Alice Springs Holidays

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Need to Know

Getting Around

Buses in Alice Springs

ASBUS provides Alice Springs with its only public transport service. The buses follow four routes and are all customised with the work of local artists. Most of the buses are fully accessible for people with disabilities. If you are looking for an easy way to get around to specific sections of Alice Springs, buses are the way to go on the cheap.

Sightseeing Bus

The Alice Wanderer bus does a loop of all the major tourist sites including the Old Telegraph Station and the School of the Air. It's a great option as you can hop on and off wherever you like, but it's more expensive than taking the public bus – costing around $38 for an adult ticket.

Taxis

There's only one taxi company in Alice Springs. Taxis tend to congregate near to the visitors' centre and the major tourist destinations. You will also be able to find a huge number of taxis when you fly into the city. If you need to book a cab at any time on your journey you can call (08) 8952 1877.

Car hire

It's easy to hire a car in Alice Springs and it's a great option if you want to get out and explore the desert. Make sure to check the rental terms and conditions carefully though. Some companies may not offer unlimited free kilometres and sometimes you are not allowed to drive rental cars hired in different states into the Northern Territory.

Top Tips

Climate

In summer (November to February) daily temperatures can top 40°, while in winter (May to September) the nights can dip below zero. Summer is marked by the occasional thunderstorm, while in winter it rarely rains at all. Hats and sunscreen are essential year-round and it's important to always carry water with you and to keep a supply in your car.

Health & Safety

As well as remembering to drink lots of water and to always wear a hat, it's wise to never go off into the outback without first informing someone of your plans. It's very easy to become lost and disorientated, even if you're close to town. Take a map and plenty of water with you wherever you go.

When to visit

The tourist season begins in April and continues through until August (the cooler months). However, to avoid the masses, it's best to visit out of season. September is an ideal month, with fewer tourists, slightly cooler weather and fewer flies than in the summer months. The annual Alice Springs Festival takes place in September too.

Alcohol

As with most parts of Australia, it's illegal to drink in public in Alice Springs (both on the street and in parks). The one exception to this rule being the park by the Old Telegraph Station where you can have a BBQ and enjoy a picnic with a bottle or wine or some beers.

Flight Advice

Sydney to Alice Springs

Take the daily flight out of Sydney with Qantas and you will arrive in Alice Springs in 3 hours, 20 minutes.

Melbourne to Alice Springs

There is one flight from Melbourne to Alice Springs every day with Qantas, and it takes 2 hours, 55 minutes to reach its destination.

Perth to Alice Springs

Daily flights with Qantas leave Perth and arrive in Alice Springs in a total flight time of just 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Transfers

Shuttle transfers

A shuttle bus is one of the best ways to get to your destination. The Alice Springs bus runs between the airport and the town centre, dropping people off at hotels or by the tourist office. Bookings can be made online or at the desk in the airport once you arrive. Or you can pay the driver directly. Expect to pay around $15 per person.

Uluru Shuttle

For visitors wanting to visit Uluru (Ayer's Rock) but not wanting to drive the 440km, Qantas now offers direct flights from Alice Springs and other Australian cities. If you are an international traveller you can consider a Qantas Aussie AirPass or Virgin Blue Airpass for a trip via the Rock. Otherwise, once you land at Ayer's Rock Airport it's just a short trip to Uluru.

Car hire

For those who are looking to explore the city at their own pace and don't want to deal with the hassle of public transport and taxis, car hire is perhaps the best option. You can hire a vehicle at the airport or at one of several venues around town. Hire a car if you are keen to see unique parts of the outback whenever you please.

Taxis

Taxis are the most popular way for tourists to get into the city, and as such there is always a lengthy queue outside the terminal. If you are seeking a transfer from the airport, expect to pay about $30 for a one-way trip into town. Alternatively you can call ahead and book on (08) 8952 1877.

Experience Alice Springs

Things to do

Take to the air

A hot air balloon ride or helicopter trip is the most unforgettable way of taking in the vastness of the Australian outback and its wild mountain ranges. As you soar over Simpson's Gap and Mount Gillen you will have a chance to learn about the Aboriginal legends that go hand in hand with this stunning land.

Didgeridoo playing

Join a free workshop and learn all about the history of the didgeridoo as well as how to play one. In the evening, the Sounds of Starlight Theatre has become most famous for the Didgeridoo Show Outback. A didgeridoo music show inspired by Aboriginal stories and legends, it is regularly voted one of the best things to do in Alice Springs.

History tour

Alice Springs has much more to offer besides spectacular scenery. Take time to explore the town, particularly the historic Old Telegraph Station built back in the 1870s. There's also the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the School of The Air, the Museum of Central Australia and the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame. A history tour is something you won't soon forget.

The MacDonnell Ranges

Stretching out for hundreds of kilometres on both sides of Alice Springs, these mountain ranges are a natural wonder. Swimming holes, dramatic chasms and rocky gorges make for fantastic hiking opportunities. You can also camp under the stars or take a four-wheel drive off-road tour to explore this red wilderness. Join the bushfoods and medicine tour or visit Arltunga.

Restaurants

La Casalinga, 105 Gregory Terrace

A popular Italian restaurant renowned for its excellent pizza, the bases of which are spun right in front of you. Order the vanilla slice as soon as you walk in the door as it sells out early in the evening and is unquestionably to die for. La Casalinga is a must-eat destination in Alice Springs.

Red Dog, 64 Todd Mall

Get to Red Dog early so you can beat the crowds and savour the fantastic food on offer. They serve one of the best breakfasts in town and the queue can sometimes stretch out the door – a definite reason to arrive early! The berry pancakes come highly recommended, as do the fry-ups and burgers.

The Tea Shrine, Shop 6, 113 Todd Street

Serving vegetarian food with an Asian twist, as well as a variety of exotic teas, this little café is a great venue for lunch. Try the tom yum noodles and the iced chai tea. You can dine inside or out, but beware: it gets busy during the midday rush and is closed in the evenings.

Watertank Café, Bloomin' Deserts Nursery, 14 Hele Crescent

Here's a food destination you'll be raving about long after your holiday is over. A northern Territory favourite and great place for lunch or brunch, this gorgeous café is situated within the grounds of a garden centre. The menu focuses on healthy juices, salads and sandwiches, all made using local produce, a lot of which is grown onsite.

Bars / Nightlife

Lasseter's Hotel Casino, 93 Barrett Drive

With over 300 slot machines and a variety of table games including blackjack and roulette, this Casino is one of the main nightlife attractions. It's set within Lasseter's Hotel, so if you win big you can book a suite and order room service from one of the four restaurants onsite.

Firkin & Hound, 870/21 Hartley Street

This traditional British style pub serves good pub-grub and has 18 beers on tap. Not for fine dining but a good option if you fancy a well-priced meal, a pint and like to watch sport while eating. You'll find it in the centre of town, across the road from the old gaol.

Araluen Art Centre, Larapinta Drive, Araluen

This fabulous arts centre is a must for all visitors. It hosts regular performances, dance troupes, art house cinema screenings and exhibitions from local artists. It's also the place to go to discover more about the natural history of the area and to visit sacred Aboriginal sites.

The Juicy Rump, Lasseter's Hotel, 93 Barrett Drive

On Friday and Saturday nights this is the place to come to for Juicy After Dark – the hottest hangout in Alice Springs. There are often bands playing and its outdoor deck, with views of the MacDonnell Ranges, is a pleasant place to enjoy a cocktail, beer or juicy platter.

Suggested Itineraries

DAY 1: Set your sights high

Wake up extra early to watch the sun rise in Alice Spring's National Park. Early morning is the best time to catch the wildlife and to avoid the heat of the day. Picnic under the shade of a gumtree and take a dip in a swimming hole. In the evening saddle up for a sunset trek on a camel, watching the MacDonnell Ranges burst into fiery colour and keep an eye out for kangaroos.

DAY 2: Hot air balloon trip

There's no more magical way of experiencing the wonder of this vast land than by soaring above it in a hot air balloon. Spot wallabies and kangaroos before you come back to earth with a gentle bump and a champagne toast. Complete your day with a trip to the Aboriginal homelands of the Arrernte people for a real outback adventure and to go bushwalking through the Palm Valley.

DAY 3: History and spectacles

Hop on the Alice Wanderer bus and visit the Museum of the Flying Doctors as well as the Old Telegraph Station before travelling into the heart of the MacDonnell Ranges. A tour will take you to hidden canyons, quiet swimming holes and through rocky canyons. Stay beyond sunset for some stargazing. This far into the desert you're guaranteed an unparalleled view.

DAY 4: Uluru (Ayer's Rock)

Despite being 440km away, it's still possible to visit this iconic landmark in a day. A trip from Alice Springs takes the better part of a day and includes a stop for a camel trek en route. Once there you'll learn the legends of the Rock and be introduced to the Aboriginal culture and legends surrounding these sacred lands.

Alice Springs Weather

WEATHER TODAY

Sunny
19°
C
HIGH
29°
LOW
13°

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE (°C)

  • J37
  • F35
  • M33
  • A29
  • M24
  • J20
  • J20
  • A23
  • S29
  • O32
  • N34
  • D35

MONTHS

AVERAGE RAINFALL (mm)

  • J37
  • F36
  • M18
  • A22
  • M23
  • J11
  • J10
  • A5
  • S5
  • O22
  • N35
  • D37

MONTHS

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Terms & Conditions
*Sample package prices include accommodation plus roundtrip airfare for travel during the stated period. Prices are per person, based on double occupancy at hotel and lowest available airfare, inclusive of compulsory taxes & fees. Prices will vary by date, departure city, and availability. Some airlines may charge a fee based on your payment method, the fee is not reflected in the ticket price.
# Hotel only prices are for the stated travel period, based on twin share and include taxes and fees. Offers are subject to availability and change and may be discontinued without notice. Additional restrictions, minimum stays and blackout dates may apply.