Located right in the center of Australia, embodying the true Australian Outback, Alice Springs is somewhat a forgotten gem, though it’s for sure not to be missed on your Northern Territory itinerary.
In this guide, I have included 4 fun things to do in Alice Springs that are all within a one-hour drive from the main town.
OVERVIEW – THINGS TO DO IN ALICE SPRINGS
See below for a quick overview of what you will find in this post:
- Visit Ormiston Gorge
- Go swimming at Ellery Creek Big Hole
- Discover Simpsons Gap
- Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
WHERE IS ALICE SPRINGS
Alice Springs is quite literally positioned in the heart of Australia and is known to be the gateway for tourists and travelers who wish to explore the Red Centre and the desert region of Australia.
It’s quite a remote town in the Northern Territory of Australia and is located roughly halfway between Adelaide and Darwin.
As you may well know, Australia is a pretty enormous country and with Alice Springs being at the center of that, getting to Alice Springs most likely requires air travel.
It’s the quickest way to get to the center of the county and gives you more time to explore the things to do in Alice Springs.
There are plenty of flights to and from Alice Springs from all around the country, making this destination so easily accessible and you can very easily hire a car in Alice Springs when you arrive at the airport.
See below a few flight times to Alice Springs:
- Sydney to Alice Springs – 3 hours
- Brisbane to Alice Springs – 3 hours
- Melbourne to Alice Springs – 2 hours 40 minutes
- Perth to Alice Springs – 2 hours 50 minutes
- Darwin to Alice Springs – 2 hours 10 minutes
Simpsons Gap Alice Springs
BEST TIME TO VISIT ALICE SPRINGS
Choosing when you visit will all depend on what you want to do and the things to do in Alice Springs.
The Red Centre, which includes Alice Springs, has a semi-arid climate meaning it experiences all four seasons.
In the summer, the temperatures can climb considerably and in the winter, they can drop at night to somewhat of a frost.
Summer temperates average between 68 and 95 Fahrenheit with January being the wettest month with around 40mm of rainfall.
Between March and May, Alice Springs is considered to be the best time to visit, with the warmer days and cooler nights.
Hot Air Balloon Alice Springs
4 FUN THINGS TO DO IN ALICE SPRINGS
I’m sure there are plenty of attractions to include on this list of things to do in Alice Springs other than the four I’m going to mention below.
However, I feel these locations are some of the top attractions in Alice Springs and what I think you guys will enjoy the most during your visit.
VISIT ORMISTON GORGE
First up on this list of what to do in Alice Springs is to take a trip to Ormiston Gorge.
Located 135km west of Alice Springs in the Tjorita/West MacDonnell Nation Park, Ormiston Gorge is accessible by sealed roads and is the trailhead for sections 9 and 10 of the Larapinta Trail.
The reason I have included this on my list of things to do in Alice Springs is because of the sheer magnitude of this place.
The epic gorge stretches for miles and is home to native plants and animals, it’s a fauna refuge since the rediscovery of the rock-rat in 1997, and not to forget, the water hole is great for swimming all year round.
Ormiston Gorge is a great place to visit, especially in the winter months, and a place I couldn’t miss out on this guide of Alice Springs things to do.
Ormiston Gorge Alice Springs
Swimming hole at Ormiston Gorge
GO SWIMMING AT ELLERY CREEK BIG HOLE
Located in the same national park as Ormiston Gorge, Ellery Creek Big Hole has definitely earned its place on this guide of things to do.
With the Red Centre being famed for its desert-like terrain and boiling hot summers, taking a dip in the Ellery Creek Big Hole is a welcome break from Australia’s harsh summers.
Surrounded by tall red cliffs and a sandy creek, thousands of years of flooding have carved its way through the rocks and formed this creek.
Now regarded internationally as a significant geological site, Ellery Creek Big Hole has to be on your list of Alice Springs attractions to see.
RELATED ARTICLE → KATHERINE HOT SPRINGS
Ellery Creek Big Hole
The sandbar at Ellery Creek
Ellery Creek Big Hole
DISCOVER SIMPSONS GAP
Next up on the list of things to do is the discovery of Simpsons Gap.
One of the most prominent gaps in the West MacDonnell Ranges and located just 18km away from Alice Springs, Simpsons Gap features a dry river bed and a great opportunity to spot wildlife.
With cycling tracks, walking trails, and a water hole, Simpsons Gap is not to be missed on your Alice Springs itinerary.
Grab some food, a few beers, and a group of friends and spend the afternoon chilling out at Simpsons Gap. A photographer’s mecca and nature lovers’ dream, this is one of the best attractions in Alice Springs.
Simpsons Gap Alice Springs
Sunset at Simpsons Gap
RIDE IN A HOT AIR BALLOON
Possibly leaving the best until last, riding in a hot air balloon in Alice Springs is an absolute must and which is why I have included it in this guide of what to do.
Book It Here → Hot Air Balloon Alice Springs
Floating alongside the West MacDonnell Ranges, above the breathtaking Red Centre of Australia, and looking down on the rugged landscape below, has to be one of the top things to do in Alice Springs.
With a selection of half-hour or full-hour flights, you can tailor your own adventure.
At the landing site, enjoy a selection of refreshments such as champagne, fruit juice cocktails, and snacks whilst taking in the breathtaking desert of Australia.
Hot Air Balloon Alice Springs
WHERE TO STAY IN ALICE SPRINGS
There are dozens of accommodation options to choose from in Alice Springs, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: CROWNE PLAZA ALICE SPRINGS
MID-RANGE: QUEST ALICE SPRINGS
BUDGET: ALICE SPRINGS YHA
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN ALICE SPRINGS, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
ALICE SPRINGS MAP
WHAT TO PACK FOR NORTHERN TERRITORY
When visiting NT, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;
- Sunscreen – the Australian sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
- Quick-dry travel towel – the most compact and lightweight towel for traveling.
- Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
- Backpack – The Nomatic 30L Travel Pack is the ultimate backpack for everyday adventures.
If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;
- GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
- Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
Alice Springs might be a relatively small place that’s often forgotten, but I can assure you it packs a punch. I hope in this guide I have given you enough of a reason to visit.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the main cities, surround yourself in a completely different environment, and soak up some of the incredible landscapes that Australia has to offer here in Alice Springs.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
THANKS FOR READING
Hey friend, thanks for reading this guide!
Please know this post may contain affiliate links. When making a purchase through one of my links, I earn a small kickback at no extra cost to you and it’s a big help to keep the site up and running. Rest assured, I only promote products and services that I personally use and recommend.
This trip was in association with NT Tourism and Backyard Bandits.