Red Centre Attractions, Northern Territory
A treasured icon to local Aboriginal people and one of the great wonders of the world, Ayers Rock (Uluru) is the symbol of the Northern Territory's Red Centre. Mount Olga (the highest of a group of 36 outcrops known as The Olgas) is the focal point in the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. Laying approximately 450 km south of Alice Springs, these amazing geological formations are extremely important to the belief and culture of the Aboriginal people and are World Heritage listed.
The Olgas, or Kata Tjuta to the Aboriginal people, roughly translates to ‘many heads’ and derives its name from the spectacular group of 36 massive red rock outcrops that make up this natural wonder. Separated by narrow valleys, The Olgas cover 35 square km and are just 50 km from Ayers Rock. The highest of these outcrops is Mount Olga which rises 546 metres from the desert floor. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a haven for animals including 24 known mammals such as dingoes and red kangaroos as well as lizards, snakes and birds such as the massive wedge-tailed eagle.
Kings Canyon is one of the most breathtaking sights in the Northern Territory, approximately 230 km south west of Alice Springs. Just off the Stuart Highway, Watarrka National Park reveals an impressive sandstone chasm. Highlights of this monument also include weathered outcrops and palm grove around a tranquil water hole known as the Lost City and the Garden of Eden. There is also an easy Creek Walk through the valley floor that takes approximately one hour.
Alice Springs is at the centre of Australia and is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. A spirited bush town, Alice Springs has grown from humble beginnings to become a must-see destination in the Northern Territory. There are a variety of things to see and do including the Aboriginal Art & Cultural Centre, Alice Springs Desert Park, Alice Springs Reptile Centre, Alice Springs School of the Air, Frontier Camel Farm, Old Stuart Town Gaol and the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
Situated between Darwin and Alice Springs, Tennant Creek is renowned for the last Gold Rush in Australia. Here you can take a tour to a mining lease, see how gold was treated and made into ingots at the historic Gold Stamp Battery or visit Battery Hill Mine to see how gold is mined and processed. Tennant Creek is also the main hub for tours to the Devil’s Marbles, a natural wonder featuring hundreds of rounded boulders, some even balanced on top of each other.
The picturesque landscapes of the East & West MacDonnell Ranges are a spectacular sight not just for their immense size but also for the kaleidoscope of colours that they display. However in order to truly appreciate the beauty of the MacDonnell Ranges, you have to explore the rugged gorges, gaps and chasms to understand the significance of this unspoilt region. The East MacDonnell’s are rich with bird and animal life giving you a greater chance to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. While the West MacDonnell’s are home to the famous Finke River and Finke Gorge National Park.
The Simpson Desert is home to some of the best 4WD tracks in Australia. The broad horizons and undulating sand dunes provide the ultimate frontier experience. The Simpson Desert is also home to some amazing geological monuments including Chambers Pillar, Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve and Rainbow Valley. The vast red plains and impressive natural landmarks have a fascinating history and a deep significance to the local Arrernte people.