With so much to do...stay a week or two!

Explore The Red Centre is your complete guide to making the most of your time in The Red Centre. From the South Australian border – north to Tennant Creek, west to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and Kings Canyon/Watarrka National Park and east along the MacDonnell Ranges you will find all you need to make this a memorable time.

Use our handy 10 day Itinerary to plan the best way to make the most of your time in and around Alice Springs.

10 DAY SUGGESTED ITINERARY

DAY 1

To maximise your stay in The Red Centre your first stop should be the Visitor Information Centre in the Todd Mall for your full list of ‘what to do’. They can book tours, accommodation and offer you the best advice to make the most of your Red Centre visit.

Landmarks that are worth exploring in the centre of town include the town’s oldest building, the Alice Springs Old Stuart Town Gaol – used between 1908 to 1938. The Residency was built in 1927 and features local historic displays and a gallery. The Old Hartley Street School was opened in 1930 and expanded over the years until it closed in 1965. Adelaide House, the only medical centre until 1939 was  designed by the Rev John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. A statue of John McDouall Stuart across the road from Alice Springs Reptile Centre is a tribute to the explorer who our major highway is named after. (Allow approx 2 hours).

Just outside of the CBD is Tjanpi Desert Weavers, discover and purchase a varied array of unique pieces and artworks from the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands. Something all visitors will want to take home.

DAY 2

Start your day at the Alice Springs Desert Park where you will discover hundreds of species of plants and animals that are found across Central Australian deserts. The Nocturnal House has over 30 desert animals of the night, witness free flying birds as they inspire and educate you at the Nature Theatre show, meet the resident Dingoes and so much more, all in over 50 hectares of native plants and habitats. You’ll never look at a desert the same way! (Allow 3-8 hours).

As the sun sets head up to the top of Anzac Hill and enjoy the panoramic views of Alice Springs and its surrounds.

DAY 3

Visit Yubu Napa Art Gallery & Studio to view a stunning array of Aboriginal art and gifts. Experience the rare privilege of meeting some of the artists who create these beautiful pieces to better understand the art and the stories being painted.

Todd Mall is an exciting new location for a significant collection of vertebrate fossils from the Alcoota Scientific Reserve. Opening in July 2018, Megafauna Central will tell the exciting story of the giant animals that roamed Central Australia during the Miocene period, eight million years ago.

The Museum of Central Australia allows visitors to experience the region’s unique natural history, the evolution of the landscape and the fascinating creatures that inhabit it. Located within the Araluen Cultural Precinct in the heart of Alice Springs, home to artistic, cultural and historical experiences, including the Araluen Arts Centre, The Central Australian Aviation Museum and Central Craft. (Allow approx 4 hours).

DAY 4

If you have forgotten or need something to make your journey more comfortable, Desert Dwellers is the place to visit, with over 100,000 quality camping products.

If you don’t have your own vehicle Central Car Rentals have a variety of quality 2WD and 4WD vehicles available. Head east on the Ross Highway to discover the East MacDonnell Ranges including rock art at Emily and Jessie Gaps, a 300-year-old ghost gum at Trephina Gorge, prehistoric rock carvings at N’Dhala Gorge and Arltunga the site of the 1930s gold rush. Allow 4-8 hours for a day trip or stay at the relaxing Hale River Homestead.

DAY 5

Take a tour at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, home to the region’s largest reptile collection and meet Terry the crocodile. (Allow 1–2 hours)
Step back in time to discover the joint attraction of  the  National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, a museum recognising and honouring pioneering women, and the Old Gaol which operated from 1938 to 1996. (Allow approx 3 hours)

You are on holidays so don’t forget to relax pool side, take a dip or sip a refreshing drink and take in those fabulous Alice Springs views.

DAY 6

Alice Springs School of the Air offers a truly unique experience, the world’s largest classroom. The Visitor Centre provides an insight into the innovative way children of the outback receive their education. (Allow approx 2 hours)

Enjoy a little outback adventure on a camel and ride through the Ilparpa Valley taking in the views of the MacDonnell Ranges with Pyndan Camel Tracks. Experienced guides and relaxed camels make this a once in a lifetime event! (Allow 1.5 hours)

DAY 7

Head south 75km along the Stuart Highway to Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve (best accessed by 4WD). Rainbow Valley’s coloured sandstone layers resemble the coloured stripes of a rainbow and when they light up in the early morning or late afternoon they will offer you spectacular viewing. (Allow 2-4 hours)

DAY 8

The Olive Pink Botanic Gardens has over 600 Central Australian plants and 40 rare or threatened species to explore. Take a leisurely stroll along the five self-guided walking trails. Then at The Bean Tree Cafe enjoy breakfast, lunch, morning or afternoon tea in a tranquil and relaxed setting. You might even see some local wildlife and native birds. (Allow 2-3 hours)

DAY 9

This can be a 1 or 2 day loop. You can also continue on from Glen Helen Lodge along The Red Centre Way to Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park) and onto Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park.

Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park stretches 161kms west of Alice Springs will draw you in with its majestic beauty. Home of the world renowned Larapinta Trail – 12 sections of walking trails for the experienced adventurous hikers with many gorges that offer swimming and some camping facilities.

You can head straight onto Hermannsburg Historic Precinct in western Aranda country. Wander around the old Lutheran Mission and get a glimpse of what it was like in early pioneer days. Share in the stories, art & culture – famous for Albert Namatjira birthplace and also famous for their delicious Apple Strudel!

Head on to Glen Helen Lodge with a variety of accommodation styles and fine dining, swim in the gorge, enjoy bird watching or climb to the top of the ridge for a spectacular view.
(Allow 6-8 hours)

DAY 10

On your return journey to Alice Springs enjoy the pleasant ghost gum walk through Ormiston Gorge followed by the Ochre Pits, a sacred Aboriginal site that was once used by local Aboriginal people as a quarry for art and ceremonial body decoration. Ellery Creek Big Hole is the perfect stop for a swim and picnic lunch before arriving back into Alice Springs. (Allow 5-6 hours).

