Overview & Itinerary

Start
Alice Springs, Australia
Finish
Yulara, Australia
Country
Australia
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer, Indigenous Culture, Short Breaks, Walking & Trekking
 
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 12, Max 20

Is this trip right for you?

  • All travellers on this exclusive The School of Life tour will receive a specially curated Content Pack, containing The School of Life notebook, reading material and book: The Art of Travel.

  • This tour is designed to form part of a broader classroom experience conducted by The School of Life. It includes reading and writing exercises as well as homework after the tour has finished.

  • The Red Centre can be very hot during the summer time and in the winter, below freezing at night. Ensure you are prepared for the weather and pack accordingly. See Essential Trip Information for a suggested packing guide.

Physical rating

 

Joining point

Default pick up
Alice Springs
Alice Springs
NT
AUSTRALIA

Joining point instructions

The default pick up point is where we will pick you for your tour, and unless you or your travel agent requests an alternative location, we will assume you will be waiting at your accomodation at 6:00am. We do not take responsibility for missed tours if we have not been advised of an alternative in advance and you are not at the default location on time.

Problems and emergency contact information

RED CENTRE: In the case of a genuine emergency, or concerns about a missed pick-up on the day of departure please contact your local ground operator on 1800 883 355. For all other enquiries please contact our reservations team on 1300 654 604.

Outback Tour Services: 1800883355

 

Itinerary
 

On arrival at Alice Springs, meet your airport transfer to the hotel. After taking some time to unpack and settle in, join your group in the early afternoon for a welcome meeting. At this meeting you will learn more about the week’s reflective narrative and how to engage with the tour’s key learnings. After introductions we will pay a visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park – an award-winning nature park highlighting some of the Outback’s flora and fauna. The park is staffed by Indigenous guides and park rangers, who provide guided walks. This is an incredible opportunity to learn how Australia’s resilient flora has thrived in challenging Outback conditions. In the evening discover the art of conversation and provide the tools to make a greater success of our relationships with friends, colleagues and strangers. Put your new skills to good use at dinner afterwards, getting to know your fellow classmates and travellers during facilitated discussion.
Inclusions:
  • Airport transfer
  • The School of Life content exploring: Sociability & Relating to Others
Accommodation:
  • Twin-share hotel
Meals
  • Dinner

Today we’ll be exploring one of the Outback’s best kept secrets – the East MacDonnell Ranges. The area is barely frequented by the tourist community and is a popular place for Alice Springs locals to drive, hike or camp for the weekend. The ranges are also a place of significance to the local Indigenous Arrernte people. Many recorded and registered sacred sites located here. In the local dreaming, the mountains are associated with the origin of the caterpillar beings, the Yeperenye, and their travels across the landscape carved out the East and West MacDonnell Ranges you’ll see today. The grand location will provide the setting for discussing a central aim of philosophy and part of our purpose in traveling to new places: to know one’s self. 

Inclusions: 
  • The School of Life content exploring: Self-knowledge & The Sublime
Meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Accommodation:
  • Twin-share hotel

Note: total driving time today is approximately three hours. Total walking distance is approximately three kilometres.

After breakfast, head out to explore the impressive formations of Kings Canyon. We’ll encounter incredible beauty and discuss our desire to capture and possess it. We’ll connect a range of cultural pieces that were made with the idea of improving our understanding of the way we live. We’ll respond to our own dilemmas and pains around love, work and society, as we are invited to see culture as a resource with which to address the complex agonies of being human. In the afternoon, arrive at Kings Canyon Resort and experience a night out camping under the stars. 

Inclusions: 
  • The School of Life themes: Culture & Beauty
Meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodation: 

  • Kings Canyon Resort (permanent tented camp)

Note: Total driving time takes around five and a half hours. Total walking time is approximately three kilometres

After breakfast, get your hiking shoes on and get ready to climb and explore Kings Canyon and its key sites, including the Amphitheatre, Lost City, Garden of Eden and the North and South Walls. Overlooking these incredible works of nature, we will discuss our passion and talents, contemplate our work and aim to develop greater confidence for the future. Depart Kings Canyon after lunch and travel to Kings Creek Station, where the group will have time for optional helicopter flights. Later, drive to Yulara and visit the Cultural Centre, which offers the chance to view and purchase Aboriginal arts and crafts. At sunset, enjoy canapes and drinks while watching Uluru turn spectacular shades of red in the fading light. Return to camp for dinner beneath the stars and reflect on your day with a fireside discussion. Tonight you have the option to sleep in a permanent tent or grab a swag and enjoy another night camping outside.

Inclusions:
  • The School of Life content exploring: Career Perspective & Personal Confidence
  • Sunset canapes and drinks at Uluru
Meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Accommodation:  
  • Uluru camping grounds (camping)

Note: Total driving time is about three and a half hours.

