Get off the beaten track and explore the wilderness of Alice Springs in a 4WD. Ease your way into the journey starting with a trip to Erldunda Roadhouse, which can also be accessed by 2WD. Grab a bite to eat at the roadhouse and make the most of the emu farm and kangaroo enclosure; a quintessentially Australian experience. The roadhouse is about two hours south of Alice Springs and on the journey you’ll pass by Rainbow Valley conservation centre. If you decide to turn off, it’s officially time to change your wheels to a 4WD. The optimum time for a visit is at sunrise or sunset to watch the sandstone bluffs light up, as the sky fills with colour. The sandstones ochre red takes on the light of the sky and reflects shades of orange and purple. Here you’ll also find Mushroom Rock which has been carved out by the elements over millions of years. Take the Claypan walk during wildflower season to see the detail and colours of the delicate flowers below you come to life.

Image Source: Tourism NT/Tauri Minogue

Next up is Redbank Gorge and we’re stepping it up a notch with an unsealed road, so high clearance vehicles are best. Two hours from Alice Springs take an adventure through West MacDonnell National Park and reach the beautiful water hole of Redbank Gorge, perfect for a hot day. Take a detour on your way and stop off in Palm Valley, only accessible by 4WD. The dramatic landscape here has been likened to Jurassic Park so why not stay a bit longer and camp for a night or two and embrace this spectacular landscape.

The next stop is Tnorala (Gosse Bluff), set between Palm Valley and Redbank Gorge. Tnorala is a place of particular significance to the traditional owners of the land as almost 142.5 million years ago a comet impacted the site. This impressive space is about 5 kilometres in diameter and is even more dramatic from above.

Whether you choose to go alone or take one of the many tours departing from Alice Springs, make sure you check out these 4WD highlights during your stay.