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It’s always special to be there when a new travel product gets off the ground and this week marks an inaugural tour set to appeal to both Australian and international travellers.

AAT Kings invited Traveltalk along on the very first departure of one of their new Short Breaks tours that were unveiled in February.

We’re in the heart of Central Australia on the four-day ‘Kings Canyon, Uluru and Kata Tjuta’ tour. The company also has a three-day/two-night tour with both itineraries starting and finishing in Alice Springs.

“The big point behind these tours is that they’re filling the sweet spot between longer guided tours and shorter day trips,” Michael Woods, Industry Partnerships and Marketing Manager, AAT Kings, told Traveltalk.

“This means for time poor people, if they want to get a good look around and sample some of the amazing cultural experiences in the area, these are the sort of tours to do.”

Managing Editor Jon Underwood last visited Uluru as a backpacker in 1991 and has returned after 33 years to take part in the inaugural tour. He joined fellow travel media and travel agents sampling exactly what travellers are going to enjoy on the tour.

Jon writes:

“Not only is the tour brand new but so is the AAT Kings coach our group are travelling on – it still has that “new coach” smell.

The five-hour drive from Alice Springs to Uluru was a comfortable and informative journey, thanks to the almost encyclopaedic knowledge of Jim, the driver/guide.

He covered Indigenous culture and history, geology, flora and fauna…and told some of the best “Dad” jokes heard in a long time. We particularly liked the one about the rubber tree with the big black flowers….

Arriving at Uluru is a special moment and under clear blue skies we were like excited children vying to be the first to spot the world-famous landmark. Several were caught out by Mount Conner, or “Foolaru” as Jim dubbed it.

A walk around the base only served to illustrate just how special this place is and the day ended in spectacular style with a barbecue under some of the brightest stars you’re ever likely to see.

Kata Tjuta and Walpa Gorge featured the following day, with both proving equally as spectacular as their somewhat more famous neighbour.

All the while Jim kept up his absorbing commentary, making sure the true significance of where we were was never lost and always appreciated and respected.

The remarkable and ground-breaking Wintjiri Wiru light display (offered as an optional extra on the Short Breaks tour) rounded off a day that will long live in the memory of the trailblazers fortunate enough to be along for the ride.”

The tour continues with a visit to Kings Canyon and the Sunrise Field of Light installation, along with a dot painting workshop.

“This is what people what to see and experience and immerse themselves in,” continued Michael.

“They don’t want the standard tour anymore. They want a fully immersive experience that has a lot of authentic Indigenous experiences.

“So that’s what we’re offering and as the foreign markets come back these are the sort of tours that we think are going to sell really, really well.”