Uluru is the half-way point on the ARB 4WD red centre adventure. After marvelling at the mighty sandstone monolith, the Creek team spun their tyres south to cross the border into South Australia. And after marinading their weary bones in the Dalhousie Springs, the convoy swagged it for two days, travelling eastward through the arid Simpson Desert, to finish up in Birdsville for a well-earned cold beer at the town’s iconic pub.
The ARB convoy took the red-rutted route from Alice Springs on to Uluru – the beating heart of Australia. Uluru’s traditional owners ask visitors not to climb the sacred site out of respect. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the rock from the base. The Mala Walk is a free guided walk that is offered daily. It’s also customary to grab your camera and tripod and pay homage to nature’s show as the rock changes colours under the last rays of the sun.
Kata Tjuta or ‘The Olgas’ sit within the same national park as Uluru. The colossal pile of 36 domes date back millions of years. You can self-guide through Walpa Gorge where sandstone cliffs tower on either side.
Leave time for the Field of Lights experience – an incredible art installation by internationally celebrated British artist, Bruce Munro. It’s a technicolour garden of more than 50,000 delicate light stems – each individually crafted. The light show is on until December 2020 and is an unforgettable experience.
From Uluru – the convoy head south-east to Kulgera Roadhouse, the first and last pub in the NT! It’s a good place to fuel up and get a good meal at the pub. It also has cabins and powered sites.
From Kulgera the crew continued east towards Mt Dare. It’s worth a stop at Lambert’s Centre – the geographical centre of Australia on the way.
Mt Dare Hotel in South Australia is the last stop on the western edge of the desert. They have cabins, a campground, a cracking pub with greats steaks – and it’s the very last chance to top up your tanks and pick up a sand flag.
From Mt Dare the convoy headed south into Witjira NP to Dalhousie Springs. Hot water bubbles up from deep below at a temperature between 38 to 43 degrees Celsius. It’s a cleansing break from the dusty adventure!
The Simpson Desert adventure starts here! It’s the largest sand dune desert on the planet and it straddles three states. The crew tackled the French Line from west to east at an average pace of 20 clicks an hour, and travelled over 1136 sand dunes from SA to Birdsville. The cabins at the caravan park are pure luxury after a few nights in the desert. A cold beer at the pub goes down well too.
Before setting off on your own adventure, drop into your local ARB store for advice on getting the right gear for your own Outback adventure!