Walking in the Red Centre and getting lost with Auswalk
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R Tolkien
The Red Centre is a place rich in indigenous culture and Australia’s metaphorical spiritual heart. If you really want to get lost in the right direction then this is the place. This is an unforgiving landscape; part of its appeal, and a good reason not to just wander off, but then this is not the type of getting lost we’re talking about. The Red Centre is desolate and remote but unique and magnificent all at once. It’s a place where many truths coexist without tension of any kind. Its searing landscapes are in a strange way comforting, but at the same time give rise to a sense of awe. This is a destination where there’s time to reflect and reconnect with what’s important. We take the time to explore the varied, and incredibly beautiful landscapes by walking in the Red Centre, away from the crowds with two engaging guides who both know the area backwards.
This is a group of walks that in concert give rise to one of the greatest outback journeys available, an in depth 7 day exploration of all the classic icons of the Red Centre and then some. Interestingly, it is in the ‘then some’ part of the itinerary, the lesser known destinations that we explore whilst walking in the Red Centre that impact our walkers most.
It all starts at Alice Springs with a visit to the Dessert Park which sets the scene for what’s to come. But the real walking starts the next day at Kata Tjuta, formerly known as the Olgas. Culturally the dome-like structures of Kata Tjuta have deep significance as a sacred Aboriginal men’s ceremonial site and walking the 7.5kms valley of the winds walk with this in mind makes it all the more surreal. The 36 rust-red boulders of Kata Tjuta , the largest being Mt Olga, taller by the way than Uluru, surrounded by stupendous gorges provides one of the most striking and rewarding walking opportunities available anywhere.
In the afternoon we visit the cultural centre at Uluru and walk the circumference of the Rock. Here’s some interesting facts about the Rock, its big but not the biggest, Mount Augustus in WA has that honour. Uluru is 348 metres high, 3.6km long and 1.9km wide and extends several kms into the ground. Its 600 million years old, the Indigenous have known about it for 10000 years and Ayres Rock, its former western name, first became known to the European settlers in 1873. It looks red because of the iron content in the rock. And of course it is one of the world’s most recognisable icons, rising proudly from the earth. It is indeed impressive and it doesn’t matter how many photos you look at, nothing does the rock justice, and nothing compares to getting up and close to the big red monolith like the walk we do around its base.
We then travel to the north-east, to the beautiful Watarrka National Park, probably better known for the location of the remarkable Kings Canyon which slices deep into the earth. You will get to walk to the rim of the canyon for views across the bluffs and gorges of the park. Kings Canyon splits the Earth to a depth of 270m and provides shelter for native palms, ferns and cycads, creating an almost tropical feel, a genuine oasis on the cusp of Australia’s largest desert.
Plenty of our walkers ask us why we walk the destinations in the order that we do with icons of Uluru and Kata Tjuta tackled first up. And the answer is always just wait and you will see. The question is answered when we arrive at the West MacDonnells, the proof is as always in the pudding and the West MacDonnells is like the best sticky date pudding you ever had. The Larapinta Trail, amid the splendid isolation of the West MacDonnell Ranges, is quickly becoming regarded as one of the greatest walks in the country. The 223-kilometre trail follows the high ridge lines of the West Macs, a landscape of deep gorges, dried creek beds and Spinifex-covered plains. According to a recent article in Australian Traveller the highlights of this walk are the mighty Simpsons Gap and the trek to the summit of Mt Sonder. We walk and explore both at length, getting a true taste of what the Larapinta and the West MacDonnells are made of.
The journey home is not a sombre one. We walk the Ormiston Gorge loop at Larapinta, another marvellous unheralded destination (at least compared to the Rock ) and then we pop back into the desert park for our own private tour at night including dinner, another one off experience.
We feel our job at Auswalk is to deliver an experience that will remain figural for years to come. Lasting memories that range from the immersive experiences of walking in the red centre’s striking landscapes to the simple but also pleasant memories of the interactions with like minded fellow walkers. And I think we succeed. This is what we love to do and we are there with you every step of the way, guiding and supporting you from a place of knowledge, joy and passion.
That’s the trip and we welcome you to join us on this 7 day odyssey.
What you need to know before you go walking in the Red Centre
Auswalk’s 7 day group guided itinerary is the only one of its kind. Walking in the Red Centre is a holiday experience which will leave you with memories that will last.
The walking is graded mostly moderate but there are some easy and hard sections. Importantly, with the flexibility of having two guides the choice is always there to decide how hard you want to walk.
Forget having to pack food, sleeping bag or anything that resembles camping because we provide everything. Just pack your clothes and the basics and a day pack for your water bottle and daily needs. This is an experience where you don’t sacrifice comfort for adventure or vice versa, because with our 21 years experience we know how to deliver both.
What makes this special and a world class experience is that you will be supported all the way, rewarded each day after your walking in the Red Centre with a hot shower, a wine or a beer if you choose, a beautiful meal and a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed. Refreshed and primed for the next day’s fabulous walking. What better way to spend seven days of your life a real gift to yourself.
Two professional, Auswalk trained guides, 6 nights accommodation, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners, all transport from Alice Springs, champagne sunset viewing, entry to Alice Springs Desert Park, National Park fees, insulated lunch bag, maps & map case, info pack, memento DVD containing photos of your trip.
What’s Not Included?
Alcohol, meals not listed in itinerary, drinks with meals (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).
$2,795.00 per person based on twin share accommodation. Single rooms will incur an additional $595.00 single supplement fee.
Make an enquiry or call 03 9597 9767 to speak to one of our friendly team members today.