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South of Alice Springs

Roughly the dead centre of Australia, Alice Springs has long held cultural importance both for traditional owners and visitors to Central Australia. The Arrernte people are the traditional owners of the land where the current town was established and developed in the nineteenth century as an important outpost for European settlers. It is the jumping-off point for the exploration of the heart of the continent!

From just outside town to a couple of hundred kilometres away, the area south of Alice Springs is full of beauty, culture, and adventure. From ancient art to rock formations and desert races, the region is a must-see. Here are some of the main attractions. 

South East (Maryvale Road)

Napwerte / Ewaninga Rock Carvings

This six-hectare park south of Alice Springs features one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the Northern Territory. The art is sacred and its meaning is unknown to outsiders.

 

Ooraminna Station Homestead

Just 35km from Alice Springs, the Ooraminna Station Homestead represents an opportunity to get in touch with the landscape by swagging under the stars or sleeping in a traditional homestead accommodation. Visitors can also travel here as a day trip to enjoy a lunch at the restaurant.

 

Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve

Chambers Pillar is a unique 50-metre tall rock formation, towering over the desert landscape. It’s best viewed at sunset when the rock face appears in vibrant hues of red and orange.

Ooraminna Station Homestead

Tapatjatjaka Art and Craft

This small community is home to a little over 200 residents, with Arrernte, Luritja, Pitjantjatjara being the predominant languages, with English being spoken by some.

A Two-hour drive from Alice Springs, it is the smallest Town West of the Simpson Desert and has won the title of "World Tidiest Town" multiple times. Titjikala is very community oriented and includes an Arts Centre, various Education centres for Children & Youth and a Women's Centre. Visit Titjikala to be immersed in community values, Aboriginal Art and timeless Red Sand.

 

Keringke Arts (Santa Teresa)

The Keringke Arts Centre at Santa Teresa (along Old Andado Track) is the perfect spot to see contemporary Aboriginal art being made. Look at the centre’s spectacular collections and meet the local artists with deep roots in this land. 

Keringke Arts Stacy Davis

Keringke Arts, painting by Stacy Davis

Tapatjataka Arts

Tapatjatjaka Art and Craft, man painting

Finke Desert Race

The Finke Desert Race is an annual event for off-road vehicles. For two days each year, you can see locals and visitors battling it out on the desert sand. 

 

Lambert Centre

When we speak of Central Australia, it doesn’t get more central than this. Step on the absolute centre point of the continent at Lambert Centre.

Finke Desert Race bike and quad

Finke Desert Race buggy

Finke Desert Race

Along Stuart Highway

Owen Springs Reserve

If you want to emulate the heroes of the Finke Desert Race, this is your chance. Take an ATV tour with Finke River Adventures in the desert, seeing its wilder side. 

 

Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve

Named for its bands of multi-coloured rock, Rainbow Valley is a stunning valley of rock escarpments within day-trip distance of Alice Springs. It is 75km south of town and is best accessed by 4WD.

 

Stuarts Well Roadhouse

This Roadhouse is the perfect outpost for your day trip south of Alice Springs. Offering food and accommodation, it gives you easier access to Chambers Pillar, Rainbow Valley, and Henbury Meteorites.

Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve

Ernest Giles Road

The Ernest Giles Road is 100 kilometres of unsealed road that connects the Stuart Highway with Luritja Road (which head towards Kings Canyon). Travellers from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon can use this track to shorten the distance of travel, road conditions and appropriate vehicle permitting. 

 

Henbury Meteorites 

This is the name for 12 craters that were left when a meteor crashed into earth 4,700 years ago. You can go on foot to explore the craters, the largest one being 180m wide and 15m deep. 

 

Erldunda Roadhouse 

Erldunda is another potential base camp for your day-tripping south of Alice Springs. It is particularly well located for access to Uluru and Kings Canyon at the turnoff to Lasseter Highway. While you are here don't forget to checkout the Emu's.

 

Kulgera Roadhouse

Located 275km south of Alice Springs, Kulgera is the name of both a town and an ancient outcrop of granite rocks. Archaeological evidence suggests the region has been inhabited for 25,000 years. Beyond the Roadhouse, a further 20km you will reach the NT/SA border.

Mount Conner

Mount Conner

Along Lasseter Highway

Mount Conner

This is a red rock formation overlooking the desert and estimated to be 500 million years old—a hidden gem of the region. Mount Conner is commonly referred to as 'fool-uru' due to its similar shape and its prominence to the surrounding landscape

 

Curtin Springs

This is a million-acre cattle station in the red centre, affording you excellent walking trails and first-rate hospitality. They also offer a paper making tour where you learn the process of harvesting the grass to make paper.

Curtin Springs Paper Making Tour

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