3D/2N Uluru Camping Tour With Emu Run Tours (Part 11) : Giles Track, the Salt Plains of Lake Amadeus, Red Sand Dunes & Mount Conner at the Red Centre Way

The 6 km Kings Canyon Rim Walk has left me in awe of the natural beauty of Watarrka National Park in Northern Territory, Australia. It has opened up my eyes to see how life adapted and thrives in arid desert-like conditions and rocky terrains. It has also taught me about the history of the landscape and how it changes over time.

 

22 KM Giles Track through Kings Canyon, Lilla & Kathleen Springs

We completed our journey by making our way back to the base of the canyon that took us through yet another set of uneven, rocky terrain. As we descended the jagged track, thoughts of our initial steep climb up to the rim of Kings Canyon via the “Heart Break Hill” or “Heart Attack Hill” flashed through my mind and I felt blessed to have made it this far.

To read about our gruelling climb up the rim of Kings Canyon, click here. All I can say is going downhill is definitely easier than going uphill. 😀

At the base of the canyon, I saw an information board informing visitors about the 22 km Giles Track at Kings Canyon. Those who wish to take on Giles Track are advised to allocate 2 days to complete the walk. The track is suitable for reasonably fit people who walk regularly and are used to long distances.

Giles Track takes visitors through Kings Canyon, Lilla and Kathleen Springs. It’s a relatively long day walk or an overnight trip with recommended camping at Reedy Creek. The marked track follows the spectacular southern rim of the range and crosses an extensive plateau of sandstone domes dissected by narrow fissures and gorges. Views to the south overlook vast sand plains which extend to the salty expanse of Lake Amadeus about 80 km away.

 

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Going downhill is definitely easier than going uphill @ Kings Canyon Rim Walk, NT
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The 22 km Giles Track at Kings Canyon takes visitors through Kings Canyon, Lilla and Kathleen Springs. It’s a relatively long day walk or an overnight trip with recommended camping at Reedy Creek

 

AAT Kings Bus Transfer to Ayers Rock at the Red Centre Way

We bid good bye to Kings Canyon, got into our Emu Run Tours’ van and made our way to the Red Centre Way for our transfer. Since Daphne and I were heading back to Ayers Rock (Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge), Rhea dropped us off at the meeting point for an AAT Kings bus to pick us up. The rest of the group followed Rhea back to Alice Springs.

While waiting for our AAT Kings bus to arrive, Daphne and I explored our new surroundings. An interesting looking tree nearby caught our attention. The unique tree, named the “Hat Tree”, has various types of hats hanging off its branches. We found out that visitors to the Red Centre Way often leave their hats or shoes behind as souvenirs before they left the area.

Our hats were too precious to us, therefore we chose not to engage in the practice. 😛 20-30 minutes later, our AAT Kings bus arrived and we boarded the right bus to Ayers Rock (Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge). On the way to our destination, passengers were treated to a short documentary on the Anangu Aboriginal people of Australia.

 

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The Red Centre Way in Northern Territory, Australia
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The interesting-looking Hat Tree at the Red Centre Way in Northern Territory, Australia
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Daphne and I enjoying our ride on the comfortable AAT Kings bus travelling along the Red Centre Way, Australia

 

Salt Plains of Lake Amadeus, Ochre Red Sand Dunes & Mount Conner (Fake Uluru)

To our delight, our bus made a quick stop for passengers to go down and see The Red Centre’s famous ochre red sand dunes and the mesmerising salt plains of Lake Amadeus. We were given about 20 mins to explore the area. Wasting no time, Daphne and I crossed the road and made our way to the sand dunes. The ochre red sand dunes were fine and soft to the touch. Walking on it wasn’t an easy task. We played in the sand and took several photographs for memories.

Several kilometres away beyond the sand dunes were the salt plains of Lake Amadeus. We watched the salt plains in awe from afar, wishing to visit it someday. I found out that we can ride an ATV on the salt plains! 😀 I’ll do it the next time I visit Uluru (Ayers Rock). On the other side of the road is Mount Conner, a huge flat-topped sandstone capped monolith dubbed “the fake Uluru (Ayers Rock)”, where visitors often mistaken it as Australia’s iconic monolith – Uluru (Ayers Rock). 😛

We also had the opportunity to experience Australia’s long-drop toilets. For some, they might be put off by the reeking stench of human waste. One way or another, it’s definitely an unforgettable experience to take a dump or pee in those toilets! 😀 After that, we boarded the bus and continued our journey back to Ayers Rock. The bus dropped the passengers off at where they were staying. Daphne and I were the last to get off the bus because Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge was the last stop on the route/map. To read my review of Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge, click here.

 

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Our AAT Kings bus at the Red Centre Way, Australia
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We visited the famous ochre red sand dunes in The Red Centre of Australia
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The famous ochre red sand dunes in Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia
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The picturesque salt plains of Lake Amadeus in The Red Centre, Australia
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Mount Conner dubbed “the fake Uluru (Ayers Rock)” seen in the background often fools visitors thinking it’s the iconic monolith – Uluru (Ayers Rock)
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We also had the opportunity to experience Australia’s long-drop toilets at the bus stop

 

3D/2N Uluru Camping Tour with Emu Run Tours Summary

That marks the end of our 3D/2N Uluru camping tour with Emu Run Tours. We gained a lot of knowledge and insights on The Northern Territory and The Red Centre of Australia through the short but sweet and sweaty 3 days experience. 😀 This particular challenging journey has taught me the value of sheer determination, mental as well as physical strength and will power.

It also taught me on the importance of respecting Anangu Aboriginal culture and beliefs besides looking after and preserving our natural landscape and its wildlife. I’m happy to have successfully completed the journey with a dear friend of mine.

 

Below is a list of my 3D/2N Uluru camping tour with Emu Run Tours blog posts for your convenience:

 

Up next: A camel ride with Uluru Camel Tours 😀

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