Alice Springs

Alice Springs ( Aranda: Mparntwe ) is the only major city near the geographical center of Australia and the infrastructural gateway to the Australian Outback, at least 1,500 kilometers away in this capacity from all other major cities. It is located in the Northern Territory and has about 24,000 inhabitants.


Alice Springs was built in 1872 in the course of construction of the Trans- Australian telegraph line. The communication scientist and astronomer Charles Todd served as director of postal services on behalf of the colonial government of South Australia for this project. Since the telegraph lines could be bridged only a limited range due to the resistances of the wires had to be built a number of telegraph stations in the middle of the outback. One of them was Alice Springs.

The William Whitfield Mills as a surveyor standing in the service of this project had the task of selecting suitable site for this Telegraph Station. He found the edge of the MacDonnell Ranges, a large pond, which he mistook for a source; in honor of the wife of his boss, Alice Todd, he called the waterhole Alice Springs. It is part of a riverbed that leads only after heavy rains water, but lasts longer at this point. Here was the telegraph station, now a museum, built, and was named the waterhole.

The settlement from which the present-day Alice Springs grew, was four kilometers south of the telegraph station and was called Stuart ( Town) - in honor of the explorer John McDouall Stuart, who in 1862 made ​​the first way through the Red Centre to the north coast. However, the small town moved without the necessary infrastructure to hardly settlers. The number of inhabitants multiplied only when the Great Northern Railway in 1929 reached the settlement. 1933, the telegraph station was relocated to Stuart and renamed the place in Alice Springs. Economic base of the Red Centre were extensive cattle grazing, camel farms and mining. The development of tourism since about 1970 until today, the city has opened up new perspectives in the hotel and catering industry, retail and art trade.


Since Alice Springs is located in the outback, the supply only by camel caravans was initially possible. Since about 1920 trucks were added. The existing since 1929 narrow-gauge railroad to Port Augusta in 1980 replaced by the first phase of construction of the standard gauge Central Australia Railway, which branches off from the Trans Australian Railway Tarcoola. 2004 was followed by the second phase of construction to the north, which connects Alice Springs to Darwin.

The airport is important for tourism because Alice Springs starting point for trips to Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, with the most popular destinations of the Red Centre Uluru ( ' Ayers Rock " ) and Kata Tjuta ( " Olga " ), Kings Canyon, and to other attractions in the area is.


Alice Springs conceived as an urban center with well-developed tourist infrastructure. Charles Todd is omnipresent as eponymous personality; the mostly dry river bed, the main shopping street and several restaurants and shops are named after him.

For the tourists who take here their strategic starting point for exploring the Red Centre, mediates the Todd Mall Outback and Aboriginal flair to outdoor facilities with red sand, boulders and tamarisk, typical components of the name of the cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and art galleries ( bush, dreamtime, aboriginal, outback ), decors in orange-brown Aboriginal colors and the corresponding offer (sports clothing and equipment for individual travelers, souvenirs and handicrafts, utensils and didgeridoos Aboriginal ). In some galleries also signed paintings and sculptures by name identified Aboriginal artists are available which are to be distinguished from the custom built in community work in the reserves craft goods.

The proportion of Aboriginal people in the total population of the city in 2001 was 17%.


In the city

  • Alice Springs Reptile Center: Extensive exhibit a variety of reptiles. Twice daily reptile show
  • Museum of Central Australia: fossils, meteorites, minerals, Aboriginal finds.
  • Adelaide House: First hospital in the city, designed by John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1926, today historical museum.
  • Old Court House, built in 1928 by Emil Martin, a former courthouse, changing exhibitions.
  • Stuart Town Gaol, the oldest building in the city (1908), prison until 1938.
  • The Residency, until 1973 the seat of the local governor, now a museum with photo exhibition of local pioneer women.
  • Panorama Guth, former residence of the Dutch artist Hendrik Guth, emigrated in 1960 from Arnhem ( 1921-2003 ); Rotunda with a circular painting of the attractions of the Red Centre, other portraits and landscape paintings by the artist. ( Burned down in October 2005. )
  • Since 28 February 2012, tucked away in Alice Springs the 2,000,000 th geocache in the world.

Outside the city center

  • Anzac Hill with ANZAC Memorial and expansive views of the city
  • Local base of the Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • Old Telegraph Station (Alice Springs )
  • Old Ghan Heritage Railway, Railway Museum
  • Alice Springs Desert Park, landscaped with desert animals
  • West MacDonnell National Park
  • School of the Air

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Alexis Rhodes ( born 1984 ), cyclist


Every year on the third Saturday of the Henley- on-Todd Regatta takes place in August, a not entirely serious " Boat Race ", are worn at the boat -like structures due to the dry, sandy bed of the Todd River.

In the near Alice Springs, Pine Gap, there is a Echelon listening posts.

15 km south of the city there is the only winery in the Red Centre, which was founded in 1969 by a pharmacist - married couple. Use irrigation methods are four grape varieties grown ( Riesling, Cabernet, Shiraz and Semillon ). Restaurant and tasting room are affiliated.

The well-known geologist and astronomer Eugene Shoemaker died on 18 July 1997 in a car accident near Alice Springs.

Air table

Pictures of Alice Springs