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The Red Centre Way6-day itinerary


Travel through red desert sands, lush valleys, towering gorges and visit stunning outback waterholes along this iconic journey. The Red Centre Way loop, starting from Alice Springs takes you through Tjoritja / West MacDonnell Ranges, Watarrka/Kings Canyon, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

We recommend you take at least 6 days to drive the Red Centre Way by 4WD. Add some extra time to complete the sealed road option by two-wheel drive.

Day 1: Alice Springs to Glen Helen (132km)

Start the Red Centre Way by driving west from Alice Springs through Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park. It’s a spectacular stretch of natural formations including chasms, gorges and waterholes. Explore Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen just to name a few. Splash, hike or just stand back in awe – it’s truly spectacular.


Day 2: Glen Helen to Kings Canyon Resort (234km)

From Glen Helen, head 20km west and start the day with a swim at Redbank Gorge.

If travelling by 4WD, continue along the Mereenie Loop to Kings Canyon Resort. You’ll need to pick up a permit from the Hermannsburg general store to drive this section. If you don’t have a 4WD, head back to Alice Springs and through to Kings Canyon via the sealed route.


Day 3: Explore Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon is only minutes away from Kings Canyon Resort and offers hiking and walking options suitable for all levels. The Rim Walk is a 3-hour adventure across 100m-high sandstone walls and ancient palm-filled crevices with stunning views of the arid surrounds.

For a more relaxed option, the Kings Creek walk provides equally breathtaking views from the canyon floor. End your day with the Light-Towers at the Kings Canyon Resort, an immersive sound and light experience that can be booked for sunrise, sunset or by night.


Day 4: Kings Canyon to Uluru via Mt Conner (300km)

Leave the canyon and follow Luritja Road and Lasseter Highway to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Along the way you’ll pass Mt Conner, commonly known as ‘Fooluru’, as it’s often mistaken for Uluru. View the Lake Amadeus salt plains near the Mt Conner lookout.

Once you arrive at Uluru, settle in your accommodation at Ayers Rock Resort. Watch the iconic Red Centre sunset, on a camel or bicycle and spend your night witnessing Wintjiri Wiru, an enigmatic choreography of drones, lasers and projections lighting up the sky.


Day 5: Uluru & Kata Tjuta

See Uluru and Kata Tjuta in a day or take more time exploring them (it’s worth it). Listen to the local Anangu people as they tell their stories of the Dreamtime. Explore Kata Tjuta on the Valley of the Winds walk and take in Uluru up close on the base walk. If taking the views in from the air is more your style, book a scenic flight that departs from Yulara. Make sure to book ahead to spend the evening wandering through the Field of Light, the internationally acclaimed light installation by Bruce Munro.


Day 6: Uluru to Alice Springs (445km)

Start your return trip to Alice Springs: head back along the Lasseter Highway, to Curtin Springs Station, a working cattle station and roadhouse. Join a guided walk on the nearby salt lakes and take in the view of Mt Conner, or try your hand at a paper-making tour using native ingredients.

Turn north onto the Stuart Highway towards Alice Springs. If four-wheel driving, leave time to explore the sandstone bluffs and cliffs of Rainbow Valley, which are particularly stunning in the early morning and late afternoon light when the rainbow-like rock bands are highlighted. From here, Alice Springs is only 100km away.

Get more inspiration with these NT road trip ideas.

Download the Red Centre Way itinerary

Day 1

Day 2

  • Drive:

  • Redbank Gorge

    Redbank Gorge

    West MacDonnell Ranges
    See & do

    Redbank Gorge (Rutjupma, pronounced ‘roo-chip-ma’) is a stunning gorge and chasm that is a refuge for many threatened plant and animal species.

  • Drive:

  • Stay:

    Discovery Resorts - Kings CanyonView details

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

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