Discover the heart of Australia – the Red Centre.
You’ll find Alice Springs offering access to the breath-taking landscapes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and the MacDonnell Ranges. Soak up Aboriginal culture and rugged natural beauty on classic outback journeys; drive the Red Centre Way, hike parts or all of the Larapinta Trail (or other less challenging trails!) and ride a camel in the Simpson Desert! Being able to pick up or return a camper to Alice Springs ensures these are accessible to those even with limited time.
What can you see in the Red Centre?
- Possibly most famous for this landmark is Uluru (Ayres Rock), one of Australia’s most iconic symbols. This ancient landscape, rich in indigenous culture and spirituality, is located in the heart of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. There are numerous ways you can experience the beauty of this unique desert landscape and the majesty of Uluru. See it from the skies and take a helicopter flight or take a ride in a hot air balloon and even take a walk with an Aboriginal guide and learn about their ancient traditions and stories from the Dreamtime, or you could ride across the desert on the back of a camel
Uluru lies around 300km south of Alice Springs and is a 203km drive off the Stuart Highway and is accessible in a 2WD campervan as the roads are sealed
- Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas) – if you’ve ventured out as far as Uluru then carry on for a further 53km and head to the Olgas, which are a group of large, domed rock formations which are also another major landmark within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta cover an area of just over 21km squared and the highest dome, Mount Olga, is actually 198m (650ft) higher than Uluru! This park is considered sacred to the Aboriginal people of Australia
- Kings Canyon, which is approximately midway between Alice Springs and Uluru, is an ancient formation of tall red rock faces that soar above dense palm forests of palms. It is a part of the Watarrka National Park and were formed when small cracks eroded over millions of years. There is a fairly challenging 6km rim walk, which can take around 3 – 4 hours to do, but you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the gorge below and of the surrounding landscape and is especially worthwhile doing if you get here for sunrise
- The MacDonnell ranges are definitely worth a visit which can been seen on both the East and West side of Alice Springs. There is a fair amount sealed, which means you can access in a 2WD camper, otherwise for those more adventurous hire a 4WD camper. You can then also travel the Merenie Loop from Kings Canyon into the far Eastern End of the ranges. You’ll find the MacDonnell Ranges are an ancient landscape that has been sculptured by time and the climatic elements leaving behind gorges, gaps and canyons to explore. There’s short and longer walks available and even the odd swimming area. There are some national park camps scattered through the ranges too
- Last and by no means least, if you’re out this way then you’ll have to travel through Alice Springs, which is a frontier town surrounded by vast deserts and is a hub for Aboriginal art and has a mix of Aboriginal and European colonial history
From here you can organise various tours that take you out on camel rides and helicopter rides out over and across the Red Centre. Alice Springs run its Night Markets from August to November and offers colourful shops, live entertainment, cafes, indigenous art, handmade clothing, souvenirs and amazing cultural street food!
These are to name just a few of the many things you can do while you are in the Red Centre.
If you are looking for campervan hire and would like to find out more on vehicle options, then you can check out our page here.
We’ve also got some more information in our Travel Route Adelaide to Darwin which covers off some of the places you can visit in this area.
Or if you’d prefer to venture out on an escorted motorhome tour where all the hassle of booking your travel plans and excursions are taken care of, then you might like to consider the Adelaide to Darwin escorted tour we have running in 2017, you check that out here!