Central Australia Road Trip With Kids
Did you know there are plenty of camping options in Central Australia ? This means you can visit all of those iconic landmarks you’ve only ever seen in pictures, without having to remortgage the house!
Embarking on a Central Australia road trip with kids to see Australia’s much loved icons is a must do experience.
I am the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of camping. I much prefer hotels! Unfortunately, my purse is not as large as my bucket list.
Plus I think that camping is a fantastic and fun experience for kids. Don’t you ?
Getting to Alice Springs is fairly straight forward. Any map will show you that there is really only a few ways in.
Below is the route that we took from Alice Springs to Uluru. It lists all of the wonderful places we stopped and visited along the way. You technically should use a 4WD if you follow this route.
If you would like to see a complete guide, check out Travel Outback Australia’s page on the Red Centre Way. I found this website particularly useful before we left. They have quite a few cheaper camping alternatives listed. Make sure you print out any information you need from this page as there is very limited internet out this way.
THE ROUTE WE TOOK FROM ALICE SPRINGS TO ULURU
START at ALICE SPRINGS:
We stayed at the Big4 Macdonnell Range Holiday Park. I don’t usually like to stay at Big4’s as they are expensive compared to other camping options, which defeats the purpose of camping. However, you really do get your money’s worth here!
It had a much needed commercial sized washing machine, pools, playgrounds, games room, and jumping pillows. The showers were always hot and the toilets were always clean.
If you have some time to spare in Alice Springs, check out the Alice Springs Desert Park. It was a real surprise gem! Alice Springs itself is an interesting town, and as that food is pretty expensive when you get to Yulara, it is worth stocking up now.
When you are ready to leave alice springs for your big adventure, head out of town West on Namatjira drive.
This road has so many awesome things on it! Below are the places that we stopped and visited. Whilst we would have loved to have explored every off-road, time is rarely on our side when it comes to holidays.
STANDLEY CHASM: Check out more information on my blog post, Standley Chasm with Kids (Central Australia)
ELLERY CREEK BIG HOLE: Check out more information on my blog post, Ellery Creek Big Hole with Kids (Central Australia)
ORMISTON GORGE: Check out more information on my blog post, Ormiston Gorge with Kids (Central Australia)
GLEN HELEN RESORT: We camped here overnight to a spectacular sunset. You can get fuel and your permit for the upcoming Mereenie Loop Road here.
REDBANK GORGE: Check out more information on my blog post, Redbank Gorge with Kids (Central Australia)
TYLERS PASS: This part of the road winds around a sharp bend, however it is very pretty with some photo opportunities along the way.
TNORALA (GOSSE BLUFF): Check out more information on my blog post, Gosse Bluff with kids (Tnorala) in Central Australia
MEREENIE LOOP ROAD:
A permit is required for this road which you can get at Glen Helen Resort. Don’t worry, it’s only a few dollars. We thoroughly enjoyed this route and took it all the way to Watarrka National Park to see the spectacular Kings Canyon.
KINGS CANYON RESORT:
We camped at Kings Canyon Resort. It has hot showers, clean toilets, washing machines and camp kitchens. The best thing about the Kings Canyon Resort Camping area, is the sunset viewing area.
Visiting Kings Canyon and doing the Rim Walk was one of the highlights of our trip to Central Australia. Check out my blog post on doing the Rim Walk with kids: Kings Canyon Rim Walk with kids (Central Australia)
When it was time to leave Kings Canyon Resort, we headed along Luritja Road until we hit the Lasseter Highway
We then headed West along Lasseter Highway until we hit Yulara, stopping at Curtin Springs along the way to stretch our legs. The next three days were spent exploring Uluru and Kata Tjuta, and we also paid a visit to Yulara and the Field of Light Art Exhibition.
Check out more information on my blog post: Uluru with Kids (Central Australia)
Check out more information on my blog post: Kata Tjuta with Kids (The Olgas) in Central Australia
FIELD OF LIGHT ART EXHIBITION:
Despite reading some reviews that this is a waste of time, this exhibition is far from it! I thoroughly enjoyed walking around these beautiful lights.
We camped at the Ayers Rock Resort Campgrounds to base ourselves in this area. We didn’t book in advance and as a result, had to camp in the overflow area. This means camping is a big red dust bowl instead of on the nice green grass.
It turned out to be a blessing because the kids loved playing cars in the red sand. Plus, they only charged us $20 per night and we still had access to all of the facilities, even if we did have to walk further to reach them.
After three nights camping at Yulara, we headed home via the Lasseter and Stuart Highways back to Alice Springs. If we had more time, we would have gone back the way we came taking a slightly different route to explore more of the area.
HOW TO GET THERE
We chose to drive to Central Australia on an epic road trip from the east coast of Australia. Alice Springs is a long drive from anywhere in Australia and you will need to do some research before you attempt it. It can be done in a standard 2WD vehicle but if you want to get off the highway and drive on some of the awesome outback roads, you will need a 4WD.
You can fly into either Alice Springs or Yulara from capital cities in Australia, and either hire a vehicle or book a tour from there. We stayed at Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara near Uluru, and at the Big4 in Alice Springs.
Tours can be booked here:
Looking for Inspiration for Your Next Getaway?
For more blog posts, photographs and information on my travels through Central Australia with kids, check out this page: Central Australia with Kids
For more information on ALL of my travels, please check out this page: My travel destinations
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