Discover the outback town of Alice Springs

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Alice Springs town

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Alice Springs town

Alice Springs is Australia's most famous outback town, situated in the heart of the Red Centre. There’s no better place to experience a taste of outback life than in this fascinating and isolated town.

The region is known as Mparntwe to the traditional owners, the Arrarnta people, who have lived in the area renowned for its rugged mountain ranges, waterholes and gorges for at least 30,000 years. The Arrarnta believe that the striking MacDonnell Ranges which flank the town from east to west are said to have been created during the Dreamtime by giant caterpillars.

Early explorer John McDouall Stuart led an expedition through the centre of Australia in 1862 and founded the town now known as Alice Springs. The town grew in size and prominence during the building of a Telegraph Station in 1872 as part of the Overland Telegraph between Adelaide and Darwin and again in 1887 when gold was discovered in the region.

There’s plenty to see and do in and around Alice Springs; visit the home of unique outback community services the Royal Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air, wander through the town centre where you’ll find local Aboriginal art on display, experience indigenous culture at the Alice Springs Desert Park and admire views of the town and surrounding MacDonnell Ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.

Venture west of Alice Springs for the day and you’ll come across the historic Aboriginal community of Hermannsburg and the outback oasis of Palm Valley - the only place in Central Australia where red cabbage palms survive.

From the weird to the wonderful there are all sorts of things going on in Alice Springs like the annual Camel Cup race day and the Henley on Todd Regatta – a boat race held in a dry river bed! Best of all, there are plenty of friendly Alice Springs locals who’ll share with you their amazing stories about life in the outback.

1 of 2 Alice Springs regions