Things to do in
Alice Springs

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Our most recommended things to do in Alice Springs

From Alice Springs: Uluru Full-Day Tour with BBQ Dinner

1. From Alice Springs: Uluru Full-Day Tour with BBQ Dinner

Depart Alice Springs early to get a taste of the Australian Outback with a stop at Erldunda for a buffet breakfast. Then, continue to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to see the domes of the rock formations on your first walk. Learn about the local Pitjantjatjara people at the cultural center. Then, go to the base of Uluru for a guided walk to see the Anangu rock art. Head to Mutitjulu Waterhole for a short hike to the home of the ancestral Wanampi water snake and share some traditional "dreamtime" stories. Sip a glass of sparkling wine as you watch the sunset over Uluru, and end the day with a barbeque dinner before the return journey to Alice Springs.

Alice Springs: Early Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight

2. Alice Springs: Early Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight

Your ballooning adventure begins in the cool pre-dawn darkness as you are picked up from your accommodation in Alice Springs. During the drive to the desert launch site you will get to know the crew as they make final weather checks and explain the routine for the morning. At the launch site gas burners are used to inflate the balloons just as the sun lights up the rugged MacDonnell Ranges. Once floating gently in the air you will appreciate the vast remoteness of the Australian outback. Wildlife, particularly big red kangaroos are seen nearly every day as the balloon floats above spinifex grasses, mulga scrub and cattle stations. After landing, enjoy a program designed to allow you a unique opportunity to experience the Australia bush. Most landings are in the desert, kilometers away from the nearest road. There is no traffic, no other people and no noise. The perfect place to enjoy a glass of sparkling Australian wine or if you prefer some tropical apple and guava juice. Perhaps mix the two for a delightful morning cocktail. Drinks are accompanied by a variety of muffins, biscuits, slices of cheese and fresh fruit. It's the perfect mix to enjoy before reboarding your bus to return to “town”.

Alice Springs: Half-day Tour to West MacDonnell Ranges

3. Alice Springs: Half-day Tour to West MacDonnell Ranges

Experience the beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges on this tour from Alice Springs. Head to must-see locations like Anzac Hill, Flynn's Grave Historical Reserve, Simpsons Gap, and Standley Chasm. Marvel at natural wonders and stop at some local memorials. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Alice Springs. Sit back and relax in the comfortable bus on your way to Anzac Hill. Stop for panoramic views over the town of Alice Springs and the surrounding MacDonnell ranges. Learn about the war memorial at Anzac Hill. Travel to John Flynn's Grave Historical Reserve where the Reverend Flynn was laid to rest. Hear about Flynn, the founder of Royal Flying Doctor Service. Enjoy the changing colors of the West MacDonnell Ranges from this location and get some photos. Continue to the towering cliffs of Simpsons Gap. Discover why this area is important to the local Arrernte Aboriginal people. Stroll along a dry creek bed to a dramatic gap in the MacDonnell Ranges. Try to spot some local wildlife like black-footed rock-wallabies at the watering hole. Head to the dramatic Standley Chasm geological formation. Standley Chasm is operated by Arrernte aboriginal family members who are direct descendants of the Aboriginal people who have lived in the area for thousands of years. Experience the unique landscapes created by the micro-climate in this valley.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

4. From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

Be picked up from your Alice Springs accommodation at 7:45 AM and set off on a day of adventure and exploration! Enjoy the spectacular outback scenery and photo opportunities as you travel along the magnificent West MacDonnell Ranges, stopping at historic sites. Enjoy beautiful walks at Simpsons Gap, a natural rock amphitheater that is home to endangered black-footed rock wallabies. Stop at Standley Chasm for morning tea and a leisurely stroll. At Ochre Pits, discover rock walls covered by natural coloured ochre, used for sacred ceremonies of the local Aboriginal people. Ormiston Gorge is up next: a great place for a swim, or to see the towering walls of the gorge and pound, local plants and wildlife. By now, you will have certainly worked up an appetite for lunch! Next stop is at Glen Helen. The landscape here is spectacular - a towering sandstone wall is the first thing you see as you arrive. The area includes views of Mount Sonder, one of the highest points in Central Australia, which changes colours with the light.  On the way back to Alice Springs, witness the famous and enchanting Ellery Creek Big Hole. This waterhole is one of Central Australia’s most pristine, so don’t forget your swimmers in the warmer months! Visit Flynns Memorial and from October to March, you may decide to partake in an incredible Sunset Camel Ride at the Camel farm (optional, at your own expense). The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary for their immensity and the spectacular array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples on display. These mighty ranges light up in brilliant oranges and reds at sunset on the return trip to Alice Springs. Get dropped off at your accommodation in Alice Springs at approximately 5:30 PM.

