Alice Springs Round-trip: 7-Day Campervan Itinerary

The Red Centre Way

The Red Centre of Australia is as dramatic as it is desolate. That is what makes it so fascinating for tourists to come and visit. This constant tourist boom has turned Alice Springs into the region’s central hub – a town with a quirky and unique charm.

Not wanting you to miss out on any highlights in this remarkable trip, we have compiled a 7-day itinerary that samples all the famous sights of the Red Centre without rushing around. So all you need to do is hop in your campervan and prepare for a trip into the Great Outback.

Dawn breaks over the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in the heart of Australia's Outback

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Day 1: Alice Springs to Tjoritja National Park

Scenic Glen Helen Gorge in West MacDonnell Ranges , Northern Territory, Australia

The first part of your journey takes you west along the West MacDonnell Ranges and into Tjoritja National Park. This mountain range is known for having dramatic gorges and beautiful swimming spots waiting to be explored, with the bonus of not being overcrowded like other nearby landmarks.

Glen Helen Gorge

Glen Helen Gorge is a natural landmark in the West MacDonnell Ranges of the Northern Territory in Australia. It's situated approximately 132 km west of Alice Springs along Namatjira Drive.

The gorge itself is formed by the Finke River, one of the oldest rivers in the world, cutting through the mountain range. The resulting landscape features stunning red rock walls that contrast vividly with the blue sky and the green vegetation along the riverbanks. The waterhole at the base of the gorge is a significant attraction and provides a refreshing swimming spot, especially during the hot months. However, it's essential to be aware of local conditions and respect cultural sensitivities or restrictions, as the area is important to the local Indigenous people.

Glen Helen Gorge is also a starting or stopping point for various hiking trails, including sections of the Larapinta Trail, which stretches over 200 km along the spine of the West MacDonnell Ranges.

Ormiston Gorge

Not far from the accompanying Ormiston Visitor Centre, you will discover the beauty spot that is Ormiston Gorge. This gorge has staggering red walls that tower over 100m high and a swimming lagoon full all year round. You can take in all this range offers from a dramatic and serene viewpoint.

Standley Chasm

Fewer sights in the area take your breath away, like Standley Chasm. This chasm drops 80m straight down to the dry creek beds below and has one of the most dramatic sights anywhere in the region. This site truly is a cultural and natural wonder to be seen.

Day 2: Tjoritja National Park to Watarrka National Park

The edge of Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory, Australia

A trek that takes you from one stunning canyon system to another. This journey ventures from Tjoritja National Park and heads to Watarrka National Park—the home of the famous Kings Canyon. Reached by tarmac or dirt, there are no drives quite this remarkable anywhere else in Australia.

Redbank Gorge

If you are looking for a spot to see rare animals and plants in their native surroundings, Redbank Gorge is the place to do just that. The relative isolation of the location and mix of environment supports a range of creatures not seen anywhere else.

Goose Bluff

Who would think that a crater could be so mysterious? Yet, that is what Goose Bluff presents as a crater from a meteor impact 142 million years ago. Look around this 5km crater and witness the impact that left this site a cultural shrine for the local Arrente people.

Day 3: Watarrka National Park

Spectacular gorge in the centre of red Australia, Kings canyon, Northern Territory

As home to the stunning Kings Canyon, Watarrka National Park is one of the Northern Territory’s most well-known sites. Housing cavern-like canyons and imposing rockfaces, this is a place that comes alive any time of the day.

Kings Canyon

The main sight itself needs no introduction. The cavern-like walls burn red whenever the sunlight shines on them. If the view from the floor is impressive, the accompanying rim walk is just as spectacular as you see the fiery glow emerge from the ground below.

Kathleen Springs

Another amazing detour is the culturally significant Kathleen Springs. Set amongst a clearing in this cavernous wasteland, this site is a collection of Aboriginal drawings and carvings that go back 20,000 years. See how this area provided a home for local indigenous tribes for thousands of millennia.

