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About Alice Springs - Accommodation - Tours & what to do - Transport & car hire - Photos - Street map

What to do in Alice Springs

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Alice Springs may be a small town but you could spend at least a week here to see it all; Ayers Rock / Uluru, Kings Canyon, Olgas /Kata Tjuta, Aboriginal culture, camel riding, hot air ballooning, lots to do !

Aboriginal art and culture in Alice Springs

Albert Namatjira
Heavitree Gap, Alice Springs
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To learn more about the original inhabitants of the area, the Arrente Aborigines, visit the Strehlow Centre or the Araluen Arts Centre. It has some of the work of well known Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira. Or go on one of the guided tours from Alice Springs that will take you out to remote Abriginal communities.

Albert Namatjira was the first Australian Aborigine to be recognized both nationally and internationally as an artist. His landscape paintings capture the essence of the Australian outback. Namatjira's paintings express his relationship with the Arrernte country, particularly the Western Arrernte lands, for which he was a traditional custodian. Through his intense scrutiny of specific places and his sensitive response to their individual qualities, Namatjira enables us to see the Centre as a multi-faceted region of Australia. A region of extremes, central Australia is far from a 'dead heart'.
Albert Namatjira was born in 1902 spending time in his early formative years at the Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission. He was initiated as a young man into the sacred tribal ways and was taught the tribal customs and ancient laws of the Western Aranda. Namatjira greatly respected his tribal laws and seldom traveled far from his ancestral home. The majority of his watercolour works were landscapes of areas that he had known throughout his life, for they fell within the tribal land of the Western Aranda.
His art brought him fame and a degree of wealth, but little freedom. Throughout his life he never neglected his tribal responsibilities and he never neglected his family or his people, sharing the little that he made from the sales of his art, with his family and friends. Albert Namatjira died in 1959.

Dot painting workshop

aboriginal art at uluru ayers rock

A unique experience! Today you'll join Aboriginal artists at the Uluru Aboriginal Cultural Centre for a fascinating introduction to Aboriginal law and art. Learn the meaning of some of the symbols in the dot paintings that depict Aboriginal culture and lifestyle. Spend the afternoon with the artists and create your own Aboriginal dot painting, which you'll be able to take home as a momento of your experience at Ayers Rock (Uluru) More info....

Annual events in Alice Springs

From May till August a number of annual events are held in Alice Springs, also Halloween, Independence Day and Thanksgiving are celebrated, due to quite a few Americans living here employed at the U.S/Australian Pine Gap joint defense satellite monitoring base.

Henley on Todd Regatta - a race with a difference; the Todd river that runs through Alice Springs is at this time of year as dry as a Pommy's bath towel (Australian expression for very dry). But with good old Aussie ingenuity the problem has been solved by having boats with no bottoms so people are actually running carrying the boats!

Finke Desert Race - some info to be added here soon...

Camel Cup - the outback's answer to the Melbourne Cup. Every year at Alice Springs locals and tourists come together to witness the annual Camel Cup. This long-running tradition - a fundraiser for the Lions Club - began in 1970 after a pub bet, but proved so popular the charity decided to hold it on an annual basis. In 2004 the race became a bit more official when the government of Afghanistan announced it will sponsor the cup - in recognition of the contribution of early Afghans to the development of the Australian outback. Also they will send their ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Mahmoud Saikal, to present a trophy to the winner of the race. Afghan cameleers were crucial in major exploration and settling of the remote regins of Australia between 1860 and 1930. The 34th annual Camel Cup carnival will was held at Alice Springs' Blatherskite Park with 30 camels fighting it out in nine races.

Flying Doctors

A visit to the Royal Flying Doctors Visitors Centre on Stuart terrace is a worthwhile thing to do, this uniquely Australian institution provides medical care to vast outback areas too far from any other medical facilities. Here you can learn about this amazing Australian institution and all proceeds of entry fees help to keep the Flying Doctors flying. You may have seen them in action in the Aussie TV series Flying Doctors that was popular in the 1980s that gave a pretty realistic view of the magnificent work they do.

Botanic Gardens

Visit the Olive Pink Botanic Garden for an introduction to Central Australia's native plantlife, find it on the other side of Todd River on Stott Terrace.

