Alice Springs
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Alice Springs Culture & History

From Alice Springs: Uluru Full-Day Tour with BBQ Dinner

1. From Alice Springs: Uluru Full-Day Tour with BBQ Dinner

Depart Alice Springs early to get a taste of the Australian Outback with a stop at Erldunda for a buffet breakfast. Then, continue to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to see the domes of the rock formations on your first walk. Learn about the local Pitjantjatjara people at the cultural center. Then, go to the base of Uluru for a guided walk to see the Anangu rock art. Head to Mutitjulu Waterhole for a short hike to the home of the ancestral Wanampi water snake and share some traditional "dreamtime" stories. Sip a glass of sparkling wine as you watch the sunset over Uluru, and end the day with a barbeque dinner before the return journey to Alice Springs.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

2. From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

Be picked up from your Alice Springs accommodation at 7:45 AM and set off on a day of adventure and exploration! Enjoy the spectacular outback scenery and photo opportunities as you travel along the magnificent West MacDonnell Ranges, stopping at historic sites. Enjoy beautiful walks at Simpsons Gap, a natural rock amphitheater that is home to endangered black-footed rock wallabies. Stop at Standley Chasm for morning tea and a leisurely stroll. At Ochre Pits, discover rock walls covered by natural coloured ochre, used for sacred ceremonies of the local Aboriginal people. Ormiston Gorge is up next: a great place for a swim, or to see the towering walls of the gorge and pound, local plants and wildlife. By now, you will have certainly worked up an appetite for lunch! Next stop is at Glen Helen. The landscape here is spectacular - a towering sandstone wall is the first thing you see as you arrive. The area includes views of Mount Sonder, one of the highest points in Central Australia, which changes colours with the light.  On the way back to Alice Springs, witness the famous and enchanting Ellery Creek Big Hole. This waterhole is one of Central Australia’s most pristine, so don’t forget your swimmers in the warmer months! Visit Flynns Memorial and from October to March, you may decide to partake in an incredible Sunset Camel Ride at the Camel farm (optional, at your own expense). The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary for their immensity and the spectacular array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples on display. These mighty ranges light up in brilliant oranges and reds at sunset on the return trip to Alice Springs. Get dropped off at your accommodation in Alice Springs at approximately 5:30 PM.

Palm Valley Full-Day 4WD Adventure from Alice Springs

3. Palm Valley Full-Day 4WD Adventure from Alice Springs

Expose yourself to authentic Australian culture on a full-day tour to Palm Valley, departing from Alice Springs. Drive along the ochre colored roads of the West MacDonnells along the way. Follow the designated state route of Larapinta Drive, traveling into the Aboriginal homelands of the Arrernte people. Immerse yourself in true outback country as you head into the Finke Gorge National Park. Upon arrival, a 4WD coach will drive you along the dry bed of the Finke River, traveling to the strange, semi-tropical oasis of Palm Valley in the Red Center. Go for a bushwalk through groves of livistona palm trees, and enjoy the remoteness of the landscape. Next, stop off at the 19th-century Lutheran mission of Hermannsburg to learn more about the aboriginal history, art and culture of the region.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

4. From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary with their immensity and array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples. View spectacular outback scenery and take photos as you travel along through magnificent Outback Country, making stops at the many historic locations. Depart Alice Springs to explore The West Macs, stopping at the historical Flynn’s Grave Memorial, resting place of Reverend Flynn, founder of The Royal Flying Doctor Service. Next up, travel to Simpsons Gap, featuring towering cliffs and a permanent waterhole. The site is significant to the Arrernte people as the home of giant goanna ancestors. Take a walk to sport black-footed rock wallabies and take magnificent photos. Lastly, you will visit Standley Chasm. Traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, this is an important cultural place, sacred to womens’ dreaming in Aboriginal culture. Take a 0.75 mile (1.2km) walk to access the dramatic 262 foot (80 metre) tall rock-face. On the way there or back, note the unusual features of the natural landscape here, the unique micro climate in this valley has created some distinctive features, such as ancient Cycads and a myriad of rock types and pebbles that are thousands of years old, washed down from miles upstream. After your walk enjoy Morning Tea at local cafe. Then make your way back to Alice Springs where you will have the afternoon free to explore.

A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs

5. A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs

This afternoon you’ll learn how the town of Alice Springs has evolved into the central hub of the Australian outback. Your driver guide will provide details along the way as you visit historical sites and some of the essential services delivered from Alice to the community of this vast region. The first stop is the Alice Springs School of the Air which provides education to primary aged school children living on remote properties throughout the Northern Territory. Learn how this essential service is delivered via satellite across more than one million square kilometres. Alice Springs Telegraph Station: Built in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide, the historic Telegraph Station is the site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. After 60 years of operation, the premises then served as a school for the local Aboriginal children. Now a historical reserve, featuring the original stone buildings and furnishings from the early 1900s, the Telegraph Station is a must to visit and learn more of the history of the Alice. Royal Flying Doctor Service: Now you’ll visit the home and headquarters of the highly respected Royal Flying Doctor Service. Delivering medical services to people who live, work and travel in remote and rural Australia, the RFDS is a critical resource for this community. Learn of its remarkable history through stories, images and their wonderful interactive museum. Alice Springs Reptile Centre: Home to the largest reptile display in Central Australia, the Alice Springs Reptile Centre will introduce you to Terry the saltwater crocodile and let you get very close to enormous goannas and frill-neck lizards. The Gecko Cave features a large collection of gecko species from all over the Northern Territory. You’ll have lots of fun here, particularly during the afternoon show and if you’re game, try the supervised handling session. Your last stop is Anzac Hill. Originally dedicated to the many men and women who lost their lives during WWI, it now honors all those who have served in wars in which Australia has played a role.

