Alice Springs, known locally a ‘the Alice’, is a tourism hot spot which provides accommodation at all levels to the many tens of thousands of visitors who arrive annually en route to one of the world’s most iconic sights, Ayers Rock.
It’s a friendly town with lots to do in the evenings, and a grand choice of pubs, bars and clubs to do it in.
The townscape is mix of indigenous Arrernte aboriginal settlements and modernities such as its pedestrianised focal point, Todd’s Mall, with its aboriginal art galleries and nearby historic buildings.
The desert town backed by bare, rolling hills offers lodgings to everyone from backpackers to upscale travellers, with most Alice Springs accommodation set in the more modern districts.
Hostels include a YHA located in a disused cinema and Toddy’s Accommodation Resort with its choice of dorms or budget doubles and two swimming pools. Both lodgings are set near Todd Street with its bars and nightlife.
The town’s four bed and breakfast lodgings aren’t as centrally set, but offer comfortable rooms, a friendly welcome and a great Aussie breakfast which is filling enough to set you up for the day.
Alice Springs accommodation ranges from motels and motor inns to air-conditioned aparthotels, and mid-range comfort is easy to find.
Upscale lodgings include the Lasseters Hotel and Casino with its steakhouse and Asian fusion restaurants, the Desert Palms Resort and the Diplomat Alice Springs.
If you’re planning a visit, it’s best to remember that booking accommodation in advance is recommended during the high tourism season from April through September.
Deals can be had in the off-season, but ‘hot’ takes on a new meaning between October and the end of March.
The Alice Springs visitor centre on Todd Mall is the place for last-minute bookings and useful information on the town and its surroundings.