A DAY IN ALICE SPRINGS
So, have you ever heard of Alice Springs?
Alice Springs – known to locals as “The Alice” – is the beating heart of Australia’s Red Centre. It’s a great base for exploring the natural wonders of the Northern Territory’s outback as well as a fascinating spot to explore Australia’s Aboriginal culture.
The area is known as Mparntwe to its original inhabitants, the Arrernte people, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for thousands of years. The name Alice Springs was given by surveyor William Whitfield Mills after Alice, Lady Todd, wife of the telegraph pioneer Sir Charles Todd.
A city of arts and events, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges and stunning scenery, that’s Alice Springs, a small jewel in the middle of the desert.
Start your day with a short hike up to the Anzac Hill Lookout, the climb is easy and refreshing in the morning. Anzac Hill is the most visited landmark in Alice Springs and an ideal spot for an overview of the town. The lookout offers a panoramic view of all the beautiful surrounding ranges. Be sure to wake up early so you can watch the sun rising over Alice Springs with all the beautiful colours of the morning mist.
It will take you only 10 minutes to come back towards the city centre, we suggest you keep walking for another 10 minutes and cross the Todd River to reach the Olive Pink Botanic Garden. Head to Bean Tree Cafe and enjoy your Breakfast with the Birds, Monday to Saturday opening at 8AM and 8.30AM on Sundays and Public holidays. A unique chance to have breakfast surrounded by rare birds and to watch perenties saunter past on summer days.
Take your time, enjoy those warm sun rays in the morning and start one of the easy self guided walks around the garden. A network of walking trails takes visitors around the garden and up on to Annie Myers Hill, where great views of Alice Springs, the Todd River and the MacDonnell Ranges can be seen. The Olive Pink Botanic Garden was opened to the public in 1985 and there are now over 600 central Australian plants represented in the garden.
Olive Pink Botanic Garden Map
Now head back to the city center where you can have a quick snack or a light lunch while you leisurely walk down Todd Street Mall, this lovely pedestrian walkway is the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll. Fancy some aboriginal art and culture? Take a look at all those colourful paintings, enter the art galleries and meet the indigenous artists. Be sure to visit the Yubu Napa Art Gallery, a special space featuring some of the top artists from Central Australia and the Top End, the artworks displayed will take your breath away!
Would you rather enjoy some shopping time? Head to Yeperenye shopping center or Alice Plaza. And when you feel like relaxing a little bit, sit outside and try a juice or a smoothie from one of the many lovely cafes scattered around Hartley St.
Hungry for more art? Head to the Araluen Arts Centre. The Araluen Cultural Precinct provides visitors with the opportunity to engage with performing art, discover the local identities that helped shape and develop Alice Springs, immerse themselves in the culture and heritage of Central Australia and learn about Indigenous dreaming and their connection to the land.
One of the best places to end your day in Alice is the Telegraph Station, located within the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve only 4km from town, a symbol and the birthplace of the Alice Springs township. If you are fond of bikes, this would be the perfect time to have one! The Riverside Path along the Todd River provides either a short and scenic walk or cycle along the sealed path, making it easily accessible for a visit.
The Telegraph Station is also historic museum precinct with both indoor and outdoor displays, presenting the story of the connection of Australia to the rest of the world through Telegraph Communication in 1871. Take your time to learn the story of this place, then grab an ice cream from the Trail Station Cafe and sit down to enjoy the sun setting. Enjoy the shades of orange and red, the kangaroos hopping in the distance and the quiet.