— See & Do in Alice —

Local Attractions

Alice Springs is full of exciting things to do, places to go and adventures to experience. Whether it’s energetic adventure or cultural experiences — there’s something for everyone. Check out some of our favourite picks for local attractions in and around Alice Springs. 

Jump to: Adventure | Culture | History | Explore

Adventure

Uluru

One of the most iconic landmarks you can see in all of Australia is the World Heritage Listed Uluru, a.k.a Ayers Rock. A must do for anyone visiting the red centre! 

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre”. Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. 

Whether you see this magical place at sunrise or sunset, the stunning dessert landscape will be a memory to last a lifetime. 

There are multiple tours on offer to suit all age groups and time frames. Go for the day or stay overnight – the choice is yours. We recommend the following tour groups:  

AAT Kings
Emu Run

Alice Springs is the nearest large town to Uluru, 450km away. 

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Outback Ballooning - Local Attractions

Outback Ballooning

Experience the breathtaking feeling of floating silently above the Outback as the sun slowly rises over the desert on this awe-inspiring Alice Springs ballooning adventure.

Journey to the launch site in the cool pre dawn darkness, and begin your ascent just as the morning light begins to illuminate the rugged MacDonnell Ranges. Float gently across the vast expanse of the Central Australian Outback – keeping an eye out for native wildlife including the iconic red kangaroo – and gain an appreciation of the remoteness of the area as you glide across the landscape.

Pick up time is approximately one hour before first light.  In winter we will pick you up at approximately 0500 with a return time around 0900.  Summer it will be approximately 0400 with a return around 0800. The exact pick up time will be confirmed when you book.

Ask at the Front Desk Tour Desk and we will make your booking for you. Return Transfers Included. We will pick up from the Diplomat Motel.

MacDonnell Ranges

The East and West MacDonnell Ranges stretch out for hundreds of kilometres on both sides of Alice Springs. They are an adventure playground with hiking trails, four-wheel drive tracks, swimming holes, and camping spots.

Walk the West Macs

The waterholes, gorges and rocky ridges of the West MacDonnell Ranges are an easy drive from Alice Springs. Set out for a day trip or overnight stay. The Larapinta Trail is a great way to get amongst the scenery – walk an easy section or challenge yourself to hike the full 223 kilometres along the spine of the Wset MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs to Mount Sonder.

Cool swimming spots

Picturesque swimming holes are located at Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen Gorge and Redbank Gorge in the West Macs. They are great places to cool off on a warm day and relax under a shady tree. 

The East Macs

The East MacDonnell Ranges are popular for bush walking, camping and four-wheel driving. At Emily and Jessie Gaps you’ll see a large rock painting that depicts the caterpillar dreaming of the Eastern Arrernte Aboriginal people, as well as flocks of native budgerigars drinking from waterholes. 

 Ask at our front desk for daily tours and options.

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Alice Springs Desert Park

The Alice Springs Desert Park is part adventure safari park, and part hands-on natural history museum.

You’ll get face-to-face with kangaroos, emus, birds of prey, walk-thru aviaries and the biggest nocturnal house in the Southern Hemisphere, whilst learning just how diverse and full of life Australia’s deserts are. It’s about $50 entry for a family, but it’s well worth it. You’ll need at least 3 hours to explore, and once you get inside everything is free. The Alice Springs Desert Park is located 8km west of the town centre on Larapinta Drive. Open daily from 7am-6pm.

Culture

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Tjanpi Desert Weavers

Watch traditional weavers work magic to turn desert grasses into quirky, beautiful, contemporary baskets and sculptures to keep their culture strong.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a vibrant not-for-profit Aboriginal social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council. More than 400 Aboriginal women artists from 28 remote communities across 350,000 square kilometres of the Central and Western Deserts work with Tjanpi to create artworks that are unique, innovative and constantly evolving.

Adding a contemporary spin to the traditional, women create baskets, jewellery and an astonishing array of sculptures from locally collected desert grasses bound with string, wool or raffia; often incorporating feathers, seeds and found materials.

Tjanpi provides one of few opportunities for women living in these remote communities to earn their own income. However Tjanpi is much more than just fibre art and income; it is firmly embedded in contemporary Central and Western Desert culture as a movement that celebrates Life, Creativity and Country.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers is an Aboriginal governed and directed social enterprise and all profits go towards improving the lives of women living in the NPY Lands.

Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm and closed for the month of January and all public holidays and weekends.

Mbantua Fine Art Gallery

Specialising in Aboriginal Art from Utopia, this gallery offers stunning giftware collection from around Australia.

Visiting Mbantua Gallery is an essential of visiting Alice Springs. Mbantua Fine Art Gallery specialises in exhibiting and selling the works of Aboriginal artists from the Utopia region of Central Australia. Throughout the Gallery you will find many colourful and vibrant artworks in varying sizes to suit your home and decor. The Gallery incorporates a Cultural Museum dedicated to the indigenous traditional life and the life and work of artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Entry is free to the Museum.

