Here are a few sightseeing suggestions and dining recommendations you may wish to consider during your stay in Alice Springs.
Royal Flying Doctor Service Base
Following a recent renovation, this museum has been given a brand new lease of life, celebrating the history of one of the first air ambulance services with state of the art facilities, displays and interactive information portals. The Royal Flying Doctor Service serves an area spanning over 1.25 million square miles, aiding those in need even in the most isolated areas of Australia. Established in the 1930s, this central base for the Royal Flying Doctor Service has helped to save countless lives, and here at the museum there is a chance to witness how the entire operation works, with access to view items such as a flight simulator, used to train new pilots, and old medical equipment, used in the founding years of the service.
Alice Springs Reptile Centre
Situated in the heart of the town centre, the Alice Springs Reptile Centre allows you to get up close and personal with an impressive collection of reptile species. Although small in size, the centre hosts an excellent variety of reptiles, including 11 different species of gecko, as well as a number of bearded dragons and venomous snakes. You can also meet Terry, a 3.3m saltwater crocodile, and Bub the perentie, Australia’s largest lizard, and there is also the chance to wear a python around your neck during handling demonstrations if you are feeling especially brave.
Alice Springs Desert Park
Just 2.5km from Alice Springs, this open-air delight is easy to access from the town, with transfers running five times daily at a small cost. Here you can find all the animals and creatures who inhabit central Australia together in one place, with the open-air exhibits authentically recreating the animals’ natural environments, which include woodland and inland river. One highlight is the fantastic birds of prey show, where you can witness birds such as Australian kestrels and wedge-tailed eagles in free flight. If you want to see some of the park’s harder to find animals, such as the bilby, head on over to the nocturnal house.
Wining and dining
Located within the Hilton Double Tree Hotel, Hanuman may be the finest dining experience that Alice Springs has to offer, providing a traditional Asian atmosphere and serving up contemporary Thai and Indian food. Specialising in seafood, the food is prepared by expert chefs and is enjoyed within a relaxed and cosy atmosphere, perfect for a quiet meal out in Alice Springs. There are also many sharing menus and platters available if you’d like to sample a variety of different dishes and try something new.
Specialising in Australian cuisine, visit Red Ochre if you’re seeking something different but still quintessentially Australian, such as kangaroo and bush food. Some of the dishes are truly unique, and are only amplified by the setting of the Australian outback, as well as the expansive knowledge and fondness for the food held by the restaurant’s attentive staff. For a rustic dining experience with a difference, you can’t go far wrong with the Red Ochre.
Bean Tree Café
Nestled within Alice Springs’ little known Olive Pink Botanic Garden is the Bean Tree Café, perfect for a bite to eat while exploring the lesser beaten path of the town. Locals flock here for the home-style cooking as well as the high quality coffee, and the views can’t be beaten – looking out onto the botanical gardens, you’ll spot a variety of Central Australian birds and wildlife during your visit. The Bean Tree Café is especially good for breakfasts, and during the day are popular for their cakes, which include chocolate mud cake and orange and almond cake among others.