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Visitor Information

The Tourism Central Australia Visitor Information Centre, Todd Mall, (  tel. 1800/645 199 in Australia or 08/8952 5800; www.centralaustraliantourism.com), is the official one-stop shop for bookings and touring information for the Red Centre, including Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, and UluruKata Tjuta National Park. It also acts as the visitor center for the Parks & Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory. Its open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm and weekends and public holidays from 9:30am to 4pm. It also has desks at the airport and train station

Special Events

Alice Springs hosts a couple of bizarre events. The Camel Cup camel race (www.camelcup.com.au) takes place on the second Saturday in July. In late August, people from hundreds of miles around come out to cheer the Henley-on-Todd Regatta (www.henleyontodd.com.au), during which gaudily decorated, homemade bottomless "boats" race down the dry Todd River bed. Well, what else do you do on a river that rarely flows?

City Layout

Todd Mall is the heart of town. Most shops, businesses, and restaurants are here or within a few blocks' walk. Most hotels, the casino, the golf course, and many of the town's attractions are a few kilometers outside of town. The dry Todd River "flows" through the city east of Todd Mall.

Taking Care at Night

At the time of this writing, incidents of violence and crime in Alice Springs, including attacks on tourists by groups of young people -- fuelled by alcohol and substance-abuse -- were making headlines in Australia. Much of the trouble is centered around the dry bed of the Todd River and Aboriginal 'town camps'. Visitors are advised not to wander around the streets at night.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.