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Embark on an unforgettable motorhome journey through Australia's Red Centre, a land of ancient landscapes, rich Aboriginal heritage, and awe-inspiring natural wonders. 

Located in the Northern Territory, this iconic region is best explored by motorhome, allowing you the freedom to immerse yourself at your own pace. Our Australia's Northern Territory holiday is a perfect way to include these destinations in your itinerary.

Here are our must-visit Red Centre destinations...

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

No visit to the Red Centre is complete without witnessing the majestic Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the enigmatic Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Uluru, a massive sandstone monolith standing 348 metres tall, is a sacred site for the Anangu people and a UNESCO World Heritage Area. As the sun moves through the sky, Uluru undergoes a mesmerising transformation; its rusty red hues shift from a deep ochre to orange and intense crimson, making taking photographs a must. Nearby, the 36 domed rock formations of Kata Tjuta rise from the desert floor, each with unique shape and spiritual significance.

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To reach Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, follow the Lasseter Highway from Alice Springs for approximately 450 km (280 miles). The drive takes around five hours, but the breathtaking scenery along the way makes it an integral part of the experience. Entry to the national park costs $38 AUD (at time of writing) per adult for a 3-day pass.

Uluru is a precious natural environment and culturally significant site. Its fragile desert ecosystem supports unique flora and fauna that has adapted to harsh temperatures and dry conditions, and Aboriginal culture is deeply intertwined through stories, songlines and ceremonies. 

Tourism can have a positive impact but only if it is sustainable. Here are four ways you can visit Uluru sustainably and preserve the natural environment and cultural importance of this site for future generations:

Responsible visits | Stick to designated paths - don't stray from the trail as you might stumble across sacred areas, disturb natural habitat or dangerous wildlife.

Local knowledge | Listen and learn - rangers and local people know best so listen to their advice and stick to it for your safety, the safety of others and for the protection of nature and culture.

Community | Support tourism initiatives run by local Anangu people - this allows them to benefit economically from tourism while ensuring cultural respect.

Conservation | Spend and support - revenue from sustainable tourism can be directed towards conservation efforts, park management, and cultural preservation programs.

King's Canyon

Nestled in the heart of Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon is a natural wonderland of soaring sandstone cliffs, hidden gorges, and lush waterholes. The Rim Walk, a challenging 3.7-mile circuit, rewards hikers with unparalleled views of the canyon's 300-meter-high walls and the Garden of Eden, an oasis of palm-fringed pools that defy the surrounding desert.

Pre-dawn light from top of King's Canyon
King's Canyon at dawn

Kings Canyon is about 205 miles southwest of Alice Springs via the Stuart Highway and Luritja Road. The drive takes approximately 4 hours. Follow the Mereenie Loop Road, a 4WD track that passes through the stunning West MacDonnell Ranges, for a more scenic route. Fuel up in advance, as services are limited along the way. 

Alice Springs

Alice Springs, known as Mparntwe to the Arrernte people, is the vibrant hub of the Red Centre. This historic town, founded in the 1870s as a vital repeater station along the Overland Telegraph Line, now serves as a gateway to the region's natural and cultural wonders. Explore the Alice Springs Desert Park to learn about the area's unique flora, fauna, and Aboriginal traditions, or visit the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve to step back in time and discover the town's pioneering past.

View from Anzac Hill across Alice Springs
Alice Springs

Alice Springs is easily accessible via the Stuart Highway, which runs from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south. The town is also serviced by Alice Springs Airport, which has regular flights from major Australian cities. 

West MacDonnell Ranges

If you're looking for breathtaking scenery, we recommend checking out the West MacDonnell Ranges, or as the Arrernte people call them, Tjoritja. These rugged ranges extend west from Alice Springs and are packed with incredible gorges, crystal-clear waterholes, and rock formations that date back millions of years. Trust us, you won't want to miss these spots:

  • Simpsons Gap: A stunning gorge home to black-footed rock wallabies and a permanent waterhole.
  • Standley Chasm: A narrow, 80-metre-high chasm that glows with a fiery red hue at midday.
  • Ormiston Gorge: A popular spot for swimming, hiking, and camping, with a scenic ghost gum walk.
  • Ochre Pits: A culturally significant site where Aboriginal people have gathered ochre for thousands of years.

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To access these sites, go via Larapinta Drive and Namatjira Drive, which are sealed roads suitable for 2WD vehicles. 

Finke Gorge National Park

Finke Gorge National Park should definitely be on your list if you're seeking a true outback adventure. Located about 87 miles west of Alice Springs, this park is home to the remarkable Palm Valley, a surprising oasis in the heart of the desert. Here, you'll discover the unique red cabbage palm, a living remnant of the ancient tropical forests that once flourished in this region. It's an awe-inspiring sight that will make you ponder the incredible history of this landscape.

In addition to the rare palms, Finke Gorge National Park boasts breathtaking sandstone cliffs, tranquil rock pools, and the impressive Finke River, considered one of the world's most ancient river systems. 

Finke Gorge National Park
Finke Gorge National Park

To access Palm Valley, you'll need to navigate the unsealed Finke River 4WD route, which requires a high-clearance vehicle. It's a challenging journey, but the rewards are well worth the effort. 

Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve

Chambers Pillar, located approximately 100 miles south of Alice Springs, is a remarkable 50-metre-tall sandstone formation. It was an important landmark for early explorers and holds spiritual significance for the Aboriginal people of the area.

Access to Chambers Pillar is via the unsealed Maryvale Road, which, depending on conditions, may require a 4WD vehicle. 

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As always, when travelling distances and visiting important sites, remember to check road conditions, carry sufficient water and supplies, and respect the natural environment and cultural sites when visiting these remarkable destinations in Australia's Red Centre.

Unique activities to do on your motorhome holiday

Hot air balloon flights  
Imagine drifting silently over the outback as the sun rises, casting a golden glow over the landscape. A hot air balloon flight offers a peaceful and unforgettable way to see the Red Centre from above. Companies like Outback Ballooning provide daily flights from Alice Springs, giving you a bird's-eye view of this incredible area.

Camel rides  
For a truly unique experience, embark on a camel ride through the desert. These gentle creatures were first brought to Australia in the 19th century and have since become a symbol of the outback. Pyndan Camel Tracks offers guided tours where you can learn about the history and significance of camels in the Red Centre.

Where to eat around the Red Centre

Curtin Springs Station  
Located on the Lasseter Highway, Curtin Springs is a working cattle station offering hearty meals and a glimpse into outback life. Enjoy a home-cooked meal while learning about the station's history and role in the local community.

Talinguru Nyakunytjaku  
For a dining experience with a view, head to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The picnic area here provides stunning Uluru and Kata Tjuta vistas, making it the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch.