Red Centre Highlights

You may know it's sacred to the Aboriginal people here, and that it turns some spectacular colours at sunrise and sunset. You might not know that you can experience it through Aboriginal eyes, or that there are many other sacred and breathtaking sites here in Australia's vast centre. Uluṟu's cousin Kata Tjuṯa is just 40 kilometres away and you'll find the awe-inspiring Kings Canyon not far from Alice Springs. You might not realise that this landscape has green vegetation and lush waterholes as well as dusty red roads and huge slabs of rock. And what you won't really understand until you get here is the magic, majesty, silence and splendid isolation of Australia's Red Centre. Red Centre Highlights
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Red Centre Highlights

You probably know about the red monolith in Australia’s centre.

You may know it's sacred to the Aboriginal people here, and that it turns some spectacular colours at sunrise and sunset. You might not know that you can experience it through Aboriginal eyes, or that there are many other sacred and breathtaking sites here in Australia's vast centre. Uluṟu's cousin Kata Tjuṯa is just 25 miles (40 kilometres) away and you'll find the awe-inspiring Kings Canyon not far from Alice Springs. You might not realise that this landscape has green vegetation and lush waterholes as well as dusty red roads and huge slabs of rock.  And what you won't really understand until you get here is the magic, majesty, silence and splendid isolation of Australia's Red Centre.
 

Five places you must visit in the Red Centre:

You may know it's sacred to the Aboriginal people here, and that it turns some spectacular colours at sunrise and sunset. You might not know that you can experience it through Aboriginal eyes, or that there are many other sacred and breathtaking sites here in Australia's vast centre. Uluṟu's cousin Kata Tjuṯa is just 40 kilometres away and you'll find the awe-inspiring Kings Canyon not far from Alice Springs. You might not realise that this landscape has green vegetation and lush waterholes as well as dusty red roads and huge slabs of rock.  And what you won't really understand until you get here is the magic, majesty, silence and splendid isolation of Australia's Red Centre.
You may know it's sacred to the Aboriginal people here, and that it turns some spectacular colours at sunrise and sunset. You might not know that you can experience it through Aboriginal eyes, or that there are many other sacred and breathtaking sites here in Australia's vast centre. Uluṟu's cousin Kata Tjuṯa is just 40 kilometres away and you'll find the awe-inspiring Kings Canyon not far from Alice Springs. You might not realise that this landscape has green vegetation and lush waterholes as well as dusty red roads and huge slabs of rock.  And what you won't really understand until you get here is the magic, majesty, silence and splendid isolation of Australia's Red Centre.

Uluru Camel Tours, NT

1. Alice Springs and surrounds

Stay in the famous outback town of Alice Springs, which sits in Australia’s red heart just 124 miles (200 kilometres) south of its geographic centre. From here you can bushwalk, four wheel drive or join a camel trek across the rolling sand dunes of the Simpson Desert. Bike ride to Simpsons Gap at dawn, discover different Aboriginal art styles along the Tanami Track and explore the rock art, artefacts and ceremonial sites near the small Aboriginal community of St Teresa.

2. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

See Uluru rise 656 feet (348 metres) from the desert in the deep centre of Australia, matching the light and weather with hues so vivid they upstage the sunset. Walk around Uluru’s base with an Aṉangu guide, and learn how it was created by spirit ancestors in the Dreamtime. You can even trace the battle scars they left behind. See Uluru on a motorcycle, from the back of a camel or on a scenic helicopter flight. Drink in its sunset glow with a glass of champagne, then return to a campfire dinner of barramundi, emu or kangaroo underneath a starlit sky. Just 25 miles (40 kilometres) away you’ll find Kata Tjuta - steep, rounded, russet domes formed through more than 500 million years of erosion. You can experience both wonders in Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park, which offers tours by Aboriginal guides and accommodation ranging from campsites to luxury resort.

Kings Canyon, NT

3. Kings Canyon and Watarrka National Park

Trek to the rim of Kings Canyon for breathtaking views across the rugged bluffs and gorges of Watarrka National Park. The canyon’s towering rock walls shelter palm-filled crevices and pockets of lush green in otherwise inhospitable desert. See rare plants from a lone-gone wetter age and swim in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden. Explore the weathered rock domes of the Lost City. See sunset at Carmichael Crag, take the Kathleen Springs Walk to a pretty waterhole or trek overnight on the Giles Track.  If camping doesn’t appeal, spend the night in a resort or wilderness lodge.

4. Finke Gorge National Park

Four wheel drive next to towering sandstone cliffs and the mostly sandy Finke River. Mostly dry in Finke Gorge National Park. Explore the desert oasis of Palm Valley, the only place in the world you’ll find the Red Cabbage Palm. You can meander through the slender palms on the Arankaia Walk or the longer Mpulungkinya Walk. Afterwards, follow the short Kalaranga Lookout Walk for spectacular views of the rock amphitheatre circled by rugged cliffs. Or learn about the mythology of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people on the popular two-hour Mpaara Walk. See long-limbed gums stretch over glimmering water and mountain ranges turn from purple to burning ochre in the setting sun.

Namatjira Drive, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT

5. MacDonnell Ranges

Walk the Larapinta Trail or Emu Dreaming path to Ormiston Gorge and Pound, past graceful red river gums, wallabies and cool, clear waterholes.  Marvel at the gorge’s sheer walls rising 984 feet (300 metres) out of Ormiston Creek, then dive into the waterhole that is 46 feet (14 metres) deep. You can also cool off in Ellery Creek Big Hole, Redbank Gorge and picturesque Glen Helen Gorge. See rock wallabies in and around the ridges and ghost gums of Simpsons Gap. Walk to Standley Chasm and see its steep walls blaze red in the midday sun. Don’t miss the 12 mile (20 kilometre) wide crater at Gosse Bluff, or Tnorala to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people. Their dreaming story is a little more magical than the scientific explanation which says it was formed by a comet crashing to Earth about 130 million years ago. In the East MacDonnell Ranges, you can bush walk, camp, four-wheel-drive and visit Trephina Gorge and the gold rush ghost town of Arltunga.

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Red Centre

Red Centre

Get a taste of the experiences you can have when you explore Australia's Red Centre.

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Red Centre Way

Red Centre Way

Swim in Glen Helen Gorge and spot rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap, both in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Listen to the Dreamtime legend surrounding the comet crater of Gosse Bluff. Climb to the rim of Kings Canyon and swim in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden. Do a dawn camel trek around Uluṟu and wander between the steep russet domes of nearby Kata Tjuṯa. Journey through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest. Learn about the area's Aboriginal history from the Arrernte people who have lived here for 20,000 years. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal art and pioneer history in Alice Springs. Don't miss this unforgettable adventure through Australia's ancient centre.

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Uluru

Uluru

Uluru, the massive sandstone monolith in Australia's Red Centre, is located amongst an ancient landscape rich in indigenous culture and spiritual significance.

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Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjuta, formerly known as The Olgas, is a group of large ancient rock formations approximately 30 kilometres away from Uluru in Australia's Red Centre. Together these giant stone formations form the two major landmarks within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

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