An early start this morning is rewarded with a sunrise at Uluru. Enjoy a walk around the base of the rock while the morning is fresh, gaining insights into the land and the local Mala Aboriginal people on an interpretive cultural walk with an Aboriginal guide. Once you’ve had lunch, perhaps purchase some Indigenous art and craft at the Uluru Cultural Centre before visiting Kata Tjuta and its 36 distinct domes. After some time to explore the site you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a second spectacular sunset over Uluru, this time at a different location, before returning to camp for a final night of reflection under the stars. Throughout the day we will contemplate important questions about life’s meaning and how to find joy in everyday life. 

Inclusions:  
  • Mala cultural interpretative walk
  • The School of Life content exploring: Meaning & Joy
  • Uluru Cultural Centre
  • Sunset canapes and drinks at Uluru
Meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Accommodation:
  • Uluru camping grounds (camping)

Notes: Total driving time is approximately three hours today. Total walking distance is approximately six kilometres.

After taking the time to share some final reflections on the week that’s been, say farewell to your classmates and fellow travelers. As a parting gift you will receive a homework pack of further readings and reflective exercises to keep you company on your return flight. A morning transfer will take you to Yulara airport in time for your departing flight.

Inclusions:
  • Airport transfer
  • The School of Life content exploring: Returning Home
Meals:
  • Breakfast

 

Finishing point

Central Uluru accommodation
Yulara
NT
AUSTRALIA

Finishing point instructions

This tour finishes on arrival in Uluru at around 6pm. Finishing times may be earlier during the summer months. Please take this into consideration when booking any onward travel out of Alice Springs. We cannot guarantee arriving in time to board the Ghan or any flight on this day. If you wish to book an extra night of accommodation to extend your stay here, please contact our sales staff if you would like to arrange accommodation in Alice Springs after your tour.

Itinerary disclaimer

The relationship between ATA and Intrepid Australia

For over 25 years, Intrepid Travel and Adventure Tours Australia have been leading brands in the adventure travel business. With Intrepid’s global product range and Adventure Tours’ local knowledge, the two brands joined force in 2011 to provide the ultimate range of Australian product with Intrepid running all of it’s local trips under the Adventure Tours Australia name. Today we’re proud to bring Aussie-made trips to the world, both here with Adventure Tours and overseas through the Intrepid brand, so no matter which brand you have booked through, you’re travelling with the best.

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

ABORIGINAL CULTURAL EXPERIENCES/COMMUNITIES:

Please note due to cultural sensitivities, entry to particular parts of local Aboriginal communities may be unavailable. Where Aboriginal guide is unavailable in Red Centre an Intrepid guide will lead the interpretive cultural walk. Top End cultural experiences are only available during the dry season (May-Oct) as site is subject to flooding (contact our customer service team for availability). Participants may be absent due to cultural commitments with minimal prior notification and Intrepid reserves the right to amend the itinerary in these circumstances with no obligation to refund.

 

Essential Trip Information

Passport and visas

AUSTRALIA:
Belgium: Yes - required in advance
Canada: Yes - required in advance
Germany: Yes - required in advance
Ireland: Yes - required in advance
Netherlands: Yes - required in advance
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Yes - required in advance
Switzerland: Yes - required in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - required in advance
USA: Yes - required in advance

All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia. Failure to do so means you may not be allowed to board your flight to Australia. Most nationalities can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority via the internet before arrival. Please check the following website or with your relevant Australian visa issuing office for your nationalities requirements. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/

Medical and health information

 

MEDICAL CONDITIONS:
Please note this tour operates in remote regions and as such medical facilities may be difficult to access. If you have any medical conditions or take any form of medication please provide full details & nature of condition. Please provide details of medication taken. If over 70 years we will require a Doctors Certificate.

Food and dietary requirements

On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour but you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
Passengers with special meal requirements or food allergies MUST ensure they or their travel agent inform Intrepid/ATA of this at the time of booking. Food for the trip is purchased prior to commencement and special requirements cannot be catered for after departing. If you have not notified us prior to departure, you may be asked to pay for any additional food yourself. Due to the nature of our trips food is basic but plentiful. We provide the below substitutes, please bring your own staples if you require specific foods not listed below:

No Pork (Alternative to Ham provided)
No Dairy (soy milk provided)
Vegetarian (additional veg and vegie burgers provided)
Vegan (supply of additional fruit and veg provided)
Gluten Free (cereal, bread, wraps, pasta, snack bars, sweet and savoury biscuits provided)
*Religious dietary requirements and specifically prepared/sourced produce is not able to be catered for.

Accommodation

Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights) Twin share hotel (2 nights)

 

RED CENTRE CAMPING:

Permanent tented camp (with shared facilities) (3 nights)  Original camping consists of twin share permanent tents equipped with proper beds, linen, pillows and towels. A single supplement is available at Original level. 

Night 3: Kings Canyon - Permanent tents with furnishings
Night 4: Uluru - Permanent tents with furnishings
Night 5: Uluru - Permanent tents with furnishings

 

Transport

Private vehicle

 

From October to March it is likely that you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius, and sometimes well into the 40’s. Be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. These extreme temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping hydrated. In July and August, very cold temperatures can be experienced both in the outback and along the coast, especially overnight. Please come prepared for all extremes.

DRIVING DISTANCES IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is a BIG country! In fact, the whole of Europe fits into Australia with plenty of room to spare. Australia has a total land area of 7,706,168 sq km, and the coastline spans a massive 15,049km.

Here in Australia we're used to driving long distances on holiday, but you may not be. Take for example, our 10 day Perth to Broome trip will see you travelling about the length of Portugal. Driving from Alice Springs to Darwin is about the length of the UK, and our 10 day Perth to Adelaide trip is about the same distance from Spain to Poland. Yep, it's a big country! However, that's why we think seeing Australia from the ground is better. We live in a country that has it all; stunning coastline and beaches, the outback, tropical rainforests, and some seriously amazing landscapes and wildlife. Whilst you may spend some days in the vehicle a little longer than others getting to the next destination, we think it's worth it!

Money matters

Credit cards are readily accepted just about everywhere and ATMs are common. Travellers cheques are easily exchanged. There may be some limitations in remote outback areas. Tipping is not essential anywhere, but is common in better restaurants.

Packing

WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

BATTERIES/POWER:
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.

HEADLAMP OR TORCH:
A headlamp or torch is recommended for around your accommodation at night. Some properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. It’s a good idea to bring a headlamp or torch, particularly as there are some nights spent camping.

SLEEPING BAG & MAT:
Comfortable sleeping mats are provided when camping. Please bring a travel pillow and sleeping bag or pre-purchase a sleeping bag from us. If you do not wish to keep your sleeping bag we will return them to our Operations Department, where they will be washed and donated to local Indigenous communities.

CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
Winter (June, July, August) night time temperatures in the Red Centre and South of the country can reach below zero. Please ensure you pack appropriately. Warm jacket, thermals, woollen hat is advisable for the colder months. Depending on the region you are visiting, particularly the South, you may also need to pack waterproof trousers and a jacket. Daytime temperatures can be extreme from Oct to March with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius. In the Top End Night time temperatures can also be high at this time of year.

Australia has relaxed attitudes to standards of dress, however the extreme sunshine can cause sunburn- particularly in summer. We recommend that you bring loose, cool, cotton clothing to protect yourself from the harsh sun. A sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are a must.

From October to March it is likely that you will experience temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius, and sometimes well into the 40’s. Be prepared to endure extra physical stress due to the heat at these times, especially while on walks. These extreme temperatures can also place stress on the air-conditioning units within our vehicles which can make travelling uncomfortable. Your tour guide will assist with regular breaks and information to assist keeping hydrated.

Please come prepared for all extremes.

LUGGAGE RESTRICTION:
Pack only your bare essentials. Due to limited space and strictly enforced road laws regarding weight limits, Intrepid travellers can carry a maximum of 15 kg (10kg for any trips visiting Kakadu or the Kimberley). You are required to limit your luggage to one small to medium sized soft bag or backpack and a small daypack, which can be carried inside the vehicle. Intrepid cannot guarantee to carry overweight or oversized luggage. Please store bulky items at your pre tour accommodation. It may be necessary to freight excess luggage at your own expense.

Climate and seasonal information

WET SEASON & WEATHER:
Given the unpredictable nature of weather and travel in the tropics, we are sometimes forced to make late itinerary changes due to unexpected heavy rain and/or storms and road closures. In the event of this occurring, itinerary changes may need to be implemented after commencement of you trip. In this event, your Tour Leader/Driver has full authority to change the itinerary and/or order of activities and substitute alternative destinations and activities as necessary. No refunds are available due to itinerary changes and missed activities caused by extreme weather conditions and/or road closures.

Group Leader

All group trips are accompanied by a group leader. In Australia your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a specialised vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, organise the camp and cooking for camp or kitchen cooked meals (though passengers are required to help out) and recommend great local eating venues. They will also introduce you to our local friends along the way. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the areas visited on the trip, including historical, environmental, cultural and social aspects.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we make no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

Travelling on a group trip

PARTICIPATORY CAMPING

On most days, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Your leader will prepare most of the meals whilst on tour but you will have the opportunity to assist with daily activities such as setting up camp, helping prepare meals and clearing dishes. None of this is difficult however many hands make light work and any assistance provided to crew is always much appreciated. Most people agree that this type of activity helps you feel like less of a tourist and more of an explorer.

Travel Insurance

Australians are not required to be covered for hospital care due to being covered by Medicare. However we strongly recommend that Australians have a domestic travel insurance policy which covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. It is also strongly advisable that Australians have current ambulance cover in the case of emergency evacuation or incidents requiring ambulance transportation.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all international travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it. If you obtain travel insurance through us you acknowledge that you are satisfied with the level of insurance we have arranged.