Alice Springs started out life around 1872 with the completion of the Overland Telegraph Line between Adelaide and Darwin and then onto the United Kingdom. It was the site of a repeater station for the line that was built on the Todd River at an area they named Alice Springs. It must have been a wet year as the normally dry river had water in it and was mistakenly thought to be a permanent waterhole. They named it after the wife of Sir Charles Todd, ex Postmaster General of South Australia. The river was named after him.

How to get to Alice Springs

How to get to Alice Springs

Accommodation in Alice Springs

Accommodation in Alice Springs

Things to do around Alice Springs

Things to do around Alice Springs

Prior to European settlement the area was inhabited by the Arrernte Aboriginal people for more than 40,000 years and was referred to as Mparntwe. There were three distinct groups encompassing the Western, Eastern and Central Arrernte people and the area they inhabited included the East and West MacDonnell Ranges along with the area that is now Alice of which the Central Arrernte are the traditional owners.

Alice Springs is the largest town in Central Australia, or the Red Centre as its known, and the second largest city in the Northern Territory after Darwin. It has a population of approximately 26,000, a very cosmopolitan mix made up of Australian Aboriginal, Australian, English, Irish, Scottish, German, Italian, New Zealand and North American. Almost 18% were born outside Australia. There is the old saying that many people arrive in Alice Springs with the intention of passing through but end up making Alice their home. It has a very relaxed lifestyle, favourable climate and is blessed with beautiful ancient mountain ranges, waterholes, fauna and flora.

Paving the way for settlement

The town of Alice Springs was originally called Stuart, named after John McDouall Stuart, an explorer who mapped a route from Adelaide on the south coast to the north coast around Darwin in 1861-62. It was this route that enabled the Telegraph Line to be built. The Stuart Highway between Adelaide and Darwin that runs through Alice Springs is also named after him in honour of his exploits. However there was confusion over the main settlement being called Stuart and the settlement at the Telegraph Station being called Alice Springs that in 1933, the town was officially named Alice Springs.

The route that Stuart had mapped opened the way for European settlement into the Red Centre with many pastoral Leases being granted. However numbers were still fairly small until the discovery of alluvial gold in 1887 at Arltunga, 100km