Central Australia In Depth

CAMPING SAFARI -   (AA MS 3 8 15 V1)

Day 1 – Arrive Alice Springs & Experience the Landscape Day 1

On arrival at Alice Springs Airport meet with your Austour crew. Transfer to the multi million dollar Desert Park home to an array of arid wildlife and flora. Your Indigenous guide will take you for a tour of the park including the Birds of Prey Show and the Nocturnal House which displays some of our cutest night-loving species including the endangered Bilby and Mala.

Transfer to your overnight accomodation Desert Palms Reort. Evening meeting with our Indigenous colleagues Damian and Uncle Arthur who will talk about their culture, bush tucker and their traditional culture. Also a chance to try playing a didgeridoo.

Desert Palms Resort: multi share bunk house

Alice Springs Desert Park

The Park is a great introduction to the natural and cultural environment of central Australia.  Features of the Park include, three detailed desert habitats displaying plants and animals of those habitats, animals of the night on display in the Nocturnal House, a variety of Guide Presentations on life in the desert

Day 2 – A Guided Walking Tour of Alice Springs Day 2

This morning head off on a walking tour of the town of Alice. The first stop will be at a sacred site depicting the catepillar dreaming then on to visit the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens noted for its native plants, wildflowers and good views. Cross the Todd River for the first appointment at the Royal Flying Doctor Service – here learn about the “mantle of safety” that this service provides for outback and isolated residents. Nearby is Rex’s Reptile Centre where you can get up close and personal with lizards, pythons and a crocodile. Lunch by own arrangement in Todd Mall. Climb to the top of Anzac Hill for panormaic views of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges. This afternoon can be spent in downtown Art Galleries and shops before returning to Desert Palms Resort.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Desert Palms Resort: multi share bunk house
  • Alice Springs Reptile Centre

The largest reptile display in Central Australia. We display an extensive range of reptiles including Terry the Saltwater Crocodile, HUGE Perentie Goannas, Thorny Devils, Frill-neck Lizards and many other fascinating lizards including a varied selection of NT Geckos from the Alice Springs region, Barkly and the Top End on display in the amazing Gecko Cave.

  • The Royal Flying Doctor Service

Commenced operations in the late 1970’s and since its inception it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Central Australia. The television series ‘The Flying Doctors’ which was based on the real life RFDS and viewed around the globe, has made the Centre a “must see” for many travellers.

  • Anzac Hill

In just over a century Alice Springs has grown from a clutch of stores and houses to a major tourism and commercial centre of 28,000 people. Nowhere can this growth be better observed than from the panoramic lookout on Anzac Hill. (Anzac is the abbreviation of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, representing men and women who fought in the great wars). The monument on the hill was designed and dedicated by Reverend Harry Griffiths, then President of the Returned Soldiers League (R.S.L.), and unveiled by Dudley Adamson, one time Telegraph Station operator, and later first Postmaster of the Alice Springs Post Office (from 1932-1946), in Railway Terrace. Funds for the construction of the monument were raised by public subscription.

Day 3 – West MacDonnell Ranges – Wallace Rock Hole Day 3

Depart this morning for our first visit to the School of The Air and then the Old Telegraph Station. Our next stop will be Simpsons Gap for lunch and onto the West MacDonell Ranges. Our destination is Wallace Rockhole. Here the community will make us welcome and take us on a walk to see rock carvings. Be involved in a dot painting class and talks about life in a community. Overnight Wallace Rockhole in tents.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wallace Rockhole Campsite: Tents
  • Alice Springs School of the Air

Alice Springs School of the Air Visitor Centre was set up as an initiative of the School Council to directly support the students of the largest classroom in the world. The funds raised assist with student enrichment programs such as interstate excursions, in town activities and provide funds for the purchase of expensive ICT equipment. From the Visitor Centre discover the unique teaching methods used by the school from its founding through to the present day.

  • The Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve

The Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Established in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide, it is the best preserved of the 12 stations along the Overland Telegraph Line. Construction of this Telegraph Station began in 1871. The township of Alice Springs takes its name from the waterhole a short distance to the east of the Station buildings. This Telegraph Station operated for 60 years, and then served as a school for Aboriginal children.

