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10 Must-Sees in Australia’s Red Center

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Australia’s Red Center is an extraordinary landscape of desert plains, weathered mountain ranges, rocky gorges.

To make sure you don’t miss out on this great part of the country, we came up with 10 things you must see while visiting Australia’s Red Centre

Rainbow Valley
Photo credit: esia_one / Flickr

Rainbow Valley

This colored sandstone mountain and surrounding are about 350 million years old and. The Rainbow Valley is composed from a rock called Hermannsburg Sandstone.

This type of sandstone is very soft and it can be easily eroded by water or wind.

These red and ochre colors in Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve comes from the surface oxidation of the iron-rich sandstone, they are staining the underlying white sandstone.
The Parks & Wildlife recommends people to avoid climbing on the formations, due to the very soft sandstones.

Uluru and Kata Tjuta
Photo credit: Leonard G. / Wikipedia

See Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjuṯa also is known as the Olgas, is a group of large, domed rock formations or bornhardts located about 360 km (220 mi) southwest of Alice Springs,

Uluru (sometimes called Ayers Rock) – is one of the largest monoliths in the world. Made of arkosic sandstone. Uluru is known to change color depending on the time of day but is most impressive at sunrise and sunset when it glows stunning red.

Finke Gorge National Park
Photo credit: Georgie Sharp / Flickr

Finke Gorge National Park

Finke Gorge is a national park in the Northern Territory of Australia, covering an area of 458 km², and includes the impressive desert oasis Palm Valley. This is an important wilderness reserve that protects The Finke River, ancient landscapes and Aboriginal cultural sites.

Be careful where you walk and stay on the marked tracks. Young palms can be destroyed by visitors not realizing what they are walking on.

Kings Canyon
Photo credit: Zoharby / Wikipedia

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon is the biggest attraction inside Watarrka National Park. Three walks exist at Kings Canyon. The two-km (return) and approximately one-hour Kings Creek Walk traces the bottom of the gorge. At the end of the walk is a platform, with views of the canyon walls above. Access to the walk may be restricted during hot weather.

Watarrka National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia. You can download this official fact sheet for Watarrka National park map of the whole area (inlcuding Uluru and Alice Springs).

Stay at Ayers Rock Resort

Ayers Rock Resort is just 20km from Uluru and provides a variety of accommodation options. They offer a free shuttle bus that circulates the Resort daily, and a suite of complimentary Indigenous activities. All their hotel rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi.

You can join some of the over 100 tours they offer and experiences Uluru and around Ayers Rock Resort.

West Macs Red Centre
Photo credit: Vin on the move / Flickr

Explore the West Macs

West MacDonnell national park is a vast and spectacular section of the MacDonnell Ranges and an outstanding example of an ancient landscape sculptured over time by climatic elements.
There are numerous marked walking tracks in the area. It is also a refuge for rare and threatened plants as well as wildlife.

The West MacDonnell (Tyurretye) National Park stretches some 161 km due west of Alice Springs.
West MacDonnell National Park is accessible nearly all year round. You can camp in one of the camping sites. Camping fees apply and are payable at each camping area.

All tank water in West MacDonnell national park should be treated before drinking.

You can check some of the local territory tour specialists here with over 100 day tours and adventure camping tours.

Alice Springs Desert Park
Photo credit: David Cook / Flickr

Meet the local wildlife

The Alice Springs Desert Park is an environmental education facility and wildlife park in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Do not miss Nature Theatre with free-flying birds of prey and other animals demonstrate their natural survival skills at the base of the MacDonnell Ranges.
In the night at Nocturnal House you can see mammals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates including rare Australian marsupials such as the bilby and mala might come out of the darkness.

Discover Alice Springs

The area is culturally important to the local Arrernte people. You can visit the galleries on Todd Mall, to get to know the art and stories of the local Aboriginal Arrernte people.

You can rent a four-wheel-drive or a camel trek tour across the rolling sand dunes of the Simpson Desert.

This is a place where you’ll find many natural wonders of the Northern Territory’s outback, including Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, the West MacDonnell Ranges and their iconic Larapinta Trail and a place to explore Australia’s Aboriginal culture.

Field of Light
Photo credit: Paul Balfe / Flickr

Field of Light

Field of Light Uluru belongs to a British artist, Bruce Munro, who was inspired by Uluru, and spent 4 years in the making and consists of 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres. The award-winning exhibition, located at Ayers Rock Resort in the spiritual heart of Australia, opened on 1 April 2016 and has extended for a further period and will now remain in place until 31 December 2020.

Red Center Australia
Photo credit: Maarten Danial / Flickr

Scenic Flights over the Red Center

A spectacular flight over the landscape of Australia’s Red Center. Watch the vibrant colours and changing landscapes of the outback come to life on a flight over Alice Springs with a helicopter flight. Encompasses all the best sites of the Red Centre, viewing Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Lake Amadeus and Kings Canyon.

Featured photo credit: scott1346 / Flickr

Want to learn more about other sustainable destination? Check out section sustainable travel destinations.

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