extend your holiday and enjoy the many sights that Alice has to offer.
The choice of walks and their lengths were ideal for me.
We travelled over 1800 kilometres and both Merel and Marie are very competent drivers.
I will highly recommend Auswalk to my friends.
Thanks for a memorable holiday.
The guides were amazing.
Very quietly competent, calm, unflappable, extremely well organised, knowledgeable (Marie was excellent, Merel superhuman),
excellent people skills (Marie’s forte), excellent drivers – everything!
We had a wonderful time. Enjoyed the challenge of walking every day and felt better for it.
Very happy with the variety of walks, the company and the food.
Love having an late afternoon/early evening chance to have a glass of wine and nibblies. The guides, as always, are great providers!
We continue to sing Auswalk’s praises whenever we get the chance.
When we travel with Auswalk we feel part of a large family.
The care and organisation of every aspect of travel is thought of. “Thank you”.
The guides were extremely capable, professional but warm and friendly;
nothing was too much trouble and they went above and beyond in aspect of providing the group with a wonderful walking holiday.
We travelled to the most spectacular areas and walked trails through breath taking parts of Australia.
Can’t rate this walking holiday and in particular the attention to detail by the guides too highly.
Meals were delicious, generous and accommodation very comfortable.
Marie and Lisa are fantastic guides – they were happy and blended into our personalities.
Within a day the group got on so well. We had many funny talks and stories.
Always aim to please, from the office 1st contact, to the meals … especially if you have dietary requirements.
I always want the trip to go on longer.
All walks were in great scenery and I was always able to walk at levels and a pace that suited me throughout.
Marie and Lisa are both really excellent guides in every respect.
They are fun, friendly, flexible and at the same time, totally reliable.
They worked so hard all the time to ensure each one of us had the best possible experiences.
This was the best holiday, no worries. Meals were delicious, generous and accommodation very comfortable.
Hosts at the Cattle Stations were very friendly and catered for our needs any time.
Marie and Lisa are fantastic guides, they were happy and blended into our personalities.
We had lots of laughs. Within a day the group got on so well. We had many funny talks and stories.