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Top 10 Things To Do in Alice Springs

By Viator, May 2014

4.5 91 Reviews | Add your review

Alice Springs is the heartland of the central Australian Outback and a base for explorers of the region. Not sure where to begin? Check out these top ten activities to do in Alice Springs.
 
1) Hiking the MacDonnell Ranges
Stretching east and west from Alice Springs in two parallel lines of mountains, the MacDonnell Ranges host some of the most stunning scenery in the world. The 139-mile long Larapinta Trail threads much of the area, however, a guide is strongly recommended, if only to point out the poisonous snakes and lizards.

2) Watching the Wildlife at Alice Springs Desert Park

It may not sound it, but the desert is a very lively place. Alice Springs Desert Park, set on 3,212 acres (1,300 hectares) just outside of town, is home to owls, crocodiles, burrowing frogs, and dozens of rare birds. The Nocturnal House displays some of Australia’s cutest night-loving species, including the endangered bilby and mala.

3) Visiting Ayers Rock (Uluru)

The most popular day trip from Alice Springs remains visiting the spectacular red rock monolith, Ayers Rock, or Uluru, as the sandstone formation is called by the Aboriginal people. Seeing it at sunrise or sunset is an unforgettable experience; to complete the experience you can take a helicopter ride above or have dinner under the stars with a view of the mountain.

4) Hot Air Ballooning
In Alice Springs, you can literally rise with the sun. As the sky turns gold, soar up several hundred feet above the seemingly endless MacDonnell Ranges and vast scrubland that literally hops with life, especially the mobs of red kangaroo. Direction of the journey depends mainly on the wind, but wherever you land, someone will be there to catch you.

5) Racing the Quad
With so much open space around Alice Springs, the need for speed may prove too hard to resist. Perhaps the best way to feel the rush is atop a 4-wheel quad bike as you race along bush tracks, dry riverbeds and mountainsides. No license or previous experience is required and training is provided beforehand.

6) Shopping the Night Markets

Held on one Thursday each month from August through to November, Alice Springs Night Markets lets visitors shop the Outback. Located along Todd Mall, the official main street of Alice Springs, the market hosts dozens of stalls selling everything from indigenous arts and crafts and handmade clothing to local culinary specialties. Be sure to look for Tinh and Lan’s produce, grown from their famous garden on the outskirts of the town. Otherwise, just groove to the live music from local singers and bands. 

7) Vibing the Didgeridoo
A labor of love, Alice Springs’ Starlight Theater was founded by Andrew Langford, one of the world’s top masters of the didgeridoo. For 13 years, he’s performed several 90-minute shows per week to both promote and expand the ancient aboriginal instrument. Accompanied by other instruments and a light show, he leads the audience on musical and visual journey to reveal the spirit of the Outback.

8) Wishing Upon a Star
In the middle of the largest land area without lights on earth, the Milky Way doesn’t just twinkle, it positively illuminates the night sky above Alice Springs. That’s why you’ll see so many locals hauling telescopes up to places like the Jessie Gap in the MacDonnell Ranges. But eyes are certainly enough to see the Southern Cross blaze above all. Add even more magic to the experience with an open-air Sounds of Silence dinner in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes a “star talker” to lead diners through the canopy.

9) Albert Namatjira Gallery
Australia’s most famous Aboriginal artist and first native to be granted citizenship, Albert Namatjira, left behind a body of work that celebrates the Central Australian Outback in a panoply of vibrant color. It’s his capturing of the light though that generates the most admiration.  Located inside Alice Springs’ main performance and visual arts venue, the Araluen Arts Centre, the gallery also includes paintings and ceramics by Namatjira’s sons alongside other aboriginal artists.

10) Hop with the Kangaroos
Ever since his BBC wildlife documentary broadcast “Kangaroo Dundee,” Brolga (as he prefers to be called), has been inundated with visitors as well as marriage proposals at his sanctuary for baby kangaroos in Alice Springs.  Serving as a surrogate mother to an ever increasing family of orphaned and injured joeys, he continues to expand the refuge, mostly with his own two well-worn hands.  Tours are by appointment only and take place at sunset, when the resident animals awake from their day-time slumber. For most, the highlight is the photo-op with your own baby ‘roo.      

Tours & Tickets

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Overnight Uluru (Ayers Rock) Small-Group Camping Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park from Alice Springs or Ayers Rock, and sleep under the stars on this two-day outback bush camping tour, ideal if your ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $299.48

3-Day Best of Australia's Red Center: Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta and Sounds of Silence Dinner

See central Australia’s most famous sights on a three-day tour from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock (Uluru). You’ll visit the sandstone domes of Kata Tjuta (also ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $800.77

Sunrise Ballooning in Alice Springs

4.5 star rating: Recommended 27 Reviews

Float above the Outback desert on this exciting hot air balloon adventure! Rise before dawn and watch your balloon inflate in the early rays of daybreak, ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $245.34

Alice Springs Highlights Half-Day Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 21 Reviews

At the very heart of Australia lies the historic town of Alice Springs - the pioneering gateway to a mysterious land of natural monuments, colorful outback ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $87.54

West MacDonnell Ranges Half-Day Tour with Optional Alice Springs Desert Park

4.5 star rating: Recommended 27 Reviews

Discover the rugged beauty of the Australian outback on a half-day tour of the West MacDonnell Ranges, or West Macs, from Alice Springs. See the ranges at ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: Tour Only - 3.5 hrs
Tour with Desert Park - 11 hrs

From USD $65.66
$87.54 Save $21.88

Alice Springs Quad Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 15 Reviews

A short transfer from all accommodation in Alice Springs to Undoolya Station, only 17km east of the town centre. This is the oldest working cattle station in ...  Read more

Location: Alice Springs, Australia
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $124.40

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