New ways to do the red centre tourism NT
New Red Centre travel experiences include everything from independent GPS-tracked bush walks offered by wilderness lodge Ooraminna Station Homestead, right through tonight mountain biking with Outback Cycling NT.
Beautiful Flavours Unearthed Mayu Wiru, meaning ‘beautiful flavour’ in the local Pitjantjatjara language, puts the fine into outback dining with a spiritual open-air experience in the heart of the Red Centre. Hosted by Sails in the Desert, part of Voyages Ayers Rock Resort at Uluru, the evening begins with champagne and bush tuckerinspired canapés at a private lookout. Indigenous flavours are incorporated into the table d’hôte menu and are matched with wines. The evening ends with a nightcap atop a nearby dune, with a stargazing talk and panoramic views of the stunning Field of Light exhibition. Mayu Wiru runs daily from October 22 to March 24. ayersrockresort.com.au/experiences/detail/tali-wiru
Classic Larapinta Trek
Australian Walking Holidays has launched a new walking tour, Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort – a six-day, five-night walk across the high ridge lines of the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges led by an experienced guide. Trekkers will enjoy comfortable facilities and authentic bush tucker along the way, with walks that are as achievable as they are beautiful. The Larapinta Trail delights wilderness lovers and challenges seasoned hikers. Priced from $2,495, guests can also choose a short, threeday trek if they prefer.
Fossil Museum to Open in Alice Springs
Some of the world’s oldest fossil remains will be re-homed in Alice Springs in 2018. A new $1.5 million NT Government initiative will see eight-million-year-old bones from the Alcoota fossil beds – one of only three known vertebrate sites in the Northern Territory – showcased in the Red Centre as part of an interactive exhibition. The Alcoota fossils include exceptionally rich and perfectly preserved specimens of extinct species including one of the largest birds that ever lived, the gigantic thunderbird Dromornis stirtoni. Other key exhibits are likely to include the wolf-sized Powerful Thylacine (Thylacinus potens) and the large leopard-sized Alcoota Marsupial Lion (Wakaleo alcootense), as well as giant crocodiles and oversized wombats. It’s the perfect attraction for families with kids passing by on the road to the Top End or Uluru! magnt.net.au/alcoota
Simpsons Gap Art Tour
NT artist Kathleen Buzzacott is offering a guided tour of her studios and property. The tour, which features the sites of some of Ms
Buzzacott’s most iconic pieces, runs for 90 minutes at her property near Simpsons Gap, 18km from Alice Springs in the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges. Ms Buzzacott is a Pitjantjatjara woman of Scottish and English heritage, who was born in Alice Springs before relocating to Queensland. Her fine central desert dot painting style celebrates her discovery and connection to her Indigenous heritage after her return to the Central Australian Aboriginal community of Ntaria (Hermannsburg) when she was 10 years old. Her work retells local song lines as well as her own personal stories of growing up and raising her family in the Central Australian desert.
Off the Beaten Track 4WD Tours to Remote Red Centre
Alice Springs Expeditions has launched personalised fourwheel drive tours with a focus on remote and lesser known areas in the region including Finke Gorge, East MacDonnell Ranges and the Simpson Desert. Culture and country are intertwined on tour leader John Stafford’s trips, with each of his tours incorporating a Welcome to Country and interpretations of the terrain and history. The one-day Finke River expedition tour costs $380 per adult and $190 per child 5-13 years, with two- and three-day options extending out to Ntaria (also known as Hermannsburg). alicespringsexpeditions.com.au
Uluru for Families
Voyages Ayers Rock Resort is making it even easier for families to reconnect and explore the spiritual heart of Australia with the release of a great value family holiday package. Priced at $1,299 for two adults and two children aged 2-15 years, the offer includes three nights at the resort’s Sails in the Desert hotel with full buffet breakfast daily, entry to Field of Light and the resort’s Red Desert
Reptiles Show at its amphitheatre, and dinner at Voyages’ Ilkari Restaurant. Also included is a range of Aboriginal cultural activities such as a bush food experience, guided garden walk and theatre performance. ayersrockresort.com.au/family
Cultural Tours with SEIT Outback Australia
SEIT Outback Australia has rescheduled its popular Patji tour to mornings, to allow it to run year-round. The seven-hour guided tours, headed up by traditional Anangu owners of the land around Uluru, now depart from Voyages Ayers Rock Resort before lunch to allow sufficient time to return during the winter months. Travelling through the homelands of the traditional custodians of Uluru, the Patji tour weaves through remote bush tracks with stops along the way to hear and experience how life once was. The tour includes afternoon tea with spectacular views of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the desert landscape, and concludes with sunset on a private
sand dune with drinks overlooking the main monolith. Rates start from $280 per adult and $220 per child 5-15 years with a minimum of two people required. Children four years and under are $60. seitoutbackaustralia.com.au/SEIT-PATJI—WINTER-TOURS-/
Trek Outback with Ooraminna Station Homestead
If you like the idea of venturing off the beaten track, but would like the reassurance of someone finding you if you got lost, then GPS-tracked independent bush walks offered by wilderness lodge Ooraminna Station Homestead could be the thing for you. Launching in January 2018, the homestead’s self-guided GPS walking tours allow guests and the public to explore the surrounding Alice Springs
escarpments by foot, complete with catered picnic hampers supplied by the homestead. The fully catered four-cottage property, accessible by four-wheel drive for unsealed roads and just 30 minutes from Alice Springs, is set around a traditional drover’s shed in the Alice Springs escarpments. The name means ‘hot food’ in local Pitjantjatjara language and there is a focus on authentic bush tucker. The property is also a perfect escape for yoga and meditation retreats with planning already underway to launch several yoga
retreats in the New Year. ooraminna.com.au
Night Mountain Biking with Outback Cycling NT
Perfect for night owls, carve out your own adventure through the Red Centre sands with a personalised night mountain bike tour
of Alice Springs. As the sun sets over the outback, let the light of the stars guide you through the bush surrounding Alice, and
watch it come to life as nocturnal wildlife venture out for the night. For intermediate to advanced cyclists, the night tour will allow
you to see the outback as you’ve never seen it before. From $155 per person. outbackcycling.com/bike-hire/outbackcycling/guided-cycling-tours/
Velo Tour of Todd River with Outback Cycling NT
If day adventures are more your thing, try the newly launched ‘velotour’ of the Todd River bed and highlights of Alice Springs,
including the Telegraph Station and Yubu Napa Aboriginal Art Gallery. The fourhour Velo Excursion Guided Tour covers 3km of Todd River and surrounds and includes a coffee break. It’s aimed at casual cyclists and kids with a medium to low fitness level. From $160 per adult, $40 per child (7-12 years). Children six years and under are $30.