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Wontjiri Wiru light show over Uluru

Red Centre Light Trail6-day itinerary


Feast your senses on the Red Centre Light Trail. You’ll be treated to the best of the Outback, from bird’s-eye views of iconic desert landscapes to spectacular sunrise shows and light installations.

Take in the sights of the West MacDonnell Ranges before continuing west to Kings Canyon and finally onto the incredible Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Check out this 6-day itinerary and get ready to be inspired.

two Outback Ballooning hot air baloons drifting up into the air

Day 1

Alice Springs adventuring


Take flight & watch the sunrise

Watch the sunrise as you float peacefully over the rugged West MacDonnell Ranges in a hot air balloon. See the ranges up close while taking in the surrounding landscapes and impressive rock formations, while getting your bearings of Alice Springs from above. Choose from a half-hour or one-hour balloon flight with Outback Ballooning, and be greeted with a well-deserved glass of bubbly when you touch down.

Coffee & culture

Grab a coffee on Todd or Hartley Street and start exploring the Alice Springs art scene. You’ll find an eclectic mix of galleries and art centres across town, where acclaimed Aboriginal artists and local painters use art to share dreamtime stories passed down through generations. Connect with one of the oldest living cultures in the world through art, and consider buying yourself a piece to take home with you.

Check in to Desert Palms for the night

After your early start to the day, you’ll be ready to relax for a little while. Desert Palms Alice Springs offers studio-style villa accommodation close to the town centre, so you have easy access to shops and restaurants. Chill out in the huge palm tree-lined pool for the afternoon and recharge for more activities later on. If you want to continue the fun, tee off at the Alice Springs Golf Course, located right in the backyard of Desert Palms.

Marvel at the stars at Earth Sanctuary

Once the sun has set, head to the Earth Sanctuary to learn how to navigate using stars on the Astro Tour. Listen to ancient Aboriginal stories of creation, interwoven with modern science. This is a unique chance to get a holistic view of the mysterious star-filled sky above you. 

A couple swimming at Ellery Creek Big Hole

Day 2

Hit the road & explore Tjoritja West MacDonnell National Park


Fuel up & hit the road

Hit the road early for your journey to Tjoritja West MacDonnell National Park. Grab a coffee and a pastry from The Bakery to fuel up for this 161km drive west of Alice Springs. Don’t forget to take in the awe-inspiring outback vistas along the way. 

Discover the waterholes of the West MacDonnell Ranges

Now it’s time for a swim in the desert. The ranges are dotted with stunning waterholes, including Ormiston Gorge, Redbank Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge. Pack your swimmers for a refreshing dip after your morning of driving. If you’re visiting in the cooler months and aren’t keen to brave the water, these spots are still definitely worth checking out for their scenic beauty. 

Explore on foot

Once you’ve cooled down and had some time to relax, tackle some of the walking trails in the West Macs ranging from the leisurely to adventurous. If you’re after something easy-going, try the Rutjipma / Redbank Gorge Walk: a moderate 2km (1.5 hour return) walk from the Redbank Gorge car park. For something a little more challenging, opt for the Ormiston Gorge Pound Walk: an 8.5km loop that takes 3–4 hours. 

Camp at Ellery Creek Big Hole

After a day of swimming, walking and admiring the outback, make camp at Ellery Creek Big Hole. It’s one of the most picturesque spots in the Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park, known for its spectacular waterhole surrounded by tall red cliffs. If camping isn’t your thing, take the 90-minute drive back to Alice Springs for hotel and resort style accommodation.

View of Bruce Munros light towers from above at sunset

Day 3

Lights & stars at Kings Canyon Resort


Early start for sunrise views

Now it’s time to start your journey to Kings Canyon and Watarrka National Park. The early bird gets the worm, and today is no exception if you want to make the most of first light. Travelling the Larapinta Drive route? Make the most of the stunning sunrise views. Watch the warm colours blend against the backdrop of the Outback and contrast with the blue sky.

Get settled for the night at Kings Canyon Resort

Stay the night at Discovery Park’s Kings Canyon Resort, where you’ll find accommodation options to suit every type of traveller. Camp under the stars or opt to grab a room for the night. If you’re feeling a little fancy, you can choose the Deluxe Spa Room or Superior Glamping Tent. Once you’ve settled in, take a short walk up to Luritja Lookout for unrivalled views of Carmichael’s Crag and the famous George Gill Range.

Gaze up at the Light Towers installation

This immersive sound and light installation at the resort is made up of 69 2m towers that change colour based on the music playing inside. Created by acclaimed light guru Bruce Munro, get ready to be taken on a journey of sights and sounds, with the display showcasing some incredible and thought-provoking art, culture and stories.

