"Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river......" Top 5 Page for this destination Alice Springs by 850prc
Alice Springs Travel Guide: 391 reviews and 1,233 photos
Alice Springs lies at the very heart of Australia. She's also the heart of what one would call the continent's Red Center, and the de facto capital of "The Outback". And, you'd be surprised to learn that Alice Springs is a river town.
OK, this isn't exactly Memphis or Manaus, folks. But, the Todd River runs right through Alice Springs. Or more correctly, I should say it sometimes runs right through Alice Springs. The fact of the matter is that the Todd is totally dry about 98% of the time. The occasional series of flash floods will send waters cascading throughout the thirsty terrain of Alice Springs and the Outback. But for most of the time, the Todd is nothing more than a dry river bed. The accompanying photo was taken with me standing right in the center of the Todd River bed. If I'd come on a day when the waters were at their peak, my head might have been underwater.
The people of Alice Springs have a sense of humor about their bone dry river bed. In fact, they even hold a dry-dock regatta each September, referred to as the Henley-on-Todd regatta. (please see my separate tip regarding the Henley regatta)
Suffice to say that most of the time, if you cross the Todd River, you'll need boots instead of beach flippers.
So much about Alice Springs and Australia's "Red Center" reminds me of the American Southwest. One similarity is the friendly welcome that you'll receive from the locals. It's as if they feel that living in a BIG land commits them to extending a BIG welcome.
Smiles and G'days are easy to come by in Australia, and especially so in Alice Springs and the Northern Territory. Sunny climate, sunny peoples. : )
Although the "Outback" of Australia correctly contains portions of South Australia and Western Australia, it just seems fashionable to equate it with the Northern Territory. First of all, the name "Territory" sounds so untamed so rugged. And, in many ways it is. BTW, it is my understanding that "Territory" nomenclature aside, the NT is actually closer to being a full-fledged Aussie state, although not completely. In the past few years, some degree of additional autonomy has been achieved in the NT, but it's apparently still a fact that Canberra (the Aussie federal capital) can over-rule almost anything they choose. Then again, I live in Florida and OUR government in Washington could probably do the same, too.
And, although the "Outback" includes parts of other states, one look at automobile license plates for the Northern Territory will show you the pride they take in their rugged and pioneer lands. Welcome to the Outback, mate. Have yourselves a bonzer time.
- Pros:Incredibly friendly, beautiful scenery, and wide-open spaces
- Cons:It's dry. And in summer, it's (as the locals will admit) 'bloody hot'
- In a nutshell:If you have a sense and spirit for adventure, you'll hear Alice calling.
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