With so much to see and do, this handy itinerary will help you make the most of your 24 hours in Alice Springs! Discover what the locals love about this bustling town and get up close and personal with local wildlife, visit historic landmarks, get acquainted with the thriving café culture and immerse yourself in the traditional and contemporary local aboriginal art.
Rise early this morning and take to the skies in a hot air balloon for a magnificent bird’s eye view of Alice Springs and the Red Centre. As you drift into an outback sunrise of pastel blues, purples and yellows, keep an eye out for native wildlife and the iconic Red Kangaroo down below.
Once your feet are planted firmly on the ground again it is time to indulge in a cooked breakfast at the Bean Tree Café which you can find nestled in the Olive Pink Botanic Garden. It is Australia’s only arid zone botanic garden and the perfect place to relax for breakfast or lunch amongst the native surrounds. Take the time to wander along the walking trails to see the hundreds of plant species that are native to the Red Centre, or spot some of the 80 bird species which have been recorded at the park.
Make your first mid-morning destination the Alice Springs Desert Park. Situated on Larapinta Drive, the Desert Park is a ‘must see’ for every visitor to the Red Centre. Spot rare and endangered animals in the low light of the nocturnal house and dodge the star attractions at the ‘freeflying birds of prey’ show. Here you will see the desert come to life! Walk along the 1.6 kilometre trail and experience 3 separate habitat areas within the park. There are also informational talks throughout the day, including a presentation on Aboriginal Survival. Make your way around the park at your leisure, and then relax with some refreshments at the onsite café.
Head back into town to the Todd Mall, which is lined with commercial galleries dealing in Aboriginal art. Stop at Papunya Tula Artists to see the renowned dot paintings, then at Mbantua Art Gallery and Cultural Museum, which has one of the largest collections of Aboriginal art in Australia and specializes in art from the Utopia region. While you’re in the area, enjoy lunch at one of the many trendy café’s dotted throughout the Todd Mall.
Next stop is the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Get amongst the interactive displays and step inside a full-sized replica on a modern PC-12 airplane, part of the exciting new collection. Here, you will gain an insight into the iconic Australian outback service established by pioneers in 1928. There is an onsite café, where you can dine under the original verandah and enjoy the amazing blue skies Alice Springs is known for. Sit back and relax with a coffee, especially blended for the RFDS by a local coffee roaster. The ‘Flying Doctor Coffee’ can also be purchased from the on-site RFDS Doc Shop, so be sure to pick some up to take home with you while you are browsing through their other goodies!
Make a visit to the top of Anzac Hill for a panoramic view of the town. You can drive your car to the top, or if you’re feeling active, you can walk via the ‘Lions Walk’. Enjoy your view of the MacDonnell Ranges, the town centre and desert landscapes as the sun goes down.
To finish off the day, make the most of the clear skies in the Red Centre and gaze at the thousands of stars overhead at the Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre. Learn how to navigate and identify the zodiac and constellations in the night sky and hear ancient aboriginal stories of creation.