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Alice Springs

Culture & History

Our most recommended Alice Springs Culture & History

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.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

2. 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 colored 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. The 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 colors 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.

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

3. 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.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

4. 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.

ALICE TOWN AND COUNTRY HALF DAY SUNSET TOUR - SMALL GROUP

5. ALICE TOWN AND COUNTRY HALF DAY SUNSET TOUR - SMALL GROUP

Itinerary Araluen Arts Centre Your first visit is to Araluen Arts Centre. You will get an excellent opportunity to get a closer look at Albert Mamatjira's arts, learn about unique natural history, follow the evolution of the landscape and fascinating creatures, and explore the panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The Araluen Arts Centre aims to develop a collection of artworks that reflect a permanent record of art practice in Central Australia. Araluen arts centre holds a comprehensive collection of paintings by Albert Namatjira. Museum of Central Australia Your next visit will be to the Museum of Central Australia. It tells the region's unique natural history, following the evolution of the landscape and the fascinating creatures that inhabited it. The Museum of Central Australia also houses the Strehlow Research Centre, one of Australia's most important film, sound, archival records and museum objects relating to Indigenous ceremonial life. Royal Flying Doctor Service Alice Springs Tour Facility Your next exciting place is Royal Flying Doctor Service Alice Springs Tour Facility. See, experience and learn through the wonder of technology the heroic tales of the birth and growth of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Learn about the history and the activities of the RFDS’s pilots, engineers, doctors and nurses, and the experiences of the patients that are carried and cared for each day. Learn the importance of the RFDS to outback Australians and the medical care required to service isolated regions. John Flynn's Grave Historical Reserve Your next stop will be Flynn’s Grave Memorial, the resting place of Reverend Flynn, the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We make a short stop to relax and enjoy the changing colours of the magnificent West MacDonnell Ranges and get some photos. Simpsons Gap Then your next stop will be Simpson Gap. Simpson Gap features the towering cliffs of Simpsons Range, a permanent waterhole and opportunities to spot resident wildlife, ancient Red River Gums with a taste of Central Australia. Simpsons Gap is a significant site to the local Arrernte Aboriginal people and was the mythological home of giant goanna ancestors. We will take you on a short, easy walk alongside a picturesque dry creek bed that leads to a dramatic gap in the MacDonnell Ranges and a waterhole rich in native wildlife, flora and geology. Sometimes you may even spot you might see Black-footed Rock-wallabies along the walking track into the rocky slopes gap. Anzac Hill Our last visit of the day is at Anzac Hill, where you will be able to take in panoramic views over the town of Alice Springs and the surrounding MacDonnell ranges. You may be able to capture one photo to cover the entire town. Anzac Hill is a memorial dedicated to those who served in Australia’s defence forces during all international wars. After Anzac Hill, your tour will conclude with us dropping you back at your hotel.

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: Town Highlights and West MacDonnell Ranges

7. Alice Springs: Town Highlights and West MacDonnell Ranges

Depart Alice Springs to explore The West Macs, stopping at the historical Flynn’s Grave Memorial, the 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 being the home of giant goanna ancestors. Following that, take a walk to spot black-footed rock wallabies and take magnificent photos. You'll then visit Standley Chasm. Traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, this is an important cultural place which is sacred to women's dreaming in Aboriginal culture. Take a 1.2-kilometer walk to access the dramatic 80-meter-tall rock-face, and on the way there or back, note the unusual features of the natural landscape. 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. After your walk, enjoy morning tea at a local cafe before heading back to Alice Springs for some free time for lunch before setting off again to explore the town. In the afternoon, tour the sights of "The Alice" including the School of the Air. Learn how children who cannot access schools are educated by radio, and you may have the opportunity to listen to and observe actual lessons in progress on air. Stop at the historic Telegraph Station, which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service, where you will see how medical aid reaches those who live in the remote "outback". You'll also stop at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, where you can see up close and maybe touch some of the lizards and snakes of Central Australia's semi-arid desert. The tour later concludes with panoramic views of the township of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.

Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley 1-day 4WD Tour

8. Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley 1-day 4WD Tour

Go where the big operators don’t! This 4WD adventure begins at sunrise as you follow the Old Ghan railway route south to the historic landmark of Chambers Pillar. On the way, explore the ancient and sacred Ewaninga rock carvings which the local Arrente Aboriginal people have been visiting for thousands of years. Learn about the cultural significance of these astonishing petroglyphs over a sumptuous European-style morning tea. Next, visit the remote Aboriginal community of Titjikala and its renowned art center. This is a rare opportunity to purchase an authentic piece of Central Australian Aboriginal art without paying gallery prices. From there, follow in the footsteps of the early explorers, crossing the sands of the dry Hugh River, and ascending to a stunning lookout atop the Charlotte Range, from which the vast Simpson Desert and the distant Chambers Pillar come into view. Travel the same red, sandy track the great John McDouall Stuart took more than 150 years before, to arrive at the giant natural sandstone sculptures of the Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve.  Choose to walk around and even up to the base of this astonishing natural wonder. Your guide will explain the geology of this amazing landscape, taking you back to when all this prehistoric countryside was under the sea, as well as relating the ancient Aboriginal dreamtime stories that created these magnificent structures. After your walk, relax and enjoy a gourmet lunch, prepared on-site by your guide under the shade of the majestic desert oaks, in this beautiful wilderness reserve.  After lunch, visit spectacular Rainbow Valley, following the spine of the ancient James Ranges along the historical Hugh River Stock Route, passing the iconic River Red Gums and Ghost Gums of the riverine woodlands. Rainbow Valley is one of the most striking geological features in the country and her sunsets are as spectacular as any in Australia. As the day ends, enjoy a lovely, easy stroll to Mushroom Rock, amongst the distinctive plant life and flowers of this unique region, whilst your guide prepares a lavish sunset platter. Return from your walk to a banquet of European cheeses, gourmet crackers, delicious cured meats and much more, as the true colors of Rainbow Valley reveal themselves to the setting sun. Return to Alice where your guide will take you to your accommodation after an unforgettable day in Australia’s Outback. 

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What people are saying about Alice Springs

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 243 reviews

So very enjoyable and well looked after in every way. Had a great group on the bus which really helped in participation and assisted to thoroughly enjoy the magnificent beauty and landscapes of the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges. Plenty of time to enjoy each site and morning tea and lunch were delicious and no shortage in either meal.

Palm Valley is stunning! Karen from Emu Run Experiences was our friendly, experienced 4WD driver, walking guide and chef. Beautiful walking track at Palm Valley, morning and afternoon tea stop at historic Hermannsburg - a fantastic day - thank you :)

The ranges were excellent, the bus was clean and had good air. The guide was just ok ( I’m comparing to other tours where i e had overly friendly guides so maybe a bit unfair) … he wasn’t overly friendly but wasn’t mean just ok.

Such a big day! A hot welcoming breakfast at Erldunda cattle station road-house, delicious fresh wrap and fruit for lunch and the relaxing sunset BBQ overlooking Uluru. Perfect sunshine and lots to see and learn. Thank you!

A long day / only complaint was having to stop 3 times for folks to use toilet because bus one broken which meant we had less time seeing things