Alice Springs, nestled between the MacDonnell Ranges in the heart of Australia, is our most famous outback town. Situated 462 kilometres from Ayers Rock/Uluru and positioned between the East and West MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs makes both a great touring base and a great holiday destination. Plan to spend as much time as possible here because as well as a complete range of services and a dazzling array of quality hotels and restaurants, there is so much to see and do.
More often than not, this out-of-the-ordinary outback community pleasantly surprises visitors. The Alice defies the expectations of a desert town, combining a strong sense of its own heritage with all the convenience of modern facilities and activities. This is no flat, dusty, barren townscape. Picture instead brilliantly-hued ranges, gardens landscaped with stunning arid-zone flora, appropriately-designed houses and other buildings, an attractive mall, an elegant casino, all the major banks and excellent cafes and restaurants. Feel like a seafood meal? No problem - one local restaurateur, who claims Alice is the closest point to every beach in Australia, flies in fresh seafood regularly. Or what about camel, buffalo, emu, rabbit or kangaroo?
The Arrernte people share their culture at the Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre, where visitors can learn to play a didjeridu, throw a boomerang, discover some of the symbolism of Central Australian dot paintings, or experiment with bush tucker.
Many activities available in Alice Springs, such as a visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service or the School of the Air, are reminders that the Outback is vast; and many Territorians live a long way from schools and medical facilities. Others activities, such as camel tours and the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, reflect the Alice's pioneering heritage, when Afghan cameleers and workers on the Overland Telegraph Line in the 1870s helped to open up the Outback.
The superb desert climate allows Alice Springs residents to participate in many outdoor sporting and recreational pursuits, each supported by quality facilities. The Alice has one of the world's best desert golf courses and, like Darwin, it has an extensive network of bicycle tracks.
In the Directory
- Hot-air ballooning - Photo courtesy of Northern Territory Tourist Commission
- Aerial of Alice Springs at night - Photo courtesy of Northern Territory Tourist Commission
- The Gemtree - Plenty Highway - Photo courtesy of Northern Territory Tourist Commission