Just a 15 minute walk from the Alice Springs CBD, the Olive Pink Botanic Garden is the perfect spot to gain an understanding of Central Australia’s arid zone flora. You’ll need to allow a couple of hours to wander around the garden, following the walking trails, picnicking and watching for birds and euros. There’s even a cafe where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch, or just relax with some morning or afternoon tea.
The garden contains 600 plants from Central Australia, including 40 rare or threatened species. Visitors can learn all about these incredible arid zone survivors on the interpretive signage around the garden.
To explore the garden, take one of the self-guided walks, like the Mallee Walk or Wattle Walk. Along the way, you can take some time to chill out on one of the many benches thoughtfully located under shady trees.
For lovely views over the Alice Springs township, Todd River and MacDonnell Ranges follow the 40 minute return Hill Walk up Annie Myer Hill (Tharrarltneme). If you take the walk early enough in the day you may even spot some wallabies. The top of the hill is also an important cultural site for the Arrernte people, so please be respectful and follow all signage.
Interpretive signs also tell about Miss Olive Muriel Pink, who founded the Australian Arid Regions Flora Reserve here in 1956. A prominent anthropologist, Miss Pink had lived in the Tanami Desert for more than 30 years before moving in to Alice Springs. Miss Pink and her Warlpiri assistant gardeners developed the 16 hectares to preserve the native flora of the central desert region. Following her death in 1975, the reserve was taken over by the NT Government who further developed the site and opened it as the Olive Pink Flora Reserve in 1985. In 1996 it was renamed the Olive Pink Botanic Garden.
The garden is easily accessed from the Alice Springs CBD by bike or foot along pathways along the Todd River. It’s open daily from 8am to 6pm, and entry is by donation.