Things to do around Alice Springs

Alice Springs is a diverse and exhilarating destination with stunning landscapes, remote communities, and a unique pioneering history. It is known for its thriving outback centre, local personalities, contemporary and traditional art, and natural wonders such as the Larapinta Trail and the MacDonnell Ranges.

alice springs

Popular activities near Alice Springs

Alice Springs, located in Australia's Northern Territory, offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy, including desert landscapes, historical sites, and cultural experiences with the Arrernte people. You can visit the sights and explore the region by joining us on a day trip from Alice Springs. Here are ten recommended things to do in the area.

View the sunrise from a hot-air balloon

Outback Ballooning in Alice Springs launched Australia's giant hot-air balloon in 2017, which can accommodate 24 passengers and the pilot. It offers a unique experience of watching the desert dawn from above while floating peacefully in a hot-air balloon, with kangaroos, brumbies, and camels roaming below. After landing, guests are treated to sparkling wine, juice, and light refreshments.

Visit the Alice attractions

Visitors to Alice Springs can explore the Alice Springs Reptile Centre to see a variety of unique reptiles, including goannas and frill-necked lizards, and learn about the extensive education program offered by the Alice Springs School of the Air. The Telegraph Station provides a glimpse into the area's history as the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Those interested in wildlife conservation can visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary to see orphaned joeys being cared for by Chris' Brolga' Barnes, known from the BBC series' Kangaroo Dundee.'

Watch the desert transform

Explore the flora and fauna of Central Australia at the Alice Springs Desert Park. Walk through three desert habitats and watch the free-flying birds of prey show in the nature theatre. See local reptiles, bats, birds, and the Australian Bilby in the nocturnal house. Learn how Aboriginal people find and prepare food, make bush medicine, and store water.

Explore the scenic gardens

Visitors to the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens can explore the gardens at their own pace, visit the Visitor Centre for information, and grab a meal at the café while taking in the native plant and animal life along the walking tracks.

Golf at top desert courses worldwide

The golf course in Alice features manicured greens and rolling fairways set against the red MacDonnell Ranges. Golfers enjoy the challenge of narrow fairways bordered by rocky outcrops and rough terrain. Amenities include a pro shop, motorized buggies, a driving range, a putting green, a clubhouse, and a restaurant.

Experience a camel ride at sunset

Experience the beauty of the Australian outback with a camel ride through the Ilparpa Valley offered by Pyndan Camel Tracks. The camels are well-trained by Marcus, an experienced 'camel man', and guests can enjoy a peaceful ride while enjoying the stunning sunset views. Complimentary pick-up is available from Alice Springs accommodations.

Discover the West MacDonnell Ranges

The West MacDonnell Ranges are located 160km west of Alice Springs and are known for their picturesque scenery, top-notch hikes, swimming spots, and natural wonders. Visitors can join a tour or drive to explore the area. Some highlights include spotting black-footed rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap, witnessing the vibrant red walls of Standley Chasm at noon, swimming at Ellery Creek Big Hole, and visiting Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen, and the Ochre Pits, an important sacred site for local Aboriginal people.

day trip from alice springs

Visit the East Macs

Explore the East MacDonnell Ranges by heading east from Alice Springs. Visit Emily Gap to see Aboriginal rock art and picnic at Jessie Gap. Walk the circular track at Corroboree Rock and then visit Trephina Gorge, a popular attraction in the area. Further along is N'Dhala Gorge, accessible only by four-wheel drive, where you can find over 5,000 ancient rock carvings. Explore the ruins of Central Australia's first town at the Arltunga Historical Reserve. Lastly, visit Ruby Gap, known for its beautiful scenery and history of garnet findings.

Consider camping at Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley is a sandstone bluff with colourful bands that change colour at sunset. Mushroom Rock is an unusual sandstone formation with a natural tunnel. You can take a short walk to see it. You can join a day trip from Alice Springs (75km south, four-wheel-drive required) or camp there with your gear. The area has toilets, barbecues, and picnic tables for visitors.

Visit the birthplace of Albert Namatjira

Hermannsburg, located a 1.5-hour drive west of Alice Springs in Central Australia, is the first town in the region. It is known as the home of the famous Aboriginal watercolour artist Albert Namatjira. Visitors can explore his house and the museum, enjoy refreshments at the Kata Anga Tea Rooms, and view original paintings by Albert Namatjira and works by the renowned Hermannsburg Potters at the Namatjira Gallery.