Getting to Alice Springs

Image Source: Tourism NT/Sean Scott

Alice Springs is easily connected to the rest of Australia and is an excellent starting point if you want to visit Uluru or the national park surrounding. It has become quite the tourist hotspot and has a choice of transport modes for you to enter the town in. Alice Springs is one of the most popular outback cities and is considered to be the centre of Australia. So plan your journey accordingly and make the most of your time in Alice Springs.

Flights out of every major city in Australia are available, and the trip into town is worth the aerial view across the land. Daily flights are available, and if you’re flying in from Darwin or Adelaide, the flight is around two hours, non-stop. If you’re planning on visiting Uluru, while there’s an airport in Uluru; it is recommended to base yourself in Alice Springs. There are many more accommodation options for all types of budgets, and Alice Springs is where most tours commence.

If you’re ready for a road trip, prepare for an adventure along the way. If you choose to drive from Darwin, the trip takes about 16 hours in total one way. On the journey, you’ll pass through Katherine and Tennant Creek along with many roadhouses. The Stuart Highway is the main road connecting the two cities, and the road is sealed so you can take a 2WD or 4WD car. Katherine is situated off the Katherine River and is a great place to stop for the night. While you’re there, stop off at the Katherine Gorge or swim in thermal springs, otherwise camp near sandy riverbanks, making a great pit stop on your 16-hour journey.

The natural scenery in the area is open and untamed but certainly worth the view, but if you prefer to let someone else drive, choose from bus services like Greyhound Pioneer and McCafferty’s which cover the entire Northern Territory. Be mindful that the journey can take between one to two days, so make sure you’ve got a bit of time to spare and a plan in place. The buses lines will connect you from either Darwin or Adelaide depending on which side of the country you’re departing from.

For a train across the country, the Ghan performs the journey from Adelaide to Alice Springs twice a week. Choose from a range of cabin styles and indulge in the experience, with incredible views and the contrasting landscape of the lush green rolling Adelaide Hills to the sunburnt Red Centre of Australia. This one night two-day trip will allow you to arrive in style and slowly ease into your holiday. The Ghan is an incredible experience however if you’re on a budget, you may have to rule this one out.

No matter how you choose to discover Alice Springs, the variety of travel options work for most types of budgets and time frames. Depending on which one you choose, make sure you allocate travel time and consider this when planning your journey.