Central Australia, also known as the Alice Springs Region, is one of the five regions in the Northern Territory that centres on Alice Springs. Sometimes referred to as Centralia, the region is located in the southern part of the Northern Territory spanning from the west on Western Australia Border and to the east on the Queensland border.


Rich in aboriginal culture and home to Australia’s most iconic natural landmark, Uluru, the Central Australia region is a must see destination for anyone wanting to experience true outback culture. Our Central Australia travel guide helps you discover some of the best things to see and do while there.

Famous Central Australians

Albert Namatjira

Albert Namatjira (28 July 1902 – 8 August 1959), born Elea Namatjira, was an Australian artist. He was a Western Arrernte man, an Indigenous Australian of the Western MacDonnell Ranges area. Albert Namatjira is perhaps Australia's best known Aboriginal painter, with his work forming one of the foundations of contemporary Indigenous Australian art. He is best known for his watercolour Australian outback desert landscapes, a style which inspired the Hermannsburg School of Aboriginal art. While his work is the product of his life and experiences, his paintings are not in the highly symbolic style of traditional Aboriginal art; they are richly detailed depictions.


To see where Albert Namatjira lived and painted visit Hermannsburg Cultural Precinct.

Ernest Giles

Giles was an Australian explorer who led three major expeditions in Central Australia. Giles didn't attempt a regular exploring expedition until 1872, when with two other men he left Chambers Pillar, South Australia (now in the Northern Territory), around the middle of August and traversed much previously untrodden country to the north-west and west. Finding their way barred by Lake Amadeus and that their horses were getting very weak, a return was made to the Finke River and thence to Charlotte Waters and Adelaide, where Giles arrived in January 1873.


During his second expedition, Giles was the first European to see the rock formations of The Olgas, now known by their Aboriginal name of Kata Tjuta, and Lake Amadeus. Giles supposedly discovered Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), but was beaten to the claim by a competing explorer, William Gosse. Giles had two more expeditions through Central and Western Australia, which were both successful.


Harold Lasseter

Lewis Hubert Lasseter, or Lewis Harold Bell Lasseter as he later referred to himself, was born on 27 September 1880 at Bamganie, Victoria. Though self-educated, he was literate and well-spoken, but commonly described as eccentric and opinionated. He travelled in both Australia and the United States and worked at a variety of occupations, marrying twice and fathering five children.


Lasseter was made famous by his sensational claim, first asserted in 1929, that, as a young man, he had discovered a fabulously rich gold reef, an entity now known as "Lasseter's Reef", in Central Australia. He perished in the desert near the Western Australia–Northern Territory border in early 1931 after he separated himself from an expedition that was mounted in an effort to rediscover the supposed reef. His body was found and buried in March 1931 by Bob Buck, a Central Australian bushman and pastoralist sent to search for Lasseter.


John Flynn

After writing a report to his superiors in 1912, Rev John Flynn was posted in Outback Australia, and was made the first superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission. As well as attending to matters spiritual, Flynn quickly realised that there was a need for medical care for residents of the outback. By 1917, Flynn was already considering the possibility of new technology, such as radio and aircraft, to assist in providing a more useful acute medical service, and then received a letter from an Australian pilot serving in World War I, Clifford Peel, who had heard of Flynn's speculations and outlined the capabilities and costs of then-available planes. This material was published in the church's magazine, the start of Flynn turning his considerable fund-raising talents to the task of establishing a flying medical service. The first flight of the Aerial Medical Service was in 1928 from Cloncurry, Queensland. Now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.


To find out more about Rev John Flynn visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service while you are in Alice Springs


John McDouall Stuart

John McDouall Stuart was one of the most accomplished and famous of all Australians inland explorers. Stuart led the first successful expedition to traverse the Australian mainland from south to north and return, and the first to do so from a starting point in South Australia. The explorations of Stuart eventually resulted in the Australian Overland Telegraph Line being built and the main route from Port Augusta to Darwin being established, which is now known as the Stuart Highway in his honour.