Located in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, Alice Springs is a fascinating outback town with a strong Aboriginal culture, stunning arts scene and proximity to some of Australia’s most beautiful natural wonders.
If finding a true Aussie outback town is high on your bucket list, Alice Springs delivers in spades. It has the sweeping horizon, burnt red dirt and rugged mountain ranges that are so often associated with Australia. But it also offers much more than just picture-perfect landscape. You’ll find a deeply spiritual and passionate Aboriginal community, eager to teach you about their history and connection to country. Alice (as it’s known to locals) is also a great place to learn about, purchase or create your own Aboriginal artwork, hand-feed orphaned kangaroos, or join the community in one of the fun and quirky festivals. Be sure to give yourself enough time to explore the natural wonders of the Northern Territory’s outback, including Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, the West MacDonnell Ranges and the iconic Larapinta Trail, the red sands of the Simpson Desert and the haunting sight of the Devils Marbles.
When to visit
Winter really is the best time to visit the Red Centre. The mornings and evenings are cool, while the days are sunny and warm. It’s also the time of year when the region hosts many of its unique and quirky festivals. Fancy a day at the races with a difference? Go to the Camel Cup (July) and enjoy the Sport of Kings, Alice Springs-style. Ever seen a boat race without the water? Visit the Henley on Todd Regatta (August) held along the dry bed of the Alice’s Todd River. For something a bit more cerebral – and spiritual – visit the Field of Light installation (until December 2020), which illuminates the desert at Uluru. And keep an eye out for the Parrtjima festival, which will light up the MacDonnell Ranges from late September.
Find out more about seasonal weather in Alice Springs.
How to get there
Qantas has direct flights to Alice Springs from most major cities in Australia. Virgin Australia offers direct flights from Adelaide and Darwin. Alice Springs sits between the capital cities of Darwin and Adelaide, with a major sealed highway connecting the three destinations. It's about 16 hours from Alice Springs to either city, and the road has regular gas stations, small towns and roadhouses. Another popular way to experience the area is via The Ghan, a comfortable and scenic train journey between Adelaide and Darwin via Alice Springs and Katherine.
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