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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Great Journeys: Australia: The Red Centre

Traversing the country from north to south, this journey takes in the amazing sights of the central Australian outback.

Map of the Red Centre, Australia

Click on the links below to find out more about individual destinations.

Journey Summary

The Red Centre is like nowhere else on earth, but we start our journey in a very different area, the Top End. From Darwin we head off to luscious Litchfield, from where we can strike northeast to Kakadu, one of Australia's most famous National Parks. After exploring the many facets of Kakadu it's time to head south to Nitmiluk, home to the wondrous Katherine Gorge, and the start of the long journey south through the heart of the country. Elsey is a welcome and beautiful stop, as are the lonely pub at Daly Waters, the bizarre Devil's Marbles, and the town in the middle of nowhere, Alice Springs. It's an easy drive to the stunning Eastern and Western Macdonnell Ranges, before we tackle the world-famous sights of Watarrka (King's Canyon) and Uluru-Kata Tjuta (Ayers Rock). We don't want to rush things (unlike most other tourists, it seems), but life is finite, so before long it's back onto the highway and to Coober Pedy, where opals are mined in the harsh outback. The Flinders Ranges are a great place for our journey's final bush experience, before we drive down to Adelaide, and our journey's end.

Suggested Itinerary

The following is only a suggested itinerary, and is based round a journey by car, with overnight stops at camping grounds. All roads are suitable for normal two-wheel-drive cars. Important Note: Before setting off on any journey into the outback, it's important to ensure that the car is in good condition, and that you have a week's worth of water and food, in case of breakdown in the outback. It's also worth making sure that you have breakdown cover from a reliable national breakdown company, like the AAA or the RAC. Hopefully you won't find out why it's such a good idea...

Day Suggested Itinerary
1 Fly to Darwin
2-3 Two days in Darwin
4 Darwin to Litchfield
5-7 Three days in Litchfield
8 Litchfield to Kakadu
9-13 Five days in Kakadu
14 Kakadu to Nitmiluk
15-17 Three days in Nitmiluk
18 Nitmiluk to Elsey
19 One day in Elsey
20 Elsey to Devil's Marbles
21 Devil's Marbles to Alice Springs
22 One day in Alice Springs
23 Alice Springs to Macdonnell Ranges (Western)
24 One day in Macdonnell Ranges (Western)
25 Macdonnell Ranges (Western) to Macdonnell Ranges (Eastern)
26-28 Three days in Macdonnell Ranges (Eastern)
29 Macdonnell Ranges (Eastern) to Watarrka (via Henbury Meteorite Craters)
30 One day in Watarrka
31 Watarrka to Uluru-Kata Tjuta
32-34 Three days in Uluru-Kata Tjuta
35 Uluru-Kata Tjuta to Coober Pedy
36 Coober Pedy to the Flinders Ranges
37-38 Two days in the Flinders Ranges
39 Flinders Ranges to Adelaide
40-41 Two days in Adelaide
42 Fly from Adelaide