Let your senses soar on an epic adventure from AAT Kings in Australia – Australian Geographic | Dauktion


October 11, 2022

From the blanket of glittering stars and red rock monoliths of the Northern Territory to South Australia’s lost Kangaroo Island and the dazzling salt crust of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, our vast continent is a playground for the wild at heart.

Northern Territory

If you’re looking for a space adventure of epic proportions, then the Australian outback has a billion sparkling reasons to visit. And one of the best experiences is the Earth Sanctuary, 15 minutes from Alice Springs. The award-winning outback venue was built 20 years ago by the Falzon family who yearned to share their piece of Australia – overlooking the spectacular East MacDonnell Ranges – in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

“By the early ’90s, our family realized that we needed to do something to both address the root cause of climate change and mitigate its effects,” says Joey Falzon, the family patriarch. “In 1999 we turned words into action and relocated from Melbourne to central Australia to develop a sanctuary that could build and showcase positive global solutions for sustainable living.

“Earth Sanctuary is proud to be one of Australia’s first 100 per cent carbon neutral venues and our vision is to become a global leader in education and sustainable tourism.”

So what are you doing with AAT Kings in Earth Sanctuary?

By far the most acclaimed experiences revolve around astronomy. As the sun goes down, sip billy tea brewed around the campfire and enjoy a barbecue dinner as the stars emerge and enjoy a dark sky night experience (using a deep sky telescope operated by an operator and guide) to which the astronomer host will wake guests to witness including zodiac constellations, meteor showers and other cool astro events, all interwoven with stories about the importance of the stars in Aboriginal culture.

Uluru is one of the great natural wonders of the world, towering over the surrounding landscape. As well as being a spectacular natural formation, Uluru is also a deeply spiritual place. You can feel a strong presence as soon as you see them for the first time.

Once you’re done star-bathing, there’s a host of other incredible natural wonders to explore in the nation’s red heart. Admire the majesty of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Nestled within its confines, of course, is the extraordinary monolith Uluru. Uluru rises 348 m above the surrounding plain and is 3.6 km long and 1.9 km wide. You can hike around its 9.4km base with an experienced local AAT Kings guide who will share the important stories embedded in Uluright& In 1987 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for its unique geology – did you know that Uluru extends an additional 2.5 km underground? – and in 1997 the cultural importance of the rock to the Aborigines was also recognised. The Anangu were recognized as traditional owners in 1985.

The park covers 1326 square kilometers and is also home to Kata Tjuta, which means ‘many heads’ in the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal language. Located west of Uluru, the group of 36 large, domed rock formations covers 21 km², with the highest towering 546 m above the plain. The sandstone domes are believed to be over 500 million years old.

There are a variety of AAT Kings tours you can take to explore the Red Center including 2 and 4 day short breaks as well as longer guided tours and outback safaris.

The spectacular Kings Canyon Rim Walk in Watarrka National Park climbs to the top of the canyon and follows the rim before descending to the parking lot. About halfway is the Garden of Eden, a beautiful rock hole surrounded by rare plants.

South Australia

Kangaroo Island is an enticing mix of wild coves, dramatic cliffs, secluded beaches and fascinating locals – both native animals and people.

On KI there is always a piece of bush or a beach somewhere. The 540 km coastline remains one of the least changed in the temperate world. Even during busy holiday times, locals and savvy AAT Kings visitors alike will find a tranquil stretch of shoreline. As with D’Estrees Bay, which spans a wide arc and spans more than 20km, much of what makes AI memorable is less the striking terrain and more the proximity to nature unleashed.

Nowhere is this more alive than in Flinders Chase National Park. The overland route to far-flung West Bay is an insightful way to take in the vastness of the place. Framed by rugged headlands and lush coastal heather, the bay has an inviting beach with an offbeat, end-of-the-world aura. It’s doubly so when you look seaward to the horizon and learn that the next landfall is due west, Uruguay.

And then there are the beautiful Remarkable Rocks covered in orange lichen that draw your attention across the sparkling blue of the Southern Ocean. Here, cormorants and crested terns whirl above the crests of the waves, while plovers, sanderlings and turnstones forage for bites on the mud flats.

Although barely 14km from the mainland, the island’s 4500km² often feels as remote as any stretch of the outback – you can feel like a shipwreck here, surrounded by a rich array of native Australian wildlife and the elemental power of place.

Razorback Ridge, Flinders Ranges, Outback SA.

Meanwhile, in the South Australian outback, there is another eerie sight: the natural spectacle of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre. Australia’s largest inland lake is – most of the time – a shimmering salt pan that stretches for hundreds of square kilometers and is occasionally transformed into a thriving oasis by desert rains. The South Australian Outback Tour gives you the chance to see it from the air as your bird’s-eye view unfolds beneath you like a work of art. Speaking of art, your included scenic flight also takes you over the Anna Creek Painted Hills, a rocky outcrop that literally juts out of the flat desert, creating silhouettes reminiscent of cartoon characters. Land to explore the otherworldly landscape before flying to your destination, Coober Pedy, for the next two nights, brimming with compelling quirks.

When the lake is full there are many ibis, egrets, egrets and coots, black-winged wagtails and red-necked sabers, ducks, budgerigars and galahs. It is a pulsating, splashing, rustling, flashing paradise of birds.

Flotillas of pelicans soar into the air with great loud flaps of their wings, a wondrous spiraling symphony, and in the dim light of dusk and dawn the poignant calls of dingoes create an otherworldly serenade.

Wild Australia is an encyclopedia full of superlatives. Delight all your senses on an epic adventure at home.

This article is brought to you by AAT Kings.

To book your next adventure call 1300 228 546 or visit www.aatkings.com/wild

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