Where better to start a campervan rental holiday than smack bang in the middle of Australia, the world’s smallest continent and largest island? Alice Springs has a busy domestic airport which means you can fly in, pick up a handy motorhome and see the country from the inside out.
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Campervan rental in the heart of Australia – Alice Springs
What you need to know about Alice Springs
Known affectionately as “The Alice”, Alice Springs is the heart of inland Australia and is hugely important as a commercial and cultural centre for the hardy residents of the mighty Outback. Function reigns over form in this town, which cannot be described as beautiful in the traditional sense. Rather, it is filled with a friendly and rugged character, which draws people in and offers scenery that is otherworldly and vast. Hiring a campervan is ideal for Alice Springs, as you can pick and choose where you wish to stay and move on.
Alice Springs was once a lowly telegraph station and has grown hugely in the past century to more than a quarter of a million inhabitants. Isolated from the other Australian cities and with limited resources, this is a place like no other. It is the perfect destination for a “true-blue” Aussie experience, and makes a great base for exploring the awe-inspiring Outback in an Australian Motorhome Rental.
Where to stay in Alice Springs
Alice Springs is used to visitors and there are many places to rent a room, ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels. At the top end are chains such as Lasseters, Chifley and Ibis, providing four- and five-star accommodation close to the city centre and river.
Hostels like Annie’s Place or Alice Lodge Backpackers are numerous and offer fun, friendly and cheap beds for the night. Some have airport shuttle services. Bed and Breakfasts spread further into the suburbs, however nowhere in Alice Springs is too far from downtown. Holiday Parks and camp grounds skirt the edges of town and are excellent for those with tents or motorhome rentals, allowing a closer look at the landscape. Top tip: MacDonnell Range Holiday Park offers a free pancake breakfast every Sunday morning!
Alice Springs – The Must See Events
Small events make up much of the Alice Springs social calendar - local theatre, yoga classes, park playgroups, night markets, school fundraisers and the usual get-togethers which help keep a community strong. However, there are a few larger events to keep your eye on.
The Alice Desert Festival in September celebrates the region and its rich cultural landscape. In April, Heritage Week showcases the town’s history, both native and pioneering. On the sports scene, the XXXX Gold Alice Springs Cup Carnival is five days of outback racing at its finest, mixed with a lot of partying and fashion. The quirky Lasseters Camel Cup is a fun, annual one-day event during which camels are put through their paces in a carnival atmosphere.
Alice Springs Restaurants and Bars
This small town packs a punch when it comes to restaurants, despite its isolation and the sheer distance many ingredients have to travel! Pizza and takeaways are available in abundance for a cheap and quick meal, ranging from the ubiquitous Mickey D’s, to local pizza joints such as La Casalinga. For a sit-down option, try the numerous eateries at Todd Mall. A favourite is Sporties, with surprisingly good food in a pub atmosphere. The Overlanders Steakhouse is another, serving steak in the form of beef, crocodile, camel, kangaroo or emu for some local flavour.
Watering holes are not hard to find in this community that works hard and plays hard, too. Take note: liquor laws make it illegal to drink in public places. Again, the Todd Mall has several options and all of the hotels in town have bars. Beer is the tipple of choice for most in the Alice.
Alice Springs – The Geography, The Culture, The People
Alice Springs is central to everything in Australia, yet a long way from anything! A frontier town, its residents have learned to make do with what they have and have formed a rugged and resourceful group, who welcome those venturing that far inland. The community they have carved out of the dry and beautiful outback is becoming better connected to the outside world, but the ethos remains. The pioneering spirit of the community brings intrepid travellers to the town to hire campervans or cars and set off on their own adventure.
The original owners of the land are the Arrente people, and their culture, traditions and languages are part of everyday life in Alice Springs. The nearby Uluru and Kata Tjuta rock formations are sacred sites for aboriginal people, and tourists are invited to respectfully explore these and learn about the way of life for those who have called Australia home for many thousands of years.
Exploring Alice Springs And Its Surrounds
There are many ways to explore and things to do in the desert landscapes surrounding Alice Springs. Why not hop aboard a camel for a unique half-day journey? If dromedaries aren’t your thing, there are always quad bikes or motorcycles, as well as foot power. For a great overview, book a trip in a hot air balloon and see the interesting places and spaces from above.
Anzac Hill, high on the list of essential places to visit, overlooks the town centre and is a wonderful spot to get a view of the sunset or sunrise, or panoramic views of the town during the day. A war memorial on top pays tribute to those who served during World War I, and other wars involving Australia. Walk up the goat track or drive up Anzac Hill Road.
The Museum of Central Australia has a variety of exhibits on the natural and social history of the region, or the Araluen Arts and Cultural Centre which has galleries, a theatre and cinema to showcase local and aboriginal art. History can be further explored at the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve on the edge of town. This represents the very early stages of settlement in the area, and guided tours are available if you want to take a break from driving your camper hire.
Transport - Alice Springs
Public buses in Alice Springs run from Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays. There is an extensive network covering the town and suburbs, colour coded to make getting around simple. The interchange is located on Railway Terrace.
There are plenty of airport shuttle options for those travelling by air, and tour buses like the Alice Wanderer visiting attractions such as Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Flights land and go to major Australian cities such as Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
Greyhound buses connect Alice Springs with Darwin to the north and Adelaide to the south.
Rent a campervan for easy accommodation and the ability to travel on your own schedule.
Weather in Alice Springs
Hot and dry is the usual weather forecast, although in winter (June, July and August) it can be quite cold when the sun is not out - temperatures occasionally drop to freezing at night. It is classified as an arid desert climate, which means rainfall is rare and the amount can vary widely from year to year. Bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen, as clouds are not a common sight.
Alice Springs not your location of choice in Australia? Consider other options including a campervan hire from Canberra, Tasmania campervan rental or a rental from Cairns, Newcastle, or Brisbane.
Motorhome hire options in Alice Springs
Considering its relatively small size, Alice Springs has a dazzling array of motorhome rentals by companies small and large, local and international. To make the process as easy as possible, book online with Motorhome Republic. The site does the research for you, presenting all the best options to suit your needs with a simple search. You can find anything, from a small van to a big RV, without spending hours on the phone or the net. Brands available include Apollo, Britz, Cheapa Campa, Maui Motorhomes, Mighty Campers and Real Value Campervans.
True Blue Outback Campervan Hire Tips
Driving in the vast outback which surrounds Alice Springs presents certain challenges. So here are a few tips to help you get the most from your holiday and avoid any problems:
Keep an eye on your stocks of petrol, water and food while driving in the Outback, as areas of civilisation can be infrequent, even on main roads. Stick to sealed routes unless you are sure your rental contract allows it.
Wildlife is a danger at night - kangaroos are bigger than they look and colliding with one is not a pleasant experience. Drive during the day where possible, and keep a sharp lookout after dark.
Familiarise yourself with Australia’s road rules! Drive on the left, wear a seatbelt at all times, do not use a mobile phone while driving and ensure you stick to the speed limits.
Full cover insurance is recommended, for peace of mind during your motorhome road trip.
Alice Springs Motorhome Facts
|Average rental length|
|Average 2 berth rental price|
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