Day 4: Watarrka to Kata Tjuṯa National Park

Mount Conner in Australia's Northern Territory at sunset

On this leg, it’s time to trek across the desert to Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Here, you will find Australia’s most famous natural wonder—Uluṟu. In addition, you’ll find plenty of singular massifs and outcrops rising from the desolate as you enter an alien-like environment.

A 3-day park pass to Kata Tjuṯa National Park starts from $38 per adult 18 years and over. Children 17 years and under have free entry.

Mt Conner

The biggest outcrop you will find along the way is the singular massif of Mt Conner. It is known as “Fooluru” due to its similar nature to its larger neighbour, but it still has a significant cultural presence among local groups.

Lake Amadeus

Aside from red soil, Australian deserts are full of impressive salt lakes to check out. On the drive towards Uluṟu, the salt plains of Lake Amadeus prove how hostile this area can be. However, this area also acts as the natural starting point of several local channels, such as the Finke River.

Day 5: Kata Tjuṯa National Park

Uluru by night, Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Northern Territory, Central Australia

Known as the home of Uluṟu, Kata Tjuṯa National Park is one of Australia’s greatest natural wonders. Discover red soils swept by time as rocky outcrops and canyons dominate the local landscape. This red wonderland is truly worth exploring.


Undoubtedly, the region's star attraction, Uluṟu, rises over the nearby landscape as the natural star it is. This rocky outcrop shines over the landscape and is phenomenal from any vantage point during the day. If you stay up to the Park's closing times, you will witness the northern sky come to life with its own spectacular display.

NOTE: Climbing Uluṟu ceased back on the 26th of October 2019. Take as many selfies, videos and photographs as you please. However, climbing Uluṟu breaches the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act, with penalties issued to visitors attempting to do so.

Valley of the Winds

The main walk to and from Uluṟu, the Valley of the Winds, is just as breathtaking. Surrounded by red desert and small crater-like rises, it’s a walk that shows you just how unique a landscape The Red Centre truly is.

Day 6: Uluṟu to East MacDonnell Ranges

Rocky sands of the Rainbow Valley, in the desert of Red Centre, Southern Northern Territory, Australia

Before returning to Alice Springs, it is worth checking out some hidden sights south and east of the town. From hidden canyons to spectacular mountain valleys, you will find there’s still plenty to see and do as you venture back up The Stuart Highway.

Rainbow Valley

The name of this region says it all. These sandstone hills glisten at sunrise and sunset, making for a beautiful sight. Witness how the rockfaces have been etched away from the weather over millions of years of exposure.

Trephina Gorge Nature Park

Nestled in the heart of the East MacDonnell Ranges, Trephina Gorge is a dramatic canyon that plummets dozens of metres to Trephina Creek below. You’ll also discover plenty of small swimming lagoons to dip in, providing a beautiful and quiet spot to relax in the mountains.

Day 7: Alice Springs

Alice Springs Welcome Sign and Australian Flag of Northern Territory in Central Australia

As the journey ends, it’s time to roll back into Alice Springs and unwind in civilisation after a week in the remote outback. This town of 25,000 people has many things to see and do revolving around life in the desert and how the town has survived through colonial times.

Alice Springs Reptile Centre 9 Stuart Terrace, Alice Springs Opening Times 9:30 am-5 pm (Mon-Sun)

The outback is home to many reptile species, and the Alice Springs Reptile Centre brings together a wide collection of the desert’s favourite critters. Learn how lizards, snakes and even crocodiles have adapted to survive in such a harsh landscape.

Yuba Napa Art Gallery 65 Hartley Street, Alice Springs NT 0870 Opening Hours 10 am-5 pm (Mon-Fri) 10 am-2 pm (Sat)

The Red Centre, home to various Indigenous tribes, combines all their art stylings into one hub with the Yuba Napa Art Gallery. Get a chance to examine artworks and creations by local artists who bring ancient stories and cultures to life in a dazzling display.

Alice Springs Round-trip: 7-Day Campervan

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