The Red Centre of Australia is truly like stepping into another world, or at least another country! The way this country diversifies with every few kilometres is incredible. And what better way to explore than by foot?
If you’re a fan of hiking like myself, then there’ll be plenty to keep you busy while exploring the Northern Territory’s Red Centre. Here’s a list of all of the best walks/hikes to do while visiting the area!
Please keep in mind the time of year and weather/temperature when you visit. It’s highly recommended to complete all walks/hikes before 11am – this way you can avoid the peak high temperatures and glaring sunlight. As well around midday the walks have very little coverage from the sun.
Uluru Base Walk, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
- 10kms | 3.5hours (it took me 2.5hrs at a casual pace)
The most monumental of the Red Centre, being able to say to yourself that you’ve walked around the entire base of Uluru is incredibly gratifying – what a worldly accomplishment! The walk is very easy as the trail is entirely flat – it also has very little shade besides the occasional tree coverage.
Uluru’s Kuniya Walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole is also worth doing all in one go. This trail heads off of the main walk for a short 10-15minutes until you reach the waterhole. On the way back you can even wander by the Aboriginal Cave paintings located nearby.
Valley of the Winds Hike, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
- 7.2kms | 4hours (I took me 2.5hrs)
If you’re wanting to go for a walk while in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Valley of the Winds Walk is definitely the best in the park. The Base walk is the most monumental, but the Winds Walk is much more fun and challenging. It takes about 30minutes to reach Karu Lookout, and after a short rocky staircase down you’ll find the first rest stop. From here it’s mostly uphill, climbs and stairs until you reach Karingana Lookout. This viewpoint looks down through the towering orange cliffs and into the lush valley below. Then it’s all downhill and flat until you reach the stairs back to Karu Lookout and the carpark.
If you want to hear a bit more about this hike, you can find some more info here: Hiking in the Red Centre: Kata Tjuta’s Valley of the Winds Walk
King’s Canyon Rim Walk, King’s Canyon
- 6kms | 3.5hours (It took me under 2hours at a fast pace)
Kings Canyon has basically become a destination because of its famous hike – the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. This walk takes you up onto the rim of the canyon, where you can walk around the red rock cliffs, the weathered domes, and the Garden of Eden.
The walk begins with a big climb of 1000 stairs, but after that almost the entire walk is relatively flat. There are many trail markers to keep you from getting lost, so follow the arrows. Once you reach the Garden of Eden there are a few more staircases – but this is the halfway mark. So after this, it’s all flat and then downhill back to the carpark.
Walpa Gorge, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
- 2.6kms | 1hour (30mins there, 30mins back)
The Walpa Gorge trail is a nice and easy walk offering incredible views from inside the gorge. You’ll feel so so small standing beneath the towering red cliff walls. It says on the trail signs that the walk is quite difficult and steep but other than a few hills there was nothing challenging.
Standley Chasm, West MacDonnell Ranges
I’m not sure if this entirely counts as a walk as the trail is so short, but the entry way towards the chasm takes you down a small bush trail. This spot is the only place you’ll find along the West MacDonnell Ranges where you’ll need to pay an entry fee ($12 adult) – but it’s totally worth it. As the chasm is located on Indigenous land the entry fee goes towards maintaining the site.