Our RED CENTRE Adventure: TRIP TAKEN 2016
If you have not been to Uluru, then I am guessing it is right near the top of your list of places to see. The Red Centre had been on both of our bucket lists and each year we would say “this is the year” and something would put a spanner in our plans. One day I asked Wayne what he wanted to do for his 40th. His response: “Let’s go to Ayers Rock!”. Many of you followed along our Red Centre Adventure via Facebook & Instagram and we often receive messages asking what our Itinerary was….so…Here it is:
(if you have any questions or would love more information, please comment below or send us an email – we would love to hear from you…)
- 26 DAYS – our plan was to high tail it to our most northern point (Devils Marbles) as quick as possible and then slowly make our way south.
- $1987.39 Fuel – we averaged 17.3 litres per 100kms
- Average fuel price $1.43 per ltr – highest fuel price $1.99 – Aileron NT (2016)
- We fuelled up 29 times in 26 days
Left home 9am.
Numurkah Vic to Mildura Vic
Lunch at Swan Hill.
Arrived Mildura Apex RiverBeach Holiday Park – check out our review here
Happy hour BBQ.
On the road 830am.
Mildura to Glengambo SA
Renmark for a coffee/fuel stop.
Crystal Brook Fuel stop/park play
5.30pm Pimba SA, fuel stop and toilet.
615 Glengambo North – Free Camp – Sues Gravel Pit free camp. Wiki Camps
On the road 6.50am – BEST SUNRISE EVER!!
Glengambo to Erldunda.
7.30 breaky on side of road.
10.15 Coober Pedy. Fuel and toilet stop. Photo of mining truck at the entrance of town.
1pm Marla. Fuel and lunch. Made from the van. A nice picnic area to sit and relax should you have the time. Girls had a stretch and play.
3pm hit the NT border. Photo
3.25 Kulgera. Ice cream and fuel stop.
4.15pm Erldunda Roadhouse. $32 per night. Pub dinner, photographed sunset from lookout area. Nice small playground for the kids.
On the road at 8.20am
Erldunda to Devils Marbles.
10.40 Alice Springs. Had morning tea, fuel and a photo at the entrance of the town.
12.40 Ti Tree, fuel and lunch. 200 metres north of the servo is a nice large playground for the kids.
3.45 Devils Marbles. Camp Ground was $7.70 through an honesty box for the camping permit.
No power, put solar panels out, lots of photos of sunset – Check out our review here.
On the road at 7.45am after roaming around the marbles around sunrise. Huge highlight!
Time to go South! Devils Marbles to Alice Springs.
8.15 Fuel at UFO Wycliffe Well. Cheap Fuel. If you can last to get here do so.
11am Airleron – The Big Man, with the tip of his spear 17 m off the ground, and more recently the Big Woman and Child was added. Signs for the nicest coffee on the highway, but unfortunately this was not the case on the day we were there. Fuel $1.99 OMG. Put in just enough to get us back to Alice.
12.20 stopped at the tropic of Capricorn – interesting chat with the girls on this.
1pm arrived at BIG4 MacDonnell Ranges Holiday Park.
Lunch, Set up. Girls had a play on playground, Went into town, coffee in Mall.
Arvo/Night at the Park
Day 6 – ALICE SPRINGS
Alice Springs – 6 nights! We loved Alice Springs and the surrounding area – could have stayed much longer….
Dessert Park – Bird show, Nocturnal encounter, Bush survival show. Lunch and cinema show.
Anzac Hill view of Alice, photos.
Alice Sprngs Telegraph Station. – Historical reserve, kids quiz, coffee and ice cream – this was brilliant!
Back for some Park fun – Jumping pillow and Star gazing and saw Saturn through the telescope! BIG4 MacDonnell Ranges has one of the best line up of activities we have ever come across. Check out our review here.
Day 7 – ALICE SPRINGS
10am left for Rainbow Valley – south from Alice Springs – 4wd track
11am arrived. Easy Walk, photos, snacks – incredible area.
Owen Springs Reserve. 4×4 road through to Lawrence Gorge then popped out on the Red Centre Way and enjoyed a couple of the West Macdonnell Ranges highlights on our way back to camp.
