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Driving in the Red Center: Alice Springs to Ayers Rock, passing through Kings Canyon

The Red Center, the red heart of Australia, is a land of dreams and adventures. Driving through this fantastic red earth desert, marked by wide canyons, vast mountains and amazing vegetation is one of the highlights of a trip to Australia.

Here are all the possibilities to drive from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock (Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park), passing through Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park) and thus discover these magnetic and iconic destinations that attract tourists from all over the world.

1. Stuart Highway + Lasseter’s Highway.

It is the only road completely asphalted and therefore suitable for any type of car. It is about 460 km long and takes about 5 hours by car. It has two food and beverage outlets: Erldunda Roadhouse and Stuart’s Well.

2. Meereenie Walk.

It has a length of 320 km (of which 190 are unpaved). To travel it it is advisable to have a 4WD car as, although it is driven periodically, the rains can quickly change the conditions. Those wishing to cross it must have a permit which can be purchased in Alice Springs, at the Glen Helen Resort, in Hermannsburg or at the Kings Canyon Resort.

3. Stuart Highway + Ernest Giles Road

Ernest Giles Road is an unpaved and unpaved track. To travel it it is mandatory to have a 4WD vehicle. Given its often disastrous conditions, we only recommend it to travelers with experience in driving dirt tracks.

Choose the road based on the type of car you have rented, the insurance conditions (very often the insurance does not cover damage and accidents occurring off paved roads unless you have a 4X4) and your experience as a driver . Remember that driving in the outback in the hours between sunset and sunrise can be very dangerous. Clashes with wild animals are very frequent and, given the isolation of the roads, it can take many hours before being able to receive help. Bring ample supplies of water with you and check the full functionality of the spare wheel

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