Alex O'Brien

International

5 more things to do in the Red Centre

5 more things to do in the Red Centre

There’s a lot more to Australia's famous Outback than Uluru. Explore a little further and be rewarded with these incredible experiences.

1. Discover an ancient meteorite

4,700 years ago a huge meteorite plummet through the atmosphere at more than 40,000 kilometres an hour and smashed into the earth 150 kilometres southwest of Alice Springs. The meteorite disintegrated before impact and formed 12 craters that are now known as the Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve. A self-guided walking track takes you around the craters, the largest of which is 180 metres wide and 15 metres deep.

2. Track the world’s oldest river

The Finke River is Australia’s ancient artery and has been flowing through the West MacDonnell Ranges for more than 300 million years. This could also make it the oldest river following its original course, though there’s no definitive proof. Four-wheel drive trails and campsites can be found along the river as well as a number of hiking trails that will take you to secluded waterholes or to the top of mountains that existed before the dinosaurs.

3. Have a real off-road adventure

The Mereenie Loop Road is not one for the inexperienced. It’s an alternative route from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon and Uluru via the Western MacDonnell Ranges. It’s an opportunity to discover true rugged outback landscapes that range from mountains to red sand hills and desert plains. The road is unsealed and can be prone to flash flooding, and you’ll need a permit to drive it, but it’s worth the effort.

4. Study the stars

Some of the best sightseeing in central Australia is up above you. Low humidity and the absence of artificial light make for incredibly clear skies so you’ll be able to see stars and planets more clearly than you ever have before. Take an organised tour and you’ll have the chance to look through a high-powered telescope, bringing you even closer to the heavens.

5. Visit the Garden of Eden

At the base of Kings Canyon, at the base of soaring 100 metre cliffs, lies the Garden of Eden, a permanent waterhole surrounded by lush plant life. The canyon itself is just as spectacular with a six-kilometre walk around the rim that’s best done at sunrise or sunset. You can take a guided walk with an Aboriginal elder to learn about the area’s significance to the traditional owners or see the canyon from above with a private helicopter flight.

What’s your favourite thing to do in the Outback? Do you have any holiday plans on the cards? Let us know in the comments.

Related links:

Breathtaking images of flock of budgies

Crossing the spectacular Simpson Desert

6 best animal experiences you can have in Australia