A road trip along the Red Centre Way from Alice Springs to Uluru will take you on an epic adventure through the West MacDonnell Ranges, Kings Canyon and lastly to the iconic Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park.

We flew into Alice Springs and were shown around on a tour. You can also hire a campervan and do this itinerary yourself. We think 6-7 days is the perfect amount of time to see all of the main attractions in the Red Centre. After spending 6 days travelling through the Northern Territory in Australia, here is our itinerary which includes all of the best things to do from Alice Springs to Uluru that you won't want to miss.

Best time to visit Alice Springs and Uluru

The best time to visit Alice Springs and Uluru is between May and September, when the daytime temperatures are pleasant and there is little rainfall. Picking the right time of year to road trip from Alice Springs to Uluru is very important as many stops on the itinerary can be weather dependant. The weather in the Red Centre varies quite a bit, but as a general rule of thumb, you'll want to avoid travelling around summer. Between October and March the daytime temperatures can get extremely hot, making many of the hikes and walks very difficult.

 Alice Springs To Uluru Road Trip Itinerary - Best Things To Do

Day 1 - West MacDonnell Ranges

After flying into Alice Springs there are a few things worth checking out in the area. Experiencing sunrise from a hot air balloon as you float above the outback is one of the best ways to start your trip in the Northern Territory. Outback Ballooning is one of the only companies that operates in the outback and we had such an amazing time with them. As you're floating above the vast outback landscape, you'll be able to watch the morning sun light up the MacDonnell Ranges in the distance. They offer two different packages. A 30 minute flight or a 60 minute flight. We would recommend the 60 minute flight if you get the chance as the short flights can sometimes come to an end just as you get up in the sky. 

Next you'll want to hit the road and head into the West MacDonnell Ranges. There are so many incredible gorges and water holes to check out that you probably won't have enough time to visit them all. Our favourites from this trip were Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm. 

Simpsons Gap is the first stop as you enter the West MacDonnell Ranges and it's spectacular. We've visited 3 times on different occasions and it looks different every time. Depending on the recent weather and rainfall, the gorge will be full of water with small sand banks that act as islands. Perfect for taking photos amongst the red cliffs.

Standley Chasm Alice Springs to Uluru

Standley Chasm is a stunning gorge that is 80 metres high with a narrow passage way you can walk between. During the midday sun, the deep red and orange colours become more visible, making the chasm walls glow. 

Some other stops worth checking out in the West MacDonnell Ranges are Ellery Creek Big Hole and Ormiston Gorge. Both are perfect for swimming in the warmer months.

Day 2 - Alice Springs to Kings Canyon Glamping Resort

Kings Canyon Glamping best things to do from Alice Springs to Uluru

If you have a 4WD, continue along the Mereenie Loop to Kings Canyon. Otherwise, you'll have to head back to Alice Springs and through to Kings Canyon on the sealed roads.

After making your way to Kings Canyon, you'll be able to relax after a long travel day at Kings Canyon Resort. They have stunning glamping tents and other options available with beautiful views of the mountain ranges in the distance. 

Light towers Alice Springs to Uluru itinerary

We also spent the evening watching an insane sunset at the Light-Towers experience. The beautiful light installation paired with the magical sunset colours was a moment we'll never forget. Drinks and canapes are also included, making it the perfect way to unwind and soak up the beauty of the outback.

Day 3 - Sunrise Hike Up Kings Canyon

Alice Springs to Uluru itinerary Kings Canyon

Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before as day 3 involves an early start to watch the sunrise at the top of Kings Canyon. This is definitely worth the effort as we've never witnessed a view quite like this one. We watched in awe as the sun slowly lit up the canyon range and dome formations. It feels like you're on another planet. 

Alice Springs to Uluru best things to do Kings Canyon

We took on the Rim Walk which is roughly a 3 hour hike through the red sandstone walls. The walk starts off steep as you make your way up to the rim. This is the best place to watch sunrise in our opinion. You'll then continue through the unique dome formations and down into the Garden of Eden, which is filled with palm trees and a stunning water hole. Kings Canyon is easily one of the best things to do on your road trip from Alice Springs to Uluru so be sure not to miss it!