  • Simpson Gap

A number of scenic gaps pierce the West MacDonnell Ranges. One of these is Simpsons Gap, site of one of the most prominent waterholes in the region. The area is an important spiritual site to the Arrarnta Aboriginal people, where several dreaming trails and stories cross.  At dawn or dusk Simpsons gap it is renowned as a place to see Black-footed Rock-wallabies along the gap’s short walking track. Good examples of many of the vegetation communities of the MacDonnell Ranges are found in the Simpsons Gap area, including large stands of Mulga, and the area around the gap is a major stronghold for some of the rare and relict plants of the region.

  • Wallace Rockhole

Wallace Rockhole is a Western Aranda Aboriginal Community located 120kms west of Alice Springs along the James Range. In 1877 the Lutheran Mission opened up Hermannsburg Mission and ran a large cattle station to support the mission and the Aboriginals up to 1983 when the station was divided in to 5 blocks and handed back to the Aranda people. Wallace Rockhole is on the Urana Land Trust 25kms along the James Range and 40kms to the West MacDonnell Ranges. The community was founded by the Abbott family in 1973 as an outstation of the Hermannsburg Mission. Here you will see ancient rock carvings and hear about the bush medicine and history of the Aranda people.

Day 4 – Hermannsburg Community to Kings Canyon Watarrka National Park Day 4

Morning visit to Herrmansburg Community and the Hermansburg Lutheran Mission, visit the Namajira Art Gallery and the historic church and tourism precinct. Our journey takes us past Gosses Bluff a comet crater and along the Mereenie Loop Track through Aboriginal land (permit entry) here the opportunity may exist to see kangaroos, birds of prey, wild brumbies, donkeys and camels. An intereesting picturescue route to the Canyon. On arrival in Kings Canyon set up camp and this afternoon time to explore the Kings Canyon Rim Walk (self guided) – witness the breathtaking views as you make your way up, around and down this marvellous canyon.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kings Canyon Resort Campground: tents
  • Hermannsburg Mission and Community

Established in 1877 the mission was the initial point of contact between the western Aranda and the European cultures. The mission provided a sanctuary and source of medical assistance for Aranda people during the contact period. For many years it was the largest settlement in central Australia. Following a spasmodic start the mission was staffed by Pastor Carl Strehlow who constructed most of the extant buildings between 1897 and 1910. The buildings comprise a wide variety of construction techniques that largely utilise local materials. The complex is of outstanding townscape value. Hermannsburg is associated with a number of people of importance to the history of the Northern Territory. Carl Strehlow and his son T.G.H. Strehlow undertook the detailed recording of the Aranda language and culture. The high esteem in which they were held by the Aranda made it possible for them to produce records that still provide baseline documentation for ethnographic research. Hermannsburg was also the home of Albert Namatjira, one of Australia’s most famous landscape artists.

  • Watarrka (Kings Canyon)

Watarrka National Park contains the western end of the George Gill Range. This scenic landscape of rugged ranges, rock holes and gorges acts as a refuge for many plants and animals, making the Park an important conservation area and major attraction of central Australia. The Rim Walk begins with a strenuous steep climb. The walk ascends to the top of the canyon and follows the rim around before descending to the car park. About half way along is the Garden of Eden, a beautiful area of cool waterholes and river vegetation.

Day 5 – Kings Canyon Base Walk overland to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park Day 5

Pack up camp and travel back to the Canyon for a morning base walk. Our first stop will be at Kings Creek Station, a camel and cattle station. Journey on to the viewing platform to photograph Mt Connor (Atilla-an unusual rock formation) and a short walk to view Lake Amadeus – a huge salt lake. A brief stop at Curtin Springs Station. On arrival at Ayers Rock Camp Ground set up camp and depart for Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park to view the spectacular sunsetting over Uluru. Don’t forget your camera!

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Yulara Camping Ground: tents

*Park Entry ticket exemption must be applied for by the school prior to tour commencement – contact Austour


  • Curtin Springs Cattle Station

Curtin Springs is a 416,400 hectare, working cattle station and roadhouse facility located on the Lasseter Highway, 85 kilometres east of Yulara and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The land was originally known as Mt Conner Station in the 1930s when it was first operated by Paddy DeConnley. Abraham Andrews leased Mt Conner Station, together with vacant crown land, which became known as Curtin Spring Station around 1940. Curtin Springs was built in 1943 and is now owned and operated by the Severin family who took over the pastoral lease in 1956.

  • Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park

This is Anangu land and you are welcome. Come share our story. See Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park through Anangu eyes. Watch as the sunsets over our Red Centre landscape, hear the echo of the beginning of time, Tjukurpa (law) whispering the story of creation to you. Come, learn from our land and from us, the oldest living culture on earth.

  • Uluru Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre

The Cultural Centre is a good starting point for visitors to the park as it offers information about activities and park info as well as an introduction into Anangu culture. Because of the deep spiritual nature of the area and what is contained within the Cultural Centre, visitors are asked not to photograph or video inside the building or precinct. This is to respect the wishes of the traditional owners, and protect Anangu’s cultural and intellectual property. Kanyangatja mulapa wali nganampa – Anangu marutju takum, Anangu uwankaraku | This building truly represents us Anangu people, it is for all people to visit.


Day 6 – A Day of Sightseeing at Uluru Day 6

Up early to enjoy sunrise with a light breakfast at the special sunrise viewing area showcasing Uluru and its beauty. See more of the sacred sites at Uluru including the Mala and Kuniya walks to sigificant art sites, and participate in a Ranger Briefing. In the afternoon make our way to Kata Tjuta for a walk through the spectacular valleys. Return to another sunset viewing area to photograph Uluru and Kata Tjuta at sunset.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Yulara Camping Ground: tents

Day 7 – Ayers Rock Resort, Mount Ebeneezer Earth Sanctuary Day 7

A morning stop at Ayers Rock Resort Shopping Centre for some last souvenirs and maybe a chance at throwing a spear or boomerang. On route to Alice Springs visit Mt Ebenezer Road House, an Indigenous operated business where you will see an excellent art gallery noted for its artefacts and dot paintings. In the afternoon stop at Camel’s Australia for an optional camel ride – (own expense). On arrival into Alice Springs travel direct to our overnight stop at Earth Sanctuary, a leader in the field of sustainability in education and eco tourism. Our hosts the Falzon family will take us on a walk around the property which highlights sustainable living and ecology. Participate in a star watching activity, try bush damper and sleep out under the stars

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Earth Sanctuary – swags under the stars – no tents


  • Earth Sanctuary

Experience the magic of the Australian Outback at one of the most magical locations in Central Australia. Earth Sanctuary is a family owned and operated center for ‘Sustainable Living’. The Earth Sanctuary was established in the year 2000 and boasts a level of excellence in environmental standards that has been the benchmark for national tourism and education operators. We can guarantee you a wonderful and informative experience that will compliment your once in a lifetime journey into the heart of this ancient and magnificent country. We specialise in teaching local culture, ecology and astronomy.

Day 8 – Earth Sanctuary to Airport and Home Day 8

Depending on flight departure time there maybe time for last minute shopping and sightseeing before transferring to Alice Springs Airport and flight home


Tour cost includes:

  • The provision of a suitable touring vehicle to fit the needs and size of the group. The services of an experienced and accredited driver / guide
  • Airport Transfers
  • The provision of a Tour Manager responsible for tour operations and catering safari style
  • The provision of all accommodation on a multi-share 4, 5 or 6 students per room, or twin-share pyramid tents with inbuilt vinyl floors and comfortable mattresses, teachers twin-share. Single supplement additional cost.
  • The provision of all catering equipment inclusive of an individual dilly bag with personal knife, fork and spoon, cup, bowl and plate.
  • The provision of cooked breakfasts and light breakfasts, salad and sandwich lunches with fruit, cake and juice and 3 course evening meals.
  • The payment of all accommodation, visits, attractions and entry fees as per itinerary excluding Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and Kakadu National Park entry fee (where applicable), school to apply for exemption.

Not included:

  • Morning, afternoon tea and evening supper.
  • Transport from home to departure point and airport to home.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Linen, (bring your own sleeping bag, liner and small pillow).
  • Towels and items of a personal nature.
  • Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park entry fee, school to apply for exemption.
  • Kakadu National Park entry fee, school to apply for exemption (if applicable).

Please contact our reservation team regarding enquiries and bookings.