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The Distant Dream and Alice Springs


Aerial view of Alice Springs and the centre of Australia.
View from your flight
into Alice Springs.

All Australian capital cities fly into Alice Springs, or “the Alice,” on such airlines as Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia. The flights to Alice Springs from Brisbane and Sydney are the longest at 3 hours and 20 minutes each while the flight from Darwin is just two hours long on average. The airport is strictly domestic and operates 24 hours a day with between eight and 10 flights arriving on its two runways every day. More than 6,800 flights arrive at and depart from Alice Springs Airport every year. Transportation options to and from the airport include shuttle buses, car rentals, taxis and private hire cars. The terminal offers a full range of amenities, including both shopping and dining facilities.

Just 15 kilometres north of the airport is Alice Springs itself, a city with a population of just over 27,000. Alice Springs may be small, but this little city is one of Australia’s most popular outback towns. It is located in the Red Centre, where visitors can enjoy all the comforts of a capital city combined with the rugged adventures of outback living.

One favorite nearby attraction is the Finke River, which is believed to be one of the oldest waterways in the world. The river is fed by the MacDonnell Ranges, which stretch out and provide an incredible panoramic view on either side of Alice Springs, and then it winds its way through the Palm Valley, a lush oasis of spring-fed pools and green cabbage palms. The rainbow-coloured sandstone bluffs of Rainbow Valley are located in the James Ranges within a day’s journey of Alice Springs while the Simpson Desert offers an opportunity to engage with rural Aboriginal communities and learn about their lives and cultures.

Alice Springs itself has plenty to keep you busy as well. The city was originally established along the telegraph line and only grew in popularity as gold was discovered. Visitors to Alice Springs today can enjoy a camel ride through the silky desert sands, go mountain biking, enjoy camping or try fossicking for gemstones. They can also explore the history of the city through its art galleries and museums. The city’s residents share their work through formally guided tours and in art centres while the museums can take you back to the days of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and more.

Accommodations are plentiful in the Alice and you can sample a real taste of the outback here. Choose from Barramundi fish, camel, crocodile, emu or even kangaroo.


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