Uluru (Ayers Rock) & Australia's Red Centre
Unlike any other place on earth, Kata Tjuta National Park and its massive iconic sandstone monoliths (Uluru and The Olgas) are often overlooked by travellers who tend to stick to the East Coast of Australia. But that’s what makes it even more special – there is this incredible natural wonder of the world smack bang in the middle of our island continent, and you can have it almost exclusively to yourself!
Where is Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park?Uluru (Ayers Rock) is located approximately 450kms from the nearest major town, Alice Springs. It's 1943kms from Darwin and 1577kms from Adelaide. A campervan or 4WD roadtrip through Central Australia is an absolute must for all nature lovers. You’ll experience a level of freedom that is truly hard to match anywhere else in the world.
Campervan Village has campervan and 4WD Rental locations in Darwin and Adelaide – the perfect launch points for a desert adventure. From Darwin you can cruise south through iconic outback towns like Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs on your way to Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park. From Adelaide, head north through the Flinders Ranges and the bizarre underground desert community of Coober Pedy. This itinerary will focus more on central Australia and the areas around Alice Springs, The West MacDonnell Ranges and of course the magnificent Kings Canyon & Kata Tjuta National Parks. Starting in Alice Springs, you should by now be well and truly in love with your campervan from the good folks at Campervan Village. There’s a feeling in Alice Springs that is hard to describe. On one hand there’s the sad social realities facing Indigenous locals and on the other hand there’s a sense of wonder in the fact that this community has been built in the middle of nowhere, on the fringe of the most isolated deserts on the planet.
If you’re in a 4WD Hire Vehicle you can travel via the Mereenie Loop, which is ideal as it cuts a fair bit of driving time if you want to see everything in the region. And I totally recommend catching everything you can in the area, as there’s a high chance you won’t be back (it’s a bloody difficult part of the world to access!). This includes the awe-inspiring remoteness of the West MacDonnell Ranges, with numerous ancient indigenous Ochre Pits, desert gorges and rugged red landscapes. A great place to stay for the night is at Glen Helen Resort, about 120kms west-south west of Alice Springs. The campground is well-equipped with fuel, food and a bar for a cheeky beer after a long day exploring. From Glen Helen, this is where you’ll appreciate having hired a 4WD Vehicle as you won’t need to backtrack to Alice Springs – rather you can cut directly south towards Kings Canyon along the famed 145km unsealed Mereenie Loop. Kings Canyon, located in Watarrka National Park (about 320kms from Alice Springs) is another natural wonder, with sandstone walls descending over 100m into Kings Creek and a unique, palm-lined desert oasis below. This area, like Kata Tjuta National Park, is sacred to local Aboriginal people, so take care when walking tracks and remember to take all rubbish with you or place in bins provided. Kings Canyon Resort is a great place to camp in your campervan or 4WD for the night, with excellent facilities ranging from basic unpowered camp sites to 5-star delux rooms. The Road from Kings Canyon to Uluru (Ayers Rock) is about 300kms and is completely sealed, so it’s perfect for your 2WD campervan or car. Along the way, don’t be fooled by Mount Connor – it looks a bit like Uluru, but you’re not quite there yet! Stop in at the fuel station at Curtin Springs and stock up on snacks (and to check out the resident emu’s that wander the property!).
Venture into Australia's sacred heart and discover the colours and contrasts of the desert. There's more than meets the eye in the Red Center...
Getting There:From Alice Springs & Darwin:
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is located approximately 450kms from the nearest major town, Alice Springs. It's 1943kms from Darwin.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is 1577kms from Adelaide along the Stuart Highway.
Other Information:National Park Fees:
A permit to enter Kata Tjuta National Park is required and is $25 per Adult and $12.50 for children under 16. A pass is not required for Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), however you need a Mereenie Loop Pass permit to travel on Larapinta Drive between Hermannsburg and Watarrka National Park or between Glen Helen and Watarrka National Park. You can buy a permit from fuel stations at Kings Canyon Resort, Hermannsburg and from Glen Helen Resort. Road Quality:
The Stuart & Lasseter Highways are sealed entirely and fine for 2WD Vehicles. Larapinta Drive in the West MacDonnell Ranges is sealed until Hermannsburg, after which the track is unsealed for 145kms to Kings Canyon. Campervan Village does not permit the use of 2WD campervans on unsealed Roads. We have a range of 4WD Vehicles available for hire. Check road conditions and weather before setting off on unsealed tracks as some may be unpassable after rain.
Ayers Rock Resort (about 15kms from Uluru) have unpowered campsites available from $43 per night. A number of roadhouses along the Lasseter Highway also have cheap campgrounds attached with powered and unpowered options. Kings Canyon Resort also has a number of campsites to park your campervan or 4WD for the evening.
Did You Know?Uluru is better known as Ayers Rock; it named by William Gosse in 1873 after Sir Henry Ayers. Uluru is the Aboriginal and official name. The rock was created over some 600 million years, and the Aborigines have been in the area for the last 10,000 years. It originally sat at the bottom of a sea, but today stands 348m above ground. One of the most startling Uluru facts however, is that some 2.5kms of its bulk is underground. If you want to drive through Australia's Red Centre and explore Ayers Rock and Alice Springs, we recommend you talk to Campervan Village and hire a campervan or 4WD. Your friends at Campervan Village are here to help! We're located in Adelaide, Darwin, Perth, Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne & Hobart and offer great rental rates. We've also got 8 campervan & 4WD rental locations across Australia, so give us a call and book your campervan today: 1800 121 421