Open 9am – 5pm Mon to Fri and 10am to 2pm Sat/Sun

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Araluen Cultural Precinct

The Araluen Cultural Precinct is home to four art galleries, three museums and a theatre!

The arts museum has a large collection of paintings from all over Central Australia, including works by Albert Namatjira.

The Strehlow Research Centre for Aboriginal Culture, the Museum of Central Australia and the Connellan Aviation Museum are also located in the Precinct.

Also located in the grounds of the Precinct are two sacred sites that are part of the Two Women Dreaming Story, which is important to Central Arrernte women.

There’s a small entry charge to visit the everything in the Precinct. You’ll need about 2 hours to see everything here.

Open 10am – 4pm weekdays and 11am – 4pm weekends. The Araluen Cultural Precinct is located 2km west of the town centre, on Larapinta Drive.

Tangentyere Artists

Tangentyere Artists is an Aboriginal art centre renowned for its paintings and local seed jewellery, which is produced by over 400 town camp residents.

The styles of work produced by Tangentyere Artists are varied and reflect the cultural diversity of its artists, who represent over 20 Central Australian languages.

You will see acrylic paintings on canvas as well as painted recycled metal objects and wooden surfaces that depict traditional motifs through to highly contemporary modern depictions of life.

Open weekdays 10am to 4pm

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History

Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service

Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service is an Outback legend, and Alice Springs is its birthplace and home.

So one of the places high on your agenda should be the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s (RFDS) Visitor Center

There’s a thoroughly detailed museum (guided tours are available), a giftshop and one of Alice’s very best cafes in shady grounds (try a homemade meat pie. They’re extraordinarily scrumptious!).

The RFDS Visitor’s Centre is open 7 days per week 9am5pm. It’s a short 600m walk along Hartley Street, south from the Post Office. Cost is around $6 per adult.

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Alice Springs Telegraph Station

This is where the town of Alice Springs started – where the Overland Telegraph Station established a repeater station and an iconic town was born. It’s also the place where the real Alice ‘spring’ is located.

You can look through the beautifully restored historic Telegraph Station buildings, learn about the tough pioneers and the Aboriginal people who helped them establish the town. There is now a great cafe serving yummy homemade treats, too. The Telegraph Station is a favourite picnic and BBQ destination for us locals, with shady trees, lots of lush grass and free gas BBQs.

Cost to tour the heritage buildings is about $9 per adult. .

It’s an easy half hour walk along the Todd River to the Telegraph Station if you don’t have a car. By car, it’s 3km north of town on the Stuart Highway.

School of the Air

Along with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the School of the Air is an outback legend, also started in Alice Springs.

Ever wondered how children in remote parts of the Northern Territory and elsewhere go to school? The answer: the School of the Air.

This is the world’s biggest classroom and it’s open to the public. Take a visit and you’ll be able to see firsthand how children on remote cattle stations (‘ranches’ – but PLEASE don’t call them that!), go to school.

The School of the Air is located in Head Street (in the part of town known as ‘Northside’ or ‘Braitling’). It’s about a 30 minute walk from the town centre or a 5 minute drive up the north Stuart Highway.

Tours operate daily from 9am-5pm. A small entry fee applies, which assists with the running of the centre. 

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Explore

Alice Springs Reptile Centre

Come and check out the largest reptile display in Central Australia at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre! With everything from pythons to lizards, crocs to geckos and all things in between – this is a fun and interactive experience for people of all ages. 

Home to over 100 reptiles, the centre displays its inhabitants in recreations of their natural environment.

See some of the world’s most venomous snakes including taipans, death adders and brown snakes – not for the faint hearted! Visit Terry the saltwater crocodile in his underwater world and grab a perfect photo opportunity. 

Open daily from 9:30am to 5pm. Talks are conducted daily at 11am, 1pm and 3.30pm. Admission starts at $17.00 for Adults, $9.00 for Children (4-16), and $44 for a Family. Prices are subject to change at any time. 

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Olive Pink Botanic Garden

Olive Pink Botanic Garden is Australia’s only arid zone botanic garden. Located adjacent to the Todd River and not far from the centre of Alice Springs, it is a great place to wander along trails to see the hundreds of plant species that are native to the Red Centre.

There are over 500 Central Australian plant species to see as you wander around the 16hectare garden. Learn more about the founder Miss Pink or desert habitats and plants from the interpretation material around the garden or by going on one of the self-guided walk.

Opening times:

Garden open daily 8am to 6pm. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Pyndan Camel Tracks

Enjoy a unique experience riding through the Ilparpa Valley at sunset with a picturesque backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges. 

Located just 15 minutes from the Diplomat Motel, Pyndan Camel Tracks is the only camel tour operator in Alice Springs. The red centre signature experience includes a one-hour camel ride viewing native wildlife as you experience the beauty of the outback. 

Visit the ‘Camel Lounge’ to learn all about these beautiful creatures. All camels are well trained and extremely gentle with their own unique personalities. 

Enjoy your camel ride 7 days a week at midday, the afternoon or our favourite – sunset. . Free transfers from Diplomat Motel. Camel rides cost $50 – $110. 

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