1. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
No experience to central Australia would be complete without visiting these two well-known outback icons. Along with learning the history and cultural significance of the area at the cultural centre, there are walks of various lengths and difficulties to appreciate these magnificent formations up close. Don’t miss a sunset and/or sunrise at either (preferably both); it is truly an unforgettable sight!
2. Explore The Macs
The MacDonnell Ranges are where you’ll see the naturally colourful gorges and picturesque waterholes so emblematic of Central Australia. They are a photographer’s dream and make a perfect spot for a picnic or to cool off on a hot day. Some of the more popular spots include Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge. For the more adventurous, take the 4WD to Birthday Waterhole and Glen Annie Gorge or hike to Hugh Gorge.
3. See Alice from the Air
Experiencing the outback from the ground is amazing, but you will get a completely different perspective of the Red Centre with a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon ride or a scenic flight. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even skydive over Uluru.
4. Seeing an Outback night sky
Once the sun sets, you won’t believe how many stars you can see in a Red Centre night sky, along with the vibrant Milky Way. Sit back and relax as you count shooting stars and passing satellites or try to identify as many constellations as you can! Try The Astronomy Tour at Earth Sanctuary, or dinner under the stars at Tali Wiru or the Sounds of Silence.
5. Experience Indigenous Australia
Alice and surrounds is absolutely abundant with cultural experiences and ways to explore Australia’s rich Aboriginal history. Check out Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Albert Namatjira’s House, Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre, Kathleen Buzzacott Art Studio or Araluen Arts Centre for a cultural experience. If you’re at Yulara, take the Tjukurpa cultural walks around Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
6. Hiking the Larapinta Trail
This 223km trail is quickly emerging as one of the “must do” trails in Australia. It is broken down into 12 sections and traverses the length of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The sections can be done individually and range from Grade 3 to Grade 5 and vary in distance, from 9.1km to 31.2km per section.
7. Step Back in Time
There are a number of historical sites and attractions to explore here. Check out the region’s telegraph history at The Telegraph Station and pioneer history at National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Road Transport Hall of Fame and the Central Australian Aviation Museum.
Arltunga Historical Reserve is also a must-do. It was founded in the late 1880s by gold miners and is considered one of the first major settlements in Central Australia. Take a walk through the various, well-maintained ruins and learn all about life at the settlement with the informative, self-guided walking tours.
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