Old Ghan Museum

The Ghan is the train that connects Alice Springs with the outside world and its name reflects the important contribution Afghan cameleers made to this region. It, is a very important part of the history of Alice Springs and you can find learn more about it at the Old Ghan Museum and Transport Hall of Fame.

Stargazing at Ayers Rock

The skies in Central Australia's desert are clear most of the year, and the absence of cities spreading their lights makes this the absolute perfect place to watch the stars of the southern hemisphere!



Tours from Alice Springs

Daytrip from Alice Springs

visit the olgas kata tjuta and uluru ayers rock on a daytrip
Kata Tjuta
© NT Tourism Commission

Rising from the desert sands, this massive creation from the dawn of time will overwhelm you. The richness of colour changing by the hour, the powerful presence of the Aboriginal Tjukurpa (dreaming) and the enormity of this symbol of the Australian Outback.
Traverse the Walpa Gorge at Kata Tjuta (Olgas), a tumbled mass of protruding rock domes. Nothing will prepare you for your first close up of Uluru (Ayers Rock); its ancient mystery, its spirit and its wonder. Visit this monolith of Uluru… and stand in awe! More info....


Uluru and Kata Tjuta Camping Safari

uluru ayres rock and kata tjuta the olgas on two day tour
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
© NT Tourism Commission

This two day camping safari visits two of the main attractions of the Red Centre. Marvel at Uluru (Ayers Rock) and take the opportunity to walk along the base of this mighty monolith. Visit sacred Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and wonder at the rocky domes and canyon walls. This tour is designed for those who are looking for adventure and who want to experience the beauty of Central Australia whilst enjoying the reward of camping and meeting new friends.
This camping safari caters for those on a limited budget but still wanting to travel in a small group (10 - 22 passengers). Although there is no hard work on the camping tour, its success does rely on the participation of all the passengers to help with things like cooking and collecting firewood. More info....


Ayres Rock, Olgas and Kings Canyon

uluru ayres rock olgas kings canyon camping trip
Kings Canyon
© NT Tourism Commission

Explore the highlights of the Red Centre on this three day camping safari. See the majestic monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock), the domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and the rugged beauty of Kings Canyon. This tour is designed for those who are looking for adventure and who want to experience the beauty of Central Australia whilst enjoying the reward of camping and meeting new friends.
This camping safari caters for those on a limited budget but still wanting to travel in a small group (10 - 22 passengers). More info....


Red Centre 4WD Camping Safari

uluru ayers rock camping safari
Ayers Rock
© NT Tourism Commission

This 4WD camping safari gives you an in-depth experience of the Red Centre. From the more familiar icons such as the majestic monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock), the domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and the rugged beauty of Kings Canyon, to the lesser known highlights of the Western MacDonnell Ranges, Palm Valley and the Wallace Rock Hole Aboriginal Community. This tour is designed for those who are looking for adventure and who want to experience the beauty of Central Australia whilst enjoying the reward of camping and meeting new friends.
This camping safari caters for those on a limited budget but still wanting to travel in a small group (18 passengers maximum). More info....


Take a camel to dinner!

take a camel to dinner in alice springs

No trip to Alice Springs is complete without a ride on a camel. You are collected from your Alice Springs hotel and transferred to the Date Gardens, where you meet your 'ship of the desert' under the shady palms. Get to know your camel on a leisurely one hour ride along the sandy course of the Todd River bed, past magnificent river red gums, on your way to dinner.
On arrival at the Frontier Camel Farm, enjoy a visit of the Camel Display, the Camel Shop and the kangaroo enclosure, before pre-dinner drinks and bush-tucker tasting. Then sit down to a delicious home-cooked dinner, including nibbles of nutritious native foods and home made bread, a choice of baked fillet of Barramundi (Fish) or Prime Beef with fresh salads, warm sticky date pudding, Australian wine or beer, tea or coffee and fresh local dates. After dinner, you are transferred back to your Alice Springs hotel.
More info....


Ride a quad runner

quadrunner tours in alice springs

This outback quadrunner adventure includes a guided tour with commentary across the station over bush tracks, dry riverbeds and alongside mountain ranges. Wildlife can also be viewed at close proximity. Undoolya Station is only 17km east of Alice Springs and is the oldest working cattle station in the Northern Territory and Outback Quad Adventures are the sole operators on the station.
Undoolya Station has been operating since the 1800s. The people associated with the property and the history that has been created is nothing short of fascinating. The property is named after the aboriginal word meaning, shadow. The homestead was one of the first buildings constructed in Central Australia, and is still the main family accommodation. All bikes are fully automatic, superior specification, and easy and fun to ride. No licence is required. No previous experience is necessary and the tour operator has an excellent safety record. This Quad Rush tour is bound to leave you breathless!
More info....


Sunrise ballooning

outback sunrise ballooning in alice springs

Start your ballooning adventure in the pre-dawn when the outback sky is alight with the brightest stars and the air is fresh and cool. Inflation of the balloon begins with the first faint glow of dawn in the east and we are aloft when the powerful rays of sunrise light up this ancient red land and its brooding sentinel, the MacDonnell Ranges.
Drift over this rugged landscape and appreciate its immensity and the flashes of green and ruby pink that announce wheeling budgerigars and galahs. After the flight enjoy a gourmet bush breakfast, which is served in the outback bush, before returning to your hotel. A superb way to see the Australian outback.
More info....


aboriginal culture tours
© Australian Pacific Touring

aboriginal culture tours
© Australian Pacific Touring

Travel deep into the Outback Australian bush with an Aboriginal guide and visit traditional Arrernte Country. For 40,000 years this area has been a 'meeting place' for the trading of stories, artifacts, knowledge and artworks. Immerse yourself in this ancient and fascinating culture, share in the remarkable knowledge of the Arrernte people and hear tales of their legends and dreamings.
There is an opportunity to sample genuine bush tucker. Listen to the stories and history of this precious region whilst enjoying billy tea with damper. Later, have a go at throwing a boomerang and a spear and learn about Aboriginal languages, art, dance, music and even how to play the didgeridoo. On conclusion of the tour at approximately 12:30pm, you will be transferred back to your hotel. More info on this tour....


aboriginal culture tours
Hermannsburg Mission Church
© NT Tourism Commission

On this ten hour 4WD Safari you depart Alice Springs in the morning and travel through the West MacDonnell Ranges to the remote Aboriginal community of Hermannsburg in Central Australia for a guided tour of the historic precinct and its renowned Aboriginal art collection. More info on this tour....


Admire the Aboriginal rock art in the East MacDonnell Ranges on this tour. Explore scenic gorges and ravines and discover Aboriginal rock art that dates back hundreds and even thousands of years. Enjoy a bush breakfast before continuing your journey of discovery in this picturesque region. More info on this tour....

Discover Alice Springs in a day, and visit the remote remote, authentic and non-commercial Santa Teresa Aboriginal community, look at Aboriginal art and meet the local Aboriginal people. You will be taken back to Alice Springs where you will have time to purchase lunch (own expense), before joining the tour again to see the town highlights of Alice Springs and visit the West MacDonnell Ranges and Standley Chasm. More info on this tour....


aboriginal culture tours
Kata Tjuta
© Northern Territory Tourist Commission

Want to experience sacred sites known to the Aboriginal people, then dine under the stars of the Outback? This is a fantastic opportunity to explore unforgettable landscapes and feel the enchantment of the wilderness for yourself. Sit at your private dining setting in the middle of the desert and dine in the serenity of the Outback under a million stars, more info on this tour...


Uluru Cultural Centre
© Australian Pacific Touring

Aboriginal people have lived around Uluru for thousands of years and this tour introduces you to the stories and language of their ancestors. Aboriginal guides explain their culture and law and demonstrate the bush skills needed to survive. See ancient rock art and listen to the Python Dreaming legend. More info on this tour....

Transport Hall of Fame

Here you can learn about how people managed to get themselves and the supplies needed to settle this remote region from civilization to where it was needed. Tranport included camel trains, road trains and real trains.


About Alice Springs - Accommodation - Tours & what to do - Transport & car hire - Photos - Street map

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