Top 5 Must Do's in Alice Springs

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Including these Alice Springs must do's on your travel itinerary will ensure that you experience the most that Alice Springs has to offer.

1. Learn to Play the Didgeridoo

Take a lesson at the only didgeridoo university in the world. Kids and adults alike get a treat out of learning to play this resounding instrument. The Aboriginal Art Culture and Tourism Centre is operated and owned by the Arrernte, Alice Springs' native inhabitants. The center offers classes on learning to play this 1500-year-old instrument that was exclusive to the aboriginal people of northern Australia. The didgeridoo, a sort of aerophone, is usually made from a Eucalyptus branch. It's traditionally much longer than a flute but can vary in length from about the length of an oboe (three feet) to an instrument 10 feet in length.

If you take a lesson one morning or afternoon, you'll be instructed in the 10 steps to basic mastery of the instrument. When you're finished with your lesson, you can take a look at the art and museum in the rest of the building. The center is open from 9 to 5 every weekday.

2. Experience Alice Springs through the Sound of Starlight Theatre

For $30 per adult and $25 per child, you can experience Alice Springs and the northern Australian outback through sights and sounds from the comfort of a theater. The didgeridoo is the featured instrument during the sound of Starlight Theatre performances, which are accompanied by keyboard and percussion. In the background of the performers, a light show highlights stunning pictures taken of Australian scenery.

3. Ride a Camel through the Outback

Just outside Alice Springs and accessible by a free shuttle is a tourist outfit that allows visitors to ride a camel through the arid outback. During a one-hour tour, you'll be able to see wildlife such as birds and kangaroos, as well as feed camels and discuss camel catching and breeding with the tour operators. Tours are available seven days a week most of the year three times a day and cost $45 per adult and $25 per child aged 14 or younger. You can also spend an entire half-day on a camel tour, if you call ahead, for $95 per person if you're with a group of four to sixteen (minimum two people from October through April).

4. Spend Time at Desert Park

Alice Springs Desert Park is home to kangaroos, ostriches, ghost bats, bilbies and more. It also makes an ideal location for walking as you examine three desert habitats. You can sit at an outdoor theater and listen to a wildlife expert explain about the different species in detail. There are also indoor displays when you need a break from the sun.

5. Soar through the Sky with Outback Ballooning

Spend 30 to 60 minutes getting a close-up aerial view of Alice Springs and the breathtaking outback. Balloon tickets cost $275 for a 30-minute flight and $385 for a 60-minute flight. ($220 for a 30-minute flight and $308 for a 60-minute flight for kids ages 6 to 16. No children under the age of 6 allowed.) At the end of the tour, you get a souvenir flight certificate and a complimentary glass of champagne (if you're of drinking age) and refreshments.

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