The Red Centre, Alice Springs is a lush oasis in the middle of the Australian desert. A hub for Aboriginal culture, close encounters with nature, and is the best way to come face to face with Australian icons such as the mystical Uluru.
Alice Springs still retains its frontier town status as it was originally forged as an outpost in the middle of the outback. Now a thriving and popular destination, you’ll find something for everyone with endless nature at your back door, a bevvy of restaurant options and an international standard casino.
1. Walking in the Outback
A palette of deep reds, browns, and purples make walking in the bush surrounding Alice Springs like walking through a work of art. The nearby Finke Gorge National Park spreads over 46,000 kilometres and features the Palm Valley of cabbage palm trees unique to this region, and the Finke River estimated to be the oldest river in the world at 350 million years old.
The West MacDonnell Ranges National Park is another option reachable from Alice Springs which includes sights such as the Ochre Pits sacred to the indigenous Western Arrente people. Tackle the park via the Larapinta Trail which runs for 223 kilometres and was voted by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top 20 treks.
Quest Alice Springs Serviced Apartment
Quest Alice Springs is the perfect hotel for style and comfort. Modern finishings and spacious rooms are combined with cosy textiles and colourful artworks. Each room comes with its own kitchen or kitchenette perfect for preparing your own meals pre or post hike.
A swim in the outdoor pool will soothe any aching muscles at the end of the day and each room has a DVD player, plus access to a range of in-house movies, so you can relax in the evenings.View hotel
Also known as Ayers Rock but Uluru in Pitjantjatjara, this sandstone formation is 335 kilometres away from the nearest town and appears to have been dropped into the otherwise flat landscape. In Aboriginal culture the rock is believed to have been formed by the activities of ancestral beings during creation time.
Now considered to be a wonder of the world, Uluru also holds many caves, waterholes and ancient rock paintings. To really appreciate and understand the place of Uluru in Aboriginal culture we recommend taking a walk with an Aboriginal guide to learn more about the ancient rituals associated with the rock.
Desert Palms Alice Springs Motel
An oasis in the outback, the Desert Palms Alice Springs Motel offers studio villa accommodation all set around a large open-air pool, and surrounded by lush, green gardens. View the stunning outback sunsets from the comfort of your own private verandah and maybe even snap a cheeky Instagram using the free Wi-Fi. Each room also has its own kitchenette facilities perfect if you’re travelling on a budget.View hotel
3. Aboriginal Culture
Alongside Uluru there’s also Kata Tjuta, a large group of rock formations just 30 kilometres away from Uluru. There are 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta and they are believed to be around 500 million years old.
As a centre of Aboriginal culture, Alice Springs hosts many art galleries showcasing works of art from the Aboriginal communities around the Red Centre, including the infamous ‘dot paintings.’ There are also opportunities to buy indigenous artwork and crafts at the Alice Springs Street Market on Sundays, from February through to December.
Diplomat Hotel Alice Springs
Located in the centre of town Diplomat Motel is the perfect base for all your activities and excursions. Each room is decorated in the deep rouge colour palettes of the desert with indigenous artworks adorning the walls, so that you feel immersed in the Alice Springs experience. Diplomat recommends taking the nearby heritage walk to explore the unique Aboriginal Art galleries, showcasing art work form the surrounding communities.View hotel
4. Kangaroo Sanctuary
The Kangaroo Sanctuary is the brainchild of a man named Brolga, who opened up the sanctuary after founding a rescue centre for joeys whose mothers had died in traffic accidents. The sanctuary is also the subject of the popular BBC/Nat Geo series Kangaroo Dundee.
A guided sunset tour of the sanctuary by Brolga is designed to be educational and is your chance to understand more about these adorable bundles of fur. The sanctuary is spread across a 90 acre wildlife reserve and tours last approximately 2.5 hours.
Alice on Todd Apartments
The Alice on Todd Apartments are the epitome of comfort whilst remaining functional and are particularly good if you are travelling in a group. Pet friendly accommodation is available so no family members miss out on the fun at Alice Springs. There are also many communal spaces where you can get to know your fellow travellers around a game of pool or relaxing on the terrace.View hotel
5. The Ghan Track
The Ghan track spans from Adelaide to Darwin passing right through Alice Springs. Slipping effortlessly through the changing landscapes, this surely is the only way to travel. With Great Southern Rail there are options for luxury travel including premium dining and incredibly plush living quarters, or you can travel more simply and let the views do the talking.
It’s also possible to join the journey from Perth, Melbourne and Sydney as a scenic way to make the journey to Alice Springs.
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters
It’s no secret that long train journeys, however luxurious, can induce cabin fever. So once you arrive in Alice Springs why not stay in one of the most spacious and luxurious resorts in the area? The resort complex includes an international standard casino, four restaurants, four bars, a sports lounge, pool-side café and spa. You will be spoilt for choice for ways to exercise your new found freedom!View hotel