Drone shot of Ellery Creek Big Hole Gorge

So you have just landed in the Australian Outback, the Red Centre or Alice Springs – whatever you want to call it you have arrived and you are in for one jam packed weekend. Just make sure you have packed sunscreen, a floppy hat and enough space on your memory card to capture the beauty that awaits you.

Day 1. Morning: The Town of Alice Springs

The town of Alice Springs should be your first stop after you have dumped your bags at the hotel. Here you can get a feel for the town, grab some food and even check out some of the local Aboriginal artwork that’s on sale. The town isn’t very big, you can easily walk up and down the main strip with a coffee in hand.

We stayed at the Lasseters Hotel which is conveniently located, has beautiful views of the MacDonnell Ranges and the best bit, there’s a giant pool waiting for you to cool down in.


Day 1. Noon/Early Afternoon: Helicopter Ride Over Incredible Gorges

The first time we jumped into a helicopter was right here in the Northern Territory. Though we recommend you make a day of it and plan a road trip out to Glen Helen’s Gorge (where we flew) there are multiple locations if you are restricted to just Alice Springs.

Cost: Starts from $70pp

Read More: Flying Over Australia’s Red Centre in a Helicopter


Day 1: Late Afternoon: Camel Riding In A Red Dirt Valley

Just wow – honestly this was one of the highlights of our entire trip in Alice Springs and a great way to end the first day of your weekend. If you are flying in midday we suggest you book a sunset ride to truly take in the reds and oranges of the dirt below you.

Cost: $70pp

Read More: Camel Riding in the Australian Outback


Day 2. Morning: Hot Air Balloon at Sunrise

So unfortunately we could not do the hot air balloon ride at sunrise. We wanted to do it so desperately that we attempted three times with one of  the tries resulting in the 4am wake up call, the drive out to the site and a no from the pilot due to high winds. However, this should not stop you from adding it to your bucket list as from what we saw, it will be nothing short of breathtaking.

Cost: $390 pp

Day 2: Afternoon: Cycle to Where Alice Springs Began

We rented a couple of bikes from Outback Cycling and headed out towards the Old Telegraph Center, the birth place of Alice Springs. Cycling along the Todd River offered so many picture opportunities along the way, the biggest being the river itself as it was bone dry!

After getting a tour of the Telegraph Centre you just have to pause your day to try some local flavors from Kungkas Can Cook with a handmade vegetarian picnic – yum!


Day 2: Evening: End Your Night With A Unique Natural Light Show

The Parrtjima Festival started in 2016 with tentative plans to run every year in late September. If you are heading to Alice Springs during Spring then make sure you head to this free event to experience a truly unique natural light show as the MacDonnell Ranges are turned into a landscape of local Indigenous artwork.

Read More: Parrtjima: A Festival in Light in Alice Springs


Day 3: Road trip of the Surrounding Areas

If you have more than 48 hours you have to do a road trip of the surrounding areas to see the magnificent national parks. There are so many within half an hour to three hours drive all as beautiful as the next. If you feel like the drive we also recommend doing the 5.5 hour trip to see Ayers Rock – we have still yet to visit this massive monolith but it is for sure on our list!

Read More: Australian Road trip: Alice Springs & Surrounds


Alice Springs Rainbow Valley

Stephen and Jess signoff 

Thanks to Tourism Northern Territory for kindly inviting Flying the Nest to experience Alice Springs. As always, all opinions are our own.