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Top 13 lookouts to add to your must-see list in Central Australia

Wherever you go in Central Australia, or the greater Northern Territory for that matter, you’re going to be taking in some of the world’s most stunning natural scenery. Whether it’s the rugged red desert which seems gaping & desolate for miles and miles. Or the dramatic rock canyons, idyllic bush scrub and crystal pools of fresh water - you’re always surrounded by landscapes dreams are made of.

That being said though, there are definitely some vantage points which are more stunning than others and give you the ultimate perspective of the land around. From ANZAC Hill to Tylers Pass and Ginty's Lookout, we’ve compiled a list of some of the must visit spots to enjoy the real magnificence of a Central Australian view.

Alice Springs

ANZAC Hill Lookout

Located close to the centre of Alice Springs off ANZAC Hill road, this viewpoint will give you full 360 degree views of the whole of Alice Springs, its surrounds and the famous ‘gap’. It’s a 5-10 minute drive from the centre of town with free parking, or you can easily walk or cycle along the footpaths. This one is best enjoyed at either sunrise or sunset, so plan ahead. 

Trigg Hill Lookout

Located where the old Telegraph Station tower was positioned, Trigg Hill is a fairly easy 1.2km trek up and back down and is surrounded by beautiful greenery, perfect for a picnic. The view from the top of Trigg Hill looks out at the old telegraph line facilities and it gives you a great sense of how things were. To get there, just make your way to the grounds of the Telegraph Station & follow the signs for the walking track.

West MacDonnell Ranges

Point Howard Lookout

Around 30km west from Alice Springs along Namatjira Drive is Point Howard Lookout. An excellent vantage point and free campsite offering sweeping views over Burt Plain - a vast dusty expanse of low rocky outcrops and bush scrub. It’s a great place to stop on your way to Ellery Creek Big Hole and you might even be lucky enough to grab some native oranges growing at its top.

Neil Hargrave Lookout

For a sunset over stunning red gorges in the midst of the West MacDonnell Ranges, Neil Hargrave Lookout is a must. Located around 110km west of Alice Springs and just 800m from the highway, this spot has its own picnic area and barbecues so it’s ideal to bring the family for some snags as the sun drops over the ranges. 

Mount Sonder Lookout

This lookout is the perfect place to stop, especially if you're heading into Redbank Gorge or going to hike Mt Sonder, as you'll get stunning views of where you're headed. Located near Glen Helen and Finke 2-mile campground, it is 133km from Alice Springs on the right hand side of the road when heading west.

Tylers Pass Lookout

If you’ve not heard of Tnorala, Tylers Pass Lookout is definitely worth checking out with exceptional views of the comet impact the area is named after. Just 40 minutes drive from Helen Gorge, you’ll find a viewing platform and shelter for a quick stop and photo opportunity of the dramatic landscape and aftermath of a giant rock from space crashing into the earth.

Kings Canyon

Ginty’s Lookout 

Overlooking green and red valleys around 40km northwest of Kings Canyon, this is the perfect spot to take a breather or even spend the night at the free campground. Gintys Lookout is known for its rocky vantage point overlooking large plains of valley and is relatively remote so it brings a real sense of peace at sunrise and sunset. Take note though, the only way to get there is via dirt road, so you’ll likely want to be behind the wheel of a 4WD.

 

Curtin Springs

Mount Conner Lookout

Located in the Curtin Springs Station, Mount Conner sits abruptly alone on the horizon and offers picturesque views that rival those of even Uluru (in fact it’s 32km around the base, which is roughly three times larger than Uluru). You won’t be able to climb the mountain but viewing it from the roadside lookout gives you stunning views of the third mountain in what’s known to geologists as the 3 TORS (Uluru & Kata Tjuta are the other two!). 

Yulara

Ewing Lookout

Sitting atop a sand dune near the camel farm, you likely will have seen pictures taken of Uluru from this spot all around the world. It’s spectacular at any time of day, but we’d highly recommend a sunset or evening visit to see Uluru in all its red glory then set amongst the diamond studded sky. It’s just 10 minutes further down the Lasseter Highway from Ayers Rock Resort and you won’t miss the signs to turn off.

Imalung Lookout

Another great spot to view Uluru at sunset or sunrise, Imalung Lookout is within the vicinity of Ayers Rock Resort, and is very easy to find from the resort central, following some fairly basic walking tracks and signs. The visit is well worthwhile as it gives you the best perspective of Uluru’s scale set against the backdrop of the desert sand and skies. It’s magic which pictures really can’t fully capture.

Naninga Lookout

Located right near the Ayers Rock Campground, Naninga Lookout will give you exceptional views of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta. From this point you’re around 17km from Uluru and 50km from Kata Tjuta and if you consider that when standing at these points, only then will you fully grasp how large these rock formations are. This one has boarded walking paths and is very easy to stroll to from your campsite, so make sure you do!

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park

Viewing Areas

If you’re a photographer, you’ll be pleased to know that within Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park there are specifically designated areas which give you the best vantage point during sunsets & sunrises. These positions have been specifically picked out to ensure the ideal light hitting the ideal surface of rock to give the very best pictures.

There are 4 of these designated areas; Talinguru Nyakunytjaku, Kata Tjuta dune viewing area, Uluru car (and coach) sunset viewing areas, and Kata Tjuta sunset viewing area, which is actually awesome at sunrise too.

Tennant Creek

Bill Allan Lookout

Visit Bill Allan Lookout for impressive 360 degree panoramic views around the old mining town of Tennant Creek and beyond. You can find the spot by taking the sealed road around 1km past Battery Hill Mining Centre on Peko Road where you’ll also find a large carpark. If you’ve been to Tennant Creek & know of its mining past, this is a must visit - or even if you’re just in the mood for some of Central Australia’s most outstanding scenery, stop in, take a breather and enjoy the serenity. 

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