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Top 6 Educational Experiences for Kids in the Red Centre

In all its natural beauty, cultural richness and long history loaded with interesting facets, the Red Centre is truly a place where kids can not only have fun, but also learn a lot. Whether its shows & lessons from the displays at the Desert Park, the awesome history found at Royal Flying Doctor Museum or the colourful stories & culture found in a Ranger Guided Mala Walk at Uluru - there is plenty here to make a holiday in the Red Centre an educational one.

Here’s our list of the top 6 educational experiences, but there are plenty more than these on offer.

 

Royal Flying Doctor Museum

Home of the history behind the world famous Royal Flying Doctor Service, you and the kids will find tons of interesting facts, experience what it’s like inside the aircrafts used, learn about history radio systems as well as all the past and present medical equipment in use. Even if you aren’t an aspiring doctor or pilot, there is so much interesting information to be learned here.

The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 4pm and from 1pm to 4pm on Sundays, with tours running every half an hour from 9:30am until 3:30pm. It’s located easily in the centre of town in the heritage precinct at 8/10 Stuart Terrace. 

Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience

Located about 5 hours south-west from Alice Springs is the home of the Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience - one of the most immersive, experiential and worthwhile experiences to undertake in the Red Centre for all ages.

An experience here starts with a 1-hour walk including guidance from local Aboriginal experts on bush tucker, bush medicine, importance of the land and its spiritual significance. Following that you’ll spend time in a shaded seating area learning about seasonal bush tucker food, edible local seeds & grinding techniques, dot painting explanations, bush medicine and traditional wooden tools & artifacts. These tours operate from Wednesday to Sunday from February to October (inclusive).

Tour times depart at 9am, 10:30am, 2pm and 4pm so you can plan your day around your tour. Hands down one the most intimate Aboriginal educational experiences you and the family can have in the Red Centre!

Desert Park Alice Springs

Although the desert may look like an empty, large red expanse, your kids will learn that it’s actually full of life, all on display at the incredible Desert Park in Alice Springs. You may have taken your kids to the zoo, but it’s unlikely they would have seen all the strange, wild, unique and cute animals of Central Australia. With bird shows, talks on survival in the desert and even a nocturnal animal exhibit, there’s loads here to keep you & the family entertained.

The park is located just 7km from the CBD of Alice Springs, and if you’re driving, all you need to do is head west along Larapinta Drive and follow the signs. If you’re an active family, you can even cycle or walk from Blain Street, with designated cycle paths leading all the way to the park’s entrance. The park is open daily from 7:30am to 6pm and we’d recommend you plan for around 3-4 hours in the park itself. There are also a number of different ticket options for families depending on the size as well as options for nocturnal animal tours!

School of the Air

Show your kids how teachers & children of the outback go to school! The School of the Air experience is a fun and educating attraction of the Red Centre showcasing how the school operates, stories from some of the high flying teachers and hands on experiences of some classes themselves. Your kids will leave having a whole new perspective and appreciation for going to school!

The School is open Monday to Friday from 9am-3pm, Saturdays from 1:30pm-4:30pm and Sundays from 11:30am-4:30pm and is located at 80 Head Street, Alice Springs - roughly 5 minutes’ drive from the centre of Alice Springs, off the Stuart Highway.

Ranger Guided Mala Walk, Uluru

This free and easy ranger-guided Mala Walk follows the base track of Uluru from the Mala Carpark to Kantju Gorge, covering just 2km. The walk itself is more about the insights and guidance from the Anangu expert ranger and less about being an arduous hike, so it’s easy for children of all ages. The talk will cover loads of insights on the land, Anangu culture, rock art, stories of Creation, language and even bush-tucker - it’s the perfect all-round educational experience for all kids - and it’s free!

The tour starts at the Mala walk carpark at the base of Uluru and will last around 1.5 hours. And depending on what time of year you’re here, tours depart at either 8am (Oct - Apr) or 10am (May - Sep) daily. 

Standley Chasm Art and Cultural Tour

If the kids love hands-on activities and opportunities to be creative, this one is for you. Led by a local indigenous guide, this 4.5 hour tour covers a walk of Standley Chasm itself; its flora, fauna, bush medicine, food & hunting, cultural stories of the area, morning tea and buffet lunch, and finally a friendly & informative dialogue on aboriginal culture now, its history and how we can preserve it going into the future.

Most importantly, you’ll then also have a dot painting workshop to craft your very own artwork to take home using the traditional methods! Tours should be booked in advance to secure a spot. You can reach Standley Chasm by driving west along Larapinta Drive from Alice Springs for approximately 40km before turning right and following the signs directly to Standley Chasm. 

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