Alice Springs & surrounds 24-hour itinerary
Make the most of your 24 hours in Alice Springs!
Discover what the locals love about this bustling town and meet native wildlife, visit historic landmarks, get amongst the thriving café culture and immerse yourself in the traditional and contemporary local Aboriginal art.
Drift away on a hot air balloon ride
Rise early this morning and take to the skies in a hot air balloon for a magnificent bird’s eye view of Alice Springs and the Red Centre. As you drift into an outback sunrise of pastel blues, purples and yellows, keep an eye out for native wildlife and the iconic Red Kangaroo down below. Book with Outback Ballooning a day or two in advance – all tours are subject to weather suitability.
Indulge your senses at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden
Tuck into a cooked breakfast at the Bean Tree Café which you can find nestled within the grounds of the Olive Pink Botanic Garden. It is Australia’s only arid zone botanic garden and the perfect place to relax for breakfast or lunch amongst the native surrounds. Take the time to wander along the walking trails to see the hundreds of plant species that are native to the Red Centre, or spot some of the 80 bird species which have been recorded at the gardens.
Make a stop at the Alice Springs Desert Park
Make sure to visit the Alice Springs Desert Park. Situated on Larapinta Drive, the Desert Park is a ‘must see’ for every visitor to the Red Centre. Spot rare and endangered animals in the low light of the nocturnal house and dodge the star attractions at the ‘free-flying birds of prey’ show.
Walk along the 1.6 kilometre trail and experience three separate habitat areas within the Park. Attend one of the informational talks throughout the day, including a presentation on Aboriginal Survival. Make your way around the Park at your leisure, and then relax with some refreshments at the onsite café.
Experience local Aboriginal art
Head to the Todd Mall, which is lined with commercial galleries specialising in Aboriginal art. Stop in at Papunya Tula Artists to see the renowned dot paintings, then Mbantua Art Gallery and Cultural Museum, which has one of the largest collections of Aboriginal art in Australia and specialises in art from the Utopia region. While you’re in the area, enjoy lunch at one of the many trendy café’s dotted throughout the Todd Mall.
Explore the Alice Springs Telegraph Station
Take a short drive from the CBD to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve. Learn about the history of the people who established the overland telegraph station or try a more adventurous route on a mountain bike tour. Tours from the Trail Station leave daily and are led by an experienced local rider, with all gear provided.
Be inspired by the early pioneers
Get amongst the interactive displays at the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and step inside a full-sized replica of a modern PC-12 aeroplane, part of the exciting new collection.
Here, you will gain an insight into the iconic Australian outback service established by pioneers in 1928. Have lunch under the original verandah and enjoy the amazing blue skies that Alice Springs is known for. Sit back and relax with a coffee, especially blended for the RFDS by a local coffee roaster.
Climb Anzac Hill and watch the sunset
Make a visit to the top of Anzac Hill for a panoramic view of the town. You can drive your car to the top, or if you’re feeling active, you can walk via the ‘Lions Walk’. Enjoy your view of the MacDonnell Ranges, the town centre and desert landscapes as the sun goes down.
Stargaze the night away
To finish off the day, make the most of the clear starry skies in the Red Centre at the Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre. Learn how to navigate and identify the zodiac and constellations in the night sky and listen to ancient Aboriginal stories of creation.