Gateway to unique natural wonders in the outback
The city is located in the hot heart of Australia and is the only major city within a radius of more than 1000 kilometers of red sand desert. Alice Springs is the gateway to the unique natural wonders of the Australian outback for adventure tourists. In the city itself, the pioneering history of the continent “Down Under” combines in an exciting way with the conveniences of modern civilization.
Long before the first white settlers came to what is now Alice Springs, the Arunta (also called Arrernte), a tribe of the Australian Aborigines, lived here. The explorer John McDouall Stuart was the first European to cross the center of the red continent in 1862. In the course of the establishment of the Trans-Australian Telegraph Line, a first settlement was built 10 years later near the MacDonnell Ranges, which was named Stuart Town in his honor.
There was a first population boom in the desert settlement when gold was found about 100 kilometers further east in 1887. With the arrival of the railroad in 1929, Stuart Town continued to grow. In 1933 the place was renamed Alice Springs because a surveyor gave a supposed spring that was discovered nearby (in honor of the wife of his superior, Alice Todd).
Until the 1970s, the city lived exclusively from cattle farming and mining. The tourism that then set in opened up perspectives for the hotel and catering trade as well as for the retail and art trade.
Today the urban area of Alice Springs extends over an area of 328 square kilometers and has about 27,000 inhabitants, who also affectionately call their city “The Alice”.
Attractions in Alice Springs :
- Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve: About 4 kilometers outside the city is her historic birthplace, a telegraph station built in 1871. Today, as an open-air museum, it gives an insight into the city’s history and the living conditions of its former residents.
- Adelaide House: The Adelaide House, built in 1926 as the first local hospital, houses a historical museum with exhibits from the early days.
- Stuart Town Gaol and Old Court House: The Stuart Town Gaol was built in 1908 and is the oldest surviving building in the city. It served as a prison until 1938. Also worth seeing is the old courthouse from 1928, in which changing exhibitions take place.
- Todd Street: The central shopping street of Alice Springs and at the same time an incomparable art street is Todd Street. Colorful works of art convey the Aboriginal attitude towards life, corresponding galleries and cultural centers are dedicated to the topic.
- Museum of Central Australia: With a variety of fossils, minerals and Aboriginal finds, the museum provides an overview of the natural and human history of the Red Center. Parts of meteorites can also be admired here.
- Alice Springs Reptile Center : Saltwater crocodiles and life-threatening venomous snakes are among the diverse residents of the reptile center, which are presented to visitors twice a day in an exciting show.
- Minerals House: The house on Hartley Street houses an exhibition about the geological conditions and mineral extraction in central Australia. If you want to search for gemstones yourself, you can have a license issued here.
- Anzac Hill: From Anzac Hill, not far from the city center, there is a fantastic view of Alice Springs and the surrounding area, right up to the MacDonnell Ranges. A memorial up here commemorates the soldiers of the First World War, a plaque added later includes all other wars and conflicts in which Australians were involved.
- Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air: A visit to the famous Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air gives a realistic insight into everyday life in the Outback. Both facilities are open to tourists and visitors can watch the morning broadcasts of the lessons in the school’s visitor center. These days, however, these are no longer carried out via shortwave radio, but via the Internet.