Virtually all tours pick you up at your hotel. If your itinerary traverses unpaved roads, as it may in outlying areas, you will need to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle, because regular cars will not be insured on an unpaved surface. However, a regular car will get you to most attractions. Avis, Gregory Terrace (at Bath St.; tel. 08/8952 3694); Budget, 113 Todd Mall ( tel. 08/8952 8899); Hertz, 34 Stott Terrace ( tel. 08/8952 2644); and Thrifty, corner of Stott Terrace and Hartley St. ( tel. 08/8952 9999), all rent conventional and four-wheel-drive vehicles. Europcar ( tel. 08/8953 3799) has a desk at the airport, as do all the other companies. You may get a better deal on car rental by going through the Outback Travel Shop (www.outbacktravelshop.com.au) in Alice Springs, a booking agent that negotiates bulk rates with most Alice car-rental companies.
Many rental outfits for motor homes (camper vans) have Alice offices. They include Apollo Campers, 40 Stuart Hwy., corner of Smith Street ( tel. 1800/777 779 in Australia), and Britz CampervanRental, corner of Stuart Highway and Power Street ( tel. 08/8952 8814). Renting a camper van can be significantly cheaper than staying in hotels and going on tours, but it pays to do your math first.
The best way to get around town without your own transport is aboard the Alice Wanderer bus Public buses ( tel. 08/8924 7066) run around town; the main bus stop is at the corner of Gregory Terrace and Railway Terrace. A A$3 fare gives you unlimited bus travel for 3 hours from the time of purchase. A Show & Go daily ticket costs A$7 and provides unlimited bus travel on that day. A weekly Show & Go costs A$20 for 7 days from the date of purchase. Tickets can be bought on the bus. There are no public bus services on Sundays or public holidays.
For a taxi, call Alice Springs Taxis ( tel. 13 10 08 or 08/8952 1877) or find one at the rank (stand) on the corner of Todd Street and Gregory Terrace. Taxi fares here are high.
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
Incidents of violence and crime in Alice Springs, including attacks on tourists by groups of young people—fueled by alcohol and substance abuse—have made headlines in Australia in recent years. Much of the trouble is centered around the drybed 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.