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Central Australian Indigenous Immersion Program

This tour is designed for middle school students –   (AU MS 4 11 15 V1)

This itinerary provides for a 5 day Immersion Program with Yipirinya Primary School. The program throughout is designed to meet curriculum needs in Indigenous Studies and cross curricular outcomes in science, history, art, geography and biology.

Arrive Alice Springs to Yipirinya for Full Immersion ProgramDay1

  • Arrive in Alice Springs
  • Transfer to Yipirinya School by Austour
  • Settle into accommodation
  • Orientation tour of Yipirinya School
  • Dinner at Yipirinya
Yipirinya School

Yipirinya Immersion ProgramDay2

  • Introduction to classrooms
  • Classroom support and service
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Yipirinya School

Yipirinya Immersion ProgramDay3

  • Bus run with students from town camps, classroom support, service work.
  • 3.30pm Pick up at Yipirinya School and transfer to School of The Air and return to Yipirinya
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Yipirinya School

Yipirinya Immersion ProgramDay4

  • Bus run with students from town camps, classroom support, service work
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Yipirinya School

Yipirinya & Earth SanctuaryDay5

  • Bus run with students from town camps, classroom support, service work
  • 3.00 pm transfer from Yipirinya to Town Centre for independent
  • Shopping and sightseeing
  • 4.30 pm pick up from drop off point for transfer to Earth Sanctuary to participate in evening activities
  • Swags provided for sleeping under the stars
Yipirinya: Breakfast, Lunch, Earth Sanctuary: Austour Dinner
Earth Sanctuary in swags under the stars
  • Earth Sanctuary:
    Experience the magic of the Australian Outback at one of the most magical locations in Central Australia, just 15 minutes south of Alice Springs. Earth Sanctuary is a family owned and operated center for ‘Sustainable Living’. The Earth Sanctuary was established in the year 2000 and boasts a level of excellence in environmental standards that has been the benchmark for national tourism and education operators. We can guarantee you a wonderful and informative experience that will compliment your once in a lifetime journey into the heart of this ancient and magnificent country. We specialise in teaching local culture, ecology and astronomy.

Yipirinya & Alice SpringsDay6

  • Transfer from Earth Sanctuary to Yipirinya for Assembly
  • 9 -10.00am – Final Assembly.
  • 10.15am – Depart school, transfer to Desert Palms Resort to leave luggage then transfer to Todd Mall.
  • 10.30am – Arrive at Todd Mall
  • The remainder of the day is free to undertake sightseeing around Alice Springs.
  • Climb to the top of Anzac Hill, visit an Art Gallery, A brief walk to the Royal Flying Doctor Base for a visit.
  • Visit Rex’s Reptile Centre and the Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, Walk to the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens and back to Desert Palms Resort.
  • 5.30 pm – A visit from our Indigenous colleagues, Damian and Uncle Arthur, talks on indigenous culture at your accommodation.
  • Taste Indigenous bush-tucker around a campfire.
  • Tonight Austour will provide your evening meal.
  • Overnight Desert Palms Resort (multi-share).
Desert Palms Resort – multi-share bunk rooms
Breakfast: At Earth Sanctuary, Austour Lunch: By own arrangement, Dinner: Austour
  • Anzac Hill:
    In just over a century Alice Springs has grown from a clutch of stores and houses to a major tourism and commercial centre of 28,000 people. Nowhere can this growth be better observed than from the panoramic lookout on Anzac Hill. (Anzac is the abbreviation of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, representing men and women who fought in the great wars). The monument on the hill was designed and dedicated by Reverend Harry Griffiths, then President of the Returned Soldiers League (R.S.L.), and unveiled by Dudley Adamson, one time Telegraph Station operator, and later first Postmaster of the Alice Springs Post Office (from 1932-1946), in Railway Terrace. Funds for the construction of the monument were raised by public subscription.
  • The Royal Flying Doctors:
    The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Visitor Centre in Alice Springs, situated only 600m from the Post Office, commenced operations in the late 1970’s and since its inception it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Central Australia. The television series ‘The Flying Doctors’ which was based on the real life RFDS and viewed around the globe, has made the Centre a “must see” for many travellers. The Centre is interactive and you can choose to take part in a tour, stroll through the Museum, have a bite to eat in the Café, and wander through the gift shop to find that special gift to take home. Take the RFDS Visitor Centre tour and learn about the incredible history that has shaped the RFDS of today. You will view some amazing footage and listen to some incredible stories. Following the tour, our friendly staff will direct you to the museum where you can wander at your leisure. The interactive museum satisfies the most curious minds. You can discover what it’s like to be inside one of our aircraft and look inside a replica fuselage of a Pilatus PC12 or even better – to fly one of our aircraft and test your skills in our Flight Simulator. Find out what it was like to communicate before telephones were invented and use an original Tregear Pedal Radio to talk to visitors at the Alice Springs School of the Air.
  • Alice Springs Reptile Centre:
    Welcome to the Alice Springs Reptile Centre home to the largest reptile display in Central Australia. We display an extensive range of reptiles including Terry the Saltwater Crocodile, HUGE Perentie Goannas, Thorny Devils, Frill-neck Lizards and many other fascinating lizards including a varied selection of NT Geckos from the Alice Springs region, Barkly and the Top End on display in the amazing Gecko Cave.
  • Desert Palms Resort:
    An oasis in the outback, the Desert Palms is a 3.5 star outback property set around a crystal clear free form pool with island, waterfall and surrounded by tropical gardens. Your multi-share rooms are air-conditioned and include private en suites and are specially set up for student groups of 4 or 6.

Alice Springs – Wallace Rockhole Community Full ImmersionDay7

  • Visit Alice Springs Desert Park
  • Visit Simpsons Gap and see the rock wallabies
  • Travel through the West MacDonnell Ranges
  • Afternoon arrival at Wallace Rockhole Community
  • Participate in dot painting, cultural talks and walk to sacred rock carving site
  • Evening campfire and over night at Wallace Rockhole
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wallace Rockhole Campground – tents
  • Alice Springs Desert Park:
    The Park is a great introduction to the natural and cultural environment of central Australia. Features of the Park include, three detailed desert habitats displaying plants and animals of those habitats, animals of the night on display in the Nocturnal House, a variety of Guide Presentations on life in the desert.
  • Simpsons Gap:
    A number of scenic gaps pierce the West MacDonnell Ranges. One of these is Simpsons Gap, site of one of the most prominent waterholes in the region. The area is an important spiritual site to the Arrarnta Aboriginal people, where several dreaming trails and stories cross. At dawn or dusk Simpsons gap it is renowned as a place to see Black-footed Rock- wallabies along the gap’s short walking track. Good examples of many of the vegetation communities of the MacDonnell Ranges are found in the Simpsons Gap area, including large stands of Mulga, and the area around the gap is a major stronghold for some of the rare and relict plants of the region.
  • Wallace Rockhole:
    Wallace Rockhole is a Western Aranda Aboriginal Community located 120kms west of Alice Springs along the James Range. In 1877 the Lutheran Mission opened up Hermannsburg Mission and ran a large cattle station to support the mission and the Aboriginals up to 1983 when the station was divided in to 5 blocks and handed back to the Aranda people. Wallace Rockhole is on the Urana Land Trust 25kms along the James Range and 40kms to the West MacDonnell Ranges. The community was founded by the Abbott family in 1973 as an outstation of the Hermannsburg Mission. Here you will see ancient rock carvings and hear about the bush medicine and history of the Aranda people.

Wallace Rockhole – Mereenie Track – Kings CanyonDay8

  • 8.00 am depart Wallace Rockhole
  • Visit the Ochre Pits, beautiful Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen
  • View Gosses Bluff – a comet crater
  • Travel via the Mereenie Loop to Watarrka (Kings Canyon) National Park
  • Student entertainment at the resort tonight
  • Overnight Kings Canyon Camp Ground
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kings Canyon Camp Ground – tents
  • Ochre Pits:
    The Ochre Pits are located approximately 50 kilometers west of Alice Springs along the Larapinta Trail. The pits consist of several layers of multi-colored, layered rock that was traditionally used by Aborigines in ceremonies and played an important role in the continent’s economy, being traded with neighboring clans and countries, in every direction on the continent. Ochre has always been an important part of Aboriginal culture and a vital part of everyday life. For medicinal purposes red ochre is mixed with grease and applied as an ointment and to relieve breathing congestion when mixed with eucalyptus leaves. White ochre was used as a magical charm, when mixed with water and blown from the mouth it is believed to abate the heat of the sun or the force of the wind. Weapons were painted with ochre to increase the success of hunting. It also protected the wooden weapons from termites. The Ochre Pits is a very important sacred site for local Aboriginal People. Please do not touch or disturb the ochre. Serious penalties apply for disturbing the ochre and the site.
  • Watarrka (Kings Canyon):
    Watarrka National Park contains the western end of the George Gill Range. This scenic landscape of rugged ranges, rock holes and gorges acts as a refuge for many plants and animals, making the Park an important conservation area and major attraction of central Australia. The Rim Walk begins with a strenuous steep climb. The walk ascends to the top of the canyon and follows the rim around before descending to the car park. About half way along is the Garden of Eden, a beautiful area of cool waterholes and river vegetation.

Kings Canyon – Ayers Rock ResortDay9

  • At dawn commence a self guided rim walk of Kings Canyon
  • Return to camp to pack up
  • Journey onto Uluru.
  • Lunch stop along the way
  • Stop at Lake Amadeus/Artilla (Mt Connor) lookout.
  • Brief stop at Curtin Springs Station
  • Arrive at Yulara campground and set up camp.
  • Visit Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park
  • Participate in the Ranger briefing at the Cultural Centre.
  • Enjoy a drive around Uluru.
  • Photograph Uluru at sunset
  • Overnight Ayers Rock campground.

