For those who want to make their next backpacking trip a visit to the land of Australia, where you go makes all the difference in how memorable of a vacation it will be. But there’s certainly more to the Land Down Under than the coast. And that’s where Alice Springs comes in.Take a look at ten things to do in Alice Springs, Australia, some of the best activities for backpackers below.

The city of Alice Springs is the prime gateway to the country’s Red Centre, dubbed for the reddish hue that is emblematic of its interior deserts. The town is halfway between Adelaide and Darwin in the Northern Territory, and was first conceived of and built as a town in 1862 to establish a link for the telegraph to exist. Located on the banks of the Todd River, the town is now a thriving one of 30,000 and has rightly earned its recognition as the heart of the Outback. Alice Springs offers a bevy of activities for those interested in the area’s culture, and its natural highlights for outdoor enthusiasts.

10 Things To Do in Alice Springs

1. Visit The Alice Springs Desert Park

This popular attraction takes great pains to recreate the true Australian desert experience, one that blooms and sings. It’s a combination of a botanical gardens and animal sanctuary that’s perched on the southwestern edge of town. Once here, visitors can observe wildlife such as kangaroos and sea snakes. There’s even a guided evening tour that lets one see these creatures up close under the cover of dusk.

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Visit the Alice Springs Desert Park and try to spot thorny devils

Thorny Devils at Alice Springs Desert Park Nocturnal House - picture by Richard Fisher - license

2. Anzac Hill

Built in 1934, this memorial looms over Alice Springs marking an important chapter in the history of Australia and New Zealand. Located in the downtown area, Anzac Hill is a memorial to all of those soldiers from both nations who lost their lives while being deployed overseas in World War I. The top of the hill gives visitors a sweeping look of Alice Springs and a chunk of the surrounding land.

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Anzac Hill

By Bahnfrend [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

3. Olive Pink Botanical Garden

Tucked on the edge of the Todd River below the Alice Springs Central Business District is the Olive Pink Botanical Garden. Spanning sixteen hectares, the garden was opened in 1956 and named in honor of the woman who helped preserve that land along with helpers against drought and voracious grazing by animals. Today, the gardens host close to 600 varieties of plants native to central Australia including two nearly extinct ones.

4. The Residency

This historic structure was once the legislative home of central Australia when it was regarded as a separate part from the rest of the Northern Territory until 1931. It’s located in the town center, and stands out for its early adoption of a building scheme that fit the arid climate as well as for being the resting place for Queen Elizabeth II during her 1963 trip to the region.

the residency alice springs things to do commons
The Residency Alice Springs

By Bahnfrend [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

5. Araluen Arts Centre

The Araluen Arts Centre on Larapinta Drive is the epicenter of arts and culture within this region of Australia, first built in 1984 around a 300 year old corkwood tree. Since then, it’s become the home of a vast collection of indigenous Australian art from Central Australia and the Western Territory, together with a performance center on site. The complex is also the core of the Araluen Cultural District in town.

6. Alice Springs Reptile Centre

If you’ve got an interest in seeing something scaly, the Alice Springs Reptile Centre fits the bill handily.

Built in 2000, the Reptile Centre is a complex that showcases all of the reptiles that call the Northern Territory home – which number a little over one hundred. There’s indoor and outdoor exhibit areas that feature such creatures as saltwater crocodiles and the gecko.

7. West MacDonnell National Park

Located at 161 kilometers west of Alice Springs lies the sprawling natural wonder of the West MacDonnell National Park which includes part of the well known MacDonnell Ranges. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a visit here to see many of the sights here, from the Larapinta Trail to the Ellery Creek Big Hole to the desert tropical forest of Palm Valley. Visitors can also take advantage of the land set aside here to camp out overnight.

alice springs activities west macdonnell national park
West MacDonnell National Park

By No machine-readable author provided. Boticario assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

8. Adelaide House Museum

Step back into the world of the late twenties – 1926 to be precise – with a visit to the Adelaide House

Museum. This building was the first ever hospital in the town of Alice Springs, and plays host to a wide swath of memorabilia from the collection of John Flynn who was part of the Flying Doctor service corps that aided many Australians in the bush with medical service for close to a century. Other artifacts that can be found here include a rather unique cooling system that he invented which is still in use and a radio operated by pedaling power.

9. Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame

The Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to every Australian woman who helped to shape the nation into what it is today. First created in 1994, it soon outgrew its former space in the old courthouse, moving to a former prison. The museum has over 2000 objects that are related to the history of women in Australia, and there’s also a library on the premises to go with an archive of feminist literature.

10. Alice Springs Telegraph Station

Located within the same reserve that bears its name, the Alice Springs Telegraph Station is a faithfully restored and maintained telegraph point from the late 1800’s. It still holds a great deal of artifacts from the era, and it’s also a look into Aboriginal culture when it was once a home for those relocated here during the 19th and 20th Century.

alice springs telegraph station
Alice Springs Telegraph Station

By Reinhard Dietrich [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

“The Alice” as its affectionately called by its residents is a blooming oasis in central Australia and a place that is a must see for those looking to know more about its frontier and indigenous culture. Backpackers will undoubtedly find a great and enduring sense of adventure in these top 10 things to do in Alice Springs.

Author: Kylie is a passionate writer, blogger, always love travelling as much as eating. She is a professional copywriter helping different websites, like Trip101 in providing inspirational and quality content especially about destinations around the world. is a one-stop guide for travel enthusiasts around the world.

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