Why Central Australia is full of surprises

Road Trip
Unexpected highlights to enjoy when travelling through the Red Centre. 
A group of people on Segways around Uluru.
Uluru Segway Tours. Tourism NT/Grenville Turner.

By Mark Daffey

Uluru on wheels

A coach tour is an easy way to see Uluru. Hiking or cycling around the base of the world’s largest monolith requires a little more exertion. How about something different, like touring around the rock on a Segway or hitching a ride on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorbike? Who knows… maybe you’ll find out that you really were born to be wild.

Uluru motorcycle toursRainbow Valley overlooks a parched clay pan just off the Stuart Highway, just over an hour south of Alice Springs. Come early or late in the day, when the morning or afternoon sun sets the rock ablaze with colour. Further west, Palm Valley is the main attraction inside the Finke Gorge National Park, a maze of sandstone amphitheatres, gorges and spring-fed waterholes protecting one of the world’s oldest rivers. It’s also home to ancient Red Cabbage Palms that are botanic remnants from a time when steamy rainforests covered Central Australia. Both spots are blessed with simple campsites to spend the night under the stars.

Culture tour

Cultural tour at Rainbow Valley. Tourism NT/Shaana McNaught.

Night stalking

All sorts of creatures get busy at night, when deserts come alive. Endangered bilbies, malas and echidnas step out from their hidey-holes to fossick for food and you can spot them all during a guided Nocturnal Tour inside a predator-proof enclosure at the Alice Springs Desert Park.

Baby echidna at Alice Springs Desert Park

Baby echidna at Alice Springs Desert Park. Tourism NT/Yuri Kardashyan.

The food and café scene

Melbourne’s laneway culture makes inroads into Alice Springs at Page 27, a breakfast café inside Fan Arcade that’s known for its funky tunes and relaxed vibes. Or perhaps hot donuts with handcrafted fillings, artisanal fruit sourdough breads or pies filled with locally sourced produce are more your flavour; you’ll find both at The Bakery. Coffee with a delicious side order of cupcakes has never sounded so good until you visit DuYu Roasters.

Page 27 Cafe

Page 27 Cafe. Tourism NT/Christopher Nayna.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.