Aussie ABC – A is for Alice Springs!

Looking over Alice Springs to Heavitree Gap, Northern Territory

Looking over Alice Springs to Heavitree Gap, Northern Territory

All roads lead to Alice Springs – as close as a fart in an outhouse to the centre of OZ!  It’s not the country’s official geographic centre – but go on!

Standley Chasm, Central Australia

Standley Chasm, Central Australia

Have a look at the map of Australia – how do you find the centre of THAT?!

But exact centre or not, no town defines OZ quite like Alice Springs – aka ‘The Alice’!

This town at the centre of Central Australia is a microcosm of Australia’s quintessence, and is therefore worthy to introduce my Aussie ABC – the archetypes of awesome, amazing Australia (some more great ‘A’ words in case you hadn’t noticed)!

While many Australian landscapes look completely unlike those in and around Alice Springs and Central Australia, I’ll bet that if someone says ‘Australia’ to you, images of this region are what you’ll more than likely first think of.

Glen Helen Gorge, Central Australia

Glen Helen Gorge, Central Australia

Especially the REDS of gorges, chasms, rocks, earth and sunsets …

… and the rugged Outback ranges …

… and the endless blue, Blue, BLUE (mostly) cloudless skies …

… and the distinctive Central  OZ desert landscapes that you’ll always recognise even without a caption!

HHHMMMmmm… perhaps that makes the whole area too much of a cliché?

Or maybe not.

Lets take an introductory tour to see what some of the Alice’s different aspects look like!

An oasis in the desert (courtesy of the Great Artesian Basin), see its unique natural wonders for yourself – regional birds and other fauna at the Alice Springs Desert Park, and local plants and wildflowers especially adapted to arid land life at the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens.

And of course you can’t miss the amazing landscape – it surrounds you wherever you go…

Alice Springs Desert Park

Alice Springs Desert Park

Descendants of the original indigenous inhabitants, Afghan cameleers and white settlers rub shoulders with grey nomads and tourists from all over the world – and the rich indigenous cultural heritage is showcased throughout the town and region.

Storm clouds gather over the West MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Storm clouds gather over the West MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs, Northern Territory

The Alice Springs of Neville Shute’s classic novel ‘A Town Like Alice’ is almost a character in its own right. And since my first visit in the early noughties, I’ve been addicted to its eclectic mix of cultures, landscapes, flora and fauna – and it’s within cooee of even more unique Australiana (aka ‘oddities’)!

Mt Sonder, West MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs, Central Australia

Mt Sonder, West MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs, Central Australia

Head from Alice Springs in ANY direction and you’ll see what I mean. For example: Kata Tjuta (and of course Uluru) to the south west. ‘Dinky’ the singing, piano playing dingo at Stuarts Well to the south. Rainbow Valley to the south east. And of course, due north to the Devils Marbles and Wycliffe Well – self-proclaimed UFO capital of Australia.

Trephina Gorge, East MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Trephina Gorge, East MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs, Northern Territory

You’ve just got to love a place that’s adapted so well to its harsh environment that the annual Henley-on-Todd regatta is cancelled if there IS water in the river! Or with restaurants that combine usually unrelated cuisine types!  It was in the Swiss/Indian restaurant (no longer operating) where a staff member once mistook me for a man – the dim light, perhaps?  Or should I just rethink that androgynous haircut …

And it’s possibly the only place in the country – if not the world! – where you can stay in the ‘G’day Mate’ caravan park!

Ochre Pits, West MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs, Central Australia

Ochre Pits, West MacDonnell Ranges via Alice Springs, Central Australia

Of course there’s WAAAAY more to Alice Springs than this – museums, parks, Indigenous heritage, lookouts, art, waterholes – so if you’re looking for the definitive exposé of this fascinating region, my Aussie ABC isn’t it.

But if it’s left you wanting more of the laid-back Central Australian vibe in and around (arguably) Australia’s most intriguing town, do it the easy way and let the My Adventure Store travel experts show you around!

West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory

West MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory

Want MORE of my take on TOP Aussie Town Alice Springs and Central Australia?

Rainbow Valley, Central Australia (pic by Pilchard)

Rainbow Valley, Central Australia (pic by Pilchard)

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