Top Things to Do in Alice Springs

Alice Springs is located in the geographic centre of Australia, and is the third largest town in the Northern Territory. Characterized by boundless desert landscapes, gorges, with a rich indigenous history, Alice Springs is a town like no other. With its amazing sights and great hike locations, it is also is a popular travel hub, thanks to the easy access from Alice Springs to Uluru and the iconic Larapinta trail.

If you have a few days to spare before or after your Larapinta Trail trek there are a number of sights, activities and destinations that you can visit to make the most out of your stay in Alice Springs. Whether you choose to stargaze in the evenings (the milky way is very prominent thanks to the minimal artificial lights as with larger cities), view the unique birds and wildlife that frequent the area, get a feel for the flora and fauna at the Desert Botanical Garden, or explore Australia's rich Aboriginal culture, there is a lot to see and do.

Here is our list of top places you can visit and things to do in Alice Springs before or after your Larapinta Trail walk.

The Great Australian Walkabout concludes at Uluru |  <i>Steve Strike</i> Anzac Hill, Alice Springs |  <i>Lexi Connors</i> Learn about the history of Alice Springs and the famous Overland Telegraph Line |  <i>Danielle Flegg</i> Wildlife spotting along the Murray River Dingo at Alice Springs Desert Wildlife Park |  <i>Andrew Thomasson</i>

Visit Uluru

One of the most popular attractions around Alice Springs is in fact a 6 hour drive from the city itself! Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is one of the most well known landmarks of Australia, with thousands of people flocking to see the natural wonder each year. And for good reason- Uluru plays a significant part in Australian indigenous culture and spirituality. The rich, ochre coloured desert against the blue skies make it a breathtaking site at any time of the day, however sunrise and sunset visits are the most spectacular as the colour of the rock changes from pink, to purple, to dark red as the sun moves across the sky. 

The Alice Springs Reptile Center

The Alice Springs reptile center is home to a variety of unique lizards and some of the largest reptiles in Central Australia. Home to different species of reptiles such as geckos, lizards, and crocodiles that live in the Northern Territory, the reptiles are showcased indoors or housed in natural landscapes that mimic their normal living conditions. Some of the reptiles include “Terry”, the saltwater crocodile, which you can see from an underwater viewing area. Others include frill-neck lizards, geckos, thorny devils, and more.

Sounds of Starlight Theatre

For those keen on adding some art and culture into your visit, consider visiting the Sounds of Starlight Theatre. Featuring a modern theatre that has a retail shop and art gallery, it has regular didgeridoo shows that evoke the desert heart of Australia in performances that feature drums, percussion and soundscapes. The theater was established in 1996 by Andrew Langford, internationally recognised for his ability to play and interpret the didgeridoo. If you have time to spare, meet Andrew in the flesh and hear from the master himself by enrolling in Didgeridoo workshops that run every Monday-Friday from 11-11.30 am.

Alice Springs Desert Park

If you are planning to trek along the Larapinta Trail, there is no better way to initiate yourself with the landscape than with a visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park. As you explore the ancient desert and take in the stunning surrounds, make sure you bring your binoculars, as this is a fantastic space to bird-watch during the day. We recommend spending a few hours here to get a real feel for the ambience of the desert, plus enhance your chances of seeing some of the local wildlife going about their business.

The Kangaroo Sanctuary

The Kangaroo Sanctuary is home to a number of red kangaroos that featured in Kangaroo Dundee, a documentary that featured on BBC UK and National Geographic USA. Airing in over 90 countries, the documentary aims to raise awareness about the plight of kangaroos and showcases the work of Brogla and his aim to rescue and take care of kangaroos that have been raised by wildlife carers and cannot be released back into the wild.

The aim of the sanctuary is to educate and encourage people to rescue and take care of kangaroos that were orphaned in highway accidents, and is a wholesome way to spend a couple hours.

The Alice Springs Telegraph Station

Not far from the waterhole that gave its name to Alice Springs, the Old Telegraph Station was built in 1871 as part of the 3,000km long Adelaide to Darwin Overland Telegraph Line, and is the best preserved of the 12 stations along the Overland Telegraph Line. The Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve marks the original site of the first European Settlement in Alice Springs. It was operated for 60 years before serving as a school and welfare home for Aboriginal children of mixed ancestry until 1963. Nearby is the original "Alice" spring, a semi-permanent waterhole in the Todd river, after which the Alice Springs town is named. The Old Telegraph Station is the starting point for the Larapinta Trail, and gives an interesting insight into early European settlement in the Red Centre. The station is easily accessible by car through the Stuart Highway and the Herbert heritage drive. You can also use the riverside path along the Todd River for a short walk or cycle on the sealed path.

Climb Anzac Hill

If you have a spare morning or evening in Alice Springs, you should definitely make the time to take the short hike up Anzac Hill and take in the tranquil and breathtaking views across Alice Springs. Also known as “Untyeyetwelye”, it is located close to the centre of the town, and is a short 15 minute walk from the visitors centre to the lookout. Anzac Hill is a spectacular vantage point to view both the sunrise and sunset, with the backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges in the distance. Plus, view the Anzac Hill War Memorial, dedicated to the fallen heroes who fought and died in World War One.

Alice Springs: Araluen Cultural Precinct

The Araluen cultural precinct is located in Larapinta drive and is a must visit when you are in Alice Springs. Home to some of the most interesting cultural and historical attractions in Alice Springs, it has an annual program of performances, exhibitions and films. With four galleries and a 500 seat theatre, it has some of the most significant works of art in Central Australia. You can easily spend a few hours roaming the impressive collection of art, sculptures and murals that grace the buildings.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing custodianship of the land, waters and culture for over 60,000 years. We pay our respects to them and their elders past, present and emerging. We are privileged to learn from them in the way we care for and share Australia’s diverse nature and culture, and we strive to walk humbly in the footsteps of those who have walked these paths before us.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips