Alice Springs’ desert climate encourages an outdoor lifestyle, and what better way to embark on your outback adventure than by camping? There are lots of quality campgrounds around this town that allow you to get out into its awe-inspiring landscapes – red earth and blue skies. Grab an Alice Springs Airport car rental from Hertz Alice Springsand pitch a tent.
The MacDonnell Ranges are incredibly accessible from Alice Springs, just an hour out of the town; most of the road to the West MacDonnell National Park is sealed. Once you get there you will be awed by the scenery – gorges, water holes, towering cliffs, flora and fauna. There are lots of hiking and walking tracks and spots to swim at, such as the picturesqueEllery Creek Big Hole. At Glen Helen there is a lodge, but beyond this if you carry on toRedbank Gorge you will have the choice of two camping spots – the Woodland and theRidgetop campgrounds. The local campgrounds offer powered and unpowered sites. Both have picnic areas, toilets and fire pits. Woodland campground also has free gas BBQ facilities. The access road is unsealed; spaces are limited and fees apply for campers.
The lesser known East MacDonnell ranges are just as stunning as their more famous western cousins. These are the gateway to central Australia’s gem fields. Wind back and spend the night at The Gemtree Caravan and Tourist Park, which offers clean and modern facilities in the bush setting. There are powered and unpowered camp sites plus onsite cabins. Amenities include bicycle hire, laundry, internet and phone access and a shop. Bring your own wood and build a camp fire in the fire pits provided, to go with your tent or caravan. Another new offering is the weekend camp oven dinner, served up with some light entertainment.
An hour and a half west of Alice Springs, Finke Gorge National Park includes Palm Valley, which in turn houses a variety of plants – not least of which is the famous red cabbage palm it’s named for. There’s a shady campground here along Palm Creek, with toilets, hot showers, picnic areas and gas BBQs. You will need a 4WD to get here. Occasionally theFinke River floods but otherwise the park is accessible year round. Camping fees apply.