Although slap bang in the middle of the country, a trip to the Red Centre is in many ways the easiest way to introduce your kids to the romance of the outback. And what stunning outback it is: the escarpments of the West MacDonnell Range are as beautiful as those of the Kimberley, Tnorala is a fascinating window to our ancient past and Kings Canyon? Well, how the bloody hell did that get there?!
If you’re short on time fly into Alice Springs and hire a 4WD and camper trailer. That makes this memorable outback sojourn doable in just four days.
Day 1: Alice Springs to Ormiston Gorge
- Wander along the creek to admire Simpson Gap just outside Alice
- Explore the incredible Standley Chasm, which is like an elaborate entryway to a giant’s lair
- Watch the sunrise light up the golden escarpments of breathtaking Ormiston Gorge
Day 2: Ormiston Gorge to Redbank Gorge
- Set up camp atop the escarpment at Redbank Gorge
- Put the hiking boots on and explore
- Splash in the waterhole at Redbank where native wildlife comes for a drink
Day 3: Redbank Gorge to Tnorala (Gosse Bluff)
- Marvel at the geological behemoth that is Tnorala as you approach from miles away
- Explore the incredible 150-million-year-old crater on foot
- Learn about the Aboriginal dreaming story of Tnorala, interestingly also related to the stars
Day 4: Tnorala to Kings Canyon
- Do the summit walk at Kings Canyon for amazing views
- Set up camp at Kings Canyon Resort. The kids will love the facilities and playing with other littlies
- Pitstops are few and far between Alice and Kings Canyon, so stock up on plenty of food for meals and snacks. Call into the many camping areas for toilet breaks.
- Kings Canyon Resort for a hearty schnitzel and an icy cold beer.
KIDS WILL LOVE
- The rich red soil and beautiful escarpments, especially if it’s their first time to the outback
- Rock hopping through dry creek beds and playing in the soft sand
- Swimming in waterholes – weather pending as it gets very cold!
WHERE TO CAMP
- Ormiston Gorge camping area. Hot showers, but sometimes crowded
- Redback camping area. Beautiful outlook and a bit quieter
- Kings Canyon Resort camping area. Hot meal at the bistro, perhaps?