The Road Ahead : February 2011
THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2011 28 WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU TRAVEL DEPARTURE NATIONAL PHOTOS, ABOVE, FROM LEFT: ANOTHER 'WOW' SHOT, LOCAL WILDLIFE, STANDLEY CHASM, KINGS CANYON. FROM THE REGION'S reddish soil to Uluru's vibrant orange-red hues, Australia's Red Centre is a visual feast. The landscape and terrain are a magnet for travellers from near and far. The sight of Uluru is soul inspiring and there are plenty of nature, cultural and adventure experiences at Ayers Rock. But travel a little further afield and there is a myriad of amazing sights to see and interesting things to do around the area. A 3 1/2-hour drive from Uluru, along Lasseter Highway and Luritja Road, brings us to Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park. The most difficult part of the four-hour Kings Canyon Rim Walk is the initial 150 m ascent up uneven rocky steps. My legs ache and I stop to catch my breath a number of times. But my effort is eventually rewarded with jaw-dropping views of the canyon and cliffs drenched in golden sunlight. The path continues between imposing rock formations, past spinifex bushes, gum trees and along the rim of the canyon. Kings Canyon began life as a small crack in the Mereenie sandstone. More than 20 million years, the erosion created by the wind, rain and floodwaters widened and deepened the crack, weakening both sandstone layers. Blocks of rock came tumbling down to create the stunning rock formations seen today. The walls of the canyon are a steep vertical drop that looks like it was sliced with a giant knife. I creep slowly to the edge of the canyon and gaze with wonder into the jaws of nature. STORY + PHOTOS CHRISTINA PFEIFFER red centre dreaming The heart of Australia is a soul-inspiring destination offering a diversity of activities, culture and stunning scenery. TRAVEL OFFER RACQ Travel consultants have some attractive options and offers for exploring our Red Centre, whether it be a central base with daily excursions, self drive experience, luxury 4WD tour of the region or taking it easy as you absorb this amazing landscape by rail from The Ghan. See page 27 for some great ideas on self drive and rail packages. Contact the RACQ Travel team for your chosen itinerary or quote on 1300 888 449 or firstname.lastname@example.org. au.