A land of expansive skies, open possibilities, incredible colours and unforgettable adventures, Central Australia is hard to beat. As a vast a place, there’s so much to see and do here it’s hard even for the keenest traveller to fit it all in. As such, I’ve composed a list of the 6 best places to visit in Central Australia, so you don’t miss out on any of the top spots this wild part of the country has to offer
1. Ormiston Gorge
Situated in the West McDonnell Range, just west of Alice Springs, Ormiston Gorge is a fantastic spot you definitely must check out if you are travelling Central Australia. With a great walk that meanders around the gorge, stunning views for miles and a refreshing (to say the least!) waterhole to swim in at the end, this is a great spot to enjoy an afternoon. The other nearby attractions of the West MacDonnell Range such as Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm and Ellery Creek are also well worth checking out.
2. Palm Valley
So-called because of the Red Cabbage Palm, which exists only in this part of the world, Palm Valley is part of Finke Gorge National Park. With some fantastic bushwalking and some wonderful camp sites, this is the place to real get a sense of the remoteness of the Outback. The scenery here is amazingly lush and green, due to a precious year-round water supply, and contrasted against the red earth this is a photographer’s paradise!
3. Devils Marbles
I absolutely loved Devil’s Marbles when I visited on my drive from Alice Springs to Darwin, although I can’t really tell you why! I guess it’s something about the way these crazy round boulders sit on top of each other in towering and bizarre patterns, with little else around them, that makes them so special. Whatever it is, be sure to get this place on your Central Australia bucket list.
The big daddy of them all, Uluru (formerly known as Ayres Rock) is probably one of Australia’s most famous icons and certainly the major drawcard when it comes to traveling Central Australia. Ignore all those who say Uluru is “just a big rock” and be sure to go judge it for yourself. Once you get there, the immense of power and awe-inspiring qualities of this huge monolith are hard to put into words.
5. Kings Canyon
Whereas Uluru stands out from the ground at an impressive height, Kings Canyon seems to bury itself into the earth of Central Australia at an impressive depth! Yes, the staggering walls of this natural canyon fall away so sharply that even the trees here seem to desperately cling to the side of it, and a peek over the edge is a sure-fire vertigo inducer! Be sure to undertake the famous Kings Canyon Dawn Walk to make sure to see this staggering feat of nature in its most impressive light.
Literally next door to Uluru is the far less famous, but (in my opinion) even more beautiful rock formation known as Kata-Tjuta. Ok, maybe it’s not right next door, but being 53km away it’s only considered a short drive in Central Australia! Add into the mix that these 2 great beauties are both situated in the same National Park and it’s almost a done deal that they are neighbours! Whereas Uluru is one giant rock, Kata Tjuta is a series of smaller (although still huge) rocks all sitting together. Their silhouette against the otherwise flat landscape is perhaps even more stunning at sunset than that of their giant neighbour and the Valley of Winds walk, which takes you directly through Kata Tjuta, is an absolute must.
So those are the 6 best places to visit in Central Australia. Hopefully they’ve inspired you to start planning your Outback adventure soon!