Discover Aboriginal culture in the Red Centre7-day itinerary
Arrive in the Red Centre hub of Alice Springs (Mpwarnte) to start your week-long trip of Aboriginal cultural experiences.
Start your cultural journey in Alice Springs (Mpwarnte) and go at your own pace with a week travelling the Red Centre.
This guide takes you through the must-visit locations in the spiritual heart of the Northern Territory where you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the diversity of cultures on Country across the traditional lands of the Arrente, Luritja, Pitjantatjara and Yankunytjatjara people.
Start with the art in Alice Springs (Mpwarnte)
The Araluen Cultural Precinct is the perfect first stop to get acquainted with the art and culture of the region. Next on the trail, learn about the unique skill of desert weaving at Tjanpi Desert Weavers before heading to one of the cafes in Todd Mall for lunch in town.
Make your way to Ilta Ntjarra Art Centre, meaning ‘many hands’ in Western Arrente. The centre has a specific focus on encouraging artists of the Hermannsburg School, watercolour artists who paint in the stylistic form of the late Albert Namatjira.
Get on the road this afternoon with a trip to Yeperenye / Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature Park. This area is a significant site to the Central Arrernte people and is home to caterpillar dreaming story, which tells the tale of how Alice Springs was formed. You can see rock art of this dreaming at Emily Gap.
Visit the birthplace of Albert Namatjira
Prepare ahead for today’s road trip to the community of Hermannsburg, the birthplace of Albert Namatjira. Hermannsburg continues to uphold and develop its own contemporary styles of art. Visit the National Trust-listed Hermannsburg Historic Precinct to learn more about its history. Book a visit to Hermannsburg Potters to meet the artists at work and discover a style of clay art that uses traditional art with contemporary practices of pottery.
Explore Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges)
Head to west Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges) today on a tour with Finke River Cultural Tours as an Aboriginal guide takes you through mountain scenery and desert waterholes for a swim. You'll see and learn about the Rodna Waterhole and Itopalkara, which is known as the dog's back bone. Explore the mighty Lirra Pinta (Finke River) and be mesmerised by the Nthipa, dancing ladies, rock formation. The tour is a full day that takes you through 4WD tracks that are off the beaten track to go deeper into the region before returning to Alice Springs.
Visit the significant site of the Ochre Pits
Pack up and order ahead from Kungkas Can Cook to complement your picnic and try some of the bush delicacies of the region. Today’s road trip takes you to Angkerle Atwatye Standley Chasm, a place that highlights the havens that can be found amongst the red rock. Learn about the traditional methods of bush tucker and bush medicine or try your hand at a dot painting workshop on site.
Continue your journey to the Ochre Pits that was used to collect the raw material for painting and ceremonial body art. The site is still used by Arrente, the traditional owners and visitors are asked to respect the Country by not touching the rock. Continue the drive through the Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges) to Kings Canyon and check in for your overnight stay.
Book a Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Tour
This morning you have the choice to rise early for the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. Make sure to take your time visiting the Garden of Eden, a marked trail leads you into the deep canyon where you can see the impressive cycads and birdlife that shelter in the shade.
Grab breakfast at Kings Canyon Resort before driving onwards to Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Tour. Meet the Abbott family who established Karrke to preserve and maintain their Luritja and Pertame (southern Arrente) languages for the future of younger generations.
Continue your journey to the township of Yulara to check in and rest up before a day of exploring Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Discover World Heritage-listed Uluru and Kata Tjuta
This morning take a walk on Country with a traditional owner on the SEIT Patji Aboriginal Cultural Tour. Explore south of Uluru by 4WD with your Aboriginal guide, stopping along the journey to hear stories of land rights and the history of where Uluru is today. Continue on to a private sand dune to view the great expanse of the desert overlooking Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
This evening settle into a five star setting under a blanket of stars at Tali Wiru. This open-air gastronomic experience offers an intimate evening of fine dining infused with native ingredients on a remote sand dune overlooking Uluru and the distant domes of Kata Tjuta.
See the rock art along the Kuniya walk
Get a better understanding of Uluru’s magnitude and spiritual importance this morning by taking the Kuniya walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole. The Kuniya walk is a living cultural landscape. When you walk through, you’ll start to understand how the creation stories live on. Kuniya and her spirit are here, and the caves she protects are still used by Anangu. After your morning walk, learn more at Cultural Centre where you can learn about Anangu culture and the Park’s natural environment through exhibits and free presentations.
After you’ve finished exploring, check out of your accommodation and reflect on your week in the Red Centre while driving back to Alice Springs or taking a flight from Ayers Rock Airport to your home city.
Looking for more trip ideas? See more Aboriginal cultural experiences on offer.