Tips for the ultimate road trip from Alice Springs to Uluru

Alice Springs is an excellent place to begin an outback driving adventure due to its red dirt, abundant sunshine, and eccentric locals.

Sitting at the epicentre of the Explorers Way (a 3000-kilometre route from Adelaide to Darwin, if you are driving north from Alice check out out ultimate Alice to Darwin itinerary), Alice Springs – simply ‘Alice’ to locals – is a popular base for visitors looking to explore the Northern Territory’s outback

Traditional Australian watering holes coexist with trendy new cafes; air-conditioned coaches traveling to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Alice Springs School of the Air share the road with cyclists on their way to the MacDonnell Ranges; and the Alice Springs Desert Park is just a short drive away.

Animal lovers will be wowed by the bird shows at the Alice Springs Desert Park and the venomous snakes at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre. History buffs can spend hours exploring historic sites such as the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame or the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, which was the location where Europeans first settled in town. After watching the sun go down from ANZAC Hill, you'll be itching to explore more of Australia's Red Centre.

Not to be forgotten

During the month of August, the world's only waterless regatta, the famous Henley-on-Todd Regatta, takes place on the dry Todd River. Spectators can watch competitors race in strange and wonderful floats.

The town also plays host to the annual Alice Springs Camel Cup, a tradition that dates back several decades and is considered to be rather peculiar. It is the kind of event that is ideal for a fun day out with the family.

Renting a motor vehicle

Apollo Motorhome Holidays, Britz, Thrifty, and Hertz all have locations in Alice Springs, so if you are planning to fly into the area and rent a car, you can do so at any of these locations.

MacDonnell Ranges

From Alice to Uluru can be reached without difficulty in just five. 5 hours traveling along the paved Stuart and Lasseter highways, but where's the excitement in that? Instead, you should make your way into the MacDonnell Ranges for a true outback experience that is sure to leave an indelible mark. Both of these mountain ranges, the West Macs and the East Macs, are worthy of praise due to their lofty stature.

MacDonnell Ranges

An outback journey through the MacDonnell Ranges is the kind of experience that will leave an indelible mark.

The western Macdonalds

The West Macs are the more well-known of the two, and they stretch for a total of 200 kilometers while being carved with gorges, chasms, and dry creek beds. You can get there by taking the Red Centre Way, which is a loop that starts in Alice and goes for 1135 kilometers.

The breathtaking Standley Chasm, which is a rock face that is 80 meters high, the reviving pools at Ellery Creek Big Hole and Ormiston Gorge, and Simpsons Gap, which is an important spiritual site and has several Indigenous dreaming trails are all places that should not be missed.

Standley Chasm in the West MacDonnell Ranges

The Standley Chasm is one of the locations that should not be skipped.

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge's imposing scarlet cliffs can be seen in the distance.

At Redbank Gorge, you can spread out a swag and sit around a campfire if you're going camping. Another option is to stay at the Glen Helen Lodge, which is located close to both the Glen Helen Gorge and the 1,380-meter-high Mt Sonder.

Camping at Redbank Gorge

At Redbank Gorge, you can erect a swag and relax around a campfire.

The directions to get there

The Larapinta Trail is one of the most famous long-distance hiking trails in Australia. It is approximately 220 kilometers in length. It begins in Alice Springs and ends at Mt Sonder, and it is not for those who are easily daunted. It travels along the West Macs.

Euro Ridge on the Larapinta Trail

Euro Ridge is the first point of interest along the Larapinta Trail.

Hikers are responsible for arranging food drops and filling their water bottles at tanks located along the trail. There are 12 distinct segments that make up the Larapinta Trail, and the best time to hike it is during the winter (June–August).

You have the option of going it alone or signing up for a tour such as the ones offered by Australian Walking Holidays. These tours offer semi-permanent campsites such as Sonder Camp.

Mt Sonder

The perspective offered by Mount Sonder

Don't miss

Alice Springs Helicopters provides thrilling mountain bike tours that drop you off at sections along the mountain biking trails in the West Macs area, in addition to offering breathtaking flights over the MacDonnell Ranges.

The East Macao Islands

The East Macs provide visitors with a glimpse into the region's Indigenous culture as well as its history of gold rushes, despite the fact that they are visited by fewer tourists.

Located 150 kilometers east of Alice Springs, visitors can anticipate engaging in activities such as bushwalking, camping, and four-wheel driving here. For the most thrilling experience, we suggest that you go on an excursion led by a local or a tour guide (specifically, Outback Elite Tours).

East Macdonnell Ranges

Compared to the West Macs, there are fewer tourists here, but the scenery is just as breathtaking.

The Trephina Gorge Nature Park is a popular destination, and once you're there, you'll find that you're surrounded by rising walls of red and purple quartzite. The Wallaby Dreaming Trail is significant to the Eastern Arrernte Aboriginal people, and the gorge is a part of it. The gorge is home to what is said to be the largest ghost gum in Australia (at 33 meters high and about 300 years old), and it is also part of the Wallaby Dreaming Trail.

Trephina Gorge

Trephina Gorge Nature Park is one of the most popular destinations in the East Macs.

Visit the old gold rush town of Arltunga, which dates back to the late 1800s, and Hale River Homestead, where you can grab a burger (booking ahead is recommended for meals). N'Dhala Gorge Nature Park is home to 6000 rock carvings. Other nearby attractions include Hale River Homestead.

