Water in Central Australia | Waterways in Alice | Weather | Wildflowers of Central Australia

Central Australia encompasses a breadth of lands that is immense in size and ancient in origins. Occupying about one sixth of Australia’s total land mass, it’s boundaries hold not only some of Australia’s unique and significant icons, but is home to a variety of contrasting landscapes, providing a unique experiences for visitors to the region.

Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges
Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges, Central Australia

When travelling through Central Australia, you pass through land that is traditionally associated with different Aboriginal language groups. As the original custodians of Central Australia, they have a unique relationship with the land, that is communicated through their art and Dreamtime stories, weaving a connection between spirit and country.

Centered on the Alice Springs and MacDonnell tourism regions, the vast Central Australia region describes an area that stretches north to encompass both the Barkly region, across the border into Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Sometimes referred to as the ‘heart of Australia‘, this immense semi-arid region is full of life and has many attractions. With it’s rich Aboriginal culture and the more modern European history, the region encapsulates the true Australian outback spirit.

Whilst here, take the time to visit many of the significant areas including Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Kings Canyon, East MacDonnell Ranges and West MacDonnell Ranges, Simpson Desert Region, Tennant Creek and Barkly Region and Alice Springs.

For a look at some approximate kilometres between destinations, check our Alice Springs Distance. Those planning to attempt any of the walking tracks, especially the extended and overnight walks are strongly advised to register with the Walker Registration Scheme.

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Redbank Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT
Redbank Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT.

Wildlife in Central Australia

Central Australia is home to a diverse range of creatures, from unique and plentiful insects, bird species, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and more.

Whilst being an arid region, Central Australia does provide a number of different habitats including gorges and waterholes, and plant zones. For many visitors, one of the least expected creatures to see in a dry arid zone, are frogs, yet several species of frogs call this region of Central Australia, home.

Centralian Tree Frog (Litoria gilleni) at Simpsons Gap, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT.
Centralian Tree Frog (Litoria gilleni) at Simpsons Gap, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT.

Often the best time to see them is after any significant rain, when they emerge from their hideaway or hibernation to feed and if the conditions are right to mate and spawn.

Some of the named species include the tiny Desert Tree Frog, that gets their name from being found at the base of some of the trees along the river edge, such as the River Red Gum; the Spencer’s Burrowing Frog that spend their lives burrowed in the ground, waiting for the next rains; Main’s Frog, known as the Sheep Frog because the call of the breeding male frogs sound like the bleating of sheep; Desert Trilling Frog, another species of Australian burrowing frogs; Centralian Green Frog, sometimes known as the Green Tree Frog and is the largest of the Central Australian frogs.

Centralian Tree Frog (Litoria gilleni) at Simpsons Gap, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT.
Centralian Tree Frog (Litoria gilleni) at Simpsons Gap, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT.

The Centralian Green Frog are found living in the cracks of the rocky crevasses usually around water. These frogs are mainly nocturnal, emerging out of the tightest of rock cracks.

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Northern TerritoryCentral Australia Aileron Alice Springs Binns Track Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve Ernest Giles Road Finke Gorge National Park Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve Hermannsburg Historic Precinct Ilparpa Claypans Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve MacDonnell Ranges Owen Springs Reserve Red Centre Way Drive Standley Chasm Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Watarrka National Park & Kings Canyon Wurre / Rainbow Valley