Dubbed the gateway to Australia’s glorious Red Centre, Alice Springs, or just ‘Alice’ as it is affectionately known, has been a popular pit stop for those venturing into the likes of Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and Kings Canyon. The seemingly small and remote area is the second largest town in the Northern Territory, following closely after Darwin. There’s a lot to offer, particularly for travellers — it’s home to an impressive wildlife park, various cultural points of interest and some pretty good dining options. As the main hub of the Australian Outback, you’ll need these top tips for visiting Alice Springs!
Getting to Alice Springs
Located in virtually the centre of Australia, Alice Springs is around a 16-hour drive from most areas. Prep properly if you decide to brave the long road! There is also the option to fly in, with direct flights available from most major city airports (through Qantas or Virgin Australia).
Where to Stay
With every level of accommodation on offer, Alice Springs has something for everyone. Choose between a desert luxury or a free site to pitch the trusty tent. Finding a place to stay is straightforward in Alice. You are likely to see some familiar names, such as Hilton DoubleTree and Mercure. These are great options if you are playing it safe.
If you’re pulling through in your caravan or simply want some steady ground to set up your camp, I would suggest looking at Alice Springs Tourist Park. Peaceful and generously equipped, this park caters to solo travellers as well as big families. Since you’re likely to be staying in Alice for just a day or two, make sure it is somewhere memorable.
Activities in Alice Springs
Visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary:
In my opinion, no visit to Alice Springs is complete without a visit to the Kangaroo Sanctuary. The experience is unforgettable! This sanctuary is home to the cutest joeys and some of the toughest kangaroos of the region.
Journey on the Larapinta Trail:
While the full trail of 223km may not be on everyone’s list, Larapinta can be explored through one of its 12 different sections. It is definitely worth attempting at least part of the trek. Enjoy scenic gorges, mountainous peaks, and countless waterholes along the way. Some parts are particularly strenuous, particularly in hotter months. I would advise walking on one of the guided tours which are usually less intensive and also offer great insight into the geology of the region.
Take a Trip to the Aboriginal Art Galleries:
Aboriginal art can be viewed throughout Alice Springs, with Papunya Tula Gallery and Araluen Arts Centre being the popular choices for visitors. These traditional artworks are truly magnificent. You can choose to view them in the bigger galleries or in the tiny galleries located by Todd Mall.
Experience the Alice Springs Desert Park:
If you have the time, I would recommend taking an afternoon to explore the desert park for an educational and enriching experience.
The Alice Springs Desert Park offers visitors a unique walking experience through various environments.
These include woodland, sandy country, and even desert rivers. On these walks, you can get to know about all the conservation efforts they have in place to preserve and protect native plants and animals.
Helpful Tip: With Alice Springs being the only proper town in the heart of Australia it’s the perfect place to stock up on some essentials before heading back onto the road. With a decent-sized shopping centre, you can easily pack in some supplies, stock up on snacks and even squeeze in a trip to the bank.