Alice Springs in Central Australia was originally a settlement of the Aboriginals, who probably lived there for 50,000 years before the whites arrived. Alice Springs was an important foothold for the telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin, which was built in the 19th century. That historic telegraph office still exists and is a tourist attraction. Especially the area of Alice Springs draws tourists: there are many walking trails through the MacDonnell Ranges. The city is also the starting point for tours to the famous Ayers Rock, south of Alice Springs.
The town has less than 30,000 inhabitants, of whom approximately 17% are Aboriginals. Also quite a few Americans live in Alice Springs, working in Pine Gap, a station that monitors satellite communication.
Alice Springs is situated in the middle of Australia. The town has a very isolated location, the nearest places of interest being Port Augusta in South Australia (1007 km) and Darwin (1305 km). The MacDonnell Ranges lie east and west of Alice Springs, with the Simpson desert southeast of the city. The Todd river runs through the city, but it can hardly be called a river: the bedding is dry for most of the year.
Tourism is of great importance for Alice Springs. All tourist organizations have an office in the city and also many hotels and boarding houses offer the local public employment. Plus, there are many organizations active to develop the countryside around the city. There is also mining. The monitoring station Pine Gap (see population) offers many people work as well.
Alice Springs airport lies about 15 kilometers south of the city. The Airport lies next to Stuart Highway (to Adelaide) and is thus easily reachable by rental car. It has flights to Ayers Rock, Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, and Perth.
Except for taxis there is no other local public transportation in Alice Springs. There is public transportation to further lying destinations. The famous train, The Ghan, links Alice Springs with Darwin and Adelaide. There are also daily bus connections to Darwin and Adelaide.
In Australia they drive on the left. In and around the city, you can comfortably drive around in your rental car, and finding a parking space is no problem. It is not suggested to drive outside the city at night, and some rental car companies even prohibit this. There is one good reason for this: at night game is more active than during the day.
Keep in mind the enormous distances in Australia. The distance from Alice Springs to Adelaide is 1530 kilometers and to Darwin hardly less: 1498 kilometers.
There is no lack of accommodation in Alice Springs. From simple guesthouses for backpackers to the luxurious Lasseters Hotel & Casino (5 stars). In between you will find several hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. There are also some so-called caravan parks, where you can rent a mobile home, park your RV or put up your tent.
For more information on Alice Springs, we recommend Google and the following sources: