3D/2N Adventurous Camping Tour With Emu Run Tours
Why you may ask I chose Emu Run Tours? Obviously the answer is they provide the most affordable, cheapest yet comprehensive package in the market, only $450 per person – I checked! 😉 Trust me, the rest charge way more. Besides that, Emu Run Tours offers the kind of adventure I was looking for and that is to camp out in the Australian desert outback; an opportunity to sleep out in the open, beside a bonfire, under a blanket of stars, in a warm cosy swag without sacrificing the comforts of hot showers, toilets, healthy meals, and drinking water.
In addition, we will be doing lots of walking and hiking through various geological terrains and setting that the Australian Outback has to offer to visitors to its sacred land – of valleys, canyons, the red earth and more! The 3D/2N comprehensive camping tour covers the extraordinary sites of Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Creek, and last but not least, Kings Canyon.
The other thing why I liked the camping tour by Emu Run Tours is I had the opportunity to have a barbecue dinner in the outback, sip sparkling wine and nibble snacks (crackers with a variety of dips and cheese) as we watch the sunset at Uluru, and slept in a safari tent too! Doesn’t that sound exciting?! Good reviews left by their satisfied customers further enhance their reputation, therefore I rest my case. 😀
A Camping Of A Lifetime – The Adventure Begins!
Our journey began as early as 9am in the morning. Daphne and I got ready and waited patiently at the lobby of our hostel, Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge. To read my review of our room in the dormitory and the hostel, click here. The option of being picked up and dropped off directly from/at Ayers Rock Airport is available for those flying in and out on the day the tour begins and ends.
Rhea, our friendly and funny guide arrived in an Emu Run Tours van with a handful of people and greeted us with glee. We boarded the van and drove on the scenic path through the Australian desert outback. 20 minutes or so later, we safely arrived at Emu Run Tours Outback Station 1 and had a quick, simple lunch of bread with slices of ham, cheese and tomatoes, and orange juice. If I remember correctly, we had a granola bar each too.
After that, we came to the fun part of the day which is to set up our individual swags out in the open space. A swag is made from strong canvas, sewn like a large sleeping bag with a comfortable sponge mattress and a sleeping bag inside – providing warmth, comfort and security. Each of us was given a swag each and were free to sleep anywhere we want around the bonfire, later that night. 😀
I managed to explore the surrounding area and discovered several types of safari tents nearby that belonged to other tour operators. The hot showers and toilets facility was about 100 metres away from our station. Once we had set up our swags and kept our belongings safely locked up in the station, off we went to our first destination – the Aboriginal Cultural Centre for an insight into the unique culture of the local Aboriginal people.
To The Cultural Centre For An Insight Into The Unique Culture Of The Local Aboriginal People!
Mind you that no photography or video recording is allowed within the area of the Cultural Centre as a sign of respect to the Aboriginal people’s beliefs and culture. Inside the cultural centre, Daphne and I had the opportunity to learn the life and culture of the Anangu people. The walls are beautifully decorated with colourful Anangu art with symbols depicting Creation Time (Tjukurpa) stories.
We were exposed to the unique Aboriginal Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language and learned about the ‘bush tucker’ (an Australian terminology for herbs, spices, fruits, flora and insects) that makes up the diet of the Anangu people. Several stuffed Australian outback desert animals were on display too such as the Thorny Devil and Rufus Hare-Wallaby. We even met several Aboriginals hard at work in the Cultural Centre. Such was our enlightening experience there.
Mutijulu Waterhole Guided Walk For Beginners
Next, our tour group made our way to Uluru (Ayers Rock) located in the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park nearby. Admission to the park requires an entrance ticket which can be bought at the ticket counters located at the entrance of the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. The following are the available park passes:
- 3-Day per adult = $25.00
- Annual per adult = $32.50
- Northern Territory Annual Vehicle – Northern Territory Residents = $65.00
The opening hours of the park varies according to the months of the year and the park closes overnight. No camping is allowed in the park. For your info, the park entrance fee is already included in the tour fee, therefore we need not pay for it. After buying our 3-Day park tickets, Rhea handed it to us and reminded us to keep it safe with us at all times for the park rangers will conduct random checks from time to time. Failure to present our park ticket upon request will result in a hefty fine. Do take note of it. 🙂
As we drove closer to Uluru (Ayers Rock), we started to see Uluru in its true glory. From afar, we could not really gauge the colossal size of the rock. It was when we stood right in front of it that we could truly see its astonishing size and grandeur. There, we stood with our mouths gaping in awe…unable to believe the fact that we were finally at Uluru (Ayers Rock)! Wasting no time, Rhea gathered us and gave us some advice before we embark on our Mutijulu Waterhole Guided Walk, covering a distance of 1.6km. After that, we were free to do the 9km Uluru Base Walk or opt for shorter routes.