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Alice Springs

Framed by the iconic MacDonnell Ranges and surrounding desert landscape, Alice Springs is the place to begin your outback adventure. Alice Springs is a melting pot of culture, art, history, entertainment and adventure.  

Mparntwe (pronounced m-ban tua) is the Arrernte (pronounced a-run-duh) word for Alice Springs. The Arrernte people are the traditional custodians of Alice Springs and have a strong connection with the land. According to the Dreamtime, the town of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges were created by the actions of several ancestral figures including the caterpillar beings Ayepe-arenye, Ntyarlke and Utnerrengatye.

 

Attractions   |   Events   |   Accommodation   |   Dining

 

Things to do in Alice Springs

Stunning landscapes, the world's oldest living culture, and a unique pioneering history creates a diverse and exhilarating destination to explore.

Spend a week exploring the sites in and around Alice Springs, full of historical attractions that uncover the stories of life in remote Australia. There are countless galleries dotted throughout town and the Todd Mall, where you can get to know the art and stories from around the region.

Grab a tour and uncover the historic site from legendary explorers, prospectors, cattlemen and pioneering women. If you’re a nature lover, experience the animals that live in Central Australia's habitats at wildlife parks or from the basket of a hot air balloon as they roam across the spinifex plains.

Alice Springs Desert Park

Yubu Napa Artists in Residence

Outback Ballooning sunrise landing

Outback Ballooning

There are endless amounts of adventure activities on offer, from world-class bike riding tracks, surveying the MacDonnell Range from the cockpit of a helicopter, or gliding across the top of Alice Springs. Why not go further afield and join a four-wheel drive tour or a camel trek

For desert scenery, drive into the MacDonnell Ranges where the scenic gorges and history of the region will leave you with a lasting impression. Make the time to walk a section of the 223 kilometre Larapinta Trail to see the cliffs and chasms, waterholes and mountains of this extraordinary range.

The town has a lot to offer including a wide range of accommodation, excellent dining options and travel connections - there is something to suit all budgets and tastes.

Simpsons Gap Cycling Path

Simpsons Gap Cycling Path

Alice Springs Helicopters East Macs

Alice Springs Helicopters - atop East MacDonnell Ranges

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Alice Springs Attractions

Every corner you turn in Alice Springs you will find a place or attraction that unveils another piece of the story that makes this town what it is. A place rich in culture, art, nature and history, don’t make the mistake of not allowing enough time to see and experience it all!

Discover ancient geology at the Museum of Central Australia, and take a trip through time to unfold a story of the giant Megafauna that once roamed the land at Megafauna Central. Want to say hello to some of our smaller creatures that exist today? The Alice Springs Reptile Centre and Alice Springs Desert Park are home to a range of native animals that you can get up-close and personal with. Here you can unfold the stories and culture of the Arrernte people, and their connection with the desert. 

Leave a day to discover the tales of the early settlers. Explore how people first came to Central Australia, and the way they have adapted their lives to survive here. Begin at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, where it all began in the 1870s, then continue your trip through time and stories at the Alice Springs School of the Air, Royal Flying Doctor Service, and the National Womens Museum of Australia.

Alice Springs Desert Park

Alice Springs Desert Park

Royal Flying Doctor Service

Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Facility

Alice Springs Accommodation

There is no shortage of places to stay in town, that will suit every traveller's needs and budgets. If you are living a life on the road and need the perfect place to pitch up for the night, visitors are spoilt for choice with a selection of Caravan Parks scattered close to the towns centre and on the outskirts where you can camp or set up your caravan. 

Travelling on a budget is easy in Central Australia, with a great selection of backpackers and hotels that don’t break the bank. Get to know a local and have the secrets of the town shared by staying in one of our selection of B&B’s. Want to spend your visit staying in style? Stay with the familiar hotel chains that are located just a stones throw away from the town centre.

Alice Springs Restaurant & Dining

Alice Springs boasts an excellent range of cafes, restaurants and popular eateries. There is a style to suit any taste or budget including everything from juicy steaks and tasty bush meats to the taste sensation of international cuisine. Treat yourself to the luxury of fine dining, a family-friendly restaurant or unwind under the stars with a unique culinary experience that will make both your taste buds and heart sing.

 

Alice Springs FAQ

Alice Springs is known for being the town in the Centre of Australia. It is a great base point to visit Central Australia and see the surrounding region, including the MacDonnell Ranges, Kings Canyon and Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.
The most comfortable time of year to visit Alice Springs is between March and October. However, that isn't to say that you couldn't visit all year round (or over summer) if you weren't prepared for it.
Alice Springs was named by Charles Todd (by which the famous Todd River gets its name), a gentlemen who won the government tender to construct the Overland Telegraph Line in 1870.
In the development of the Telegraph Line, a Mr William Mills was travelling ahead to seek suitable locations for the repeater stations. In his travels he came across a river system (the now Todd River), in which he named after his boss. He also thought he had discovered a natural spring in the river, which would supply permanent water and be great for the repeater stations location.
Charles Todd then named the area around the designated site "Alice's Spring" after his wife. They later discovered that it wasn't even a spring at all when the river dried up. Over time the name became Alice Springs because it sounded better and was easier to say.
There is lots to do in Alice Springs. Alice Springs is a town of rich aboriginal culture, and history. Visit some local attractions like the Royal Flying Doctor Service or the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. Use Alice as a base point for further adventures in the East and West MacDonnell Ranges. Visit a number of our art galleries or do some wildlife spotting. If you want an adrenaline rush try gliding or heli-biking. Test out the famous mountain biking trails or some freshly brewed beers at Central Australia's very own brewery.
Alice Springs is widely accepted as the town in the centre of Australia, in the Northern Territory.
It is about half way between Adelaide in South Australia (1,534km | 16 hours) and Darwin (1,497 | 15.25 hours), along the Stuart Highway.
If you are flying into Alice Springs, you may be wondering whether you need to hire a car or if you can get around by other means.
If you enjoy peoples company and want to explore the region, there are plenty of tour options for you to jump on. See Alice Springs Day Trips to get you started. Generally tour companies will pickup travellers from the accommodation hotspots around Alice Springs, so you'll just need to be waiting out the front.

If, however, you want the freedom to explore at your own pace to wherever you want, then a car is definitely recommended. See our Car Hire page for more information.
Visit our Weather and Climate page for a full guide into Alice Springs weather.
We recommend 3 or 4 nights in Alice Springs, to give you the chance to see the town, but also use it as a base to see some of the surrounding region such as the East and West MacDonnell Ranges, or Finke Gorge National Park (Palm Valley). Depending on the pace of your holiday you could spend longer in Alice Springs, and stay in some of the smaller destinations like Glen Helen, Ross River or Gemtree.
Alice Springs to Uluru along all sealed roads is 468km or 4-5 hours drive.

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