The Red Centre located in the interior of the Australian Outback is famous for Uluru or the red monolith, which is sacred to the aborigines living here and its changing colors when the sun is in different angles. Some of the other iconic locations that you should not miss visiting while in the Red Centre are the Kata Tjuta (Uluru’s cousin as it is known) and the King’s Canyon. All these spots reflect the majestic landforms that together form Australia’s Red Centre. Listed below are five must-visit spots in the Red Centre.
Alice Springs and the Surrounding Areas
Alice Springs is a popular outback town at a distance of 200 km from Australia’s geographic center. Activities that you can take part in include bushwalks or riding a camel on the dunes of the Simpson Desert. A bicycle ride to Simpson’s Gap is as exhilarating as the discovery of aboriginal art on the Tanami Track. The aborigines at St Teresa offer the tourists a chance to explore unique aboriginal customs, rock art, ceremonial sites and artifacts.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
This national park offers visitors the experience of seeing two wonders, the Uluru and the Kata Tjuta.
The Uluru is best viewed by walking around its base with the help of an Anangu aborigine guide. They would show you the different sacred spots of the Uluru and how they came about. Alternately, Uluru and its changing colors can be viewed from a camel’s back, a motorcycle, or even from a helicopter that flies atop the monolith. Campfire dinners with champagne and flesh of the barramundi, kangaroo or emu are popular.
Kata-Tjuta is full of russet domes formed by erosion over a period of 500 million years that lie about 40 km from Uluru.
Guided tours with aborigines and various types of accommodation ranging from campsites to luxury rooms are available.
Kings Canyon and Watarrka National Park
The Watarrka Park has numerous rugged and beautiful gorges that can be seen from the Kings Canyon. There are lush-green pockets of vegetation and palms that fill crevices amid the rocks of the canyon. You can swim in the tropical pools, get to see rare plants of a bygone age, and explore the remnants of the Lost City. Giles Track can be trekked and covered overnight and the Kathleen Springs walk can take you to a waterhole. You can also choose to stay in a wilderness lodge if you are not particularly fond of camping.
Finke Gorge National Park
A drive down the banks of the Finke River by the sandstone cliffs is an unforgettable experience. You can choose to see the Red Cabbage Palm in the oasis of the Palm Valley. The Kalaranga Lookout Walk offers stunning views of the rock-cut amphitheater. Slender palms line the paths of the Mpulungkinya Walk and the Arankaia Walk. The brilliant changing hues of the mountains from purple to ochre during sunset are a sight that should not be missed.
The Ormiston Gorge and Pound rise to about 300 meters out of the Ormiston Creek. There are clear waterholes and diving pools some of which are 14 meters deep. The Glen Helen Gorge, Redbank Gorge and the Ellery Creek Big Hole are other attractions. Gosse Bluff is a 20-km wide crater that is worth a visit. The Larapinta Trail takes you past swaying river gums and wallabies. In the eastern side of the MacDonnell Ranges, you can also visit the ghost town of Arltunga that was famous during the gold rush.