Daly Waters and the Daly Waters Pub

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Daly Waters is a small town set around 620 kilometres from Darwin in the heart of Australia’s Northern Territory. Traditionally owned by the Jingili people, it is thought that the Dreaming tracks of the Emu and Sun made their way through the spot where the town now is as they ventured to the south of the region. Daly Waters 3

The Daly Waters Pub  

Perhaps the most iconic attraction in town is the Daly Waters Pub, an historic watering hole with tonnes of character. Dating back to 1930, it has a turbulent history peppered with shoot outs, witnessed murders, and cattle stampedes – not to mention the odd drunken bar brawls over the years.

It is best-known for its wall of memorabilia, though, which is thought to date back to the 80s when a drinking bet between a coach driver and his female passengers ended in the ladies leaving their bras behind to hang from the ceiling. Today, you can find so much more than bras decorating the interior as travellers continue to leave their belongings and their mark in the pub. 

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The pub is the perfect place to refuel with a cold beer after a harsh day venturing through the arid outback. There is usually a range of six beers on tap, all served below freezing so you can feel refreshed and relaxed.

Food at the Daly Waters Pub
Food served at the pub is a traditional Australian fare. As well as your usual pub grub dishes, you can tuck into local favourites, like the loin of kangaroo and crocodile slider.

Accommodation at the Daly Waters Pub

If you want to bed down for the night at the Daly Waters Pub, you have plenty of options. As well as a campsite where you can sleep beneath the stars, there are caravans, cabins, motels, and budget rooms for all sorts of travellers. So whether you’re looking to relax in style or keep your purse strings tight, there’s something for you.  Daly Waters 1
If you’re passing through the outback and are looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat and cool off with an ice cold drink, the Daly Waters Pub is the place to go. Not only will you be served traditional Aussie treats, but you’ll be soaking up a bit of regional history as you go – just don’t forget to leave your mark on the memorabilia wall.

The Dreamtime Stories of the Devil’s Marbles

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Forming one of the Northern Territory’s most impressive geological wonders, the Devil’s Marbles can be found not too far from Uluru. These impressive granite boulders are peppered around a sprawling valley about 100 kilometres to the south of Tennant Creek. devils marbles Michael

The “Marbles” have been formed over millions of years by the act of erosion and rise up out of the desert scenery in a surreal display of granite – kind of like a natural art exhibition. Each boulder comes in a different size, ranging from between 50 centimetres to six metres across. Perhaps the most amazing part of the scene is that many of the huge stones are balanced on top of each other, seeming to defy gravity. Even today, they are continuously evolving in a constant stream of cracking and erosion.

As well as making an eye-catching natural landscape, the Devil’s Marble are important to the local Warumungu, Kaytetye, Alyawarra, and Warlpiri people who live in the traditional country that surrounds them. They refer to the wonder as Karlu Karlu which, when translated into English, simply means “round boulders”.


The Aboriginal Importance of the Devil’s Marbles

The Aboriginal history surrounding the Marbles is fascinating, and they are now protected under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act. Many legends of the stones have been passed down through several generations, but they are incredible secret so only a few can be shared amongst visitors in the region.

One of the most popular Dreamtime stories that involves the rocks relates to how they came to be. The legend introduces “Arrange”, an ancient ancestor of the local people who once walked through the area. As he passed through, he made a hair-string belt, which is a traditional garment worn by initiated Aboriginal men. As he began spinning the hair into strings, he dropped big clumps of them which then turned into the big red boulders we see today. According to the end of the legend, Arrange went back to his origins in Ayleparrarntenhe, where he is thought to still live today. karlu karlu michael

 Exploring the Devil’s Marbles

There are no set walks around the Devil’s Marbles. Instead, there is simply a network of self-guided routes that take you around the eastern side of the reserve. As you stroll along the walkways, you’ll learn more about the geological wonder, like how it was formed, and how it has stood up against the elements for all this time. If you’re visiting between May and October, be sure to check out the program of live events run by the park rangers to celebrate their Territory Parks Alive Program.

Relaxing at the Mataranka Hot Springs

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Near Uluru, 100km south of Katherine, Mataranka brings visitors a lush landscape that’s peppered with thermal pools, trickling streams, and plenty of places to feed the local Barramundi.


Here, you can kick back and relax in one of the many watering holes, or explore the shady trails that weave through ancient palm trees and other fascinating vegetation – keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife, too.
Perhaps the biggest draw to the region are the Mataranka Hot Springs. Said to heal any aches and pains, the sparkling, clear waters perch in the shade of the many paperbark and palm trees that surround them.


MatarankaIt’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day on the road, where you’ll be surrounded by fantastic scenery and a landscape that is imbued with fascinating cultural history.


The water is spring fed and bubbles at around 34 degrees Celsius throughout the year, providing a relaxing environment to soak up. Keep a look out for little red flying foxes, too, as the area is a natural breeding ground for these cute critters – you’re more likely to see them if you’re in the area between November and May, but sometimes the breeding season drags on a little longer than this.


Visiting at the right time is important if you don’t want to share the warm waters with too many people. At peak times, there can be up to 50 people kicking back and relaxing in the springs, but people tend to move on quickly after they’ve have a short, refreshing dip.


Other Things to Do Around the Mataranka Hot Springs
It’s not just the warm spring waters that draw visitors in to this part of Australia. There are also plenty of stunning walks that take you along the length of the picturesque Roper River and through the bush from the campground at 12 Mile Hole.


Mataranka IIPartway along, the serene waters of the river start cascading over the tufa dams at Mataranka Falls, with a spa pool languishing at the bottom. Again, the falls are surrounded by pretty scenery, despite much of the foliage being ripped from the river banks in recent floods.


If you find yourself wanting to explore a different side to Australia’s Red Centre, Mataranka is the place to go. Not only will the hot springs soothe your aching muscles, but you can soak up the pretty scenery around the Falls and the numerous hiking trails dotted around.

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Uluru vs Ayers Rock: The Name Change of Australia’s Most Iconic Monument

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Standing at 348 metres above the desert floor, Uluru is the world’s largest monolith and one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks. But it hasn’t always been called Uluru.


In fact, for most people, the towering red rock formation is simply known as Ayers Rock and has been for years, but its rich and fascinating Aboriginal history encouraged a name-change back in the 90s.


In 1872, European explorer Ernest Giles first dubbed the rock Ayers Rock after the South Australian Premier at the time, Sir Henry Ayers.


Uluru distanceHowever, the rock’s history dates back thousands and thousands of years and has been a part of Indigenous traditions and culture since the beginning of time. In fact, it is owned by the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people (known together as the Anangu people) and is home to a timeline of ancient rock paintings and sacred sites.


On October 26th 1985, the government of Australia finally returned ownership of Uluru to the Anangu people, who continue to remain custodians of the land. But it wasn’t until 1995 that the name change officially took place. In this year, the name of the national park changed from Ayers Rock-Mount Olga National Park to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.


The change was put in place to show respect for the Anangu people and, specifically, to acknowledge their ownership of the land that had provided them with a home and many stories for thousands of years.


Today, Uluru remains an incredibly popular attraction with a hefty cultural history imbued in its dusty red surface. Visitors flock to the sacred site to marvel at the impressive natural structure of the rock and to learn about the centuries-old history that characterises it and the surrounding desert landscape.


Milky Way UluruAs well as numerous trails that weave around the base of the monolith and through the spectacular surrounding scenery, there are plenty of opportunities to see age-old rock paintings that date back to the very beginning of life for the Anangu people.


If you want to learn more about the Indigenous history of Uluru and its name change, you can duck into the on-site Cultural Centre, where there are numerous interactive displays that lay out the region’s history. You can also take a guided tour with an Aboriginal guide who will share the stories and traditions of their people with you.


Visiting Uluru is a must-do on any visit to Australia, as this impressive monolith forms an important part of the country, both past and present.

