Alice Springs, Australia - Stein Travel
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Alice Springs

Alice Springs, the vibrant hub of central Australia, grew up around a permanent waterhole that was a key terminal for the Overland Telegraph Station in 1870. It became a tough frontier town serviced by camel trains from the railhead at Oodnadatta, until the railway reached it in 1929 and it became a major terminus centre. Today the city, with a population of 25,000 and stylish shopping and dining facilities, provides a perfect base from which to access all of the surrounding natural wonders, including Uluru (Ayer's Rock), and learn more about the local Arrernte Aboriginal tribal group who have inhabited the area for 20,000 years. The city is also the point from which intrepid adventurers strike south to explore the Simpson Desert, or east to visit the ghost towns of the MacDonnell Ranges. Alice Springs has good connections to Australia's capital cities; there are daily flights to and from the capitals and road and rail access from all capital cities is possible.

Information & Facts

Climate

The climate of Alice Springs is arid, being hot, dry and dusty nearly all year round, except for winter nights, which can have temperatures dramatically plummeting to below freezing. Summers are blistering with the mercury regularly rising to over 104ºF (40ºC), with winter daytime temperatures remaining warm. Rain is infrequent and unpredictable, with heavy showers occurring sometimes during summer.

Getting Around

Alice Springs town centre covers only about five blocks and it is easy to get around on foot. A limited public bus system operates. Those wanting to go further afield to surrounding attractions will need to take a guided tour or rent a car.

Language

English is the official language of Australia.

Money

The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

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