Red Centre way - 5 day self drive

Red Centre way - 5 day self drive

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Discover the Red Centre Way tourism drive from Alice Springs to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Watarrka National Park. Take an adventure along the Mereenie Loop from Alice Springs and explore the diverse landscapes of the Red Centre. Uncover the raw beauty of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Watarrka/Kings Canyon. Travel through the waterhole-dotted stretch of the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges, including a section of unsealed road best suited for experienced off-road drivers. If you have a two-wheel drive vehicle, take the completely sealed road option instead.

Day 1: Alice Springs to West MacDonnell National Park and return (260km)

Take a day trip from Alice Springs to enjoy the West MacDonnell National Park, a spectacular stretch of natural formations including chasms and gorges, waterholes and ochre pits.

Day 2: Alice Springs to Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) (400km)

Enjoy the vast desert scenery along the way to Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park. Make sure your camera is ready—some of the NT’s best photo opportunities are here. There’s a range of accommodation options at Kings Canyon including hotel and budget rooms, ‘glamping’ tents and station-style accommodation.

Day 3: Watarrka National Park to Uluru (300km)

Get up early to see the sunrise and experience the Kings Canyon Rim Walk to take in the magnificent views of the sheer canyon walls and the sheltered lush valley below in the Garden of Eden. Depart Kings Canyon and travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Day 4: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

See Uluru and Kata Tjuta at sunrise or sunset on a camel, from the air or by foot. There are many options for exploring this amazing icon, and however you travel, you’ll take lasting memories home.

Day 5: Uluru to Alice Springs (445km)

Enjoy a final sunrise in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park before dropping off your vehicle at Ayers Rock Airport or making your way north to return to Alice Springs.

Top tips

  • Visit Redbank Gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges and swim in the freshwater pool (four-wheel-drive access only).
  • Stop in at Gosse Bluff and hike to the top for spectacular views of this ancient meteorite crater.
  • Look out for the Voyages free cultural activities held on the grassed lawns of town Square in Yulara, township of Uluru.
  • Stop at Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve, an hour’s drive south of Alice Springs. Renowned for its sandstone bluffs and cliffs with bands of different coloured rocks.
Page last updated on 22 April 2021