Stanley Chasm, $30 to walk into it as it the only Chasm/gorge independently owned/operated.
Had lunch then walked up to the lookout. Wow. Tough walk for the girls but they did great.
430 back to Van. BBQ dinner, movie in van.
Day 8 – ALICE SPRINGS
Left 9.30 and Drove East to Ross River Resort.
4×4 track into N’Dhala Gorge Nature Park. Saw loads of Aboriginal art and etchings. An awesome cultural experience for us all. Guided walk at the end was lovely and easy.
12 Noon drove to Trephina Gorge Nature Park
2pm Jesse Gap and Emily Gap,
School of the Air, photos of Ghan train at the local station.
Movie night at BIG4 Macdonnell Ranges
Day 9 – ALICE SPRINGS
9am left the park and drove West.
Missed the turn off to the West Mac Ranges, and ended up in Hermannsburg historic Precinct. Hahaha…a little change in our adventure, but made for a ripper day.
Walked around the Mission area .
Left and went 4×4 track round to Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) conservation reserve. Walked up the look out. Short walk but great views of the area and history. Legend says an Aboriginal lady dropped her baby from the Milky Way which landed on Earth. Hence the crater… Highly recommend! Check out our review here.
Kept driving. Drove up Tylers Pass look out. Awesome view of Gosse Bluff. Highly recommend!
Glen Helen Gorge – picnic lunch.
Ellery Creek Big Hole.
*I was not warm enough to swim, this enabled us to jam pack loads in… (if we were swimming, we would have extended our stay)
Day 10 – ALICE SPRINGS
Slept in. Washing and cleaning morning before we moved on.
Ghan museum, Road transport Hall of Fame.
Pool for a swim and final slide down the Water Slide. Highlight for the girls.
Cleaned up inside van, swept, and tidied before we moved on.
Don’t forget – if you are at the BIG4 Macdonnell Range park on Sunday morning – they put on a FREE pancake breaky with all the trimmings.. DELISH
On the road 9.30
Alice Springs to Kings Canyon. Good Bye Alice Springs, we loved every second!
Arrived at Kings Canyon Resort 2pm. Excellent time to spend time with the family and talk. No Phone service here. Check out our review here.
Day 12 – KINGS CANYON
9.30 Drove to Kings Canyon and walked the Rim Walk – check out our review here.
9.50 started the walk. 6km medium/hard walk.
Returned back to the car at 12.20pm. 2.5hours
Back to the Kings Canyon Resort – met our neighbours, made new friends, chatted, laughed….NO SERVICE FUN!
9.50 Drove to Kathleen Springs. Did the walk. Only 2.5km return. Returned back by 12.30pm.
Swim, playground…more NO service FUN!
On the road again 8.40am
Kings Canyon – Yulara –Uluru.
Passed Mt Connor. Do not mistake this for Uluru. Stopped at look out.
Arrived around noon – Ayers Rock Campground – check out our review here.
Set up and checked out the Town Centre.
Field of lights Star Pass – OMG – highly recommend!
Bus, Canapes, drinks, sunset, light walk tour.
Happy 40th Wayne
Helicopter ride, grand view PHS Helicopter Tours
AAT King Sunset and BBQ – very special – perfect for our girls (aged 5 & 8)
Bus drinks, nibbles, sunset, bus and then BBQ dinner. WOW.
Base walk (Marla Walk) – so interesting! Girls loved it.
Drove to Yulara Cultural Centre. Watched movie, had coffee and cake in gift shop.
Dinner at Yulara Gecko Café/Pub.
Start Gazing with AAT
Sunrise at Uluru. The girls were still in their PJ’s and it was a magical morning. (be mindful that at peak time there will be 100’s of people there too…)
Drove out to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
Stopped at the viewing platform for photos.
Walked into Valley of Winds, and Walps Gorge – both easy walks for the girls. Very spiritual area, we could all FEEL it.
Back to Van, for Salad Rolls for lunch
Relaxing and playtime at the campground.
Sunset at Park Lookout
Bus picked us up at 10.20 for a Uluru Camel Tours (Express am tour) – Highly recommend!
Back by 12.30. This was long enough on the back of a camel.
Coffee, shopping, cleaned the van, washing before we head off again.
Read more about our YULARA time here.
Sadly left Yulara – see our review here. Heading south again was a little sad, Alice Springs and Yulara had all been such an incredible experience…
Drove south. Morning tea at Erldunda.
Free camped at Erica’s Camp. Excatly 10km South of Marla SA – went right to the very back near the train tracks and were hoping we would see the Ghan go by, but not this time. We collected fire wood and had the red dirt all to ourselves. An afternoon filled with laughs, fire, family – another highlight.
8.40 am. Up and off to Coober Pedy.
Stayed at Oasis Tourist Park – see our review here
Old Timers Mine, Underground Home, Mine 1912.
Fayes Underground home and Mine – A highlight!
Swim and play at the park
Drove to the Breakaways – Saw Salt n Pepper, Dog fence. Highly recommend! We suggest you drive our towards Oodnadatta from the far end of Coober Pedy – then turn left and drive along the Dog Fence – you will then hit the Breakaways and they are BREATHTAKING!!
Headed back to town for pizza. Yummo.
Left Coober Pedy at 9am – from this point we had no set plans! We decided to head towards Broken Hill.
Glengambo Fuel stop and lunch. 1130 for 40 minute stop.
Stopped at Lake Hart SA, walked to the lake edge over the railway lines.
It was very windy but a great stop.
Port Augusta Fuel and toilet stop for all.
FREE CAMP – Orroroo rest area. 8km West of Orroroo. Quiet place, great free camp. Rained all night so we did have trouble getting out due to the mud sludge. We camped on top of the hill.
Left free camp at 850am, headed towards Broken Hill.
Stopped in Petersbourough, Fuel, coffee. Kids had a play on the playground. Probably a good place to spend a day or two to have a look around. It seemed that the town had lots to offer, but we kept moving this time
Arrived in Broken Hill 1pm. – Stayed at the Lakeview Caravan Park – see review here.
Memorial lookout and Big Chair (although it was closed), look around town
Day 24. Saturday 20th August.
Left for Silverton at 930am.
Straight to Mundi Mundi lookout. WOW! Worth going the extra few km’s out of Silverton. Do not miss this!
Silverton Hotel, Mad Max museum, and Goal and Museum. The old Goal & Museum was possibly the BEST display of antiques we had ever seen. We spent hours there and would have loved to have spent many more hours…the girls did great, was so rewarding telling them stories about how we used to live.
Day Dream Mine and did above ground tour.
Whites Mineral Art Gallery – very interesting and a very clever man.
Bells Milk Bar – think 1950’s and Spiders!!
Drove out to the Living Sculptures.
12 noon Pro Hart Gallery and then the Big Picture.
Lunch at 1pm then went to “the Palace Hotel” where they filmed Pricilla, Queen of the Dessert.
Quiet Arvo. Washing and making new friends over a few happy hour drinks.
Bye Bye Broken Hill – Headed South. The weather turned, it was miserable and as we were at the end of our adventure, we decided to head home L
Stopped at Banjos Bakery to get the BEST sausage rolls EVER! Ate them on the side of the road just out of Mildura.
Stopped at Ouyen
Decided that we were too close to not go to BRIM to see the Silos…
Painted by Brisbane Artist Guido van Helten. Amazing. Arrived just after sunset and it was the best way to end our adventure! We were only a few hours from home, it was late, but we decided to keep going. The lure of our own beds pushed us on.
Left and headed a short cut down a dirt road. It ended up not being a short cut as 6km at 20km/h in 4wd and SLUDGE..Wayne and I crapping our pants as we dragged the van through it in the dark while the girls watched a movie in the back seat. Got to the end ALL OK. Thank goodness. Then off to Kerang for a fuel stop. Arrived at servo at 855pm with 30km’s left in the tank. ARRRHHHHH
Toilet stop for all, drink and bite to eat.
Arrived home 11.25pm
By far the BEST HOLIDAY ADVENTURE WE HAVE EVER HAD!
Questions? We would love to hear from you….
Our adventures are kept in our Travel Journals – placed with pride on the girls bookcase. As you can imagine, the journal with this adventure was taken to school show ‘n’ tell and has done the rounds with family and friends…we often find Ashlee reading it at bed time too…
Get yours here: