Alice by Jenny Brewer
Alice Springs is one of Australia's
most well known outback towns. It is almost in the centre of the Territory
and lies between the West and East MacDonnell Ranges, and can be reached
in a day's drive from Darwin.
Most of the year you can
enjoy sunny days, and wide, blue skies. The winter nights get very cold,
so don't forget your socks, and in summer the temperatures can soar to
over 40 degrees. The best time to travel is spring and autumn, where the
temperatures are not as extreme.
There is so much in this
diverse town, which is the second largest in the Territory next to Darwin.
You will find history in every corner, as the town was forged by brave
pioneers and flying doctors who put Alice on the map. Make sure you visit
the old telegraph station, which also offers bushwalking and pretty picnic
spots. The Royal Flying Doctor service is known and loved by all Australians,
and a visit to the original base is worthwhile to see the museum and enjoy
the interactive tours.
The Alice Springs Reptile
Centre also has to be seen, especially if you have boys with you (of any
age!). You will be amazed at the large range of reptiles on show, including
the frilly neck lizards, thorny devils, goannas, pythons and venomous snakes.
One of the highlights of
your stay at Alice would have to be the 'Spirit of the Night sky', held
at the Milky Way Café and Observatory in town. This educational
and entertaining presentation, featuring powerful telescopes and displays
will give you a greater insight into the heavenly realms.
The MacDonnell Range Holiday
Park is recommended if you intend to stay here for a while. Set in an excellent,
central location it has excellent amenities and there is plenty of room
for the family.
Beyond the ranges surrounding
Alice Springs are the Simpson and Tanami deserts. The Simpson is famous
for its vast mesmerising dunes that go on forever, and although you can
venture close should not be crossed unless you are with an experienced
guide. Camel treks and four wheel drive expeditions are possible, although
you won't see many other people in this part of the world.
There are plenty of day trips
not far from town which are just as fascinating. One popular natural attraction
is the Rainbow Valley, located in the James ranges. You can also visit
Chambers Pillar on the way which features rock carvings and is steeped
Travel north from town and
you will be awestruck by the natural beauty of the bush, with camping,
bushwalking, gem fossicking all popular activities. Visit the Gemtree,
where you can visit the gem fields on organised tours and actually find
something to take home. They also offer a large camping ground if you are
not in a hurry to head home. Spend some time out here and enjoy the wonders
of the starlit skies. Nothing beats an open campfire in the outback, with
a majestic sunrise waiting to greet you at dawn.
Heading south just over 100
kilometres, you will be rewarded by some of the most stunning scenery at
Finke Gorge National Park. There are camping facilities at Palm Valley,
known for its bountiful cabbage palms, if you prefer to stay longer.
If you can allow an extra
few days, make sure you plan to visit the famous MacDonnell Ranges, which
surround Alice Springs. The West MacDonnell ranges are easier to reach,
with swimming holes and bushwalks winding through the spectacular gorges.
Take your time and camp overnight, or leave at dusk and enjoy a picnic
at a swimming hole. The East MacDonnell ranges are also incredibly beautiful,
featuring the stunning Trephina Gorge.
Alice Springs is surrounded
by the most incredible rugged Australian outback in the world. It is the
ideal base to visit those hidden natural wonders that beg to be appreciated
and enjoyed. Your hire car will give you all the flexibility you need to
make the most of your holiday in the territory.
/ Alice Springs Hotels
About the Author: Jenny
Brewer is a travel agent whose passion is writing. After spending her leisure
time writing time writing childrens stories, she now enjoys writing about
travel destinations. For more of her articles visit Car