Biking -- A gently undulating 17km (11-mile) bike trail weaves from John Flynn's Grave on Larapinta Drive, 7km (4 1/3 miles) west of town, through the bushland and desert foothills of the MacDonnell Ranges to Simpson's Gap. The Penny Farthing Bike Shop, 1 Hearne Place, North Stuart Highway, about 900m (just over a half mile) from the center of town (tel. 08/8952 4551), rents bikes from A$25 for 24 hours, including helmet, lock, pump, and spare tubes. A tandem bike costs A$50, and they also have other rates for more than a day. The shop is open 8:30am to 5:30pm weekdays, 9am to 2pm Saturdays, and 11am to 2pm Sundays. Note: Carry water, because the two taps en route are a long way apart. Bike in cooler months only.
Bushwalking -- The 223km (138-mile) Larapinta Trail winds west from Alice through the sparse red ranges, picturesque semidesert scenery, and rich bird life of the West MacDonnell National Park. This long-distance walking track is divided into 12 sections, each a 1- to 2-day walk. Sections range from easy to hard. The shortest is 8km (5 miles), all the way up to 29km (18 miles). The Larapinta Trail begins at the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station and meanders through many gaps and sheltered gorges and climbs steeply over rugged ranges. Each section is accessible to vehicles (some by high-clearance four-wheel-drive only), so you can join or leave the trail at any of the trail heads. Camping out under a sea of stars in the Outback is a highlight of the experience. Although they vary, most campsites offer picnic tables and hardened tent sites -- all trail heads have a water supply and some have free gas barbecues. The Parks & Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory strongly recommends any individual or group walking the Larapinta Trail to carry a communication device -- a satellite phone or a location device such as a PLB/EPIRBS or SpotMessenger. Trail maps and information can be obtained from the Parks & Wildlife Commission office in Alice Springs (tel. 1300/650 730 in Australia or 08/8951 8250) and the CATIA Visitor Information Centre. Check www.nt.gov.au/nreta/parks/walks/larapinta for detailed information on the trail. It also has details of companies that provide transfers to access points along the trail, food drops, camping equipment, or fully guided and supported treks. Warning: Always carry drinking water. The trail may close in extremely hot summer periods.
Golf -- The Alice Springs Golf Club, 1km (just over a half mile) from town on Cromwell Drive (tel. 08/8952 1921; www.alicespringsgolfclub.com.au), boasts a Thomson-Wolveridge course rated among the world's top desert courses by touring pros. The course is open from sunup to sundown. Nine holes cost A$47; 18 holes, A$80. Club rental costs A$35, and a motorized cart, which many locals don't bother with, goes for A$50 for 18 holes. It's best to book a tee time.
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.