Dead Heart. It has to be one of the great Australian geographical misnomers. Far from being dead, Central Australia, based on my own numerous experiences alone, is totally alive, not just with colour and wildlife but also enormous possibilities.
Among those possibilities is the potential for art in its wild and dramatic landscapes, something that we’ve seen brilliantly realised, particularly by such a multitude of Indigenous artists.
Now readers of Traveller have the chance to join a specially-designed one-off tour to visit the Red Centre in the company of some of our finest painters and experts in the fascinating world of bush food.
Readers who book this exclusive, one-off itinerary, will be travelling in the company of no less than Lucy Culliton, an Archibald portrait prize finalist, Leo Robba, an acclaimed landscape artist and Mervyn Rubuntja, a leading Indigenous artist who calls Central Australia home.
They will be accompanied by Rayleen Brown, owner of the Alice Springs-based Kungkas Can Cook, a food company which specialises in bush tucker.
Your nine-day journey begins in Alice Springs, where you’ll learn about the art of the celebrated painter Albert Namatjira – perhaps our best-known Aboriginal artist – from local Indigenous watercolour artists.
Then our group heads into the desert country to visit extraordinary locations such as Hermannsburg, Ormiston Gorge and Standley Chasm.
Even if you’re not an artist, or just a budding one, this trip, operated by our tour partners, the highly-respected World Expeditions, will be an opportunity to learn from the experts in some of the country’s most stunning locations. Of course, if painting and the outdoors are your passions, this tour is made for you.
DAY 1 SEPTEMBER 23
Arrive in Alice Springs and make your way to the hotel. Join your expert guides Leo Robba and Lucy Culliton for a welcome dinner. MEALS: D HOTEL: DOUBLETREE BY HILTON HOTEL, ALICE SPRINGS
DAY 2 SEPTEMBER 24
Enjoy an early morning tour and cultural talk at the Alice Springs Desert Park. You’ll have your first Masterclass at the Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre. Watercolour artists will sit with you, talking and offering advice as you paint with them and learn about Namatjira’s watercolour tradition. Later, visit some of the other galleries around Alice Springs. B L D DOUBLETREE BY HILTON HOTEL, ALICE SPRINGS
DAYS 3 SEPTEMBER 25
HERMANNSBURG - PALM VALLEY
Drive to Hermannsburg. The artists will meet you at the river bed near Palm Valley. The group will set up on location, and paint the scenery. This will be an observational master class. You’ll have the opportunity to observe and learn from the masters’ practice, and engage in discussion about painting, country and culture. Tonight, stay at the award-winning Fearless Camp, named after trekking guide Sue Fear, at the foothills of Mount Sonder. B L D FEARLESS CAMP
DAY 4 SEPTEMBER 26
Today, experience an on country masterclass at Glen Helen. Overnight stay at Fearless Camp. BLD FEARLESS CAMP
DAY 5 SEPTEMBER 27
ORMISTON GORGE - OCHRE PITS
This morning, paint at the stunning Ormiston Pound with its great red cliffs and serene desert waterhole. Later, visit the vibrant colour of the Aboriginal quarry at the Ochre Pits. B L D CHARLIE’S CAMP
DAY 6 SEPTEMBER 28
Spend the day at the Serpentine Chalet area and make the most of the desert wilderness for artistic inspiration. B L D CHARLIE’S CAMP
DAY 7 SEPTEMBER 29
ELLERY CREEK - SERPENTINE GORGE
Explore some more exceptional locations in the gorges and canyons of the Chewings Range, Ellery Creek and Serpentine Gorge. B L D CHARLIE’S CAMP
DAY 8 SEPTEMBER 30
SIMPSON’S GAP - STANDLEY CHASM
Visit the spectacular Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm. You may be able to catch sight of a shy Echidna or Black-footed Rock Wallaby. Set up to paint in a quiet location nearby. This afternoon in camp, be treated to a spread of local bush foods prepared by local specialist Rayleen Brown. B L D NICK’S CAMP.
DAY 9 OCTOBER 1
DEPART ALICE SPRINGS
Return to Alice Springs in time for your flight home.
WHERE, WHEN AND HOW MUCH
TOUR DETAILS AND INCLUSIONS
DEPARTURE DATE September 23, 2019
DURATION 9 days
TOUR NAME Traveller Tour – Central Australia Artists’ Expedition, code: SOG5796
PRICES $6290 per person. Single supplement $600, condition applies
- Eight breakfasts, seven lunches and eight dinners
- Two nights hotel stay in Alice Springs, six nights exclusive semi.permanent camp stay
- Escorted by leading Australian artists, Leo Robba and Lucy Culliton
- One Studio Masterclass (two hours), and two days Masterclass on country with leading artists from the Iltja Ntjarra Art Centre and Hermannsburg School of Art
- Bush foods talk with Rayleen Brown
- Professional wilderness support guides. Camping equipment including tents, swags and stretcher beds
- Fees to Aboriginal traditional owners
- All transport during the tour
- All National Park and camping fees
- Emergency communications and group first aid kit
- Off-road transport from Alice Springs
- Emergency communications and group first ai
Prices are subject to availability. For full booking condition, visit worldexpeditions.com
Phone 1300 720 000
Monday – Friday, 9am – 5.30pm