The township of Alice Springs resides in the Northern Territory of Central Australia. Locals often refer to Alice Springs, as ‘The Alice’, or just ‘Alice’. In much earlier times, this region was the heart of Aboriginal life, where the land provided shelter, food, and water. Today, locals and visitors appreciate the outback town for it’s cultural diversity, history, and scenic landscapes. There is much to see and do in Alice Springs. Visitors can trek the Larapinta Trail, go on an all-day camel ride, explore and camp at the MacDonnell Ranges, discover indigenous art and music, and shop at the Todd Mall Markets.
1.Markets at Todd Mall
© Markets at Todd Mall
For 20 plus years, the Markets at Todd Mall continue to attract tourists, local visitors, and residents of nearby cities. This not for profit market takes place outdoors and hosts many types of stallholders, who sell a wide range of products. The Markets operate ten months a year, only closing during the months of January and February. Some of the categories of products for sale include, clothing, arts and crafts, jewelry, books, food, well-being products and more. Specialty items consist of dogs products, honey, stainless steel windspinners, frozen sorbet, and hot or iced coffee beverages.
Todd Mall, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-4-58-55-55-06
© Stringer Image/stock.adobe.com
The Larapinta Trail is an ancient, rugged landscape fit for multi-day treks. A small, specialized company, called Trek Larapinta, offers guided trekking tours on this trail. Originating in 1998, Trek Larapinta takes small groups of eight hikers on interpretive tours around the Larapinta Trail. They believe taking a group with eight or fewer people allows for a more intimate and educational experience. It's also more sustainable and provides a better quality experience for trekkers. Each trek is led by a professional, highly trained, and experienced guide to ensure a well-organized and safe, yet adventurous trip.
PO Box 9043 Alice Springs NT 0871 Australia, Phone: +61-13-00-13-32-78
3.The School of the Air
During the 1950's the first School of the Air opened, so that children living in remote areas of Australia, also called "The Bush," could receive an education. An HF radio receiver was the main form of communication between student, classmates and teacher. Parents also contributed by teaching some lessons and assisting with school assignments. The School of the Air provides students a Radio Transceiver and the
Government funds the cost of their education. Improvements in technology helped to advance the curriculum over time. Students of the Alice Spring School of the Air are spread out over a total of 386 thousand square miles.
80 Head St, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-51-68-00
© Desert Park
Desert Park in Alice Springs portrays life in Australia’s central desert. While touring this conservation center, visitors can learn about the desert environment, the plants, animals, birds, and people that live in this arid region. There are three different interpretive exhibits that showcase the deserts distinct habitats. Other highlights of the park include live presentations given by guides, a bird show, and a chance to see a few endangered species who live in the Nocturnal House. Visitors also get the opportunity to learn how to properly identify birds of the desert and learn how plants and animals adapt to the desert's dry environment.
871 Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs, Northern Territory 0870, Phone: +61-8-89-51-87-88
© Telegraph Station
Telegraph Station is a Historical Reserve that marks the spot of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Established in 1871, the station was responsible for relaying messages to and from the Overland Telegraph Line. Communication along this line connected Australia’s NT population with one another, and with the British Empire. With the invention of the telegraph line, messages written in Morse code could be sent from Alice Springs to England in five hours, compared to three or four months when sent by boat. Today, visitors can participate in a guided tour to learn more about the history of Telegraph Station.
Herbert Heritage Dr, Stuart NT 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-52-39-93
6.Aboriginal Australia Art & Culture Centre
© Przemyslaw Reinfus/stock.adobe.com
The Aboriginal People and the Torres Straight Islanders were the first to inhabit Australia and its surrounding islands. These groups are also referred to as the Indigenous Australians. Together, they represent nearly two-and-a-half percent of Australia's total population. To create art, Aboriginal people traditionally used what was available from their environment, to represent the ‘“Dreaming and their World.’’ In the different regions of Australia, Aboriginal art included ground drawings, rock art, and body paintings. At the Aboriginal Australia Art & Culture Centre, they source murals and artwork from the Aboriginals of Alice Spring and communities throughout Australia.
125 Todd St, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-52-34-08
© Kangaroo Sanctuary
The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs opened in 2011, just six years after Chris Barns founded the Baby Kangaroo Rescue Centre. The Kangaroo Sanctuary is a 188-acre wildlife sanctuary for rescued and orphaned adult and baby kangaroos. After rescuing the kangaroos, staff rehabilitate them and when ready, release them into the wild. For kangaroos who can’t rejoin the wild for whatever reason, they continue to live at the Sanctuary on a full-time basis. In 2015, the first wildlife hospital in Central Australia was built with the help of donations and fees paid by visitors who took a tour of the Sanctuary.
