Accommodation | Distances | Festivals & Events

Where did spring go… the days are now warm to say the least, as we enjoy or swelter (depending on your view) through the summer temperature. For some, this is the perfect time for exploring Alice Springs and Central Australia. With our vivid blue sky and glorious sunny days, the ‘Red Centre’ is the place to be. Just make sure you have plenty of bottled water on your exploration.

Olive Pink Botanic Garden and Alice Springs Desert Park is a great place to start when exploring or enjoying this region, drop into the Alice Springs Reptile Centre to enjoy the many reptiles that you will see here out in the wild, then visits to some of the permanent waterholes dotted along the ranges.

The Alice‘, as it is affectionately known, is a modern town in the middle of Australia, built on the flood plain of the Todd and Charles Rivers and nestled in the hills and gorges of the MacDonnell Ranges that stretch some 644 km from the East MacDonnell Ranges to the West MacDonnell Ranges.

The original Alice Springs was a waterhole located some 3 km north of the present town. Named after Alice Todd (wife of Superintendent of Post and Telegraph Sir Charles Todd), the town was founded as a staging point for the overland telegraph line in 1870.

There is a restored memorial marking the spot, dedicated to the pioneering spirit of the men who built the overland telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin.

When planning your Central Australian holiday check out the events calendar, as it is always packed with exciting annual events and programs. Your travel here may coincides with one of our popular events, adding that special touch. If you are planning to travel here to enjoy and participate in one of our events, make sure you book your accommodation ahead of time, as they are often booked out for events such as Desert Mob, Beanie Festival and the Finke Desert Race.

For those who only have a brief stay in Alice or are staying for longer, following are some of the local attractions within Alice Springs:

  • Araluen Arts Centre / Alice Springs Cultural Precinct
    — at least half a day.
    A number of fascinating attractions in one unique location, including the Araluen Arts Centre (incorporating the Albert Namatjira Gallery), Museum of Central Australia and Aviation Museum.
  • Alice Springs Desert Park
    — allow 4 hours or more. There is also a cafe.
    Introduction to Australia’s desert, the landscapes, animals and plants of central Australia’s and their traditional use and management by the Aboriginal people. Make sure you include the Birds of Prey Show and Nocturnal House.
    check out the Alice Springs Desert Park website
Red Kangaroo with joey (Osphranter rufus)
Red Kangaroo with joey (Osphranter rufus), Alice Springs Desert Park
  • Alice Springs School of the Air
    — an hour.
    Meeting the educational needs of primary school children in the Outback.
  • Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve
    — 1 to 2 hours or more if you enjoy the walks and picnic area. There is also a kiosk.
    The original site of the first European settlement in the region. There are also a number of walks to be enjoyed.
  • ANZAC Hill
    — 15 to 30 minutes, unless you are walking up or are waiting for sunrise / sunset.
    A special place to the Aboriginals and the site of the ANZAC Hill War Memorial.
  • Gathering Garden
    — take as long as you like.
    Located in the heart of town, is this newly opened public art and garden. Although only small, it offers a great place to site and contemplate. Over time the trees and shrubs will be larger, providing more shade. A historic site of poetic beauty.
  • National Road Transport Hall of Fame
    — couple of hours or more, especially for the enthusiast.
    Road and rail transport history of Central Australia.
  • Olive Pink Botanic Garden
    — a couple of hours or more, especially if you do the walks. There is a cafe.
    An Arid Zone Botanic Garden in the Northern Territory.
Red Mallee (Eucalyptus pachyphylla)
Red Mallee (Eucalyptus pachyphylla), Olive Pink Botanic Garden
  • Todd Mall and Sunday Markets
    — an hour or more.
    Main shopping area of town. Hosts the markets usually held every second Sunday, including some special additional market days that are part of the Alice Springs Town Council events and activities calendar. Contact the Visitor Centre for dates.

The following local attractions are within a few minutes walk of each other and only 10-15 minute walk from Todd Mall:

  • Alice Springs Reptile Centre
    — 1 to 2 hrs.
    Reptiles of Central Australia. Try to make the morning/afternoon show. There is also a fossil museum.
Juvenile Inland Bearded Dragon, Alice Springs Reptile Centre, NT
Juvenile Inland Bearded Dragon, Alice Springs Reptile Centre

Please note: that in the current time of COVID-19, details for accessing some of the listed attractions may be changed. Contact them direct or by their website for more information.


More information to come…

View of Mount Gillen, West MacDonnell Ranges
View of Mount Gillen, West MacDonnell Ranges.