The Land Down Under
If you are planning a trip to the Australian Outback, you need at least 5 days to visit the main attractions in the area and really claim that you have been there. Take a flight into Alice Springs, spend 2 days exploring the town, fly into Darwin where it will take you 2 days to really appreciate the town, and on the 5th day take a day-trip into Kakadu.
Getting there and Places to Stay
Alice Springs is the second largest town after Darwin in Northern Territory, and is the only town in an area which is roughly the size of Texas! Therefore, it is a hub for government offices, services, shopping centers and hotels. It is boiling hot during summers but being a dessert, it has sub-zero temperatures at nights during the winters.
Being right smack dab in the middle of the great Outback, this quirky town is ideal as a base camp for exploring the Outback. The nearest cities to Alice Springs are Adelaide and Darwin. Fly into the Alice Springs Airport on Qantas airlines from any major airport in Australia. Don’t even try taking a road trip unless you don’t mind spending at least 2 days driving there from the nearest city. Being a tourist town, you can easily get into a 4 star hotel like the Aurora Alice Springs or The Crowne Plaza with excellent facilities. For those traveling on a budget, you could check out backpacker motels like the Desert Rose Inn or White Gum Motel. You can also set up your teepee in one of the many caravan parks and camping areas the town has to offer.
Exploring the Sites and Sounds
You need at least 2 days to explore Alice Springs. On the first day, head to the Alice Spring Desert Park. It’s a must-see tourist spot and you can get a tour of the entire Outback in just a few hours. This will give you a feel for the local desert life and the enchanting landscapes. Next, visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The place is considered a legend and is very tourist-friendly with an interactive museum, a souvenir shop, and a neat little café famous for its yummy pies. The Telegraph Station is the heart and soul of Alice Springs. This is where the town started and offers guided tours retelling the story of the Aborigines, and the early settlers. If the weather-gods take a liking to you, you can end the day on the perfect note right here at the Telegraph Station with a barbecue dinner.
Next day, head out for the Simpson’s Gap. If you are a shutterbug, this is the place for you. All you have to do is point and shoot at this stunning Gap with striking waterholes and gorges galore. Only 18 kilometers away from Alice Springs, you can easily catch a bus if you don’t have your own vehicle.
Make a last stop at the Araluen Cultural Precinct which holds three art museums showcasing works by some of the greatest artists from around Central Australia. The Strehlow Research Centre for Aboriginal Culture is custodian of the famous anthropologist, Ted Strehlow’s works. Visitors can tour the galleries inside the center displaying artifacts of the Aboriginal people.
Holidaying in Alice Springs
The Alice Show, Henley on Todd and Beanie Festival are great fun. If you have more time, go Outback Hot Air Ballooning which is offered almost throughout the year provides visitors with a spellbinding view of the desert and a unforgettable sunrise. Stand in the middle of the highway and just gaze in shock and awe of stars visible in the clear desert sky. Or if you’re into that kind of thing, go on a camel ride on the Pyndan Camel Tracks. Alice Springs is a basket full of delightful surprises.
Check out Darwin coverage in this two part special of Australia’s Great Outback Adventure