Alice Springs is a small town in the Red Centre of Australia. It’s a popular place, but the majority of the visitors will only stay for one or two nights before heading to Uluru and Kings Canyon. I, however, stayed in Alice for almost two weeks (!). So what do you do when you’re twelve days in Alice Springs? Let me tell you what I did 🙂
1. Find a job
Before, life was more a holiday than a working holiday. But, because I would stay in Alice for some days, I decided to look for a job. I didn’t have to look far, in the hostel where I was staying they were looking for someone to do the laundry. So I became a laundry lady and I’m happy that I can add some skills to my list now ;). Working was also a good way for me to make myself useful and to meet some nice people at the hostel.
2. Look for Street Art
Who thinks of Alice Springs doesn’t think of street art, but during my stay and my wanders through the city I found some great master pieces! Best thing is that you can have a look at these paintings for free! Enjoy the beauty of art as you explore this desert town.
3. Lunch at Page 27
When I visited the local pharmacy there was a girl from Singapore who was doing her internship in Alice Springs. I asked her if she knew a nice place to have lunch and she said that she heard about a place named Page 27. This cute restaurant is hidden in the Fan Arcade and looks very hip! It’s a kind of place that you would rather expect in Melbourne than in Alice (that’s a compliment). They have meat and vegan dishes and yummy healthy shakes!
4. Spot local animals in the Desert Park
Okay, it’s not the wild but the Desert Park is very interesting if you would like to know more about the local animals. They have shows and presentations where you can see and learn about the animals. It’s a nice way to spot animals that you otherwise probably wouldn’t see. Also, it’s a nice and safe way to look at snakes and spiders from a close distance. Definitely good for someone like me with ophidiophobia (the abnormal fear of snakes).
5. Eat an ice cream at Uncle Edy’s
I have to be honest, from the outside Uncle Edy’s didn’t look very inviting to me. It was pink and it looked a little bit fake to me, like they had the fake ice cream with chemical flavors instead of real fruit. But when I walked inside and discovered that they had salted caramel ice cream, I was sold! The scoops are pricey but you get a lot! I would recommend the flavors chocolate mousse with salted caramel, yummy! You might have to share the two scoops because it’s quite a lot to have by yourself.
6. Go to the West MacDonnell Ranges
The West (and East) MacDonnell Ranges start immediately when you get out of town. There are several places to stop en the walks to the gorges and interesting places are short. The most popular stops are: Simpsons gap (see photo), Standly Chasm, Ellery Creek Big Hole (very nice for a swim!), Serpentine Gorge, Ochre Pits, Glen Helen Gorge, Ormiston Gorge and Pound, and Redbank Gorge. At some places it’s even possible to do a longer hike and explore the area. If you would like to see more photo’s you can also have a look at my Instagram account.
7. Enjoy Taco Tuesday at Loco Burrito
Every Tuesday Loco Burrito has taco’s for only $5! Perfect for a take a way lunch but you can also enjoy their cute terrace to eat your yummy taco (I had the avo with chicken). You guessed it well, they also serve burrito’s! You can have lunch at this sweet little place but it’s also perfect for a light dinner! Let the food take you to Mexican spheres in the center of Australia!
8. Watch the sunset from Anzac Hill
With warm and sunny days, you will always have a nice sunset in Alice. Clime to the top of Anzac Hill to enjoy a beautiful panoramic view over the town and to see the sun set behind the West MacDonnell Ranges. Don’t forget to walk around. The hill is also a memorial to all those who have served in the defense of their country during all wars in which Australia has participated.
9. Visit some Aboriginal Art Galleries
I could see that Aboriginal culture is very present in Alice. Around Todd Mall you can find many galleries and places where they sell beautiful art work. The majority of the paintings exist of countless little dots, the pieces are mesmerizing and definitely worth your time! Maybe even your money if you have some space left in your backpack or suitcase..
10. Relax at the pool
The days in Alice are hot hot hot! In the summer it can easily reach 45 to 50 degrees. With these kind of temperatures cooling down is very important. Most resorts and even hostels have a pool where you can relax in the shade and take a swim. Because it gets cooler at night, the water will be very refreshing! I could stay in the water forever. 🙂
11. Party at Epilogue Rooftop
During the day you can chill and have a drink at the Epilogue Lounge but at night, the rooftop transforms into a real party place with live music! The atmosphere is amazing and very different from the atmosphere that you experience in Alice during the day. The more drinks you order, the cheaper they get, so you know what to do! 😉
12. Hike to the Telegraph Station
The River Walk Trail that starts from the town center, will take you all the way to the Telegraph Station, the place where the town Alice Springs was founded. The Todd River is usually dry but the walk is still very nice. If you’re lucky you can even spot some wild life! I wasn’t aware of this and realized that maybe it was a better idea to go together with someone instead of by myself.. However, it will take you around 30-40 minutes to get to the station and the entrance fee is $9,50. From there it’s also possible to do other hikes back to town. Make sure you bring enough water with you and you will have a very nice and interesting day!