OUR DINING RECOMMENDATIONS...

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LASSETERS HOTEL CASINO

offers 4 dining options from their jewel in the Crowne Tali Restaurant to the iconic destination of The Juicy Rump for a great meal from the grill.

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UNCLES TAVERN DIPLOMAT HOTEL

is a vibrant space that offers meals from 12-3pm and dinner from 6-9pm. Uncles is the perfect place to enjoy an icy cold beer or sip on a wine after a long day of sightseeing.

BEANTREE

THE BEANTREE CAFE

offers a wonderful setting to enjoy a range of delicious home-style vegetarian and meat savoury dishes, burgers, salads, tarts, cakes and slices to tempt your palate!

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THE GAPVIEW HOTEL

is one of the most modern & innovative pubs in Alice Springs. Whether you want a decent meal, catch some sport, a live band or just relax with a cold drink, The Gap View Hotel is the place to go.

PLACES TO REST YOUR HEAD...

The Red Centre offers accomodation from 5 stars to a sky full of stars. Find a place to base yourself and start exploring.
If you’re not sure ask at the Visitor Information Centre in the Todd Mall. Here are some of the best options in and around The Red Centre.

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CROWNE PLAZA LASSETERS

offers a high and comfortable standard to suit all travellers expectations.

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THE DIPLOMAT HOTEL

conveniently right in the CBD, provides a perfect place to stay, relax and unwind.

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THE SWAGMANS REST APARTMENTS

Self contained option for the seasoned traveller, family or business visitor to Alice Springs.

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G'DAY MATE CARAVAN PARK

offers an affordable range of shady powered and unpowered sites, and comfy self contained cabins to suit all budgets.

ALICESPRINGSTOURISTPARK

ALICE SPRINGS TOURIST PARK

offers well appointed cabins, beautiful shaded camping spots and is the closest Park to town.

HALERIVER

HALE RIVER HOMESTEAD

is your base when you’re out exploring the East MacDonnell Ranges. They offer grassed camping sites with fire pits or book into one of the four self contained cottages all set in a tranquil setting.

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GLEN HELEN LODGE

is a wonderful scenic base for your adventure when touring the West MacDonnell Ranges. They offer motel, camping, bar facilities and scenic flights over Glen Helen Gorge.

From fee campsites to clean, comfortable affordable accomodation options

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CURTIN SPRINGS WAYSIDE INN

offers a wonderful base for exploring nearby Kings Canyon, Mt Conner or Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park.

2018 EVENTS

ALICE SPRINGS & ULURU

APRIL

Easter in the Alice –
Mountain Bike Race
31st Mar – 2nd Apr

Aileron Easter Bush Weekend
31st Mar – 1st Apr

King Marong African  Drum & Project
7th, 14th & 28th

Barrett Drive Mile
20th

Alice Springs Heritage Festival
14th – 22nd

Anzac Day Dawn Service
25th

MAY

Rotary Club of Alice Springs Bang
Tail Muster Parade – 1st

Wide Open Space Festival
4th – 6th

Big Day Out in Harmony
12th

Alice Springs Telegraph Station
Open Day & Market
 – 20th

NT Writers Festival
24th – 27th

Alice Springs Autumn Fair
26th

AFL Premier Match –
Melbourne v Adelaide –
27th

JUNE

Tatts Finke Desert Race 8th – 11th

Alice Springs Beanie Festival
29th Jun – 2nd Jul

JULY

Alice Springs Show 6th – 7th 

Alice Springs Camel Cup – 14th

AUGUST

70th Harts Range Bush
Sports Weekend 5th

Desert Smart Eco Fair 10th – 12th

Old Timers Fete 11th

Rotary Henley on Todd Regatta 18th

Brumby Week 27th – 31st

SEPTEMBER

Red CentreNATS 31st Aug – 2nd Sep

Desert Mob Festival  6th – 21st

Desert Song Festival  7th – 16th

Desert Festival
23rd Aug – 20th Sep

Red Centre Bird Festival 19th – 23rd

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light
28th Sep – 7th Oct

OCTOBER

Alice Springs Masters Games
13th – 20th

 

ALICE SPRINGS MARKETS 2018

THE RED CENTRE WAY

ALICE SPRINGS TO ULURU

This is an unforgettable drive that will have you travel through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest, lush valleys and towering gorges.

Ensure you have a 4×4 and your Aboriginal Lands Permit – available at the Visitor Information Centre, Glen Helen Lodge and other outlets and head along the winding Mereenie Loop first crossing the ancient Finke River. It’s only 225kms however the drive takes about 4 1/2 hours, with plenty to see along the way including Redbank and Tnorala/Gosse Bluff, a 20km wide comet crater thought to date back 140 million years. Once you reach Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park, there are a few styles of accommodation available in the region.

Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Tour – you’ll find the entrance opposite Kings Creek Station, is an hour of wonderful discovery from locals of

the region. This is one tour not to be missed and offers spear & boomerang displays, language and bush tucker experiences and an opportunity to purchase local art & craft.

As you head to Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park make sure you stop and stay at Curtin Springs, the first Wayside Inn in Central Australia and share the wonders of their home. Peel back the layers and discover their unique experiences, tours and hospitality. Discover how they make handmade paper from the native grasses on Curtin Springs Station. Buy a piece of artisan handcrafted jewellery made from their paper. Their Artist in Residence program offers artists the opportunity to immerse themselves in the desert and to work with Curtin Springs Paper in their own artforms.

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EXPLORE THE RED CENTRE BROCHURE