Alice Springs is far more than the gateway to the Red Centre – it’s a thriving, spirited outback centre famous for the personality of its locals and natural wonders.
With sunny skies all year round and a calendar filled with fun and quirky events, any time of the year is a great time to visit Alice Springs. You’ll be surprised with what this buzzing town has to offer.
Alice Springs is bursting with activities waiting for you to experience, hop on a mountain bike and tour through the mountain biking tracks that surround the Telegraph StationOpens external site.
A Visit to the Alice Springs Desert ParkOpens external site is a must for your chance to get up close and personal with local flora and fauna.
Begin your outback adventure exploring historic sites, see the work of local artists in Aboriginal art galleries, join a cultural event or activity, or try one of the many adventure activities on offer in the desert landscape
- Take a walk in the Alice Springs Desert ParkOpens external site in a new window and get up close with local flora and fauna.
- Walk through the Olive Pink Botanic GardenOpens external site in a new window the only arid zone botanic garden in Australia.
- Explore the Alice Springs TelegraphOpens external site in a new window, to learn the history of how this town was founded.
- Visit the Royal Flying Doctors ServiceOpens external site in a new window base.
- Explore the West MacDonnell RangesOpens external site in a new window, filled with great hiking trails and waterholes to take a refreshing dip.
- See the amazing Rainbow ValleyOpens external site located one and half hours from Alice Springs.
Framed by the MacDonnell Ranges and the never-ending desert landscape, Alice Springs has all the conveniences of a modern township imbued with Aboriginal tradition.
In and around Alice Springs
With so many unique historic and cultural sites to visit, you'll be spoiled for choice in The Alice.
Spend time exploring the Araluen Cultural PrecinctOpens external site for an insight into Aboriginal art and culture and European settlement; the precinct is home to Aboriginal sacred sites and trees of significance as well as art galleries, museums and the Strehlow Research Centre.
Stop in at the Royal Flying Doctors ServiceOpens external site to learn about their 24-hour life-saving operation, visit the Alice Springs School of the AirOpens external site which educates children in remote regions of Australia by radio, or wander through the Old Telegraph Station Historical ReserveOpens external site which enabled the first communication between England and Australia.
In spite of its relaxed vibe, there’s plenty to do at night with cool bars, cafes and restaurants waiting to be discovered. Read more on Travel Insider.Opens external site in a new window
Rainbow Valley is renowned for its sandstone bluffs and cliffs featuring bands of colourful rock.
An easy day trip from Alice Springs, this amazing natural wonder at its most spectacular in the early morning light or late afternoon sun, when it changes from ochre red to orange and purple - or after heavy rainfall, when the whole scene is reflected in the claypans.
The Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve is located about 75 kilometres south of Alice Springs and best accessed by four-wheel drive.
No trip to Alice Springs is complete without an adventure into the MacDonnell Ranges. The East and West MacDonnell Ranges stretch out for hundreds of kilometres on both sides of Alice Springs.
The West MacDonnell Ranges form a natural city wall around Alice Springs and are filled with breathtaking chasms, gorges and waterholes. The most popular spots are Simpson’s Gap, Standley Chasm, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen - and there are plenty of walking trails and picturesque landscape surrounding you in every direction.
The East MacDonnell Ranges are popular for bush walking, camping and four-wheel driving. At Emily and Jessie Gaps you'll see a large rock painting that depicts the caterpillar dreaming of the Eastern Arrernte Aboriginal people. Further east is Trephina Gorge, N'Dhala Gorge and Arltunga, a ghost town that was the site of a gold rush in the 1930s.
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The summer months (December to February) often reach the high 30s, but then drop down to the mid 20s in the evening. The winter months (June to August) temperatures can get very cold ranging from 20 degrees during the day to below zero at night. Spring (September to November) and Autumn (March to May) are the best time to visit Alice Springs with cooler temperatures.
From the airport
Alice Springs airport services domestic flights only and is located 15km from the town centre.
The taxi rank and shuttle service is located outside the terminal, the shuttle service can transfer you to and from the town, picking up and dropping off at local hotels.
In and around the city
Central Alice Springs is small enough to explore on foot. Bus and taxi services are also available, and it’s wise to use taxis at night for safety reasons. If you’re visiting the national parks, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, you’ll need to hire a car, or take a guided tour.
At the heart of Arrernte country, Alice is also a great place to start your trip to the extraordinary desert icons of Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) to the north; Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) to the south-west and the West MacDonnell Ranges to the east.
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