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Mt Conner - Red Centre’s hidden gem

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Mt conner IWhen people think of Northern Territory’s Red Centre, one mountain generally springs to mind. Uluru is the world's largest rock and is the beacon for tourist attractions across the entire country. If you know a little more about the Red Centre, though, you may even know about Kata Tjuta, another phenomenal mountain that is actually linked to the same underground rock formation as Uluru.

With this having been said, there is a third mountain that is often entirely ignored or forgotten. Known as Mt Conner, this flat-topped monolith is estimated to be 500 million years old. Though it may be forgotten, it certainly does not mean that this extraordinary mountain is not worth visiting, in fact, it is a fascinating hidden gem of the Red Centre. At a total height of 300 meters, this towering chunk of sandstone, siltstone and mudstone creates an incredible impression on the otherwise flat landscape. Located in the Southwest corner of Northern Territory’s Red Centre, this fascinating peak lies within private land.

You will find Mt Conner standing amidst a vast and fully operational cattle station called Curtin Springs Station 100 km east of Uluru Resort. With plenty of dams on the property to accommodate the cattle, this source of water has allowed for a number of different animals to thrive. During your tour of this phenomenal landscape, you will have the chance to spot a number of kangaroos and rock wallabies as well as a rich bird and reptile population. Since the entire piece of land is over 1 million acres in size, you are sure to see a wide range of wildlife and plant-life on the road to the main attraction; Mt Conner.

mt conner IIMt Conner has an unmistakable horseshoe shape that becomes very obvious the more you explore the surrounding area. From far away, the mountain actually looks somewhat similar to Uluru and is often mistaken for Uluru itself as tourists view it from a distance.

Though most people make a beeline for Uluru, which is also known as Ayers Rock, the Red Centre has far more to offer in the way of impressive rock structures. While Kata Tjuta is also fairly well known, the breathtaking view of Mt Conner is just as impressive. Not only is it beautiful, but a visit to this mountain will also provide you with a truly unique experience of exploring one of Australia’s lesser-known attractions.

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Exploring the Garden of Eden in Kings Canyon

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Garden of Eden Kings CanyonKings Canyon sits in the heart of Australia’s famed Red Centre close to the iconic landmark of Uluru. Here, vast sandstone landscapes mingle with ancient rock formations and gorges to create a surreal scene like nowhere else in the country.


As part of the Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon is an important conservation area and home to more than 600 native species of plant and animals – many of which are completely unique to the area between Alice Springs and Uluru.


The Kings Canyon is renowned for its jutting sandstone walls, which have been created over millions of years. The national park itself is home to the Luritja Aboriginal people, who have resided in the region for over 20,000 years and named it after the Aboriginal word for the umbrella bush that is so common there.


The Garden of Eden
Because of its location in the Red Centre and its surrounding plethora of ancient, rocky scenery, the Garden of Eden stands out as a unique and prominent part of Kings Canyon. This permanent waterhole brings abundant life to the area; the lush greenery of which casts a stark contrast against the orange rock formations.


Garden of Eden IITo get to the top of Kings Canyon and begin your journey to the Garden of Eden, you have to climb 500 steps. Once at the peak, you join a 6km long circuit that passes through arid “bee-hive” rock formations that languish around the top of the canyon. From there, it’s down into the hidden Garden of Eden to explore everything it has to offer.


You’ll leave behind the heat of the domes and descend into a shady oasis characterised by the lush watering hole. The traditional owners of the area consider this an important men’s sacred place where their dreamtime stories can be shared in private. The sacredness of the watering hole means no swimming is allowed so that the hundreds of species that rely on it do not get endangered.


Garden of Eden IWhile in the Garden of Eden, you can discover the incredible selection of plant life and unusual rock formations known as the Lost City that provide an unusual backdrop to the proceedings.


From the Canyon’s base you can begin the Kings Creek Walk, which takes in the lush ferns and eucalyptus plants and leads you to a platform where you can marvel at the stunning views over the surrounding scenery.  


