Holidays in Arltunga Historical Reserve

Holiday Travel Guide
Alice Springs showing tranquil scenes and a house

Pan for gold, explore an old mine and wander through the historic streets of Central Australia’s first town, where gold fever was in full swing from 1887 to 1913.

Go panning for gold and explore remnants of old mines at the Arltunga Historical Reserve. The town of Arltunga sprung up around gold diggings early in Central Australia’s settler history in 1887. Today the historic area has been preserved for visitors. Discover the old gaol, Government Battery, Cyanide Works and a former Police Station.

Start your exploration at the Visitor Centre, where you can pan for gold in the courtyard. Learn about the history and culture of the area through photographs, artefacts and displays. Prospectors once had to make a 600-kilometre (372-mile) journey on foot from the Oodnadatta rail terminus to the region. It was only later that Alice Springs grew into a town to provide provisions for Arltunga.

In the peak tourist season between May and September, Arltunga Historical Reserve Rangers offer guided tours of the old town. Tours can be organised in the Visitor Centre for a fee. Alternatively, take a self-guided walk. Visit the old machinery of the Battery and Cyanide Works. Here, rocks were crushed to extract gold, which was further leached out using cyanide.

Wander through the eerie landscape dotted with rusted mining equipment and furnaces. You’ll notice a step down in some of the abandoned buildings, which was a measure designed to insulate against heat. Explore old mine shafts cut down into the rock. You can go inside, but watch for obstacles and don’t forget to bring a torch.

Hire a four-wheel drive to access two old cemeteries further out of town. The burial grounds are evidence of the unforgiving life of a gold miner in Arltunga. It was almost impossible to grow fresh fruit and vegetables because of the heat, meaning the miners’ diet was limited.

The Arltunga Historical Reserve and Visitor Centre are open every day. The reserve is located 110 kilometres (68 miles) east of Alice Springs. There is no camping within the reserve but there is accommodation nearby. Camp at N’Dhala Gorge or Trephina Gorge Nature Park. Enjoy something to eat or a cold beer at the nearby Ross River Resort, which also offers accommodation.

0 Cheap Hotels Near Arltunga Historical Reserve

Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
20 Gregory Terrace, Corner Hartley St and Gregory Terra, Alice Springs, NT
The price is AU$100 per night from 29 Jan. to 30 Jan.
Situated in Alice Springs, this motel is steps away from Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Gallery, Todd Mall and Adelaide House. Alice Springs Reptile Centre ...
3.8/5 Good! (945 reviews)
"Very happy with service, room was good kids enjoyed the pool"

Reviewed on 29 Dec. 2021

Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
4.5 out of 5
82 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$141 per night from 4 Feb. to 5 Feb.
Located in Desert Springs, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lasseters Casino, Alice Springs Convention Centre, and Alice Springs Golf Club. Olive ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (992 reviews)
"We enjoyed our stay"

Reviewed on 3 Jan. 2022

DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
Desert Palms Alice Springs
Desert Palms Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
74 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$124 per night from 8 Feb. to 9 Feb.
Located in Desert Springs, this golf motel is within a 10-minute walk of Lasseters Casino, Alice Springs Golf Club, and Alice Springs Convention Centre. Olive ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (741 reviews)
"Very clean.Nice rooms.Very good swimming pool.Lots of palm trees.Very nice resort highly recommend."

Reviewed on 6 Jan. 2022

Desert Palms Alice Springs
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Arltunga Historical Reserve

Alice Motor Inn
Ooraminna Station Homestead
Quest Alice Springs

Popular places to visit in Arltunga Historical Reserve

Holidays in Arltunga Historical Reserve

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Top Arltunga Historical Reserve Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
20 Gregory Terrace, Corner Hartley St and Gregory Terra, Alice Springs, NT
The price is AU$100 per night from 29 Jan. to 30 Jan.
Diplomat Motel Alice Springs
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
4.5 out of 5
82 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$141 per night from 4 Feb. to 5 Feb.
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
Desert Palms Alice Springs
Desert Palms Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
74 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$124 per night from 8 Feb. to 9 Feb.
Desert Palms Alice Springs
Aurora Alice Springs
Aurora Alice Springs
3.5 out of 5
11 Leichardt Tce, Alice Springs, NT
The price is AU$129 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.
Aurora Alice Springs
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
93 Barrett Drive, Desert Springs, NT
The price is AU$159 per night from 27 Jan. to 28 Jan.
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel
Alice on Todd Apartments
Alice on Todd Apartments
4 out of 5
1-11 Strehlow Street, The Gap, NT
The price is AU$129 per night from 8 Feb. to 9 Feb.
Alice on Todd Apartments
Elkira Court Motel
Elkira Court Motel
3.5 out of 5
65 Bath Street, Alice Springs, NT
The price is AU$110 per night from 8 Feb. to 9 Feb.
Elkira Court Motel
Quest Alice Springs
Quest Alice Springs
4.5 out of 5
9-10 South Terrace, The Gap, NT
The price is AU$166 per night from 18 Feb. to 19 Feb.
Quest Alice Springs
Mercure Alice Springs Resort
Mercure Alice Springs Resort
4.5 out of 5
34 Stott Terrace, East Side, NT
Mercure Alice Springs Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.