Alice Springs, known for being the gateway to the Red Centre, is a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory. Alice Springs is a welcome stop over for those road tripping through the Northern Territory due to it being located halfway between Darwin and Adelaide (both 1,500km away). It may just seem like a just a nice, scenic location for a pit stop but Alice Springs has so much more to it than meets the eye. We suggest allowing a few days here on your road trip to really soak up the stunning landscapes and breathtaking indigenous art.
Fear not water lovers, although you may be surrounded by desert, it’s still possible to get wet when visiting Alice Springs. Jump in your campervan, take a 1 hour drive West of Alice Springs and you will find yourself in the West MacDonnell Ranges where you can take a dip in wild swimming pools and waterholes hidden beneath the rocky ranges. It’s pretty impressive and should be at the top of your ‘to do’ list whilst in Alice Springs.
The West MacDonnell range itself spans a whopping 644 km long and is made up of a series of mountains and gorges and is a stunning natural habitat for wildlife and plants. If hanging out in the desert takes your fancy, we suggest checking out some popular tracks and walks in the ranges to really get the full desert experience .
Alice Spring is a culturally rich area, famed for its many of art galleries. There is a large range of private and collectively owned galleries lining pedestrian-only Todd Mall, the perfect place to lose yourself browsing the stunning the local and indigenous art. Some art is available to buy as well as just for display, so fear not, you will be able to take home your very own piece of Australian culture if you so wish.
If you’re wanting to go dive a little deeper into the history of Alice Springs, you can hop into your camper and take a trip along one of the Red Centre Art Trails to visit community art centres, cleverly devised by Tourism Central Australia .We suggest downloading their ‘Red Centre Art Trails’ app or downloading a copy of their booklet here to help you plan your campervan art roadtrip. (https://www.discovercentralaustralia.com/images/Brochures/TCA2831_TCA-Art-Trails-booklet_2017_email.pdf)
If you’re set on seeing some wildlife whilst in Alice Springs, you will be able to make friends with the local ‘roos. The Kangaroo Sanctuary opened its doors is 2011 and is well known for being the sanctuary in the BBC documentary Kangaroo Dundee, now on it’s 3rd series. The Kangaroo Sanctuary is a 188 acre wildlife sanctuary for rescued orphaned baby kangaroos and adult kangaroos and the sanctuary is only accessible during guided tours which run Tuesday to Fridays. Fun fact: Kangaroos sleep during the day! And that’s why the sanctuary’s guided tours only run in the late afternoon/evening so they do not disturb the kangaroos. The tour is available to book on the sanctuary website and there is many central Alice Springs pick up locations available to choose from.
The Anzac Hill view point is a great place to get a full 360 view of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell ranges, and is easily accessible in your campervan being only a 2 minute drive up from Todd Mall. It’s a wonderful spot to watch the sunset, especially if there is a full moon.
Driving from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock is a sensational journey and one that should be on every travellers bucket list. However it’s not a ‘quick trip’ from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock, it’s about 5 hours of driving. For the less experienced desert driver, it’s possible to stick to sealed roads during this trip. You should plan your route before driving and remember to include any necessary ‘driver fatigue’ stops. There is so much information on the routes and road options available online for free so be sure to do your research beforehand. Remember, there are large animals on the roads at night in these areas (kangaroos, camels and cattle) so it’s not advisable to drive after dark. You can check out a wonderfully comprehensive guide from Travel Outback Australia here which includes everything you need to know. (LINK: http://traveloutbackaustralia.com/driving-from-alice-springs-to-ayers-rock.html/)
As with any campervan trip, but especially in the NT due to its remote location and limited phone signal, we advise to always make sure you have enough fuel, water and a clear plan/route when travelling through the Northern Territory.
Alice Springs is home to an extreme climate, with hot summers and cold winters. In summer (December to February) the average temperature ranges from 20 – 35°C but can soar to around 40°C. January is the wettest month, however the climate is considered dry and arid for most of the year. Autumn (March to May) is one of the best times to visit Alice Spring with the average daily temperature range from 12 – 27°C and plenty of cool nights. Winter (June t August) gets very cold in Alice Springs with average temperatures falling between 4.8 – 20°C. Be aware, in July temperatures can drop to freezing and a thick frost forms on the ground. Spring (September to November) brings the warmer days with average temperatures between 13 – 30°C but watch out for the thunderstorms!
If you’re looking for more information on campervan rentals in Alice Springs or throughout Australia, get in touch with the Campervan Rental Shop team today!
- BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park – renowned for its beautiful surroundings, friendly staff and comprehensive facilities
- Alice Springs Tourist Park – an oasis in the desert
- Wintersun Cabin and Caravan Park, conveniently located 2 km north of the city centre.
- Watertank Cafe – short drive from the city centre but plenty of parking. Excellent local Australian cafe, serving great breakfast
- Hanuman – tasty Asian fusion cuisine. Not the cheapest place to eat in Alice Springs but worth it for the flavours
- Teashrine Alice Springs – great food and an even better selection of tea
- House of Talullah – great for veggies and vegans
- Loco Burrito – tasty, well priced Mexican food
- Page 27 Cafe – great spot for breakfast