Alice Springs in Central Australia, is the second largest town in the Northern Territory with modern facilites and a population of over 25,000. Alice Springs with its steep rocky hills is a surprise to those visiting for the first time. Majestic river gums line the wide sandy Todd River next to the town. Anzac Hill overlooks Alice Springs township and a road to the top makes it easy for the armchair traveller.
There are numerous attractions in and around Alice Springs – historic buildings and beautiful natural gorges and waterholes a short drive from town or you can take a tour, sit back and enjoy the scenery. There is a wide range of accommodation, restaurants, cafes, galleries and shops. The rich culture of the Aboriginal people is reflected all around. Designs on buildings, clothing and souvenirs are linked to stories and traditions.
The East MacDonnell Ranges
The East MacDonnell Ranges are accessed via the Ross Highway (turn off from south Stuart Highway), where you will find Emily Gap and Jessie Gap, Corroboree Rock and N’Dhala Gorge. As well as beautiful scenery, there is significant Aboriginal culture, interpreted with signage. You might see rock wallabies or emus. Picturesque Trephina Gorge has several marked walking trails.
Arltunga Historic Reserve, a little further on, is the site of the 1880s gold mining settlement, where hardship was endured in search of the precious metal. There is interpretive signage and the Visitor Centre opens 8-5 daily.
The West MacDonnell Ranges
The West MacDonnell Ranges are accessible via Larapinta and Namatjira Drives. There you will find Reverend Flynne's grave, Simpsons Gap – home of the black footed wallabies and Standley Chasm with 80m craggy walls. It is most dramatic – aglow with sunlight, an hour either side of noon, on a sunny day. A walking trail follows the creek.
Further on is Ellery Creek, Serpentine Gorge, Wallace Rock Hole, Hermannsburg, Glen Helen Gorge, the Ochre Pits and Palm Valley with its cycads and ecology that time forgot.
Events in Alice Springs
Major events are unusual and include:
Alice Desert Festival 8-17 September 2012
Beanie Festival in June
Camel Cup held in July
Henley-On-Todd Regatta mid August