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Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Prague, Czech...
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Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Hi Guys,

We're a couple traveling to Ayers Rock mid February (not the best time to visit but this is the only option we have) and we will there for 2 nights.

Current plans:

Day 1: Arrive Uluru @ noon - visit Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Sunset view

Day 2: Drive to Kings Canyon, head back to Uluru

Day 3: Fly out @ noon

We plan to rent a car for the whole trip and from rough calculations, it got summed up to cca AUD 220 (got quoted AUD160 for 2 days 2WD car rent from economy car rentals + AUD60 for fuel)

Few questions:

1. Will we have enough time to cover the places we'd like to visit on day 1; as we'll be arriving at noon?

2. Is it too ambitious to do a day trip to Kings Canyon and returning back to Uluru on the same day? We figured it'll be better this way as we have to fly out from Uluru the next day.

3. Is the fuel estimation for 700KM OK, with current price at that area? I believe most tours will cost both of us much more than self-driving.

Many thanks in advance guys!

Sydney Australia
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1. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

1. Will we have enough time to cover the places we'd like to visit on day 1; as we'll be arriving at noon?

For a very quick look at each probably yes, but your experience would be limited.

2. Is it too ambitious to do a day trip to Kings Canyon and returning back to Uluru on the same day? We figured it'll be better this way as we have to fly out from Uluru the next day.

Yes it is too ambitious, and especially so in February. It's not an appropriate plan to try for the rim walk across the middle of the day in Feb.

3. Have a look at www.vroomvroomvroom.com.au to compare the car hire quotes.

You don't say where you are heading to Uluru from, but assuming it is a domestic flight and you aren't too fatigued when you arrive, you would be better off to drive straight to Kings Canyon and stay overnight there. Do rim walk very early ie from sunrise next morning so you are finished before the heat becomes too much. Then use the hot time of day to drive back to Uluru.

If you are fit and complete the rim walk in good time and head straight off, given the long days at that time of year, you should be in time for sunset at the rock and perhaps even one of the shorter walks.

Then you would have from sunrise next day to your flight check in time to explore more and do early walks in the cooler time of day on your last day. It would be tight but IMHO you could do it if you are fit and take great care to stay cool and drink plenty.

South Pacific
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2. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

It's an ambitious second day. And IMO Kings Canyon is a long way to go unless you also devote time to do the rim walk - which will take a couple of hours.

Petrol prices are listed here. Uluru township is called Yulara on the list. I think a budget of $80 to $100 for fuel would be closer to correct, depending on vehicle size. nt.gov.au/justice/…index.shtml

New South Wales...
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3. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Great alternative option reply from Snodge! Take his advice and do it that way if you MUST go to Kings Canyon. It is about a 3.5 hour drive EACH WAY with not a lot in between so driver fatigue is a real issue doing it all in one day and a visit to KC is really not worth it if you can't do at least the canyon walk and experience an overnight stay.

Another option would be:

Day 1: Arrive midday. Pick up car, check into accommodation, head out to Kata Tjuta in the late afternoon for either short Walpa Gorge walk or longer Valley of the Winds walk (depending on conditions on the day), followed by sunset viewing. Have BBQ dinner at the Outback Pioneer

Day 2: Join an Anungu Cultural Tour for sunrise viewing of Uluru followed by base walk and breakfast at the cultural centre. http://www.ananguwaai.com.au/anangu_tours/

In the afternoon, join an aboriginal dot painting workshop, take a scenic flight over the area or just relax by the pool. Enjoy stargazing at Sounds of Silence Dinner in the sand dunes.

Day 3: Take a Camel to Sunrise tour. Take the opportunity for another walk at Uluru, pay a final visit to Kata Tjuta or hop on a Harley Davidson to circumnavigate the rock with the wind in your face.

The Red Centre is a truly special and magical place and IMHO it is worth spending the time to experience all it has to offer and not spend all your time sitting in a vehicle.

Prague, Czech...
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4. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Thanks everybody! Great inputs as usual.

We'll be flying in from Sydney hence there's no issue to drive to Kings Canyon on the same day.

Any activity that we could fit on the second day if we go with Snodge's idea?

Thanks much.

Sydney Australia
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5. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Have a look through the visitor guide, There's a range of activities you could choose that would work.

environment.gov.au/parks/…visitor-guide.html

Bear in mind that there is a speed limit within the park... so out to Kata Tjuta, it will take you a couple of hours just in the travel out and back.

New South Wales...
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6. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

By going to Kings Canyon you also won't really have time to do both Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Kata Tjuta is MUCH more special than either Uluru or Kings Canyon IMHO.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Please take Snodge's advice and route. In February, you don't want to be walking in exposed areas like Kings Canyon or around Uluru after about 9:30 or 10 am. Especially if you're coming out of a European winter climate.

Long summer days will give you good light and walking conditions very early and again in the evenings, so take advantage of that and flop in the hotel pool in the middle of the day!

I don't think it's too ambitious. Tight, yes - but that's the time you have. I think you can turn that to your advantage and see Kings Canyon and Uluru at their very best - just on or before sunrise. You may be able to do one of the Kata Tjuta walks on your 2nd evening - or early morning after seeing sunrise on Uluru.

Do go to the Cultural/Information Centre when you arrive. There's a wealth of information and interactive displays there that will enhance your experience immeasurably if you see them armed with the information available at the centre.

Prague, Czech...
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8. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Decisions, decisions...

We were in Dubai last September and have to admit we couldn't enjoy much due to the heat, will definitely take note for this trip.

Thanks for all the great feedback and advices guys, appreciate them a lot!

Edited: 30 December 2011, 16:00
London, England...
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9. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Tygerlily20,

How did you get on with your 2 day trip? which route did you take and what did you manage to integrate?

We are planning to do exactly the same in the middle of April and this forum is incredibly helpful. Any suggestions from your experience?

many thanks in advance

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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10. Re: Uluru/Kata Tjuta/Kings Canyon in 2 days - too ambitious?

Hi Ksenia,

You would be best to PM her as this post is a few months old now.

For additional info on Uluru read the link below it may help also help you.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i17672-Uluru_Ng…