The Red Centre Way, Alice Springs NT

The Red Centre Way, Alice Springs NT

Take an unforgettable five or six-day drive on the Red Centre Way from Alice Springs NT to Uluru (Ayers Rock) through astounding landscapes and taking in iconic landmarks. The Red Centre Way is the gateway to an abundance of natural and aboriginal attractions through the ancient heart of the Australian outback. Allow a minimum of 5 to 7 days for this journey through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest.

The Red Centre Way or the Mereenie Loop

The Red Centre Way used to be called ‘the Mereenie Loop’ Road because a part of it travels through the Mereenie Valley.

The route runs initially along a minor loop encompassing Larapinta and Namatjira Drives through Aboriginal land-holdings from Alice Springs on to Glen Helen or Hermannsburg, thereafter becoming a single road progressing on to Kings Canyon. From there Luritja Road runs down to join up with the Lasseter Highway, feeding off the Stuart Highway at Erldunda and on to Uluru. The route passes through some of the Northern Territory’s most spectacular countryside, and also offers an alternate route for visitors travelling to and from Uluru and Alice Springs.

  1. It’s a grand tour of the very best of central Australia.
  2. It takes you to iconic destinations like Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and the West MacDonnell Ranges.
  3. It’s also a tour through central Australia’s diverse landscape: from real mountains to sand dunes to gorges and waterholes.

You’ll see plenty of wildlife: kangaroos, dingoes, wild camels and donkeys, brumbies (wild horses) and maybe even a goanna or two.

Some facts about the Red Centre Way

Drive a 1135km loop from Alice SpringsDrive the 1135km loop from Alice Springs and explore the vast and diverse landscapes of the Red Centre. Discover icons of the Australian continent, from Uluru and Kata Tjuta to Watarrka/Kings Canyon, Alice Springs and Tjoritja/West MacDonnell Ranges, including a short stretch of unsealed road. Or take the completely sealed 1750km loop if travelling with two-wheel drive.

The Mereenie Loop Road

The Mereenie Loop Road is an unsealed road for 197km of 337km, a 4WD is required. This drive is one that memories are made off and photo’s will fill your home with. Imagine the 4 great Central Australian icons areas all in one trip being Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta (formerly known as The Olgas) and Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock).

From Start to Finish: You can either begin or end in Alice Springs or Uluru

Distance: 690km /428mi

Time required: 5 days to do it comfortably and get the BEST value for money

Recommended vehicle: 4WD – but we’ve seen plenty of 2WD campers and vans on this road in dry weather.

Caravan/Camper Trailer friendly: Yes, but recommended for OFF-ROAD models only (there’s lots of corrugations).

Accommodation options: Hotel/motel/budget rooms at Glen Helen, Kings Canyon, Curtin Springs & Uluru; camping or campervan. We really do recommend you try camping – especially in the West MacDonnells- for a true outback experience.

Fuel available: Alice Springs, Glen Helen, Hermansburg, Areyonga, Kings Canyon, Kings Creek Station, Curtin Springs Roadhouse, Yulara (Ayers Rock Resort). Expect to pay around $2.20- $2.40 per litre (2014)

Food/Supplies: Alice Springs (supermarkets), basic supplies at Glen Helen, Kings Canyon Resort (BE WARNED- it’s very expensive), Kings Creek Station, Curtin Springs, Yulara (a good IGA supermarket at the Ayers Rock Resort).

To make the most of this incredible journey allow five or six days. Travel through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest, lush valleys and towering gorges. Watch the red giants of the Outback change colour at sunset. Find out about the ancient living culture of the traditional Aboriginal land owners and lose yourself as you wander through valleys which are home to countless rare plants, birds and animals.

Required Permits:

Officially, we need to tell you that you should buy a permit to travel the section of the Red Centre Way which passes through Aboriginal Land Trusts between Gosse Bluff and Kings Canyon.

These permits are issued to everyone, across the counter. You can buy permits at:

  • The Central Land Council (on the north Stuart Highway, in Alice Springs)
  • Hermannsburg Store
  • Kings Canyon Resort

Camping Rentals Alice Springs

Explore the West MacDonnell National Park at your own leisure. Hire one of our large 2WD or a 4WD together with our Camping equipment to experience the beauty of the outback in its most natural way.

You can stay at some of the Resorts or if you would like to camp, we can supply you with everything that you will need to experience Uluru (Ayers Rock ) Kata Tjuta ( The Olgas ) and Kings Canyon. Sleep in a swag under a 5 million star motel. You will love the experience. It is recommended that 3-5 days to explore the above as well as the majestic MacDonnell Ranges with its 350 metre high cliffs and beautiful water holes to go swimming in. We will provide maps as well and give you an itinerary to help you discover the jewel of Australia. Don’t forget to checkout our Explore Central Australia page to give a brief over-view of some of the sights along each route.

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