Day 4 - Kings Canyon To Uluru

Uluru Mala walk best things to do

After a 4 hour journey leaving Kings Canyon, we headed towards Uluru and stayed at the Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort. When visiting Uluru, we highly recommend watching every sunrise and sunset you can! Sunset is our favourite, and there are so many incredible places to view Uluru at this time. This is when the rock will glow a deep red colour before slowly disappearing into the soft pastel skies and starry night. 

Wintjiri Wiru best things to do Uluru

On our first night, we decided to check out Wintjiri Wiru. A new way to experience Uluru that features a beautiful drone show, telling the ancient Mala story of the Anangu people.

The evening starts off with delicious cocktails which you can enjoy while watching the sunset over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Then, as night falls, the drones and projections light up the desert sky. A gourmet dinner hamper with native ingredients is also included. The food in the hamper was incredible! Everything was so delicious and the flavours were so unique. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip and a great way to start off your time in Uluru.

Day 5 - Uluru & Kata Tjuta

Alice Springs to Uluru field of lights

The fifth day is another early start to check out the magical Field of Light sunrise experience. It's completely dark when you arrive and all you'll be able to see are the 50,000 globes of light that you can admire. As the light hits the horizon, make your way up to the viewing area. Here, you'll be able to watch the sunrise over Uluru and the surrounding desert landscape come to life.

Uluru Mutitjulu waterhole base walk best things to do

The rest of the day involves getting up close to Uluru. The Uluru Base Walk is roughly a 10km track around the whole area of the rock. However, there are so many sections of the Uluru Base Walk that you can drive to and enjoy at your own pace. We decided to do the short Mala Walk as well as the short Kuniya walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole. Both walks were really easy and are on flat dirt paths.

Seeing Uluru from the base really puts into perspective how massive the rock is. You'll be blown away by the beauty and serenity of the various walks around Uluru. 

Alice Springs to Uluru best things to do itinerary

Next we headed to Walpa Gorge at Kata Tjuta to do the walk through the domes. It's a 2.6km return track that can be a bit rocky at times but pretty easy to follow. We definitely recommend walking to the end where there's a beautiful rock pool amongst some greenery. Such a stunning contrast against the dark orange walls. One thing to keep in mind when sharing photos or videos of Kata Tjuta is to always show 3 domes and to keep both sides of the gorge in frame at Walpa Gorge.

Alice Springs to Uluru itinerary Kata Tjuta Sunset

We finished off our last evening of the trip at the Kata Tjuta Sunset Viewing Area and wow did we save the best for last! We were in awe the whole time as we watched Kata Tjuta catch the sun, glowing an insane red colour. It was almost like a massive molten rock for 5 minutes, before turning a soft purple colour as the sun dipped below the horizon. 

Depending on how much time you have on your Alice Springs to Uluru itinerary, you can split day 5 up over two days.

Day 6 - Uluru To Alice Springs 

Uluru sunrise viewpoint best things to do

Finish off your road trip from Alice Springs to Uluru with one last early morning to catch the sunrise at Talinguru Nyakunytjaku (Uluru Sunrise Viewing Area). After taking in the magic view of Uluru one last time, it's time to make your way back to Alice Springs. It is also worthwhile checking what flights are available from Uluru Airport as it will save you a trip back to Alice Springs. 

Uluru has always been one of our all time favourite places in Australia and is definitely one of the best things to do in the Northern Territory. There is something so magical about the place that words cannot describe, it's a feeling that you'll have to experience for yourself! 

Where to stay in Alice Springs and Uluru

Looking for the best places to stay in Alice Springs and Uluru? Options are definitely limited in the Red Centre but if you're interested in where we stayed during the trip, we have linked the hotels and resorts so you can easily book your own accommodation.

Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters - A well maintained resort style accommodation that is the perfect place to base yourself in Alice Springs as you explore the region and it's also walking distance to plenty of restaurants.

Kings Canyon Resort Glamping - One of the most beautiful glamping tents with stunning views of the outback landscape and canyon in the distance.

Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort - A beautiful hotel that is the perfect place to stay while checking out Uluru. Their restaurant is also incredible, offering delicious food and drinks.

Want to find more inspiration for Australia travel destinations?

We have plenty of other blogs on the best travel destinations in Australia or check out our instagram @lolahubner for daily Australia travel content. 

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alice springs to uluru itinerary
May 29, 2024 — Lola Hubner

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