Hermannsburg and Finke Gorge

Between Alice Springs and Kings Canyon is where you'll find Finke Gorge National Park, a significant wilderness reserve that's connected by the Finke River, which is estimated to be 350 million years old. Within the boundaries of the park is an area known as Palm Valley, which is home to some extremely rare red cabbage palms that also date back millennia.

Palm Valley at Finke Gorge National Park

In the Finke Gorge National Park is where you'll find the palm valley.

Palm Valley

The ancient Red Cabbage Palm can be found here in Palm Valley.

In order to enter the park, you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle with a high ground clearance and the ability to negotiate rocky trails. You are going to want to bring sturdy hiking boots as well because there are a lot of trails.

Hermannsburg is a historic precinct that should be visited before entering the park; during the late 1880s, it served as the location of a Lutheran Mission, and it was also the home of the well-known Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira.

Watarrka National Park and Kings Canyon National Park

Following your exploration of the West Macdonnell Ranges, continue your journey to Kings Canyon by traveling off-road along the Mereenie Loop. You will need a four-wheel drive vehicle and a permit to do so. The canyon, which has a drop of 270 meters, is the most impressive feature of the park and is home to ferns and palm trees.

Kings Canyon, Watarrka National Park

The highlight of the park is undoubtedly the canyon, which has a drop of 270 meters.

You will reach the sandstone domes of the Lost City and a sacred watering hole that has been aptly named the Garden of Eden if you get an early start and walk the six kilometers that make up the Canyon Rim Walk. There is also the significantly more subdued 2 6-kilometre Kings Creek Hike to a lookout

Kings Canyon Walk

Follow the Canyon Rim Walk all the way to the Lost City to see its sandstone domes.

Where one can sleep

You should make Kings Creek Station your home base because it is not far from Watarrka National Park. The property spans an area of 1800 square kilometers and is open throughout the year; it is a popular destination for those who want to get a taste of life on the land thanks to the presence of both primitive cabins and camping areas. Take some time out of your day to sit down with a cup of billy tea and a traditional damper.


The big red rock in the middle of the country is the epitome of the outback, and a road trip is the best way to appreciate its solitary and foreboding beauty as it rises 348 meters from the surrounding desert.

In spite of its isolation, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Uluru offers visitors a diverse array of activities. To begin, you will want to explore on foot, so get up early and sign up for a guided tour that will take you around a portion of the 10-kilometer base of Uluru. If you are interested in learning about Indigenous rock art and the cultural significance of Uluru, a good option is to go on the daily Mala Walk, which is two kilometers long.

Ayers Rock

Traveling through the outback without stopping at Uluru just wouldn't be the same.

Sign up for a plod atop a camel while you're there for what the director of Uluru Camel Tours, Mark Swindells, describes as being "like a magic carpet ride."

Get off the beaten path and try something new by hopping on a Segway, going for a ride on a Harley Davidson, or going for a thrilling sky dive toward Uluru. We've put together a three-day itinerary for Uluru that's based on our own experience traveling here, so if you're looking for some pointers on how to get the most out of this magical location in as little time as possible, you've come to the right place.

Don't miss

Make sure you set your alarm so you can see the colors change on Uluru as the sun rises. You can either take a tour of the Desert Awakenings or drive to one of the viewing platforms.

Another one of Uluru's attractions is artist Bruce Munro's Field of Light, which will feature a carpet of 50,000 lights shining around the rock formation until December 2020. Make your reservations through the Ayers Rock Resort.

Uluru Field of Light

One of the largest art installations ever created in Australia's history is called Field of Light.

Sounds of Silence is the place to go if you want to have an unforgettable outback dining experience. Savor authentically Australian ingredients like kangaroo, finger lime, and lemon myrtle while gazing up at the Milky Way in the night sky.

Where one can sleep

There is a wide variety of lodging options available at Uluru, ranging from tent-style pavilions and campsites to luxuriously appointed apartments. In addition to this, it hosts a variety of tours and workshops, many of which are offered at no cost. Take advantage of the free shuttle service provided by the resort in order to cram as much as possible into your trip, particularly if you are traveling with young children or older people.

Important information needed

In spite of the fact that Uluru is open to tourists throughout the year, the summer months see average highs of 45 degrees Celsius and the highest concentration of flies. Instead, schedule your trip between the months of May and October, when the daytime temperatures are just right.

If you feel that driving from Alice to Uluru and back is more than enough adventure for you, you can fly from Ayers Rock Airport to many of Australia's other major cities.

Kata Tjuta

If time permits, you shouldn't pass up the opportunity to see the 36 massive rock domes that make up Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas. They can be reached in a day thanks to their proximity to Uluru, which is only a half hour's drive away.

The domes have a dramatic appearance, with the highest one, Mt. Olga, reaching a height of 546 meters. You can get a good look at them by hiking the strenuous Valley of the Winds trail (7). 4 kilometres) It will take you approximately three hours, so get an early start to beat the heat of the middle of the day. There is also the Walpa Gorge, which is less difficult. 6-kilometre) walk

Use the services of a tour company.

If the thought of renting a car and driving into the outback makes you anxious, but you don't want to miss out on experiencing this unique part of Australia, there are many tour companies that are more than willing to do the legwork and driving for you.

The excursions provided by AAT Kings and G Adventures are identical in that they are both exhaustive and dependable. Small-group travel is our area of expertise here at Seit Outback Australia.

Visit the official website of the Northern Territory at to find out more information on the activities that are available in the NT.

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