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Alice Springs The spiritual heart of Australia

Alice Springs Darwin Katherine Ulu r u Kings Canyon

Begin your Central Australian adventure in Alice Springs, headquarters of the outback and only a few hours’ flying time from Australian capital cities.

Nestled between the East and West MacDonnell Ranges, ‘Alice’ is famous for its beautiful desert landscapes, colourful outback characters, opportunities for adventure and a strong Aboriginal culture.

Do Alice Springs

Watch the sunrise from a hot-air balloon, meet Aboriginal artists in one of the town’s excellent art galleries, join a four-wheel-drive and camping tour or hike through the nearby ranges.

Or explore the desert landscapes on a camel, quad bike or mountain bike. You can even swim in an outback waterhole.

Drop in to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which supports an area of more than 7 million square kilometres then learn about Alice Springs’s plants, animals and landscapes at the Alice Springs Desert Park or the Reptile Centre. Head just out of town to cuddle a baby kangaroo at the Kangaroo Sanctuary.

Things to see & do in Alice Springs

Exploring the 'Macs'

The West and East MacDonnell Ranges stretch out either side of Alice Springs and are a must-visit on your trip to the Red Centre.

Join a tour or drive yourself to explore the West MacDonnell Ranges, famous for their postcard-like scenery, world-class hikes, swimming holes and natural treasures.

See black-footed rock wallabies near the permanent waterhole at Simpsons Gap. At noon, watch the walls of Standley Chasm glow bright red. Swim in natural swimming holes at Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen and Redbank Gorge. And visit the Ochre Pits, which desert Aboriginal people once used as a quarry for ochre pigments.

Head east from Alice to explore the East MacDonnell Ranges.

See Aboriginal rock art at Emily Gap and have a picnic at nearby Jessie Gap. Take the circular walking track at Corroboree Rock then head for Trephina Gorge, one of the East’s best attractions.

Further along in N'Dhala Gorge (4WD only from here), see more than 5000 ancient rock carvings then wander around the ruins of Central Australia’s first town at the Arltunga Historical Reserve, the site of a gold rush in the 1930s. Head a little further east to explore pretty Ruby Gap, where tiny garnets were once found.

Fun and quirky events

Make sure you go along to one of Alice’s famous and unique festivals and events, like the Camel Cup, the Finke Desert Race or the hilarious Henley-on-Todd Regatta.

What's on around Alice Springs

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  • FAQS

    What should I do with 1 day in Alice Springs?

    Only have 24 hours to spend in Alice? Check out the top 10 things to do, and our Alice Springs 24 hour itinerary. Spend a few more days next time to take in all the sights and activities.

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    Do I need any passes or permits to visit Alice Springs?

    No passes or permits are required to visit Alice Springs.

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    How do I get around Alice Springs?

    Alice Springs is very easy to get around. You can explore the CBD on foot, hire a car, take a taxi, ride a bike, or book a tour.

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    How do I get to Alice Springs?

    Flying into Alice Springs Airport is the fastest option - there are daily flights from most Australian capital cities. The popular Explorers Way driving route will take you all the way from Adelaide in South Australia to Alice Springs, and then on to Darwin. You can also take The Ghan rail journey south from Darwin or north from Adelaide.

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    How far is Alice Springs from Darwin?

    Alice Springs is 1,496 km from Darwin. A flight from Darwin to Alice Springs takes around two hours, with flights departing daily. The full drive takes about 18 hours, we recommend taking at least 2 days.

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    What are the major attractions in Alice Springs?

    Check out the Alice Springs Desert Park to learn about desert survival. Take a walk up Anzac Hill to discover the Red Centre's war history and get an amazing view of the town. Pop into the Alice Springs Reptile Centre or the Kangaroo Sanctuary to get to know a few of the local animals.

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    What should I bring with me to Alice Springs?

    You will probably be spending lots of time outdoors experiencing the natural wonders of the region, so pack comfortable clothing and footwear, hat, sunscreen, plenty of water and a camera. If you forget to pack something, don't worry, you'll be able to find almost anything you need in Alice Springs.

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    When is the best time to visit Alice Springs?

    Alice Springs has some of the best weather in Australia, boasting clear blue skies year-round. Remember, the desert can get very cold at night, especially from May to October, so make sure you pack for both hot and cold weather. The hottest months are December to February.

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    Where should I go next from Alice Springs?

    Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a highlight of the Red Centre, but there are plenty more attractions. The West and East MacDonnell Ranges, Kings Canyon, and Rainbow Valley are just some of the must-sees in the area. Continue north to visit Tennant Creek and on to the Top End.

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