10 Must-Do Activities in Alice Springs


Alice Springs, nestled in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, offers an exciting gateway to adventure, cultural insights, and breathtaking natural beauty. Here are ten unforgettable activities that showcase the very best of Alice Springs, making every moment of your visit remarkable.

Narrow pathway through the towering red rock walls of Standley Chasm with sunlight streaming down.

1. Explore Standley Chasm (Angkerle Atwatye)

Just a short drive from Alice Springs, Standley Chasm cuts through the ancient landscape of the West MacDonnell Ranges. This natural alleyway dazzles visitors with its dramatic color changes at different times of the day. The area, managed by the local Arrernte people, includes a welcoming visitor center and a café set amongst the lush, serene environment perfect for all ages.

2. Experience a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Take to the skies with a hot air balloon ride and enjoy the serene beauty of the Red Centre at sunrise. The vast, colorful landscape stretches endlessly below, offering a tranquil yet exhilarating experience that captures the essence of this ancient land.

3. Visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary

Experience close encounters with Australia’s iconic marsupials at The Kangaroo Sanctuary during a guided sunset tour. This sanctuary cares deeply for its animals, offering insights into their rescue and rehabilitation

Aerial view of Ormiston Gorge with a sandy beach and waterhole surrounded by rugged red rock cliffs.

4. Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges

A treasure trove of natural beauty, the West MacDonnell Ranges boast gorges, waterholes, and unique geological formations. Explore sites like Simpsons Gap and Ormiston Gorge for a taste of the area’s dramatic landscapes and tranquil spots perfect for a refreshing dip or a scenic picnic.

5. Hike from Jessie Gap to Emily Gap

Connect with the ancient landscapes and the spiritual heritage of the East MacDonnell Ranges. This gentle hike between two significant geological gaps offers insights into Aboriginal art and sacred sites, enriching your understanding of the area’s original custodians.

6. Visit the Alice Springs Desert Park

This part-zoo, part-botanical garden offers a comprehensive introduction to the desert environment, showcasing local wildlife and flora. Interactive exhibits and daily shows, such as the free-flying bird display, provide educational entertainment for all ages.

7. Discover Aboriginal Art

Alice Springs is a hub for Indigenous art, with numerous galleries featuring traditional and contemporary works. Engage with the vibrant Aboriginal art scene to appreciate its profound stories and symbolism.

Camels ready for a ride in Central Australia

8. Ride a Camel

Experience the traditional desert navigator’s journey with a camel ride through the Outback. This gentle adventure offers a unique vantage point of the vast, arid landscapes and a link to the region’s pioneering history.

9. Check out some Local Hospitality

Alice Springs offers a diverse and vibrant culinary scene, with several standout establishments that are a must-visit for any traveler:


Alice Springs Brewing Co: This local brewery is celebrated for its excellent selection of craft beers brewed on-site, paired with a menu of satisfying pub fare in a laid-back setting.

Epilogue Lounge: Known for its lively rooftop ambiance, Epilogue Lounge is a favorite for its mix of delicious food, live music, and vibrant nightlife.

The Jump Inn: This cozy spot is renowned for its eclectic mix of international dishes, craft beers, and regular live music events, making it a popular hangout for both locals and visitors.

Page 27 Cafe: Nestled in the Fan Arcade, this cafe is a hidden gem known for its creative breakfast and lunch options, often featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Watertank Cafe: Situated in a converted water tank, this unique cafe offers a charming atmosphere and is known for its excellent coffee and wholesome, tasty meals.


Each of these venues brings its own unique flavour to the dining experience in Alice Springs, making them perfect for those looking to explore the local food and culture.

10. Attend a Local Market or Festival

In Alice Springs, the event calendar is packed with unique and vibrant festivals that reflect the town’s eclectic character and cultural diversity. Notable events include:

Fab Alice Festival: This festival brings a burst of color and inclusivity to the heart of Australia, celebrating LGBTQ+ culture and community. It’s a time of vibrant parades, performances, and parties.

Finke Desert Race: An iconic event for motorsport enthusiasts, the Finke Desert Race is a grueling off-road challenge for bikes, cars, and buggies through the desert. It attracts competitors and spectators from across the nation.

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light: This annual festival illuminates the desert with stunning light installations that celebrate Aboriginal art, culture, and storytelling.

The Beanie Festival: A charming and creative event where handmade beanies from around the world are showcased, along with workshops and music.

Each of these festivals offers a unique glimpse into the life and spirit of Alice Springs. To catch these and other exciting local events, visitors are encouraged to check out the Alice Springs events calendar online for the latest information and dates.


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