Plan Your Trip

About Alice Springs

One of the most isolated towns in Australia, Alice Springs is also one of the friendliest. Here people tend to know each other’s names – it’s the kind of place where a trip to the supermarket can take twice as long if you’re a local because you have to stop and chat to everyone. It’s also nice and compact, which makes it easy to get around and navigate.

Framed by the mighty MacDonnell Ranges to the east and west, Alice resides against a backdrop of towering red stone and big blue skies. It is a place of arts and events, Aboriginal culture and adrenalin adventures, national parks and natural wonders. Arrive, explore and breathe in the magic.

Getting there

Drive

The Red CentreNATS are all about the amount of fun you can have on wheels, so it’s not surprising people usually drive from all over Australia to attend.

The Stuart Highway is the main road link to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

  • Uluru to Alice Springs is 450km (direct route)
  • Adelaide to Alice Springs is 1,534 km
  • Darwin to Alice Springs is 1,496 km
  • Sydney to Alice Springs is 2,772 km
  • Melbourne to Alice Springs is 2,259 km
  • Perth to Alice Springs (via Great Central Road) is 2,493 km
  • Brisbane to Alice Springs is 3,113 km

Once you’re in Alice, consider tagging on an additional adventure in the outback. The town in the heart of Australia is a good place to head off on a number of iconic road trips.

The Explorer's Way

For those travelling from Darwin or Adelaide, the Explorers Way is an iconic route that slices through the centre of Australia, north to south. Its 3,016km follow the path of the first overland telegraph constructed in the 1860s and, outside the two capital cities, it maintains a feel of those pioneer days.

There are interesting sites to stop off at along the way, tiny towns and settlements steeped in history, stunning national parks if you are travelling from the Darwin region, and world-famous wine regions if you start in Adelaide.

Convoys

Entrants from around Australia often arrange to drive in convoy. To find a convoy near you, connect with other attendees via the Red CentreNATS Entrants Private Facebook Group or Facebook page.

Fly

 Alice Springs is only a few hours’ flying time from most Australian capital cities. If you do fly in to Alice Springs, be aware that the airport is located 15 km south of the town – it’s a 10 minute drive.

Qantas and Jetstar run daily direct flights from all capital cities (except Perth). Virgin also flies from most capital cities to Alice Springs. If you don’t want to pay for a taxi, there’s a shuttle bus which meets all flights that arrive intro the Alice Springs Airport. Also, a little tip – it’s cheaper to hire a car from the town centre.

For more information on flights head to the websites of QantasJetstar and Virgin.

Accommodation and lodgings

Where to stay

Whether you are looking for a cheap and cheerful caravan park, self-catering unit, serviced apartment or luxury accommodation, book early!

Alice Springs offers a range of hotels, motels, hostels and camping spots. If you’re spoilt for choice, Tourism Central Australia can help.

The holiday of a lifetime

What to do when you're here

The Red CentreNATS rule in Alice Springs when they’re on, but there are plenty of other experiences to be had in and around the region.

Turn your RedCentreNATS trip into the holiday of a lifetime in the heart of Australia. Explore fascinating historic sites, view the incredible work of local Aboriginal artists, ride a camel, quad bike or mountain bike, soar over Uluru-Kata Tjuta in a plane, helicopter or hot air balloon, discover the local flora and fauna at a wildlife park or sanctuary, or get back to nature in our stunning national parks. There’s also plenty of places to tuck into some great food and drink – you’ll be surprised at what’s on offer.

Yellow car

Drive The Red Centre

Red Centre Way

Take a lap of Australia’s red heart along the Red Centre Way loop road from Alice Springs and explore the diverse sights of the region, including the iconic Uluru. Make a marathon out of this remarkable road trip and take the 1,135km scenic route, soaking in spectacular scenery, swimming holes and walks along the way.

The Outback Way

Journey to a part of the country where blue skies and breathtaking landscapes make driving a dream. The 2,800 km Outback Way travels through Central Australia on a four-wheel drive adventure you’ll never forget with legendary landscapes, bold colours and impressive night skies. It’s nothing like your normal road trip.

Binns Track

Explore spectacular scenery on the epic, four-wheel drive Binns Track which winds through hidden National Park and nature reserve gems in the region. From sandy dunes eight metres high to seas of rolling, grassy plains, the 2,230 km track will blow you away with its vivid colours, native wildlife and mighty rock formations.

Above and beyond

Red Centre Experiences

Coming to Red CentreNATS and looking to make the most of your time there? Get your engine (and adrenaline) revving and book a tour through our friends at Travello. These guys are the tour experts, and offer something for every budget.

Check out some of their top Red Centre picks and don't forget any RCN10 ticketholders will enjoy a sweet $50 discount off any tour booked through Travello with a minimum spend of $150!

  • 1 Hour Camel Ride Alice Springs

    Follow in the footsteps of Australian Outback settlers as you ride the ‘ships of the desert’ through some of Australia’s most spectacular landscapes. Feel the serenity of the sweeping Outback as you settle into a peaceful 1-hour camel ride on this signature Red Centre adventure.

    Alice Springs Desert Park – Day Entry

    Gain a newfound appreciation for Alice Springs’ awe-inspiring environment and all its inhabitants. The park’s habitats offer a snapshot of what visitors can expect to encounter on their journey through the NT. No two days are the same at the Alice Springs Desert Park, with the changing seasons bringing a host of new plant and animal life to explore.

    Sunset Camel Ride Alice Springs

    Join this quintessential Red Centre experience as you enjoy a 1-hour peaceful camel ride while the sun sets against the stunning backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges.

  • Simpsons Gap Tour + Sunset Painting Class

    This unique destination explodes with colour as the sun sets, making it the perfect spot to paint with watercolours! In this workshop, you will learn the basics of watercolour painting in a series of exercises designed to help you to loosen up and have fun.

    West MacDonnell Ranges (Tjoritja) Tour from Alice Springs

    Get set to uncover the wonder of the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, a treasure trove of natural beauty and history. With plenty of walking trails and waterholes to cool off from the Red Centre’s heat, this hidden gem, located west of Alice Springs, also serves as a refuge for wildlife found nowhere else – so keep your eyes peeled!

    Historical Alice Tour

    On this afternoon tour, you’ll immerse yourself in the history of Alice Springs, also known as Mparntwe (pronounced m’barn-twa) by the Arrernte people. Spend an afternoon visiting the places that played a part in the evolution of the Red Centre, including Alice Springs School of the Air, Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Alice Springs Tourist Facility and ANZAC Hill.

  • Palm Valley Outback Safari by 4WD

    Go off-road in a custom-designed 4WD vehicle and reach destinations that are otherwise difficult to access. Through the Central Australian landscape, your guide takes you down the very edge of the Finke River and into the impressive Palm Valley.

    The Best of Alice Springs Tour

    Spend a full day exploring the best sights in and around Alice Springs. From the West MacDonnell Ranges to Simpsons Gap, this is a day out the whole family can enjoy.

  • 1 Day Uluru Tour – Start + End in Alice Springs

    Fall in love with stunning Kata Tjuta and Uluru as you take in The Rock at sunset – this tour is the perfect way to see the highlights of the Red Centre in just one day.

    Hot Air Balloon Flight Alice Springs

    There are few things more mesmerising than silently floating above the Australian outback on a hot air balloon. Get the chance to experience this luxury for yourself as you take to the skies of Australia’s great Red Centre, on this 30-minute or 60-minute flight departing Alice Springs. This tour includes complimentary pickups from your Alice Springs accommodation.

Entrants

Bike Entries are now open

Entrants

Vehicle Entries are now open