17 August 2021 - By Michelle Riesel
So, you’ve only got 24 hours in the famous centre of the Aussie outback, Alice Springs? There’s a lot to pack into such a short amount of time! To help you decide how to spend your day, we’ve compiled the must-sees for a jam-packed 24 hours.
You’re going to need your energy; we’ve got a busy day ahead! First stop – Todd Mall, in the heart of the Alice Springs CBD. There are plenty of food options available to suit any palate. For a healthy, hearty breakfast, make a stop at Page 27 cafe. Offering all-day breakfast (including their famous French toast), a diverse menu, house-made baked goods, and delectable coffee, it’s the perfect place to fuel up for the day.
If you’re exploring Todd Mall on a Sunday, you might find yourself in the middle of the bustling Todd Mall Markets. The market runs either weekly, or fortnightly, depending on the season. Here you’ll find a wide range of stalls manned by locals selling jewellery, clothing, Aboriginal art, food, books and more.
Now it’s time to burn off your breakfast with a short hike to Alice Springs’ most visited landmark, Anzac Hill. After a 20 minute uphill climb, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views over the entire town and the beautiful mountain ranges in the distance. You may also wish to check out the Anzac Hill Memorial, which was unveiled on Anzac Day in 1934.
Now that you’ve seen Alice Springs from above, it’s time to get back into town to see what makes this place so special. Your next stop is Araluen Cultural Precinct, the centre of visual arts and performance in Central Australia. It contains multiple galleries, including the Albert Namatjira Gallery which showcases the art of the 20th Century Western Arrernte artist who carries its namesake. His famous landscapes highlight the unique beauty of this part of the world. Seeing his artworks in person is not to be missed! As the art and culture centre of the Northern Territory, the precinct also contains an ongoing roster of other art exhibitions, a cinema and theatre so ensure you look at their calendar ahead of time for a glimpse at what will be happening whilst you’re in town.
After a busy morning, it’s time to take a break for lunch and to keep soaking up all that the Alice Springs food scene has to offer. Located not far from Araluen Cultural Precinct, you’ll find the quirky and eclectic Watertank Cafe. The cafe offers your standard cafe fare at a high quality, all whilst you sit surrounded by interesting knick-knacks in an industrial-style building. It’s the perfect place to fuel up before continuing on with exploring Alice Springs.
Outback Australia is well-known for its unique plants and wildlife, so for our next stop, we’ll be heading to Alice Springs Desert Park, located 6km from town. Here, you can see dingoes, black-breasted buzzards (known as the ‘raptors of the desert sky’), and red kangaroos up close. Check out the Nocturnal House for a glimpse of the Central Australian reptiles, invertebrates, and rare or endangered animals in their natural, dark habitat. Here, you can also learn how the Aboriginal people learnt to live in symbiosis with the harsh desert. The park covers 54 hectares, so ensure you leave plenty of time to explore all that there is to see.
After a busy day in Alice Springs, you’re probably ready for a drink or two! If it’s beers you’re after, visit the Red Centre’s only brewery, Alice Springs Brewing Co. The brewery opened in 2018 and is known for its friendly staff, fun atmosphere and plenty of delicious, local brews. Make sure you try their signature brew, the Almost Summer Ale. If cocktails are more your style, make a stop at Monte’s Lounge, a vibrant bar and restaurant in town.
As your day comes to a close, why not end it with a bang? For premium fine dining in the Red Centre, you can’t go past the award-winning restaurant Tali. Highlighting modern Australian and French flavours, and with an extensive wine list, this will be a dining experience to remember. If you’re looking for something a little less fancy, you can’t go past the bustling Gap View Hotel for all your pub favourites, eating amongst the locals. You may even catch one of their free outdoor movies while you’re there.
Wow, what a day we’ve had! It’s time to head back to our hotel and call it a night. But, if you’re feeling energetic, Alice Springs has a bustling nightlife and you’re bound to find a bar like Uncle’s Tavern or The Rock Bar still full of energy until the early hours of the morning.