The Red Centre is bursting with incredible places to see and things to do. It’s definitely a place that should be on your Aussie bucket list. The Red Centre represents the iconic Australian outback and is teaming with life and has everything from natural wonders, bush landscapes and unique wildlife. Here are our top 3 places to experience in the Red Centre.
Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park, is a lesser known gem in the Red Centre but boasts some serious wow-factor and the views across the valley are breathtaking, especial as the sun is rising.
The most scenic way to get to Watarrka National Park is driving through the West MacDonnell Ranges and via the Mereenie Loop Track. The Mereenie track is 200kms of dirt road and a great way to experience the vastness and landscapes of the Red Centre on your way to Uluru.
The best way to explore Kings Canyon is by hiking the iconic Rim Walk as the sun rises. Leave camp early and start hiking in the dark up the canyon reach the top as the sun illuminates the valley below. Exploring the canyon in the cool of the morning is pure magic and amazing for photo’s. The morning glow highlights the 300 m sandstone rock face, for which the canyon is famous for. Then head back down to the bottom before the heat of the day and head back to the Kings Canyon Resort for a swim! It’s and epic hike and definitely one for the bucket list.
West MacDonnell Ranges
The “West Macs” as they are affectionately known, stretch 644kms from east to west and is home to the famous Larapinta Trail. There are heaps of gorges, water holes, lookouts and places to hike throughout the West Macs which can be explored on day trips or take a few days to travel slowly and explore this unique area.
A great place to cool off and refresh is Glen Helen Gorge, 133kms west of Alice Springs. Glen Helen Gorge is a permanent water hole and the junction point where the Finke River makes its way to the Simpson Desert. It’s also where you can take in views of Mount Sonder, the highest peak in the Northern Territory.
Glen Helen Gorge is one of the few spots where you can sit in the air-conditioned pub and enjoy a cold schooner after a swim.
Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s longest thru-hikes which stretches for 230kms through the West Macs. The trail is broken up into 13 sections so hikers can choose to do smaller day hikes or if you’re an experienced hiker, you can tackle the hike in one go. The Tjorita/West MacDonnell National Park recommends that you allow at least 21 days to complete the entire trail, depending on your pace. The ideal time to hike Larapinta is between May-August when the temperatures are cooler.
You can start the trail at Mount Sonder and walk your way back towards Alice Springs or visa versa. This incredible, world-famous hike will take you through some of the most incredible bush scenery and water holes that you can imagine. Even if you are not an avid hiker, there are still sections of the Larapinta Trail that are worth exploring.
The Red Centre region is so unique and is the ultimate representation of the Australian outback, rich in Aboriginal culture and natural beauty. Getting there is a bit of a mission but definitely somewhere you plan to stay for a while and explore, there’s so much to see and do.
What places are on your bucket list when you go to the Red Centre?
Hey there! We’re Aly + Jacob! Jacob is an easygoing mechanic with a passion for all-things boats and fishing and Aly is a nature lover and hiker. We packed our lives into storage and left Darwin with our camping trailer and Hilux in January 2020. We plan to do our big lap of Australia for the next few years sharing our adventures and having a few laughs along the way via our YouTube Channel and travel blog.
You can check out more of our blogs and videos at Just Send It Travel – Aly + Jacob