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Wayside Inn

20000B Larapinta Drive, Petermann NT 0872, Australia

Last Stop Before Uluru

Long before there was real tourism in Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park—indeed before the region was declared a national park—Peter Severin arrived to Curtin Springs with his young wife Dawn, a toddler and 1500 cattle. Severin must have had a hunch because the first tours to Uluru started the following year.

The cattle station is still in operation today as is the pub, motel and general store that formed the first tourist outpost outside Alice Springs. What's newer are walking tours that explore the million-acre cattle farm and wildlife corridor as well as nearby salt lakes and Mount Conner. Book a full-moon salt lake excursion and then relax with some amber fluid (beer) in the old Bough Shed that's been sheltering travelers for decades.