A Northern Territory road trip is an adventure that all Aussies should have on their bucket list. This slice of paradise in the Outback has so much to offer, from one-of-a-kind geological marvels to incomparable tours and experiences. Whether you're exploring the iconic landscapes of Uluru-Kata Tjut̲a National Park, marvelling at the modern retelling of the Mala Story at Wintjiri Wir̲u, or immersing yourself in the history of An̲angu culture on a guided tour, the Northern Territory promises a journey filled with unforgettable memories. The Red Centre is one of the main gateways to the very best that the Northern Territory has to offer, so we’re sharing the ten best places & activities in to add to your itinerary. Pack your bags and get ready to discover the heart and soul of Australia's rugged Outback.

Uluru Sunrise & Kata Tjuta
Northern Territory Australia trees landscape shot

1. Uluru

No Northern Territory holiday is complete without a visit to Uluru. This iconic natural wonder is renowned for its beauty and deep-rooted connection with local An̲angu culture. There is so much to see and do in Uluru, so plan to stay a few days to really immerse yourself in the Spiritual Heart of Australia. Ayers Rock Resort offers free Indigenous activities that allow guests to learn about the An̲angu way of life. Sit in on a Didgeridoo Workshop, learn all about local bush tucker at the Bush Food Experience, or listen to local legends and lore at Bush Yarns.

2. Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjut̲a’s domes form the second major landmark in Uluru-Kata Tjut̲a National Park. Made up of 36 rock dome formations, its name translates to ‘many heads’. These awe-inspiring formations have been shaped by natural forces over more than 500 million years and delve six kilometres into the earth, revealing an incredible geological story through their weathered surfaces.

Exploring Kata Tjut̲a offers a chance to encounter an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, particularly if you embark on the 7.4-kilometre Valley of the Winds circuit. This exhilarating hike winds through Kata Tjut̲a’s dramatic red domes, which glow brilliantly at sunrise, making the journey as captivating as the destination itself.

3. Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre

A visit to the Cultural Centre in Uluru-Kata Tjut̲a National Park should top the to-do lists of those eager to delve into An̲angu culture and the park’s history. Here, you can immerse yourself in the rich heritage and traditions of the An̲angu people through engaging exhibits and free presentations led by An̲angu elders and park rangers. The centre also features informative displays, a visitor information desk, Aboriginal art galleries, and community-owned shops and facilities, providing a comprehensive insight into the region’s cultural and ecological significance. To fully appreciate the experience, set aside at least two hours to explore the Cultural Centre and its many offerings.

4. Field of Light

The Field of Light is an immersive art installation that offers a magical experience for your Northern Territory itinerary. Covering an area larger than seven football fields, it transforms the Red Centre desert into a sea of light with 50,000 glowing spindles. Each of these stems emits a rhythmic pulse in hues of ochre, deep violet, blue, and soft white, blending to create a surreal, dream-like landscape. Walking through this enchanting garden, you'll find yourself captivated by the blend of art and nature, making it easy to lose track of time in the desert.

5. Wintjiri Wiru

One can’t-miss experience on your Northern Territory adventure is Wintjiri Wir̲u, a captivating cultural storytelling event that illuminates the night sky above Uluru. This award-winning experience uses an extraordinary blend of choreographed drones, lasers, and projections to recount a sacred ancestral Indigenous story. Created in collaboration with senior An̲angu from Kal̲t̲ukatjara to Mut̲itjulu, the Traditional Custodians of the land, Wintjiri Wir̲u is the world’s largest ongoing drone display. As you travel through the Northern Territory, witnessing this unique show is an opportunity to delve into the cultural tapestry of the region while being awed at the seamless integration of ancient narratives with cutting-edge technology against the stunning backdrop of Uluru.

Kings Canyon Asutralia sunrise
Mount Connor Asutralia in the distance

6. Kings Canyon

Nestled within Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon boasts majestic sandstone walls that rise over 70 metres into the sky. For those seeking a leisurely adventure, the 2.6-kilometer Kings Creek Walk offers a serene journey along the canyon floor, strewn with boulders and shaded by native vegetation. As you meander through this breathtaking landscape, you might encounter some of the 600+ species of native plants and animals that inhabit this remarkable ecosystem, adding an extra layer of adventure to your Northern Territory exploration.

Don’t forget to add Light-Towers by Bruce Munro to your itinerary. Celebrated worldwide for his iconic Field of Light at Uluru, Munro now transforms the rugged landscape of Kings Canyon with a spectacular display that merges art with nature.

7. Mount Conner

At first glance, Mount Conner (also known as Atilla and Artilla) might be mistaken for Uluru, with its flat-topped sandstone profile resembling its more famous neighbour. Due to its resemblance to Uluru, Mount Conner is often affectionately dubbed ‘Fooluru’ by those who spot it from afar. However, a closer look reveals its own distinctive charms, including a horseshoe shape that sets it apart. Located on the sprawling 416,000-hectare Curtin Springs Station, this impressive inselberg is on private land and not generally open to the public. To explore it up close, you’ll need to book a tour, where local experts will guide you through the region’s history and awe-inspiring natural landscape. This tour not only brings you to Mount Conner but also to an ancient inland salt lake and habitats teeming with red kangaroos, rock wallabies, and a variety of birds and reptiles native to the Red Centre.

Kata Tjuta from Helicopter
Man riding in a helicopter with his legs hanging out the side

8. Sunrise Journeys

Begin your day immersed in the spirit of the Australian outback with Sunrise Journeys, an extraordinary encounter with the timeless beauty of Uluru-Kata Tjut̲a at dawn. This exclusive experience celebrates the profound connection between the land and three acclaimed Anangu women artists, whose custom artwork vividly illustrates their cultural heritage and bond with Country.

Before the golden hues of sunrise reveal the iconic silhouettes of Uluru-Kata Tjut̲a, watch as their captivating creation comes to life across the sprawling desert. Using the arid landscape as a grand canvas, the artwork unfolds, animated by state-of-the-art laser and light projection technology. Indigenous motifs, reminiscent of traditional dot paintings, ebb and flow gracefully, transforming the dark terrain into a mesmerising display.

Afterwards, savour a hearty breakfast infused with native flavours, perfectly complemented by a cup of Australian chai tea. This unique blend of art, culture, and nature offers an unforgettable way to connect with the spirit of the land.

9. Sunset Helicopter Tour

Take off on a thrilling helicopter tour for an unforgettable aerial view of Australia's most iconic landmarks. As you soar at the closest regulated distance to Uluru and Kata Tjut̲a, you'll witness their stunning, ever-changing colours at sunset, capturing postcard-perfect photos from a vantage point few get to experience. Only from the sky can you truly grasp the size and grandeur of these Outback icons. This tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours and offers an unbeatable perspective that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

10. Gallery of Central Australia

A visit to the Gallery of Central Australia (GoCA) is a must for those travelling in the Northern Territory and interested in authentic Indigenous art and culture. Located adjacent to the Desert Gardens Hotel at Ayers Rock Resort, GoCA offers a rare opportunity to view and purchase genuine artworks created by talented artists from the Central Desert region. Admission is free, allowing guests to explore the gallery at their leisure, learn about the cultural significance behind each piece, and even observe artists at work. Purchasing art from GoCA directly supports these dedicated artists and their families, enriching both the visitor experience and the local community.

Start Planning your Northern Territory Trip

There is so much to see and do in the Northern Territory, from bucket-list natural landmarks to immersive cultural experiences. Start planning your trip to the Spiritual Heart of Australia today.