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Alice Springs & Surrounds

Map showing the Alice Springs and Surrounds region in the NT

Stunning landscapes, remote communities, and a unique pioneering history create a diverse and exhilarating destination to explore.

A thriving, spirited outback centre, Alice Springs is as famous for the personality of its locals and contemporary and traditional art as the natural wonders, including the stunning Larapinta Trail and the MacDonnell Ranges, which surround it.

Top 10 region awarded to The Red Centre, Australia. Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2019

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Surrounded by semi-arid desert in all directions, @Australia’s Red Centre might be one of the country’s driest landscapes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get wet – the rugged West MacDonnell Ranges (the West Macs to locals) hide several sensational swimming holes in the gorges that bite into the ancient rocky ranges. The waterhole at Ormiston Gorge is a scenic 1.5 hour drive from #AliceSprings and an easy 5 minute walk from the car park. The cool water is wonderfully refreshing over the summer months! Just 15 minutes' away you'll find @glenhelenlodge, a great spot for a post-swim meal! Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @photobohemian. ​#SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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Always wondered what it looks like through the gorge at Ellery Creek Big Hole? 😍 High red cliffs, a large waterhole and a sandy creek fringed by gums makes this one of the prettiest spots west of #AliceSprings. Bring your bathers over the summer months, float on your back and gaze up at the rock sandwich, formed over thousands of years by flood waters 🙌 Whether you pack an overnight bag, or plan to finish the route in one day, you'll get major bang for your driving buck in the West MacDonnell National Park. With it's stunning beauty, permanent waterholes and rich diversity of plants and animals, the park is not to be missed. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @pianemec! ​#SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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Redbank Gorge is one of those unexpected outback places that we promise you'll go home raving about! Less than two hours' drive west of #AliceSprings, the gorge sits at the base of Mount Sonder, the fourth highest mountain in the NT. Take the two kilometre return walk from the car park along the creek bed to the gorge where you'll find a permanent waterhole with a narrow chasm, a refuge for animals and plants. Bring an inflatable tube (or flamingo!) and float through the shaded gorge - it's the ultimate spot to cool off as the weather heats up in the Red Centre! 😎 Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @alice.bowden! ​#SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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👋 Welcome to Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve! An easy day trip from #AliceSprings, this colourful location is renowned for its sandstone bluffs and cliffs with different bands of naturally painted rock. Best accessed by a four-wheel drive car, this lesser known geological wonder is particularly stunning in the early morning light or late afternoon when it changes from ochre red to orange and purple. The short walk around the clay pan is well worth it, especially in wildflower season. The on-site campground has everything you need including picnic tables, barbecues and toilets. ​Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @imlukemackenzie! ​#SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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Soak up your outback surrounds in style 😉 @KingsCanyon Resort's deluxe spa rooms take bath time to a whole new level 🙌 Located roughly halfway between #AliceSprings and #Uluru, #KingsCanyon and Watarrka National Park are more than just a day trip destination with a number of bush-walking options which take in the sights and let you marvel at the sheer natural beauty, along with adventure activities and cultural experiences. After a big day of exploring, you can return to your room and hop in the tub which has beautiful views of the rocky escarpment. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @fleurj! ​#SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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There are star-tling perks to camping at Chambers Pillar! ✨ This spectacular solitary column, located 160 kilometres from #AliceSprings, towers 50 metres above the Simpson Desert plain. The pillar was formed from sandstone deposited and worn down over 350 million years 🙌 It was an important landmark guiding the region's earliest pioneers on their way from Adelaide to Alice Springs and was first recorded in 1860. The conservation reserve is best explored on foot, and don't forget your camera! ​Follow one of the marked walking tracks to the viewing platform or past the prominent features of Chambers Pillar. Sunrise and sunset are also particularly beautiful, when the pillar glows as the rays of the sun strike its face. The historical reserve can be accessed via four-wheel drive tracks and the campground offers fire pits, picnic areas and toilets. ​Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @markdaffey! ​#SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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Only 30 minutes' drive west of #AliceSprings and nestled in the West MacDonnell Ranges, Standley Chasm was formed by floods over millions of years and is an important cultural site for Western Arrernte women. The easy 20 minute walk to the chasm takes you through a lush gully, dotted with ancient ferns and cycads that have survived in the shadow of the arid hills from a long-gone wetter age. While the Chasm is worthy of a visit at anytime of day, it looks most dramatic an hour either side of noon on a sunny day. This is the time of day when the light enters the chasm and the sheer walls glow from reflected sunlight. There's a small kiosk near the car park at @angkerlestandleychasm where you can grab a coffee and a bite to eat upon your return. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @kunuthebus! ​#SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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The West MacDonnell Ranges are famous for their postcard-like scenery 😍 Shaded by towering cliffs and ghost gums, Simpsons Gap is the first of many adventure stops just west of #AliceSprings. Water flows through a small gap in the ranges providing a sheltered haven for a range of native wildlife like the resident black footed rock wallabies. There are a handful of walking trails, all varying in length, for those looking to explore more, or alternatively you can simply just sit and enjoy the view. ​Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @wetookaholiday! ​#SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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@ellebaut recently snapped these stunning shots at Glen Helen Gorge, 90 minutes' drive from #AliceSprings. Set against a gorge-ous outback vista of towering red cliffs, the permanent waterhole is part of the Finke River - thought to be one of the oldest river systems in the world! As the weather starts to warm up here in the Red Centre, it's the ultimate spot for a cool dip. Just a short stroll from here, you'll find @glenhelenlodge 👉it's a great base to explore the surrounding West MacDonnell Ranges with various room or camping options, along with a restaurant and bar. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, Elle! ​ #SeeAustralia #RedCentreNT

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