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While it’s true that the majority of Australia’s population and tourists can be found along the stunning coastline, you’ll find the nation’s true culture and heart in the Red Centre.

Centred around the town of Alice Springs, the Red Centre is the arid region of Outback Australia that is home to the large red sandstone domes of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It is a desert region filled with life.

Watch as red kangaroos box, thorny devils ravage ant colonies, or simply admire the antics of the comical emus. As night falls, be serenaded by the sounds of howling dingoes and didgeridoos as you gaze up at a night sky filled with more stars than you could ever attempt to count.

Using Frequent Flyer Points to Visit Australia’s Red Centre

Why Visit the Red Centre


To visit the Red Centre means to visit Australia’s Aboriginal Heritage. Sample bush tucker as you learn indigenous cooking styles, art, song and dance, and stories that have been handed down for generations.

While the Red Centre may be a world away from cities like Sydney or Melbourne, it is rather accessible when choosing to fly. Airlines such as Qantas, Virgin, and Jetstar offer flights to both Alice Springs as well as Ayers Rock Airport for reasonable rates.

But you can make your holiday even more affordable by using your frequent flyer points to score free flights or upgrades. In addition to using your points for flights, you can also score great hotels and a car rental for exploring the region in more detail.

Follow this helpful guide to obtaining frequent flyer points to make your next Outback adventure as affordable as it will be memorable.

Joining a Frequent Flyer Program

Jettar Australia flight plane

The first step to gaining the ability to use frequent flyer points is to sign up for your desired airline’s frequent flyer program. This will allow you to both earn and redeem points so you can start planning your trip to the Red Centre in no time.

Signing up to become a Qantas or Virgin frequent flyer member is free and easy and can be done online in a matter of minutes.

Photo credit: Jetstar Airways

Earning Frequent Flyer Points

Once you become a member of a frequent flyer program, you can of course start earning points by booking flights using that airline. The longer and more frequent your flights, the quicker your points will add up.

Earn points even faster by applying for a credit card which rewards you in frequent flyer points for eligible purchases. Both Qantas and Virgin offer several credit card options that will have you gaining points in from your first eligible purchase.

Earn points even faster by shopping airline partner companies such as hotels and car rental companies. You can even link your frequent flyer membership to grocery store reward programs where you can convert your Woolworths reward points to Qantas miles or Coles flybuys to Virgin miles.

The Pay + Points Option

Pexels Money

If you find yourself coming up a bit short on the number of miles or points needed for your flights, you can redeem the points you do have and pay for the remaining balance of your airfare with your credit card.

Simply login to your frequent flyer account and search for flights. Select the points+pay option to display your different options.

You generally must have a minimum amount of points in your account to be able to redeem and save on flights. For example, the minimum number of Qantas Points required starts from 5,000 points per booking and is subject to change. The more points you use, the less money you will pay.

If you find yourself with enough points, you can choose to pay entirely with your points and even opt to cover all taxes, fees and charges.

I do not recommend using your points to pay for taxes, fees, and charges due to the fact you don’t get as much bang for your buck using your points in this manner.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Good overview. Thanks for the tips.

    • You’re welcome, glad the post was helpful :)

  2. I’m dying to visit Australia, especially the outback. Soon!

    • I hope you do have the chance to visit soon :)

  3. Which is better for frequent flier points, Qantas or Virgin? They’re the only two Australian airlines correct?

    • They’re the two mainstream airlines in Australia yes. Tbh it probably depends on which airline alliance you prefer, for instance I stick with Qantas because I often fly with OneWorld Alliance airlines when I fly internationally. But they’re both good :)

  4. “As night falls, be serenaded by the sounds of howling dingoes and didgeridoos as you gaze up at a night sky filled with more stars than you could ever attempt to count.”

    Beautifully written, you’ve transported me there.

    • Thanks Gary, I hope you have the opportunity to visit the Red centre soon :)

  5. So is the red center Darwin as well or just Alice Springs and Uluru?

    • Darwin is considered to be north, or the top end. The red centre is Alice Springs and Uluru, + the surrounding region :)

  6. I had no idea you could buy frequent flier points. Interesting and good to know. Obviously you would have to do proper research to understand the value for money as I’m sure they make quite a lot on people assuming they’re getting a good deal when they’re not.

    • Absolutely Marcel, yes, always a good idea to make sure you understand the monetary value of points before you buy them :)

  7. Sadly the Australian rewards programs for points are nowhere close to being as generous or as good as the programs in places like the UK or the United States, where you can earn them a lot more easily. I guess it comes down to competition, you probably don’t have to be as competitive when there are only two major airlines vs god knows how many vying for people’s business in the USA. But it’s a good tip to keep in mind anyway.

    • I feel you! I’m Australian, but my husband is American, and the time we spent in the US I was blown away by how amazing their FF programs were! They throw points at you!

  8. Credit cards are how we earn points :) So many different sign up bonuses, it’s probably horrible for my credit rating but we’ve built up quite the bank of points by cancelling and applying for different credit cards on loop :D

    • Fab Brianna! Yes, credit card signup bonuses and rewards can be a great way to collect points, just make sure you stay on top of what you’re spending across all of them. I find it can be very easy to get confused when you have multiple different accounts running at the same time.

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