Alice Springs

Alice Springs Landscape © Naoki Sato
Alice Springs, the vibrant hub of central Australia, grew up around a permanent waterhole that was a key terminal for the Overland Telegraph Station in 1870. It became a tough frontier town serviced by camel trains from the railhead at Oodnadatta, until the railway reached it in 1929 and it became a transport centre. Today the small city, with a population of roughly 26,000 and stylish shopping and dining facilities, thrives on tourism and provides a perfect base from which to access all of the surrounding natural wonders, including Uluru (Ayer's Rock). Alice Springs also invites visitors to learn more about the local Arrernte Aboriginal tribal group who have inhabited the area for 20,000 years. The city is also the point from which intrepid adventurers popularly strike south to explore the Simpson Desert, or east to visit the ghost towns of the MacDonnell Ranges. Alice Springs has good connections to Australia's capital cities; there are daily flights to and from the capitals and road and rail access from all capital cities is possible.

Anyone who has a fascination with the rough and ready life of Central Australia will enjoy a holiday in Alice Springs, which is an ideal base for excursions into the surrounding desert.




Attractions

Deflating an Outback Balloon © Arturo Pardavila III

Outback Ballooning

Surely the most iconic image of Australia is the blood-red dust of its sere and sparse Outback - and what better way to experience it than from a hot air balloon, in the dawn hours, with the sky full of a million colours?...  see full details



Devil's Marbles, near Tennant Creek © David Taus

Tennant Creek

Now a popular holiday resort, the old mining town of Tennant Creek, about 300 miles (500km) north of Alice Springs, was allegedly born when a beer wagon en route to an Overland Telegraph Station broke down in 1934 and the driver, Joe Kilgariff,...  see full details



Uluru, formerly called Ayres Rock © ptwo

Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park

Formerly known as Ayres Rock, Uluru rises from the surrounding plains, protected within the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, and belongs to the Anangu Aboriginal people, for whom it holds a special spiritual significance. In an isolated spot 280 miles (450km) from Alice...  see full details