The ‘Red Centre’ is the name given to the southern desert region of the Northern Territory in Australia, and this evocative plain in which the red dust is all around and ancestral spirits watch over Uluru holds high significance for the Aboriginal people.
Some of Australia’s most famous monuments are to be found here, too. One of the most iconic is Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock. Uluru is found at the centre of the outback and the heart of the Red Centre. What gives the area its name is the oxidised iron in the soils, the source of the region’s distinctive red glow. When set against the dazzling blue of the sky Down Under, the area provides some of the most spectacular sunsets and sunrises in the world; a spectrum of shades of pinks, purples and reds.
Aboriginal guides will take you on tours of the area, sharing their ancient tales as you travel around the base of the rock, which ancient myth states was formed by ancestral spirits and placed centrally to act as the heart of the area. Among the other cultural landmarks you can also explore in the Red Centre are the MacDonnell Ranges, Watarrka National Park and the main Aboriginal Village and township of Alice Springs, though it is worth bearing in mind that outdoor activities can be limited in the summer due to the outback heat.
Other tours around the area include the ‘Kangaroo Dreaming’ safaris, which take visitors on a five-day 4WD trip to see these intriguing native animals bouncing around the red centre. You can also participate in fishing trips the natural Aboriginal way or enjoy art classes which will help you build an understanding of the meaning of aboriginal art. These experiences will give you a unique, deep insight into Aboriginal beliefs in a way you won’t find anywhere else, and help you understand how the plants, animals and earth hold a significant meaning in their culture.
The Aboriginal people have fought for their land rights over the years and they now hold title to about 50 percent of the province’s area. More and more visitors are visiting the Red Centre as interest in the Aboriginal culture, beliefs and way of life is rising, so now is the perfect time to visit if you’re keen to learn more about the oldest surviving culture in the world. The Red Centre attracted over half a million visitors last year alone, and it is well worth joining them!