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Alice Springs Travel Guide
Alice Springs is a modern desert town, which tourists find completely in accordance with their image of Australia. In 1860 explorer John Stuart became the first white man to set foot on the present site. In 1871 a surveyor came upon a large waterhole and christened it Alice Springs after the name of his employer's wife. A telegraph repeater station was built at the site, followed by a settlement. That old telegraph station is now a museum, preserved exactly as it looked when the telegraph wire represented this areas only link with the civilized south and the world beyond. While in Alice Springs you're constantly aware that this is an oasis in the middle of nowhere. The wilderness laps on all sides, there's an unmistakable whiff of desert in the air, and you only have to drive a few blocks to find yourself with limitless horizon.

Once the wide red land all around belonged to the Arunta, the Pintjantjarra, and the Gurindji. There descents are still there. The desert climate is still there too. There is a kind of brute violence in its extremes that no amount of air conditioning can tame. From November to March, the town sizzles, the landscape glimmers with heat. From April to October the days are sunny, but the temperature drops steeply as soon as the sun sets. Sunglasses are an essential part of your attire here... and sturdy walking shoes if you plan to visit scenic attractions. The one garb you'll hardly ever see is the color white. Red dust plays havoc with that color.

Todd River: ...divides the town into two section. Most of the year, this "river" is merely a dry, sandy riverbed.

Todd Street: ...the main street. It begins as Gap Road and changes its name 1/2 way down. At one end is the square formed by Stuart. Wills Terrace is at the other end.

Pitchi Richi: ...an Aboriginal term meaning "break in the range"... is an outdoor museum and bird sanctuary just across Neavitree Gap. The museum, blending with the open bush land all around is a delightful mixture of art and artifacts. Daily 9AM-5PM.

Panorama Guth: is a museum built around the colossal work of Dutch artist Henk Guth who came to to Alice Springs in 1966. His panorama here is a canvas 20 feet high and 200 feet around, with a foreground of natural sand and shrubs that give the painting an uncanny air of realism. You view it from a platform with special lighting effects that would make you swear you're gazing at a real sunlit landscape all around you.

ANZAC Hill: Climb this hill for a real panorama of the town. It's not steep. More like a gentle uphill stroll.

Camel Farm: This is Australia's one and only camel farm. Camels were originally imported as domestic beasts, but a number escaped into the desert, where they adapted, survived and multiplied, and became part of the "wild" native fauna. Noel Fullarton reversed the process... capturing the wild camels and breaking them in. Today, his camels are actually exported to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The Old Telegraph Station: ...about 2 miles south of the town. The original spring is still here and the whole area is now a national park.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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