Extraordinary landscapes made up of desert plains, weathered mountain ranges, rocky gorges and some of Aboriginal Australia’s most sacred sites, exploring the heart of Australia – the Red Centre – is filled with many only-in-Australia moments.
Here, we’ve put together the perfect 10-day itinerary that we like to refer to as the Ultimate Aussie Red Centre Adventure.
Day 1 – Arrive in Darwin
Arrive in Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory and treat yourself to all things adventure and fun. From the sparkling water of the waterfront and WWII historical sites, to the city’s famous Asian-influenced food scene and breezy tropical outdoor lifestyle, there’s plenty of options to spark your inner adventurer here.
Day 2 – Kakadu National Park
Head southeast out of Darwin, along the red dust lined highway to Kakadu National Park. Enjoy some sightseeing upon arrival, including the Nourlangie Rock ancient art carvings. Take your tastebuds on an adventure too, as you participate in a bush food discovery tour and tasting.
Day 3 – Kakadu National Park
Start your morning with a visit to the Warradjan Cultural Centre to learn more about the local aboriginal people who have lived in the region for up to 50, 000 years. Following this, relax as you cruise the unspoilt waterways of the Yellow Water Billabong, enjoying incredible scenery with the opportunity to spot water buffalo, crocodiles and an abundance of bird species.
Day 4 – Nitmiluk National Park
Bask in nature’s beauty at Nitmiluk National Park, where you can enjoy a walk to Edith Falls and a swim in the pools at the bottom.
Day 5 – Katherine
Start the day with a magical dawn cruise through the dramatic Katherine Gorge, where you will see dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches and pristine wilderness. You’ll also have the opportunity to spot some wildlife including cockatoos, eagles and wallabies, as well as learn the history and culture of the local indigenous people.
Continue journeying south through the Red Centre towards Tenant Creek, stopping along the way at Mataranka Thermal Springs where you can relax and enjoy the tropical oasis; and Daly Waters Pub, for a nice cold drink and to hear stories about the pub’s history and treasures left behind by visitors from around the world.
Day 6 – Tenant Creek
Enjoy an evening in the Northern Territory’s ‘Heart of Gold’, Tennant Creek, before starting a new day’s adventure at Devils Marbles. Made of a collection of massive granite boulders that stand at 6 metres high and were formed over millions of years, a short walk around the area will have you learning about the ancient mythology of how the local aboriginal people believe them to be the fossilised eggs of the Rainbow Serpent.
Day 7 – Alice Springs
With a couple of days set aside to spend around Alice Springs, there’s plenty we’ve got prepared for you to do! Start with a visit to the Remarkable Standley Chasm, a geological and cultural icon. You’ll get to explore the history of the land as well as have the chance to walk the ‘Gap pf Water’ – a striking geological formation with a local indigenous guide.
Afterwards, visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service to learn about the medical care required to service the Outback.
Finish your day’s adventure off with a visit to the School of the Air to see how educational services are provided in this remote region and then the Old Telegraph Station to discover how early settlers developed communications in this remote region.
Day 8 – Kings Canyon
Lace up your walking boots and embark on the incredible Kings Canyon Creek Walk. Reward yourself at the end of it with a refreshing drink as the sun sets.
Day 9 – Kings Canyon to Uluru
If you’re an early riser, you’ll love waking up to see the sunrise over the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. From there, you’ll enjoy amazing views and iconic sites such as the Garden of Eden, Priscilla’s Crack and the weathered domes of the ‘Lost City’.
Continuing to Uluru, you’ll enjoy a locally guided tour at the base of the rock and visit the Mutitjulu waterhole. Here you’ll learn about the Aboriginal rock paintings, and their stories and historic significance.
Day 10 – Uluru
Early morning risers will be in for another treat, if you choose to watch the sunrise over Uluru. Later in the morning, enjoy a walk at Kata Tjuta, a geological splendour of some 36 brilliant domes.
Finish your final day with a beautiful dinner at the famous Field of Lights at Uluru.
Feel enticed to experience this 10-day itinerary yourself? Check out our ‘Top End & Central Australia Explorer’ tour with Cosmos today!