Camel Races in Alice Springs, Australia (Tourism Australia)

Mulga trees near Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia (Natphotos/Digital Vision/Getty)

Rainbow Valley near Alice Springs, Australia (iStockphoto)

Deserted road leading out of Alice Springs, Australia (iStockphoto)

Kangaroo outside of Alice Springs, Australia (iStockphoto)

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park near Alice Springs, Australia (iStockphoto)

Sunrise in outback near Alice, Springs, Australia (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Aeriel view of Alice Springs, Australia (iStockphoto)


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What to do in Alice Springs

No matter where you’re coming from, if you’re in a hurry to get to Alice Springs—or “The Alice” as Aussies call it—you have to take a plane. Smack dab in the middle of the continent, it’s the best place to see the true Australian Outback, a blood-red landscape that’s been populated by the Aboriginal people for some 50,000 years. Today the town has a market, a bank, and a bar or two, but it’s mostly the launching point for tour groups to Uluru, a red rock as large as an island that juts out of an otherwise flat desert. It’s a storied section of landscape, believed by some to house ancestral spirits that will haunt you if you take a piece of rock as your souvenir. In Alice Springs, it’s said that you earn your “locals” badge only when you’ve seen the usually dry Todd River flow three times. Some say that can take 20 years or more.

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