Alice Springs Travel Guide
Think Alice Springs and what will probably spring to mind will be Australia’s famous sandstone monolith, Ayers Rock. Known as Uluru to the Anagu, the Aboriginal people of the area, for whom it is considered sacred, there is enough beauty and mystery surrounding this iconic landmark to make it one of Australia’s most famous World Heritage Sites. It abounds with springs and water-holes, rock caves and mysterious, ancient paintings.
Rather like an iceberg, the majority of Ayers Rock resides below ground and the main feature of the sandstone mound above ground is the way it appears to change colour according to the time of day or of year. The rock glows red at sunset and silver grey in the rain. No visitor to Alice Springs can possibly resist a visit to Ayers Rock.
But there are other things to see and do when you visit the area as any Alice Springs travel guide will tell you. The Telegraph Station Historical Reserve offers a fascinating insight into a bygone era when the first telegraph lines were laid across the central core of Australia, traversing its unforgiving outback and desert landscapes. Started in the 1870s, this provided a vital function until 1932 when it became a homestead for Aboriginal children. You can trace its history as a functioning telegraph station and catch a glimpse of life in the Australian outback during the 1800 and early 1900s.
If Aboriginal culture appeals to you can learn far more than how to play a didgeridoo or toss a boomerang at the Aboriginal Australia Cultural Centre in the heart of Alice Springs; while the Cultural Precinct houses the Natural History Museum, the Aviation Museum and an exhibition of Aboriginal and contemporary art at the Araleuen Centre.
Take a visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service or a tour of Australia’s School of the Air which used to broadcast lessons over 1.3 million square kilometres from 1951 onwards to reach outback children who might otherwise have received no education. These will help you to appreciate life in the raw in the Australian outback less than a century ago.
And whilst the night sky around Alice Springs is like no other sky in the world, a sedate balloon ride over the outback will help you to truly appreciate the awesome remote grandeur and scale of the landscape and give you a sense of its dramatic terrain. Closer to earth however, the splendour of the outback can be equally appreciated in one of the Sounds of Starlight productions; while camel rides across the desert will imprint the flora and fauna of Alice Springs indelibly on your mind.