As well as hiking through the area, you can explore Kings Canyon and the Garden of Eden from the back of a camel on a safari, or enjoy the surroundings from Kings Creek Station, a real working cattle station located in the heart of the outback.

The Significance of Uluru to Australian Indigenous Culture

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uluruUluru might be one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, but it’s also a hugely important part of the country’s cultural history. The landscape surrounding the monolith has been inhabited for thousands and thousands of years – long before it was “officially” discovered in the 1800s. Today, Uluru and the Aboriginal culture that imbues the area are very much entwined in a historic narrative that spans generations.


The natural landmark is thought to have been formed by ancestral beings during the fabled Dreamtime. According to the local Aboriginal people, Uluru’s numerous caves and fissures prove this. Even today, rituals are still held in the caves around the base – spots where tourists aren’t allowed to snap photos out of respect.


For many, Uluru and its neighbour Kata Tjuta aren’t just rocks, they are living, breathing, cultural landscapes that are incredibly sacred. Owned by the Anangu people, they still act as guardians of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and are the oldest culture known to man.


Uluru coloursDating back more than 60,000 years, the Anangu people believe their culture has always been a vital part of Central Australian life, and that the landscape in this region was created at the beginning of time by the travels and traditions of their great ancestral beings.


For the Anangu people, nomadic life isn’t what it used to be. They have moved forward with the times, but they continue to centre their lives around the ancient laws of the land and traditions passed down from generation to generation via Dreamtime stories. These laws, also known as Tjukurpa, act as a baseline to this unique culture and still govern all relationships that take place between people, animals, and the land. If you visit Uluru and its surrounding landscape today, you’ll see that these cultural connections are still a strong part of life there.


uluru2The Anangu people work hard to protect their lengthy, fascinating history, and continue to live in the same way they did thousands of years ago.


While at Uluru and Kata Tjuta, you can learn more about the Anangu people and their past, as well as the strong ties the natural formations have to the culture of the region. The on-site Cultural Centre provides ample opportunity to get to know the unique narratives of the region, while local Aboriginal tour guides show tourists around the base of Uluru every single day.

Why You Should Walk the Valley of the Winds

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Valley of the winds2The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Australia, drawing in visitors who are keen to explore the natural and cultural history of the region. Set in the Red Centre of the country and encompassing one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, Uluru, it boasts numerous unusual geological features.


Though Uluru is the main attraction in the area, it’s well worth exploring Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas), which is a land of 36 steep sandstone monoliths that are dotted across the rugged and wild landscape.


To view these exceptional natural offerings, you can head to their designated viewing platforms, or you can take a number of walks that weave through the surroundings. The Valley of the Winds walk is one of the most popular, taking in Kata Tjuta and its nearby scenery in a seven kilometre walk.


Valley of the windsThis is just one of the two walks left in Kata Tjuta that remain open to the public. It carves a loop through the national park and encompasses two of the most spectacular lookout points, where you can gaze out across the impressive monoliths and the ancient scenery that surrounds them.


All in all, the walk takes around three hours and is generally easy-going. The first lookout you’ll take in is the Karu lookout, where you can look down on the domes of Kata Tjuta from above and peer out into the sacred Anangu men’s area. From there, the walk takes you to the Karingana lookout. The walk up here can be slightly challenging but, once you get to the top, you’ll be able to gaze out no a timeless landscape of domes and the surrounding creeks that carve ancient paths through the valley.


Valley of the winds3When to Walk the Valley of the Winds
If you want to avoid the crowds and explore the Valley of the Winds at your own pace, we recommend visiting in the early morning – this also means you’ll avoid the harsh heat of the Australian midday sun.


Along the way, you’ll get to experience the unique flora and fauna that call this part of Australia home and learn more about the cultural history of this fascinating region. Boasting a rich Aboriginal culture, the land here is imbued with timeless stories and ancient traditions that are just waiting to be discovered and explored. If you plan on visiting Uluru, make sure you set aside some time to head to Kata Tjuta and undertake the Valley of the Winds Walk.

