All the major attractions in Alice Springs are within easy reach of the city center.
Around Town & Out in the Desert
Alice Wanderer Centre Sightseeing ( tel. 1800/722 111 in Australia or 08/8952 2111; www.alicewanderer.com.au) offers a large range of half day and full day tours. It’s well worth checking out the Alice Wanderer website to help you plan your time before you visit. The company also runs full- and half-day tours to outlying areas, including to Palm Valley in the West MacDonnell Ranges, costing A$145 for adults and A$139 for kids .
Many Alice-based companies offer minicoach or four-wheel-drive day trips and extended tours of Alice and of outlying areas including the East and West Macs, Hermannsburg, and Finke Gorge National Park. Among the well-regarded ones is Alice Springs Holidays ( tel. 1800/801 401 in Australia or 08/8953 1331; www.alicespringsholidays.com.au).
The camel’s ability to get by without water was key to opening the arid inland parts of Australia to European settlement in the 1800s. With the advent of cars, they were released into the wild, and today more than 200,000 roam Central Australia. Australia even exports them to the Middle East! Pyndan Camel Tracks ( tel. 0416/170 164; www.cameltracks.com) runs camel rides daily, with pickup from your hotel. A 1-hour tour, at noon, 2:30pm, or sunset, costs A$60 adults and A$30 for kids 14 and under. Kids under 3 must ride with an adult. Make sure that you wear comfortable, casual clothes, and sensible shoes—you are likely to get a bit dirty.
Hot-Air Balloon Flights
Dawn balloon flights above the desert are popular in central Australia. You have to get up 90 minutes before dawn, though. Outback Ballooning ( tel. 1800/809 790 in Australia or 08/8952 8723; www.outbackballooning.com.au) offers a 1-hour flight followed by champagne breakfast in the bush for A$385 adults, A$313 for kids 6 to 16. A 30-minute breakfast flight costs A$290 adults, A$237 for children. Kids under 6 are discouraged from participating because they cannot see over the basket. Don’t make any other morning plans—you probably won’t get back to your hotel until close to noon.
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.