Alice Springs is the third-largest city in the Northern Territory, with a population of around 25,000 in 2018. This small town was originally known as Stuart and is famous for its wildlife attractions, bushwalking, and, more significantly, the MacDonnell Ranges. Although there are hundreds of things that you could do in Alice Springs, this article will list the top 5 free things to do in Alice Springs.
List of free things you can do in Alice Springs
Here are my top 5 free things to do in Alice Springs:
Situated on the banks of the Todd River, these gardens are a beautiful place to visit.
- They offer free guided tours and are an ideal place to bring your children or grandchildren.
- You can also make use of their picnic facilities or enjoy a drink or two at the Bean Tree Café.
- The gardens are home to over 600 Central Australian plants variety, including 40 rare or threatened species.
- You’ll also get to see some of the local wildlife such as Black-footed Rock-wallabies and Euros (hill kangaroos), and over 80 bird species, including the Grey-crowned Babbler and Western Bowerbird.
- The best time to visit the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens is during sunset so you can enjoy the beautiful colours on display at this time of day.
2. Explore the East MacDonnell Ranges
The East MacDonnell Ranges are as stunning as the West MacDonnell Ranges, but sadly, it hasn’t been explored much.
- Emily and Jessie’s Gaps are only a 10km drive from Alice Springs. Follow a short walk into both gaps, and you will see a structure of a rock resembling a caterpillar dreaming.
- Trephina Gorge is notable for its sheer quartzite cliffs and River Red Gum lined watercourses.
- You can enjoy the beautiful scenery while bush walking, camping and four-wheel-driving along the ranges.
The arapinta Trail is one of Australia’s most popular hiking trails, and it passes through some of the most fascinating landscapes in this part of the country.
- The 223 km long trail features stunning rock formations, gorges, canyons, rocky plateaus, water holes and beautiful waterfalls along its way. It’s also possible to walk shorter sections if you don’t want the complete trail!
- The 223 km long trail is divided into 12 sections that are clearly marked.
- The facilities along the trail include water tanks at each trailhead and some intermediate points, campsites, basic shelters, basic toilets, gas BBQ’s, shower facilities.
- The best time to walk this trail is from April to August.
4. Simpsons Gap Bike Path
The Simpson’s Gap Bike Path is a great way to enjoy the outback landscape.
- This 17 km track begins in Flynn’s Grave and finishes at Simpson’s Gap along the foothills of the West MacDonnell Ranges.
- The track is suitable for mountain bikes, road bikesand trail running.
- You can start your journey from either end of the track, but we recommend starting from Flynn’s Grave as it is more scenic.
- The ride takes about seven hours and involves some steep ascents and descents, so make sure you are prepared with plenty of water and food.
- The best time to cycle this trail is from April to October.
5. Check the magnificent Art Galleries
Alice Springs has a big reputation for upholding the tradition of Aboriginal artwork. You can visit the Papunya Tula Artists, Mbantua Art Gallery & Cultural Museum, Muk Muk Indigenous Fine Art, Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Studio 12. and Tangentyere Artists to get an entire vibe of the artistic culture.
Also, check the best things to do at Palm Beach for free.