Learning About Uluru and Its Past at the Cultural Centre

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cultural centreIn the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, you’ll find a rich and fascinating history that surrounds Uluru, one of the country’s most prolific monuments. Shrouded in red dust and boasting an impressive silhouette, this natural wonder has formed an important part of Aboriginal life for thousands of years. When you’re in the region, there are plenty of ways you can learn more about the expansive culture of the region – one such way is visiting the on-site Cultural Centre.

Here, you can get an overview of the natural and cultural history of Uluru and its surrounding scenery from knowledgeable staff, as well as pick up a visitor guide and discover who the traditional owners of the monument are. When you’re not learning and digging into the past, you can browse the gift store, which sells local artworks made by the owners of Uluru, handmade souvenirs, and other goodies to help you remember your time in the Red Centre. Cultural centre2

The Cultural Centre promises a warm welcome from the Anangu, the traditional owners of Uluru. It will introduce you to Tjukurpa, which is the foundation of Aboriginal culture in the region and the traditional law that guides daily life for the Anangu people.

There is also a collection of art galleries onsite, where you can meet local artists and discover some of their centuries-old techniques. If you want to dig further into the creative backdrop of Uluru and its surroundings, you can join in with one of the many workshops that take place at the Cultural Centre. These include paintings workshops, carving workshops and everything in between, giving you the chance to get to know the culture through first-hand experiences.

cultural centre shopWhen you’re done getting creative, take an Aboriginal tour with a local guide. The company that run the tours are Anangu owned and operated, which means you get to learn about the stories, traditions, and history of the local people from first-hand sources.

Once the tour is over, you’ll have the chance to visit the Ininti Café and grab a souvenir or two to remember your time in the region. In store you can buy a selection of Anangu crafted gifts, books that dig deeper into the local way of living, videos, and traditional clothing.

Visiting the Cultural Centre at Uluru is one of the best ways to explore the history and tradition of this fascinating region, digging deep into local stories, legends, and traditions that have shaped the surroundings for thousands and thousands of years.

Camels and Canyons at Kings Creek Station

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kingscreekstationIn the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, the scenery looks like it’s from another planet. Uluru casts an impressive silhouette against the skyline, while other incredible natural monuments show the centuries-old history that this part of the country holds.

At Kings Creek Station, you can experience the Red Centre and all it has to offer. Opened back in 1981, the Station is a working cattle and camel ranch with a range of facilities for visitors, including camping, accommodation, and a selection of fun outdoor activities. It sits just 36km from Kings Canyon, one of the most popular attractions in the region, and is surrounded by desert oaks in a surreal scene.

At the Station shop, guests can pick up a snack to refuel for the road, or they can sit down and tuck into one of the Kings Creek camel burgers. As the largest exporter of wild camels in Australia, the Station is filled with these majestic creatures.

Fun fact: a whopping 36 documentaries have been filmed at Kings Creek Station, and it has seen a number of Australian Geographic’s expeditions pass through. kings canyon

Things to Do at Kings Creek Station

After a day spent exploring the stunning scenery and discovering Kings Canyon, you can relax with a bottle of wine and delicious food at the on-site café. Here, you can watch the sunset against the beautiful backdrop of George Gill Ranges while soaking up the peace and quiet of the surroundings.

There’s a pool, too, where you can kick back and relax with an icy cold drink and enjoy some respite away from the searing Australian sun that characterises the Red Centre.

george gill rangeFor the more active traveller, a stroll to the George Gill lookout presents magnificent views across the range and the surrounding landscape. While up high, you can cast your eye across the sprawling expanse of the Red Centre and watch over the vegetation and wildlife that calls it home.

If you’re looking for an adrenalin rush, Kings Creek Station has you covered. You can take a camel safari through the desert, pick up speed on a quad bike as you ride amongst the surreal desert oaks, or take a scenic helicopter flight high above the scenery to explore it from a new and exciting perspective.

