The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel
RED ROCKS AND WATER HOLES
Pumping life through the spiritual veins of multiple generations, the rocks running through the heart of the outback are sacred to the Northern Territory’s Aboriginal people. Experience the power of this landscape on a road trip from Alice Springs to Uluru, driving through plunging gorges, and past soaring red cliffs and cooling water holes flowing in the red desert.
Starting in Alice Springs, drive west to the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park and take a dip in the sandy Ellery Creek Big Hole, or spot blackfooted wallabies at Simpsons Gap. Hire a four-wheel drive to detour through the scenic Mereenie Loop, stopping at the Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve to view the impact of a meteorite that crashed 142 million years ago.
In Watarrka National Park, hike the three-hour Kings Canyon Rim Walk along teetering sandstone walls. Then continue to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to gaze up at its 36 hulking ochre domes and trek around the base of Uluru, watching it shift through a spectrum of colours at dawn and dusk.
Stick around after dark to observe some exhilarating nighttime shows.
Watch 50,000 frosted-glass stems blooming in an iridescent garden as part of Bruce Munro’s Field of Light installation, outshone only by Wintjiri Wiru, an after-dark performance of ancient Aboriginal tales on a stage of sky.
An eight-day Red Centre Rocks tour (020 7084 6500; trailfinders.com) costs from £2,025pp, including four-wheel drive hire, B&B accommodation and activities; excludes flights