Backpacking in Alice Springs

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Backpacking in Alice Springs

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The heart of Central Australia is comprised of cavernous gorges, boundless desert landscapes, remote Aboriginal communities and a charming pioneering history. Known as the Red Centre, this area of the Northern Territory is filled with adventure. From hiking the spectacular Larapinta Trail, camping under a million-star sky, connecting with the oldest culture on earth, or nurturing your wellbeing, the Red Centre has loads to do.

Alice Springs, or ‘The Alice’ is a small town with a big city feel. Alice Springs is the hub of the Red Centre where many tours start from to explore. Full of quirky pubs, shops, art galleries and cafes with coffee that will make you feel human again.  

Exploring the Red Centre ©TourismNT

Alice Springs is one of the most well-known parts of the Red Centre. It was established by the early explorers and remains the centre of activity in this region. The oldest buildings in Central Australia are from the beginnings of this town, known as the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. You can still visit these buildings today. From the 1870s onwards, the vast desert of Central Australia was explored for its promise of rubies and gold. Today, north of Alice is an adventure travel destination called Gemtree where visitors can still fossick for gems and explore the Australian desert while trekking, camping or four-wheel driving.

North-west of Alice, along the Tanami Track and south of Alice Springs in the Simpson Desert, the art styles and stories of the Aboriginal people give depth and history to the surrounding landscape. The Flying Doctors, the Afghan cameleers and the legendary outback pioneers make this a fascinating stop on your Australian gap year. 

Anzac Hill, Alice Springs

The most well-known natural highlights of Central Australia are the East and West MacDonnell Ranges that straddle Alice Springs and run for 223 kilometres. Visitors to the Northern Territory's Red Centre can enjoy views of dramatic scenery, bushwalking, swimming, four-wheel driving or quad-bike riding.

The desert landscape bronzed by the sun and painted with red ochre, emerald and azure, makes this one of the most picturesque parts of Oz.