And, when night falls, you can bed down in the accommodation on offer at Kings Creek Station. With an option for every budget, including safari cabins, camping facilities, and luxury glamping, there’s bound to be something that tickles your fancy.

The Uluru Sunset Viewing Areas

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uluru sunsetSeeing the sunset across Uluru is almost a rite of passage for anyone visiting Australia. Tucked away in the stunning Red Centre of the country, this incredible monolith is a sight to behold. During the day, it basks in the glow of the Australia sun, but at night, when the sun dips below the horizon, it starts a performance you’ll never forget.


Over the course of a few hours, the impressive landmark turns from a vibrant orange to a deep red and then to a rich black under the cover of the stars. Watching this show unfold is one of the most popular ways to experience one of Australia’s most iconic attractions.Uluru Sunrise Platform


Where to View the Sunset
The most popular viewing platform to watch the sunset from is Talinguru Nyakunytjaku, a 360-degree lookout point that takes in both Uluru and the nearby Kata Tjuta, another impressive natural wonder in the region.
From here, you can watch the performance from one of three shelters. Alternatively, there are two exposed viewing platforms and a few kilometres of walking track you can meander down to find the perfect spot to watch from. Though it often gets busy, you’ll be able to find your own slice of quiet paradise to watch the sunset from at this spot. From all points, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta as they undergo their evening transformation.


Kata Tjuta Sun setKata Tjuta Dune Viewing
If it’s Kata Tjuta you want to experience, head to the Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing platform, where you can get 360 degree views of the landmark as the sun sets. From here, you can witness the changing colour of the landscape with the silhouette of Uluru on the horizon ahead. This is a particularly quiet place to watch the sunset from.


If you plan on visiting Kata Tjuta to watch the sunset, it’s worth bearing in mind that you need to be outside the park boundaries by closing time.


Experiencing the sunset at Uluru is one of the most magical moments you can have in Australia.

Activities and Accommodation at Kings Creek Station

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kingscreekstationIn the heart of Australia’s Red Centre near Uluru, it’s difficult to find somewhere to refuel and rest. Enter the Kings Creek Station, which has been serving visitors since its opening in 1981. Set just 36km from Kings Canyon, the station is tucked away between desert oaks, and operates as a working cattle and camel station.

 

Here, visitors are greeted with a roster of fun activities and the chance to explore the stunning landscape of the Outback before or after they visit Uluru, one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks. There is a selection of accommodation and quirky adventures like camel rides and helicopter tours.


If you’re just passing through, there is a station shop that serves hearty meals, dinks, and snacks – the Kings Creek camel burgers prove to be a popular choice.


What’s more, the station is the largest exporter of wild camels in the whole of Australia.


So what can you get up to at the Kings Creek Station?


Stay at Kings Creek Stationkingscreek2
The station promises a range of accommodation options that cater to all sorts of travellers, whether you’re looking for a cheap place to stay on your way to Uluru, or a luxury pad to bed down in for a good night’s sleep.


There are safari cabins, where you can feel at one with nature, the option for camping, so you can sleep under the stars, luxury glamping, for a more upmarket experience, and several cabins and lodges that are both remote and romantic. It’s the perfect pit stop in the Red Centre, bringing you peace and quiet and the chance to explore this incredibly remote and beautiful part of Australia.


Fun Activities at Kings Creek Station
If you’re looking to explore the area in a unique way, there are plenty of activities you can pick up at Kings Creek Station. There’s a little something for everyone, too, whether you’re on the hunt for an adrenalin-pumping adventure, or simply want to enjoy the region in a more relaxed manner.

kingscreek3You can join one of the camel safaris from the station every day, discovering the scenery from the back of a camel, you can take a helicopter flight and see the Red Centre from a different perspective, or you can take a quad bike safari through the landscape, watching the world whizz past you.


If you find yourself passing through this part of Australia, a stop-off at Kings Creek Station is a must-do.

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