Located right in the heart of the Red Centre, the town is located approximately two and a half hours by air from all the major cities in the country and the most central location in Australia. It currently has a population of about twenty three thousand making it Northern Territory's second largest city after Darwin.
While the Aboriginal history of the town dates back to over forty thousand years ago, the first Europeans didn't actually make it to the region until 1860 when John McDouall Stuart and his party arrived on their attempt to cross Australia from south to north.
They were in search of a route for the Overland Telegraph Line and it was for just this reason that the town was developed in the first place after it was selected as one of the staging points on the line. In those days it was known as Stuart after its founder and was to remain so until 1933 when it was renamed Alice Springs after the wife of one of the telegraph builders, Charles Todd.
Today Alice Springs is essentially a modern town in the middle of nowhere. Despite the fact that it is modern, however, evidence of its long Aboriginal heritage is visible in numerous different places.
As well as this, the fact that it is only a couple of kilometres from the outback, you never have to travel to far from Alice Springs to find yourself in the middle of some of Australia's most amazing natural wonders. It is not surprising, therefore, that almost half a million visitors pass through each year.
Alice Springs is a must-see destination. Set on the banks of the usually-dry Todd River, the modern town is well equipped with a wide range of facilities, attractions and accommodation.
Travellers can enjoy the view from Anzac Hill, browse the Alice Springs Cultural Precinct, learn about the hardships of the pioneers at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station or the Royal Flying Doctor Service, meet rare and endangered wildlife at Alice Springs Desert Park or tee-off on one of the best desert golf courses in the world.
A range of quirky events also provide entertainment - cheer at the Camel Cup, see the hilarious ASSA ABLOY Henley-on-Todd (a ‘boat’ race on the dry Todd River), or road test one of 3000 beanies at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival.
The MacDonnell Ranges straddle the town, and the spectacular West MacDonnell National Park is home to many amazing natural attractions, such as Ellery Creek Big Hole, Trephina Gorge Nature Park, Simpsons Gap, the Ochre Pits and Standley Chasm.
Qantas and Tiger Airways operate regular flights into Alice Springs.
Driving north from South Australia you can take the Explorer’s Way (Stuart Highway) from Adelaide through Coober Pedy into the Northern Territory. In the NT, follow the signs to Alice Springs.
Number of operatorts have regular coach services that connect all towns in the Nothern Territory.
The Ghan train journeys through the country from south to north over 2979 kilometres. Travellers can commence the journey in Adelaide and disembark in Darwin, or vice versa, with passengers able to stop over in Alice Springs and Katherine en route.