Post-conference tour - Central Australia

A post conference tour of central Australia, the "red centre", will be run from Saturday 13th April until Friday 19th April. Professor Keith Fifield will lead the tour, which will be provided by a private tour company.

The weather in the tour area during April is warm, with an average maximum temperature of 29°C. However, the desert climate results in cooler conditions overnight and the mean daily minimum temperature is 12°C. Average rainfall in April is 25mm, and winds are light, typically around 10 km/h.

Tour details

Dates: Saturday 13 April – Friday 19 April

Organisation: The tour will start in Canberra and end in Sydney.
In the Red Centre, an all-inclusive “safari’ (4WD transport, accommodation, food) will be provided by Wayoutback Desert Safaris. This will start in Alice Springs and end at Ayers Rock.
The tour will be limited to 16 participants due to the capacity of the 4WD vehicle.

Accommodation: Camping. As well as enhancing the experience, this reduces the cost substantially. All campgrounds will have toilets, and with perhaps one exception, showers. Choice of sleeping in tents or under the stars in ‘swags’.

Cost: AUD$1900 per person. This includes air-fares Canberra – Alice Springs and Ayers Rock - Sydney, plus the 7-day (6-night) tour.
To reserve your place on the tour, a deposit of AUD$500 per person is required by 18 January 2013. Reservations will, however, be accepted in order of receipt of the deposit, so if you wish to guarantee your place, it will pay to be early. Please follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Send an e-mail to the conference secretary indicating your firm intention to go on the Red Centre Tour.
  2. You will receive a confirmation e-mail from the organizing committee that will provide instructions on how to pay the deposit.

Final payment of the balance will be required by 8 March 2013.

Walking: Several longish walks (2-4 hours) are planned, so a moderate level of fitness is advisable.There will, however, always be the option of shorter scenic walks and the opportunity to relax in scenic surroundings for those who want something less challenging.

Indicative itinerary
Sat 13 April: Fly Canberra-Alice Springs, depart 7.40, arrive 11.55.
Collected by Wayoutback Desert Safaris, drive to Oak Valley Aboriginal Community where we will spend the night.
Sun 14 April: Drive to Palm Valley via Hermannsburg and walk the Arankaii Walk in the valley. Camp on the banks of the Palm River.
Mon 15 April -
Tue 16 April:
Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges, including Ellery Creek Big Hole, the Ochre Pits, Ormiston Gorge, Standley Chasm and Glen Helen Gorge. Ormiston Pound Walk (~ 4 hrs). Camp on the banks of the Fink River.
Wed 17 April: Drive to Kings Canyon, walk the Canyon Rim (3.5 hrs) in the afternoon. Camp at Kings Creek cattle station.
Thu 18 April: Drive to Ayers Rock Resort. Walk the Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunset. Camp near Ularu, away from the main camp grounds.
Fri 19 April: Sunrise walk around Uluru.
Fly out from Ayers Rock airport at 13:40, arrive Sydney 17:05.

Updated:  19 December 2012/ Responsible Officer:  HIAS Coordinator/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster