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The Red Centre, Northern Territory

Key Attractions

Uluru/Kata Tjuta Narional Park: a World Heritage Site, Uluru is Australia's most famous natural landmark and the country's most visited site. The mysterious red monolith is the weathered peak of a buried mountain range and rises some 348 metres above the desert. It has many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Nearby is Kata Tjuta, and also known as The Olgas, are a group of large domed rock formations. Borth are sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area.

The Devils Marbles

Tennant Creek: Close to the junction of the Stuart and Barkly Highways, Tennant Creek is a place shaped by Aboriginal culture, gold mining and pastoralism. Midway by road between Alice Springs and Darwin, Tennant Creek is known as the Territory’s heart of gold; a reference to its friendliness and the area’s gold mining history. The town’s goldmining history remains, and is captured at sites around the town such as the Battery Hill Mining Centre. The surrounding region has numerous places of interest for travellers including the Attrack Creek Historical Site and The Devils Marbles rock formation.

Alice Springs: The quintessential Aussie outback town, The Alice, as she is affectionately known, is a busy regional centre and hub for mining and exploration, transport, public administration and tourism in Central Australia. The town is also strategically located amid the major natural attractions of the Territory's Red Centre. Alice Springs’ desert lifestyle has inspired several unique events, such as the Camel Cup, the Henley-on-Todd Regatta and the Beanie Festival. Alice Springs is a well-appointed town for its size, with several large hotels and a good range of visitor attractions, restaurants and other services.

Kings Canyon: Some 325 km. south-west of Alice Springs, Kings Canyon is one of The Red Centre's most spectacular attractions. The huge, sheer walls of the canyon rise from the creek bed in which there are numerous rock pools and lush vegetation, including Cycad Palms, ancient in their origin. It is easy to spend a day or more wandering around its vast area when exploring its unique beauty.

Standley Chasm

MacDonnell Ranges: A series of mountain ranges located in the geographical centre of Australia, they consist of parallel ridges running to the east and west of Alice Springs and provide that township's unique backdrop. The ranges are composed of many rock types, but are most famous for their red quartzite peaks and gorges, which can be easily accessed on day trips from Alice Springs.

The Overlander’s Way: A drive through one of Australia's most remote regions, the Barkly Highway retraces the original route of early stockmen who drove their cattle from Queensland through the grazing lands of the Barkly Tablemands. The tablelands, a vast elevated plains of black soil with a covering of golden Mitchell grass, are among the most important cattle grazing areas in the Northern Territory. This is a land of big skies and far horizons that enables you to truly appreciate the magnitude of the outback.

Visiting The Region: The Facts

How to get there: by road: the main highway from north to south (Stuart Highway) is sealed bitumen all the way from Port Augusta to Darwin, but other roads in the region vary from sealed bitumen to sandy bush tracks that require a 4WD vehicle.
The Red Centre may also be approached by road from Mt Isa in far west Queensland via the Barkly Highway.
By rail: Alice Springs is linked to Darwin, Adelaide and the rest of Australia's capital cities via The Ghan. Alice Springs to Darwin is a 24-hour journey; Alice Springs to Adelaide is a 24-hour journey. Two services per week operate in each direction from May to November. Outside of these months, there is one service per week in each direction.
By air: Daily flights operate from all Australian capital cities to Alice Springs. The town is a good base to tour the other famous attractions of Central Australia and most visitors to Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Kings Canyon go via Alice Springs airport.

The best time to go: Autumn (March to May) is possibly the best time of year with warm days and cool nights and not much variation. In Summer (Dec-Feb), daytime maximums are generally in the high 30’s but never above 45°C, but dry air and cool nights help to make these temperatures very tolerable. In winter (June-Aug), night time temperatures can fall below zero degrees Celsius and sometimes thick frost in the morning can look like a carpet of snow. These mornings are usually followed by very pleasant afternoon temperatures in the low twenties. Spring (Sept-Nov) is the most exiting season of the year with big changes in temperature from day to day, thunderstorms, hail and dust storms. It is also the wildflower season, usually peaking in September and early October.

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Regions of NT

Visit Northern Territory
The Real Outback
NT Visitors Bureau
Central Australia Tourism
The Alice
Red Centre Tourism
Aboriginal Tourism
Barkly Tourism - Worldwide Hotels

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