Colonel Rose Dr, Kilgariff NT 0873, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-65-00-38
8.Olive Pink Botanical Garden
© Yuval Helfman/stock.adobe.com
The Olive Pink Botanical Garden is named after Miss Olive Muriel Pink, who founded the Garden in 1956. Miss Pink was an anthropologist, artist, activist for Aboriginals and gardener. By 1985, the garden opened for visitors and was called Olive Pink Flora Reserve. It wasn’t until 1996 when the name changed to Olive Pink Botanical Garden. There are many recreational and sightseeing activities at the garden, including walking trails that lead to sweeping views of Alice Springs. Visitors can take self-guided walks and read signs containing historical information about the regions desert plants. Other spots around the garden are suitable for bird watching or picnicking.
Tuncks Rd, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-52-21-54
9.Sounds of Starlight Theatre
© Zsolt Biczó/stock.adobe.com
The Sounds of Starlight Theatre opened in 1996 by Andrew Langford. Andrew is known around the globe as an interpreter of the didgeridoo and has substantial knowledge of this one-of-a-kind instrument. Located in the Todd Mall, his contemporary theatre also features a gift shop and an art gallery. Each year, thousands of people visit this theatre. One of the most frequented shows at this venue is the Didgeridoo Show Outback. During the performance, Andrew plays the didgeridoo while drawing inspiration from the Aboriginals history. Another highlight of the theatre is the Didgeridoo workshop, that allows participants to have a unique musical experience with the instrument.
40 Todd St, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-53-08-26
Many years ago, during the mid 1800s, Afghan cameleers visited Australia with 24 dromedaries, a one-hump camel, for an expedition. Now, these creatures live all throughout the Northern Territory of Australia. Those who want to ride a camel can take a guided tour for a short duration, or a full-day adventure. A camel ride offers riders a unique perspective of Alice Springs. Even more, riders have the opportunity to cross through the Ilparpa Valley while getting up close to the mountains of the MacDonnell Ranges. While on this trip, riders receive an introduction to the culture of Australia’s indigenous people.
11.Barra On Todd
Barra On Todd is a restaurant situated in a tropical and natural setting. Guests can dine here for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week. Dishes available on the menu range from local bush flavors to international cuisine. Because the venue offers tables poolside, guests can enjoy a beverage or their entire meal in a relaxed outdoor sitting area. Barra On Todd is a casual, family-friendly restaurant that’s earned a reputation as a customer centered business that serves good quality food. Besides good food, there is a nice wine list to compliment the food menu.
34 Stott Terrace, Alice Springs, NT, 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-52-35-23
12.Casa Nostra Pizza & Spaghetti House
© Casa Nostra Pizza & Spaghetti House
Casa Nostra Pizza & Spaghetti House is an Italian restaurant that opens for dinner service. Because of the limited hours of operation, the restaurant tends to get very busy and recommends potential diners to call in advance to schedule a reservation. The restaurant offers indoor seating only, with a lovely, welcoming atmosphere, and quick and friendly service. They serve traditional and authentic Italian entrees and desserts. Although alcoholic drinks aren’t included on the menu, customers can bring their own and pay a minimal corkage fee. Customer favorites include dishes like pizza, vegetarian entrees, garlic potatoes, vanilla slice, and freshly made coffee.
1 Undoolya Rd, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-52-67-49
Red Ochre Grill is a restaurant in Todd Mall near the Aurora Alice Springs Hotel. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. And dining can take place either inside the air-conditioned dining area, or outdoor in the courtyard. The menu is extensive and includes speciality items like game meat and bush style dishes. Other menu options like tapas, platters, salads, ribs, and burgers are available as well. Chefs of the Red Ochre continually add new items to the menu by incorporating native and local ingredients in a modern style. Groups of all sizes can be accommodated and the restaurant makes an ideal setting for a private event or celebration.
11 Leichhardt Terrace, Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia, Phone: +61-8-89-52-96-14
13 Best Things to Do in Alice Springs, Australia
- Markets at Todd Mall, Photo: Markets at Todd Mall
- Larapinta Trail, Photo: Stringer Image/stock.adobe.com
- The School of the Air, Photo: pikselstock/stock.adobe.com
- Desert Park, Photo: Desert Park
- Telegraph Station, Photo: Telegraph Station
- Aboriginal Australia Art & Culture Centre, Photo: Przemyslaw Reinfus/stock.adobe.com
- Kangaroo Sanctuary, Photo: Kangaroo Sanctuary
- Olive Pink Botanical Garden, Photo: Yuval Helfman/stock.adobe.com
- Sounds of Starlight Theatre, Photo: Zsolt Biczó/stock.adobe.com
- Camel Ride, Photo: homocosmicos/stock.adobe.com
- Barra On Todd, Photo: kichigin19/stock.adobe.com
- Casa Nostra Pizza & Spaghetti House, Photo: Casa Nostra Pizza & Spaghetti House
- Red Ochre, Photo: BillionPhotos.com/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: mandywilson/stock.adobe.com