Travel Journal: A Town Like Alice – Alice Springs, Australia

So how about a little history to start us off? Alice Springs was named after the town’s founder who in a romantic gesture called the place after his wife back in Adelaide where she remained never visiting her husband. He also believed Alice to be build upon a natural spring which actually turned out just to be a waterhole. So named after a woman who never came here and spring that didn’t exist. Good start.

Alice Springs has a population of 28,000 of which 20,000 are aboriginal but wandering around, the ratio doesn’t seem to match but I guess this is partly to do with the number of tourists in town. Alice is a small town but has every big brand shop you would find in a city, I guess because there’s no where else within a 2 day drive.

Standing in the Todd “River”

Alice sits along the Todd River which actually hold some interesting records. The Todd river is the only ‘waterway’ in which a bushfire has followed solely the river and also the only place where a boat race has had to be cancelled due to water in the river. I should point out the Todd river is usually dry only seeing water around once every 3 years and so Alice has an annual boat race, know as the Henley-on-Todd Regatta,  is a little different. Participants cut the bottoms out of boats and have a running race up the river bed carrying them. Odd place.

The McDowell Ranges from Meyer Hill

So before heading out on a 3 day expedition out to Uluru-Kataja National Park I explore the town a bit. My first night in town I head out Anzac Hill to watch the sunset over Alice. The following day I check out what Alice Springs calls a Botanical Garden and climb Meyer Hill on the outskirts of town for a good view over Alice to The Gap and over the McDowell Ranges.