*School must apply for National Park entry fee exemption

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ayers Rock Camp Ground – tents
  • Curtin Springs Cattle Station:
    Curtin Springs is a 416,400 hectares (1,028,947 acres) working cattle station and roadhouse facility located on the Lasseter Highway, 85 kilometres (53 mi) east of Yulara and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The land was originally known as Mt Conner Station in the 1930s when it was first operated by Paddy DeConnley. Abraham Andrews leased Mt Conner Station, together with vacant crown land, which became known as Curtin Springs Station around 1940. Curtin Springs was built in 1943 and is now owned and operated by the Severin family who took over the pastoral lease in 1956.
  • Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park:
    This is Anangu land and you are welcome. Come share our story. See Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park through Anangu Watch as the sunsets over our Red Centre landscape, hear the echo of the beginning of time, Tjukurpa (law) whispering the story of creation to you. Come, learn from our land and from us, the oldest living culture on earth.
  • Uluru Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre:
    The Cultural Centre is a good starting point for visitors to the park as it offers information about activities and park info as well as an introduction into Anangu culture. Because of the deep spiritual nature of the area and what is contained within the Cultural Centre, visitors are asked not to photograph or video inside the building or precinct. This is to respect the wishes of the traditional owners, and protect Anangu’s cultural and intellectual property. Kanyangatja mulapa wali nganampa – Anangu marutju takum, Anangu uwankaraku | This building truly represents us Anangu people, it is for all people to visit.
  • Ayers Rock Resort Campground:
    The campground is an ideal base from which to experience the beauty of the living cultural landscape in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. A well-equipped campground with modern amenities – perfectly suited to families, independent travellers and groups.

Uluru Kata Tjuta TouringDay10

  • National park viewing area for sunrise of Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
  • Guided Mala walk and Kuniya walk to view sacred sites
  • Lunch back at camp
  • Journey to ‘The Valley of the Winds Walk’ (3 hour walk).
  • Photograph opportunity at sunset from a viewing platform between both icons
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ayers Rock Camp Ground – tents
  • Mutitjulu Walk:
    The walk to the Mutitjulu Waterhole is a cool and pleasant walk, which is highly accessible during the dry season. The walk is surrounded by high rock walls and along the way you can see cave paintings. The Anangu people respect the waterhole as the home of Wanampi, an ancestral water snake who has the power to control the source of the water. Mutitjulu is the most reliable waterhole around Uluru and the wildlife depend on it for their survival. In the special times of rain, experience the magical waterfalls, while in the warmer months watch for noisy finches and Australian hobbies rocketing through the serene landscape to catch small birds. For the keen bird watcher, you may spot nesting black-breasted buzzards or tawny frogmouths. Following the signs, learn more about the Tjukurpa of Kuniya in this area. The caves containing rock art were used in the past by Anangu still alive today.
  • Mala Walk:
    There are many fine examples of Anangu rock art along this walk, and you can experience the sheer vertical walls and profound peacefulness of Kantju Gorge.

Ayers Rock Resort – HomeDay11

  • Pack up camp.
  • Visit Resort Town Square for last minute shopping.
  • Opportunity to join free Indigenous activities, boomerang throwing and dot painting at the park adjoining Town Square
  • Join the transfer bus to Ayers Rock Resort Airport for flight home

Your tour cost includes:

  • The provision of a suitable modern touring vehicle to fit the needs and size of the group.
  • Fully equipped catering and luggage trailer
  • The services of an experience and accredited driver / guide.
  • Airport Transfers as applicable
  • The provision of a tour manager responsible for tour operations and catering safari style.
  • The provision of all accommodation on a multi-share 4, 5 or 6 students per room, or in twin-share pyramid tents with in built vinyl floors and comfortable mattresses, teachers twin-share.       Single supplement additional cost.
  • The provision of all catering equipment inclusive of an individual dilly bag with personal knife, fork and spoon, cup, bowl and plate.
  • The provision of cooked breakfasts and light breakfasts, salad and sandwich lunches with fruit, cake and juice and 3 course evening meals as per itinerary.
  • The payment of all accommodation, visits, attractions and entry fees as per itinerary excluding Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and Kakadu National Park entry fee (where applicable), school to apply for exemption – contact Austour.

Not included:

  • Morning, afternoon tea and evening supper.
  • Transport from home to departure point and arrival point to home.
  • Domestic air travel unless otherwise stated.
  • Complimentary travel on airline for teachers
  • Travel Insurance (Highly recommended- contact Austour for details and 20% rebate).
  • Linen (bring your own sleeping bag, liner and small pillow).
  • Towels and items of a personal nature.
  • Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park entry fee (School to apply for exemption – contact Austour).
  • Kakadu National Park entry fee (School to apply for exemption – contact Austour).
  • All prices quoted are on ground content only.

Please contact our reservation team regarding enquiries and bookings.


The trip was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. I decided to embark on the journey after my teacher was raving on about her awesome trip to Central Australia one day in class and my friend and I were inspired to participate in the upcoming cultural immersion experience that the school was running. It would mean that I would be able to travel up to a place I’ve never been, and being able to interact with Indigenous people living in the heart of Australia – definitely a one in a lifetime experience. After explaining it to my parents and they got on board, I became really excited for it as it was at the end of my yearly exams and just before year 12 so it would be the best way to end year 11 and get all the fun out of my system before the ‘hectic-ness’ of year 12 begins.