Alice - Heart of the Centre
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Springs Town Council Homepage
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Alice Springs, the capital of the Centre, is a town of 26,000
people set in the protective folds of the MacDonnell Ranges. Every year tens of
thousands of tourists pass through on their explorations of the Territory and
Ayers Rock. The town sprawls along the banks of the usually dry Todd River and
the southern entrance is between the rocky walls of Heavitree Gap, which carries
the river bed, road and railway through its dramatic narrow opening. Almost
hidden by pepper trees is the first police station, prudently built here so the
law would know who was entering and leaving the town.
The Alice has always been important to the Territory, ever
since the solid stone complex of the Overlander Telegraph Station was built in
1871 next to the waterhole named in honour of the wife of the South Australia
Postmaster General who planned and supervised building the telegraph line. The
township which grew up 4km away, now known as Alice Springs, was called Stuart
until 1933. Then the Telegraph Station closed and its name was transferred to
the town. All buildings at the Telegraph Station have since been restored.
Alice Springs Events
Alice Springs has a string of colourful activities,
particularly during the cool tourist months from May to
August. The Camel Cup, a series of extraordinary camel races
that gives rise to a frenetic, antipodean Arabia, takes place
The Alice Springs Agricultural
Show (Alice Springs Show) takes place in early July, and the
highlight is a fireworks display.
there's the Alice Springs Rodeo, when for one week the town is
full of bow-legged stockmen, swaggering around in 10-gallon
hats, cowboy shirts, moleskin jeans and RM Williams
Finally in late
September there's the event which probably draws the biggest
crowd of all - the Henley-On-Todd Regatta. Having a series of
boat races in the Todd River is slightly complicated by the
fact that there is hardly ever any water in the river.
Nevertheless, a whole series of races is held for sailing
boats, doubles, racing eights and every other boat race class
you could think of. The boats are all bottomless, the crews'
legs stick out and they simply run down the course!
Octoberfest held early in October, at the end of the regatta,
is held at the Memorial Club on Gap Road with many frivolous activities including spit the dummy, tug of
war, and stein-lifting competitions. For the beer enthusiast
there's a range of local and overseas beers and a range of
Also, through the cooler months
there is a string of country horse races at Alice Springs and
surrounding settlements like Finke, Barrow Creek, Aileron and Harts Range. They're colourful events and for the
communities involved they're the big turnouts of the year.