How long should I stay in Alice Springs?

Image Source: Tourism NT/Debra Hoyt

As you excitedly plan your travel itinerary, deciding how long to spend in Alice Springs is an important decision to make. Ensure that you allow adequate time for all of the attractions that appeal to you, however too much time may feel like wasted time. Many people assume that this remote outback town wouldn’t offer much in the way of things to do, however, Alice is a small town with a big personality. Many attractions are centred on wildlife, culture, history, and nature. All of these things are worth immersing yourself in as they tell the stories of the area. If you’re interested in all of the above then you could easily spend two-three weeks here without getting bored, especially if you plan to venture into the surrounding spectacular ranges and stunning nature parks. This is where a lot of the gorgeous swimming holes, scenic bushwalking trails, and sacred Aboriginal rock art are located. Alice Springs also has plenty of accommodation options ranging from budget campsites, hostels, and motels to extravagant hotels and resorts, which can help to keep costs down if you decide to extend your stay.

However, if you simply want to see the highlights, this can be done in 2-3 days. This is enough time to take in a couple of fascinating museums or galleries, a wildlife park, and maybe even a day trip to the spectacular MacDonnell Ranges. At the other end of the scale, the population of Alice Springs is always growing due to visitors from all over the world coming for a holiday and choosing to settle here – you may be surprised by how long you want to stay!

Another relevant factor is whether you plan to base yourself in Alice Springs whilst you visit places that are further afield, such as Uluru. If this is the case, then spending at least a week is advisable. If Alice Springs is a stop on a road trip that will continue through the ranges and onwards towards Uluru or Darwin, then less time may be needed.

If you choose to visit Alice Springs in the summer months, consider the fact that it gets extremely hot in the middle of the day, so you may prefer to spend this time indoors. If you’re here for the hiking and other outdoor activities, keep in mind that you may only be able to do these things at certain times of the day, and therefore might need more time. If you plan to enjoy swimming in Mother Nature’s waterholes, be aware that whilst some of Alice’s swimming holes are permanent others can be seasonal. Similarly, some 4-wheel driving tracks and nature parks may be closed after heavy rainfall. Don’t allow extra time for activities that you may not be able to do.

So how long should you stay in Alice Springs? It’s a personal choice that varies between travellers. However, if you love art, culture, history, animals, bushwalking, swimming, and shopping, then it will take a long time to get bored here.