Dine Under A Desert Moon

Book yourself in for an exclusive dining experience at Kings Canyon Resort. Lit only by the moon and a campfire, indulge in a delectable 6-course meal curated from seasonal, locally-sourced produce. Get a taste for the flavours of the region while you dine under the moon and canopy of stars.

Man sitting on the rock at Garden of Eden at Watarrka looking up at the rock formations

Day 4

Explore more of Kings Canyon


Do the Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Lace up your walking shoes and head off on the Kings Canyon Rim Walk for sunrise. This 6km circuit will take around 3–4 hours, getting you up close with the towering sandstone walls. The circuit will take you down to the Garden of Eden, a striking rock hole surrounded by rare plants, before climbing back up for 360° panoramic views over Watarrka National Park.

Take in the scenery from above

If the Rim Walk isn’t for you, hop onboard a scenic flight instead for views of Kings Canyon from above. Fly over Kings Canyon, George Hill Range and Watarrka National Park, and learn about the landscape as you go. This also gives you the chance to truly appreciate the scale of the canyon.

Enjoy an authentic outback stay at Kings Creek Station

Once you’re done exploring Kings Canyon, head to Kings Creek Station for the night. Nestled among the desert oaks, this cattle station has a bunch of accommodation options including camping and bush tents. Choose a basic bush tent or a premium option with all of your creature comforts. The best way to explore the station is on the Buggy Station Tour, where you can enjoy the thrill of buggy riding while learning about the history and culture of Kings Creek.

Learn about Aboriginal culture

Just 2km from Kings Creek Station, the Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience gives you a glimpse into the life and culture of the Luritja and Pertame (Southern Arrernte) people of the Central Australia region. You’ll learn about bush medicine and bush tucker, gain insights into plant and bird knowledge, and discover the traditional art of dot painting and weapon-making, including spears and boomerangs.

Kata-Tjuta at sunset

Day 5

Dazzling lights & natural wonders at Uluru


Explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Today you’ll be driving to your final destination: Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. This drive is one of our favourites in the region, with lots of prime photo opportunities along the way. Before you reach Ayers Rock Resort where you’ll be staying the night, make a detour to explore the red rock domes of Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas. Choose one of the various walks to properly explore the area, from short tracks to challenging ascents. 

Check in to the Ayers Rock Resort

Check in for the night at Ayers Rock Resort and experience the ultimate in accommodation choices for your stay. Set up camp for the night under the starry sky, indulge in the comfort of an apartment or hotel room, or for a truly luxurious treat-yourself experience, book a night at the iconic Longitude 131°. 

Wintjiri Wiru light & sound experience

When night falls, settle in for an extraordinary light show against the backdrop of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Wintjiri Wiru is a multi-dimensional storytelling experience, telling the Anangu people’s Mala story through a symphony of light displays, lasers, sound and over 1,000 drones. Choose to watch the show on its own, or do the Wintjiri Wiru Sunset Dinner where you can enjoy a gourmet dinner hamper featuring a fusion of native ingredients.

Explore the hidden wonders of the outback sky

If you’re looking for an alternative to Wintjiri Wiru, Astro Tour is the ultimate stargazing experience over the Red Centre skies. Departing 2 hours after last light, an astronomer will take you to the perfect stargazing spot away from artificial lights to explore the night sky with telescopes, binoculars and iPads.

A colourful light display in front of uluru

Day 6

Take in the Uluru sunrise


Watch the sun wake up over the Field of Light

Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the magnificent Field of Light Uluru springs to life. This gives you the chance to discover the Field of Light while watching the sun rise over Uluru – an unparalleled experience. Spanning an area larger than 7 football fields, the Field of Light is a spectrum of over 50,000 spindles of light carefully designed by artist Bruce Munro. Watch the changing rhythms of light and colour over the desert and appreciate this unique spectacle. 

Camel ride into the sunrise

For an alternative morning activity, watch dawn break over Uluru and Kata Tjuta on a sunrise camel ride. See the desert wake up on this one hour camel ride over the red sand dunes and learn about the flora and fauna along the way from knowledgeable cameleers. At the end of the tour, enjoy a bush breakfast of freshly baked damper and a mug of tea or coffee, and reflect on the incredible 6 days you’ve spent in the Red Centre. 

What’s next?

From here, you can continue exploring the Red Centre or make your way north up to Darwin. If you’re continuing your journey through the NT, check our out Alice Springs to Darwin road trip itinerary. If you’re flying out from Alice, take off with lasting memories of the Red Centre.

Planning to visit in April? Time your trip with Parrtjima Festival or check out the full list of Red Centre festivals & events.

Start in Alice Springs


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Finish in Alice Springs


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