From Alice Springs: Palm Valley 4WD Outback Safari + Picnic

5. From Alice Springs: Palm Valley 4WD Outback Safari + Picnic

Enjoy an exciting 1-day safari on a four-wheel drive from Alice Springs through the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges to Hermannsburg, an Aboriginal community and historic precinct. Hermannsburg is renowned for its Aboriginal art collection, in particular the works of famous Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira. Enjoy a leisurely tea in Hermannsburg, and then set off on your 4WD for the second half of the adventure. Travel down the bed of the Finke River, one of oldest water courses in the world, into the stunning Palm Valley. Admire the spectacular rock formations, such as the one known as the Amphitheatre, and the lush palm trees of the oasis rising out of the white sand. Keep your eyes peeled for native plants such as the cycad and the Livistonia Mariae. Enjoy a picnic lunch within the beautiful Finke Gorge National Park, and on your return journey, relax and enjoy the changing colors of the magnificent West MacDonnell Ranges.

Palm Valley Full-Day 4WD Adventure from Alice Springs

6. Palm Valley Full-Day 4WD Adventure from Alice Springs

Expose yourself to authentic Australian culture on a full-day tour to Palm Valley, departing from Alice Springs. Drive along the ochre colored roads of the West MacDonnells along the way. Follow the designated state route of Larapinta Drive, traveling into the Aboriginal homelands of the Arrernte people. Immerse yourself in true outback country as you head into the Finke Gorge National Park. Upon arrival, a 4WD coach will drive you along the dry bed of the Finke River, traveling to the strange, semi-tropical oasis of Palm Valley in the Red Center. Go for a bushwalk through groves of livistona palm trees, and enjoy the remoteness of the landscape. Next, stop off at the 19th-century Lutheran mission of Hermannsburg to learn more about the aboriginal history, art and culture of the region.

Alice Springs: Coach Transfer to Ayers Rock Resort

7. Alice Springs: Coach Transfer to Ayers Rock Resort

Travel from Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) aboard a luxury coach. Enjoy the rugged desert landscapes and the scenic views as you pass through the beautiful MacDonnell Ranges. On this 6-hour transfer you’ll stop at a camel farm and learn about the impact camels had in opening up Central Australia. Camels, ideally suited to the hot, dry climate of Australia’s interior, were imported in the 19th century and remained the principal means of outback transport until railways and roads were established. You’ll have a chance to ride a camel during your visit (not included in the tour price). While travelling through this remote country, your driver/guide will provide informative and entertaining commentary. Learn about the region’s natural and geological history, and about the unique Australian desert flora and fauna. The Perentie monitor lizard, the thorny devil, and the red kangaroo make their home here. You’ll also hear about the traditional customs and beliefs of local Aboriginals. There will be time for a stop at the Erldunda road house for a quick break. Take in the views of flat-topped Atila (Mt. Conner) in the distance before arriving at Ayers Rock Resort rested, relaxed, and ready to explore the amazing World Heritage Site of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

8. From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary with their immensity and array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples. View spectacular outback scenery and take photos as you travel along through magnificent Outback Country, making stops at the many historic locations. Depart Alice Springs to explore The West Macs, stopping at the historical Flynn’s Grave Memorial, resting place of Reverend Flynn, founder of The Royal Flying Doctor Service. Next up, travel to Simpsons Gap, featuring towering cliffs and a permanent waterhole. The site is significant to the Arrernte people as the home of giant goanna ancestors. Take a walk to sport black-footed rock wallabies and take magnificent photos. Lastly, you will visit Standley Chasm. Traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, this is an important cultural place, sacred to womens’ dreaming in Aboriginal culture. Take a 0.75 mile (1.2km) walk to access the dramatic 262 foot (80 metre) tall rock-face. On the way there or back, note the unusual features of the natural landscape here, the unique micro climate in this valley has created some distinctive features, such as ancient Cycads and a myriad of rock types and pebbles that are thousands of years old, washed down from miles upstream. After your walk enjoy Morning Tea at local cafe. Then make your way back to Alice Springs where you will have the afternoon free to explore.

A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs

9. A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs

This afternoon you’ll learn how the town of Alice Springs has evolved into the central hub of the Australian outback. Your driver guide will provide details along the way as you visit historical sites and some of the essential services delivered from Alice to the community of this vast region. The first stop is the Alice Springs School of the Air which provides education to primary aged school children living on remote properties throughout the Northern Territory. Learn how this essential service is delivered via satellite across more than one million square kilometres. Alice Springs Telegraph Station: Built in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide, the historic Telegraph Station is the site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. After 60 years of operation, the premises then served as a school for the local Aboriginal children. Now a historical reserve, featuring the original stone buildings and furnishings from the early 1900s, the Telegraph Station is a must to visit and learn more of the history of the Alice. Royal Flying Doctor Service: Now you’ll visit the home and headquarters of the highly respected Royal Flying Doctor Service. Delivering medical services to people who live, work and travel in remote and rural Australia, the RFDS is a critical resource for this community. Learn of its remarkable history through stories, images and their wonderful interactive museum. Alice Springs Reptile Centre: Home to the largest reptile display in Central Australia, the Alice Springs Reptile Centre will introduce you to Terry the saltwater crocodile and let you get very close to enormous goannas and frill-neck lizards. The Gecko Cave features a large collection of gecko species from all over the Northern Territory. You’ll have lots of fun here, particularly during the afternoon show and if you’re game, try the supervised handling session. Your last stop is Anzac Hill. Originally dedicated to the many men and women who lost their lives during WWI, it now honors all those who have served in wars in which Australia has played a role.

Uluru to Alice Springs or Alice to Uluru 1-Way Luxe Transfer

10. Uluru to Alice Springs or Alice to Uluru 1-Way Luxe Transfer

Enjoy a transfer service departing either Alice Springs or Ayers Rock Resort. Travel in a modern, with a toilet onboard, drop-down televisions, and in-seat USB ports. Alice Springs Departures You'll be picked up outside your Alice Springs accommodation at approximately 06:00 AM. Arrive Yulara at approximately 11:45 AM. Be dropped off at the Outback Pioneer Hotel at the Ayers Rock Resort. Ayers Rock Departures You'll be picked up at the Outback Pioneer Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort just after sunset. Be transferred to your Alice Springs accommodation, arriving around midnight. Note that Ayers Rock pick-up times vary depending on which month you travel. 

Frequently asked questions about Alice Springs

What top attractions are a must-see in Alice Springs?

Planning Your Visit

  • Are there any particular rules for wildlife areas?

    Pets are generally not allowed. Please also exercise common sense and respect for the environment and community - don't drop litter!

  • What should I wear?

    Temperatures in this part of the world can soar to 100 degrees and bushfires are not uncommon in the summer (December, January, February). Therefore, you should take the heat seriously - wear cool cotton, lather up plenty of sunscreen, bring a hat, and stay hydrated.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    AUD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+09:30)
  • Country Code
    61
  • Best time to visit
    Alice Springs can get very hot, so try to visit in April when the temperatures are bearable and tourist season is only just starting.

Other Sightseeing Options in Alice Springs

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What people are saying about Alice Springs

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 461 reviews

Great day!! Was long almost 19 hours in total after being picked up and dropped off but our drivers Jimmy and Ross were very knowledgable and gave a great insight into the history of the area. My only comment though for improvement would be to have possibly the option for travelers to walk around Uluru instead of being picked up and dropped at different points. I know it's difficult with time constraints but a few of us were seasoned walkers and would've done it comfortably in the time we spent there, otherwise a fantastic experience

The guys at emu run are fantastic we had jimmy and Rossco they were so good a long day but they made it go seamlessly most memorable day they are informative funny and helpful recommend this trip

Really great experience, it felt really personalable and being a group of 8 felt like we all wanted everyone to have the best time. Would definitely book again.

A great tour made up of some of the best sites in Alice Springs. Guide is great. Was dropped off at the Cultural Centre rather than hotel.

Our bus driver was fantastic very knowledgeable. Uluru is a very special and spiritual place.