Trip thru the Centre

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 22:56
ThreadID: 78050 Views:3952 Replies:12 FollowUps:6
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Hi, any advice gratefully accepted...we are travelling with another family, from Adelaide, in July - 4 adults all together and 7 Kids (aged between 8 - 15)planning on Coober Pedy, Uluru, Kings Canyon, Alice. Other family will then head back to Adelaide, we may continue north to Darwin, or just home (near Sydney) via Mt Isa and outback Qld. We have a Ford Territory, other family a Tarago. We will be camping - camper trailer and tents. Looks like Kings Canyon Resort best option, as is Voyages Yulara campsite - any opinions? Conditions of roads? We were last thru the centre about 17 yrs ago, so after some updated info. Thanks...
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Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 23:03

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 23:03
The roads are all really nice tar highways where you have mentioned. I did that trip a few years ago in a VW Passat sedan with my wife and we had a ball.
AnswerID: 414531

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 23:48

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 at 23:48
At Yulara you have really no option but their camp ground. It was OK. We stayed three nights.

Kings Canyon resort CP was nice, with a good view of the ranges at sunset from the camp. This resort has recently changed ownership. Dingoes a tad too friendly though.


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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 09:30

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 09:30
You've just gotta love the dingos at Kings canyon c/p and resort , leave nothing outside the van or c/trailer we were told , no problem we said , put every thing inside the c/trailer from the annex and off to dinner at the bar , on our return there is a dingo in the annex chewing on a packet of antibacterial wipes left on the camping table ,
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Reply By: TwevSmiff - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 01:03

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 01:03
We stayed at Kings Creek Station last year and can recommend it. It is about 36km from Kings Canyon. Very friendly and very interesting.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 07:15

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 07:15
I'll second the Station recommendation.

Kings Canyon resort is a carbon copy of the Voyages one at Uluru. You may as well be at any "resort style" caravan park in Australia, can't fault it, it has a good 4-5 lane IGA as well.

If you stay at Kings Ck Station you will learn something of the area from it's resident owners 3rd & 4th generation pastoralists with strong links to the Aboriginal communities. It isn't totally staffed by European backpackers like so many other places we came across.
It is just as clean as the Voyages camping complexes, but more spacious and relaxed.
Half way between Kings Ck Station and the canyon There is also a very nice 2-3km walk to a creek (can't remember it's name), most people miss.

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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 08:45

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 08:45
PS, it may be cold at night, when we were in Central Oz July last year we had two -3 mornings, good frost on the outside of the swag.
Just make sure everyone has a beanie to wear to bed and 2-3 layers of clothing. Days were glorious.
FollowupID: 684741

Follow Up By: Chipsy - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 14:19

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 14:19
I agree that Kings Creek station is great, and also that it will be cold overnight at that time of year so pack your woolies.
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Reply By: Kirko2 - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 10:26

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 10:26
We stayed at Kings Creek Station last year and is was fantastic - we tried to stay away from the resorts to get a better experience of the area.Kings Creek Station is very interesting and is run by a family who are pioneers in the area and it is still run as a working station. At Yulara you have no choice but the campsites were big enough and if you lucky to get on the end of a row as we were with our tent you are out of the madding crowds. Have a great trip.
AnswerID: 414563

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 10:53

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 10:53
As has been said at Yulara you have very frew options.

When we stayed there a few years ago we had a terrible time. We were in a sight opposite where the coach tours camp and we got virtually no sleep. My son 12 at the time was horrified to come out of the shower and find women running through the gents, it would be different now but at the time he was very upset, and the toilets were filthy. I complained to the park management at the time but got no joy and ended up calling the Police who were helpful when they eventually got there at about 2am. I hope it has changed.

I would recommend that when you check in you have a good look at the site they put you on and at what is around it. If you are anywhere near the bus sites ask for something different. If a bus group comes in and sets up near you don't wait for them to get noisy make your concerns known to the park management and the driver and be prepared to call the cops early.

Like I say you don't have a lot of options out there Curtin Springs used to be popular but it is a bit away from the Rock etc and makes the sunrise viewing a very early start. But that might be easier than getting by on no sleep.

My 2c. We did very much enjoy looking around but the lack of sleep was real and definately took from our enjoyment of the area.

AnswerID: 414570

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 12:25

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 12:25
Suggest you set aside a day to see the Desert Park in Alice, kids will love it. Explore as far as you can in both the east and West MacDonnell Ranges, there are plenty of gorges on or not far off the bitumen, and they are all different. The Telegraph repeater station is also good for seeing how life was like way back then.


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Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 12:51

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 12:51
All of what everyone else has said, plus a few more to consider. In Alice, if you are interested in the Art scene, The Araluan Centre is very good, especially if you are there during the Desert Mob, Araluen Art Prize or Beanie festival times. The Museum of Central Australia is on the Araluen site, as is the the Museum of Inland Aviation. The Cenral Australian museum is small but has some world class exhibits. Buyers come from all over the world for the opening of Desert Mob. We always took visitors up to Anzac Hill to watch a dawn. Everyone complained about getting up that early but everyone who did it thought it was a highlight of their trip. An incredible display of changing colour over the Macs, but get there while it is still dark and take a thermos.
I say this to every post asking advice on what to see on a trip north and I've had a few emails back thanking me for the next one. If going on to Darwin, put in some swimming goggles/underwater masks and have a look around under the water at Bitter Springs (a couple of km noth of Matarranka.
Again, if camping and going north of Alice, it's worth staying overnight at The Devil's Marbles and getting up early enough to watch the sunrise on the boulders.
AnswerID: 414582

Reply By: dthomas - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 13:13

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 13:13
i would recommend booking camp-site for the days that you are at Uluru just drop into kings creek station generally you will get a site their and its good fun. for alice if it is around camel cup time i would book ahead for their if you head further north wyecliffe well CP is good and close to devils marbles

have fun
AnswerID: 414585

Follow Up By: dthomas - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 13:19

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 13:19
would recommend doing the east macdonnell ranges their are some great campsites out that way and some good site seeing as well less traffic as well its not advertised like the western ranges but a pleasant drive
FollowupID: 684760

Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 13:31

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 13:31

We were in Uluru and Darwin last year and blogs are posted under Member - Min NSW. There were two separate trips.

On that trip I was not impressed with Yulara, dirty toilets etc. but you have no option. As someone else said, you can have a bad time with bus groups so try to circumvent that when booking in.

We stayed at Kings Canyon Resort on another occasion and their allocation of camping sites was a debacle. After finding other people on the two sites we had been directed to (and those people were also told to be there after having had problems too) I went to the office yet again and insisted that someone come down and sort things out, which they did. We enjoyed our time there after that but in future I'd stay at the station, which I think is closer to the walk.

Don't miss the Kings Canyon walk under any circumstances, even little kids can do it if you leave plenty of time and take lots and lots of water. Everyone should carry at least some of their own water.

If you go further north spend a couple of days in Litchfield, the kids will love you for it. But be prepared for lots of people.

Everyone has their own opinions about Kakadu but we, including our grandchildren (girls 11 and 15) were mesmerised by it. Again, check out the blog.

I love outback Qld and if you have a chance don't miss Lawn Hill, a magnificent canyon oasis with swimming, canoeing and walks. Can be a bit rough getting in there so plan to spend at least three or four days.

In Alice spend a day in the Desert Park. There's something for everyone there.

Have a great time.

John 'n' Min

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Reply By: Fred G NSW - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 18:37

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 18:37
cwynn, some great suggestions mentioned already.

IMHO I would suggest staying/visiting Woomera. Well worth it, espercially for the kids. Easy days drive from Port Augusta. Great C/P there BTW.

Don't stay at Ayers Rock, consider Curtain Springs Homestead/Roadhouse 80 ks east. Free camp if you don't want power, all facilities and fuels, and best of all your group can set up a group camp, campfire and all. Some wonderful yarns get spun around the bar in the roadhouse each evening as well. We loved it. The kids will love the resident emu, and everyone who stays there is there for the same fly in tourists/crowds/prices.

In Alice don't miss the Desert Park.

You're gonna have a great trip.


AnswerID: 414617

Reply By: cwynn - Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 19:32

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 at 19:32
Thanks so much to all who replied - great advice and very helpful! Thank you all!
AnswerID: 414621

Follow Up By: Member - Tony N (WA) - Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 23:01

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 23:01
try curtin springs c , cheap camping & breaks the journey tween Mt Conner & Ularu ..U can even make day trips to Ularu & the Olgas ... big must if the fitness level is up to it is the climb up to & around KINGS CANYON fantastic sceniery.... enjoy the break & drop 5 then you'll also enjoy the sceniery
Caio Tony N
Cheers Tony N
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Reply By: yakodi - Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 15:38

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 15:38
Might want to check out Old Ambalindum homestead about 130km east of Alice (Working cattle station), camping, 4wding, mountainbiking etc. A good place to stay - close to ruby gap, Arltunga, Trephina Gorge in the East Mac Ranges.
AnswerID: 414707

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