The best way of seeing the desert around Alice Springs is by self-drive and bush-camping.
Camp n Drive in Alice hires out 4WD with all the equipment you need for camping.
We had no equipment of our own. Hired the car from Camp n Drive and drove out to Ruby Gap in the East McDonnell ranges. There was no one around. We set up camp by a ghost gum tree, lit a campfire, rolled our swag on the earth and spent a wonderful night in the desert under countless stars.
Camp n Drive is situated in Alice -48 Gap Road, Alice Springs, NT. 0870, Australia, 08 89520099. www.alicecampndrive.com/index.html
Ruby Gap is in the eastern MacDonnell ranges - easy to find. Follow the Ross highway from Alice, follow the signs to Arltunga and you will see signs for Ruby Gap. It's a 4WD road only after the Ross Highway.
OK....so you go to see Uluru...that's a given. But for me, far more atmostpheric was the Olgas - in particualar the Valley of the Winds walk. The Olgas (Kata Tjuta) lies about 50km from Uluru and the main walk is about 8km of an easy-moderate trail.
There are few tourists even in peak season, and it really gives you the feel of the desolation and beauty of the red centre.
I'm not saying don't go to Uluru...I'm saying instead of going there for both sunset AND sunrise, try the Olgas for one of them instead.
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