Alice Springs: Town Highlights and West MacDonnell Ranges

6. Alice Springs: Town Highlights and West MacDonnell Ranges

Depart Alice Springs to explore The West Macs, stopping at the historical Flynn’s Grave Memorial, the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Next up, travel to Simpsons Gap, featuring towering cliffs and a permanent waterhole. The site is significant to the Arrernte people as being the home of giant goanna ancestors. Following that, take a walk to spot black-footed rock wallabies and take magnificent photos. You'll then visit Standley Chasm. Traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, this is an important cultural place which is sacred to women's dreaming in Aboriginal culture. Take a 1.2-kilometer walk to access the dramatic 80-meter-tall rock-face, and on the way there or back, note the unusual features of the natural landscape. The unique micro climate in this valley has created some distinctive features, such as ancient cycads and a myriad of rock types and pebbles that are thousands of years old. After your walk, enjoy morning tea at a local cafe before heading back to Alice Springs for some free time for lunch before setting off again to explore the town. In the afternoon, tour the sights of "The Alice" including the School of the Air. Learn how children who cannot access schools are educated by radio, and you may have the opportunity to listen to and observe actual lessons in progress on air. Stop at the historic Telegraph Station, which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service, where you will see how medical aid reaches those who live in the remote "outback". You'll also stop at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, where you can see up close and maybe touch some of the lizards and snakes of Central Australia's semi-arid desert. The tour later concludes with panoramic views of the township of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.

West MacDonnell Ranges Small Group Tour

7. West MacDonnell Ranges Small Group Tour

Depart your Alice Springs accommodation at approximately at 7.30 AM and visit the 'West Macs'-  a stunning natural wonder. Learn about this prehistoric mountain range - broken by a series of gorges and chasms - from your guide on the drive.  First stop is Simpsons Gap, which offers a short, easy walk to a waterhole (no swimming), rich in native wildlife. Follow the dry creek bed and massive River Red Gums to a dramatic gap in the range, featuring towering cliffs on either side. Keep your eyes out for the famous colony of adorable Black-footed Rock Wallabies! Standley Chasm (Angkerle) is up next, a perfect place to stop for morning tea. This picturesque walk, suitable for all fitness levels, winds through a beautiful oasis, lush with an amazing array of native plants including cycads and ancient pines. The walk finishes with an astonishing view of the sheer quartzite walls rising more than 60m on each side of the narrow chasm. Then, see Ellery Creek Big Hole: the biggest and deepest waterhole in Central Australia. It offers superb swimming (summer months only) and scenery unlike anywhere else, and is only a few minutes’ walk from the car park. Visit the Ochre Pits, where Aboriginal people have been mining ochre for thousands of years and still use ochre today for medicinal, ceremonial, and spiritual purposes. The vivid colours make for excellent photographs so bring your camera. You will also stop at Mt Sonder Lookout, which is a stunning 360 ⁰ vista overlooking one of the most picturesque sections of the Finke River: a favourite spot for photographers and landscape painters. Stop for a gourmet picnic lunch, before visiting Ormiston Gorge’s spectacular scenery. A string of beautiful waterholes emerges from the immense gorge, carved by a once mighty river. The deep, permanent waterhole offers excellent swimming (summer months only) and a stunning lookout to see abundant wildlife. Finally, on your way back to Alice, make a brief stop at the famous John Flynn Memorial before drop off at your accommodation in Alice Springs at around 5:30 pm. 

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What people are saying about Alice Springs

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 243 reviews

Great day!! Was long almost 19 hours in total after being picked up and dropped off but our drivers Jimmy and Ross were very knowledgable and gave a great insight into the history of the area. My only comment though for improvement would be to have possibly the option for travelers to walk around Uluru instead of being picked up and dropped at different points. I know it's difficult with time constraints but a few of us were seasoned walkers and would've done it comfortably in the time we spent there, otherwise a fantastic experience

Covered all the main tourist spots on one day at a good pace. Walks were relatively easy for all age groups. April was a beautiful time as not too hot. Flies were absent so no fly nets needed. Lunch supplied was healthy and plentiful. Our guide James was excellent due to his knowledge and care for our safety.

The guys at emu run are fantastic we had jimmy and Rossco they were so good a long day but they made it go seamlessly most memorable day they are informative funny and helpful recommend this trip

Our bus driver was fantastic very knowledgeable. Uluru is a very special and spiritual place.

Great places, the guide was extremely knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour