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There's no town like Alice

There are certain places that are inherently Australian, inspiring mental images of a vast, rugged land that has remained steadfast through centuries of modernisation. Alice Springs is almost an equal distance from two capital cities, Darwin in the north and Adealide in South Australia, which once made it the ideal location for a telegraph station linking the two and Great Britain. Today's Alice Springs retains the same authentic outback town atmosphere it always has, with buildings sheeted in corrugated iron and bona fide country pubs. You only need a couple of days to appreciate life in the Alice but those days will be jam-packed with eye-opening activities.

Alice Springs is known for its quirky events like the Henley On Todd Regatta (a dry-land boat race) and the Camel Cup race day. Surrounded by the MacDonnell Ranges, great outback exploration is just at your doorstep where you can see the ochre and soft green desert landscapes. Spend your weekend in Alice Springs travelling by four wheel drive, exploring the billabongs, gorges and bluffs of the 'West Macs' and learning about the Aboriginal dreaming in the 'East Macs' before spending the night under the stars. As far as Alice Springs accommodation is concerned, budget travellers and those seeking creature comforts are both looked after.

Alice Springs' traditional mode of transportation was camel train, lead by the locally known the Afghan cameleers, before the railway finally reached town. These days you can recreate the experience passing through the Red Centre into the tropical Top End with a rail journey aboard the Ghan – a three day trek showcasing sweeping desert plains and untamed Australian bushland in all their glory. Chat to a Flight Centre travel specialist about booking flights for your short break in Alice Springs and experience the raw, real and incredibly rewarding Australian outback.

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