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Red Centre, Australia
Do Go/Don’t go
With temperatures rocketing as high as 45ºC at the height of summer (December to February), it’s far from the best time to visit the Red Centre. Winter in the desert can bring some exceedingly cold nights, although the days normally remain warm and clear. In general, September to November or March to May are the most pleasant periods.
PlanesRegular flights are available from all major Australian cities to Ayers Rock Airport (also known as Connellan Airport) with Qantas (www.qantas.com.au). Flights are daily from Perth, Sydney, Cairns and Alice Springs and there are flights from Melbourne twice a week. If you’re coming from Darwin or Brisbane, you’ll have to change at Alice Springs. Many travellers choose to fly to Alice Springs and then drive to Uluru; again Qantas flies from the major Australian cities. Tiger Airways also flies to Alice Springs from Melbourne and Adelaide (www.tigerairways.com).
TrainsAlice Springs is a stop-off on the famous cross-continental Ghan train route (www.gsr.com.au/our-trains/the-ghan/the-journey.php) that runs twice weekly between Adelaide and Darwin.
Automobiles4WDs are best suited to handling the Red Centre’s rugged terrain, and a large stash of water is always advisable when taking to the tracks of the desert. Avis (www.avis.com.au) have branches at Ayers Rock airport and Alice Springs – book in advance.
TaxisIt’s unlikely you’ll be able to flag cars down in the road, but try Sunworth taxis in Yulara (+61 (0)8 562152), or Alice Springs Taxis (+61 (0)8 8952 187) in, well, Alice Springs.