Rides & Tours
Tourism Central Australia (TCA)

TOURISM CENTRAL AUSTRALIA

TCA is your first contact for information regarding tour booking and accommodation during your visit to the 2014 AGM in Alice Springs next May.

They will have all the information you require to enable you to make the most of your stay here.

The 2014 AGM Committee have had a very close association with TCA for the last couple of years and please support them with your custom.

   
 

Self-Guided and Escorted Rides

We are planning to have organised rides throughout the Event week to various locations within easy access for day rides from Alice Springs. Information will be provided and assistance given to organise self-run group rides for longer rides.   

Half Day Rides - West

Ilparpa Loop Road & Transport Hall of Fame
Depart at 1000.
The Ilparpa Road is a 35 kilometres loop immediately west of Alice.
 
It is a good dual lane bitumen road all the way. There are good views and photo places on this loop. The loop can be in done either clockwise or counter-clockwise; each way gives a different view of the ranges. After the finish of the loop, it is planned to continue down the main south road to the Transport Hall of Fame and Old Ghan Train Museum. This is located approximately 8 kilometres south of the town. An entry fee is charged. There is a cafe for refreshments and toilet facilities at the complex. As many hours can be spent in the complex, it is planned that people take their time and return to town at their leisure.

Simpsons Gap & Angkerle (Stanley Chasm)

Depart at 0900 and return by 1300 or Depart at 1300 and return by 1700.
This is a 115 kilometres return ride west of Alice.
 
It is a good dual lane bitumen road all the way. The first stop is Simpsons Gap. Simpsons Gap was listed on the original route for the overland telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin, enabling it to pass through the West MacDonnell Ranges. This route was never used as, after the original route was chosen, The Gap in Alice was found and the better route for the telegraph line was organised through the now township of Alice Springs. There are toilet facilities at the Gap.
 
Then onto Angkerle (Stanley Chasm); the chasm is renowned for the shadow / sunlight that bounce off the walls of the 80 metre high steep and narrow chasm. This gives remarkable colour / shading effects to the walls. These change as the sun moves across the narrow gap at the top of the chasm. There is a small fee to walk into the Chasm. There is a kiosk where you can get something to eat and a drink. There are toilet facilities.

Half Day Ride - East

Emily & Jessie Gaps
Depart at 1000 and return by 1200.
This is a 50 kilometres return ride east of Alice.

This is a trip east along the Ross Highway to view a couple of the small gaps. It is a good dual lane bitumen road all the way. There are no facilities at either Gap. First stop is Emily Gap where you can see a large rock painting which depicts the caterpillar dreaming. Then we ride onto Jessie Gap. Europeans first sighted Emily & Jessie Gaps in 1871. Then return to Alice.

Day Ride - West

Lookout Run to Tylers Pass
Depart 0830 and return by approximately 1600.
Tylers Pass Lookout is located about 175 kilometres west of Alice.
The return trip will be approximately 350 kilometres.
 
It is a good dual lane bitumen road all the way. On this ride you will be following along the MacDonnell Ranges which gives you some great views of the ranges & the surrounding country side as you ride along. On the way to and from Tylers Pass, we will be stopping at a series of lookouts that give photo opportunities of the West MacDonnell Ranges and surrounding area.
 
There are no facilities at Tylers Pass. However there is fuel & food available at
Glen Helen Resort (131 kilometres from Alice Springs) and there are facilities there for customers.
 
On the way out you will pass the entrance to gorges in the West MacDonnell Ranges and we will be stopping at Chalet Ridge Hill lookout – 104 kilometres.

The second stop will be the Mt Sonder Lookout – this is just past the turn off into Glen Helen which is 131 kilometres from Alice. Tylers Pass is another 44 kilometres. This is set on top of a hill overlooking Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) to the southwest and east back along the MacDonnell Ranges. Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) is a place of great cultural significance to Aboriginal people, as well as one of international scientific interest.

The Aboriginal dreamtime story is that women were dancing high in the skies with their wooden baby carriers and accidently dropped the carriers onto the area. Scientists believe that around 142.5 million years ago an object from space, believed to be a comet, crashed to earth and blasted a crater then 20 kilometres wide.

Today the land’s surface is about 2 kilometres lower than the original impact surface and has eroded back to about 5 kilometres in diameter. There are two shelters so you can take in the views out of the sun. There is an information board to explain what you are viewing. After you have taken in the view we will head back to Glen Helen. This is a distance of 44 kilometres.

The best part of the ride from Glen Helen to Tylers Pass is that this section of road has some of the best winding road in this southern area of the Territory. There we will stop at Glen Helen for lunch and a drink. On the way back to Alice, we will stop at Point Howard lookout, which is on top of a rise. The run back to Alice from this lookout is approximately 87 kilometres.

Day Ride - West

Ormiston Gorge & Glen Helen
Depart at 0900 and return by 1500.
Ormiston Gorge is a 270 kilometre return trip.
Fuel is available at Glen Helen 132 kilometres from Alice.
 
It is a good dual lane bitumen road all the way. This ride takes you west from Alice along the MacDonnell Ranges giving you some great views of the ranges & the surrounding country side as you ride along.
 
The first stop is 77 kilometres from Alice at Point Howard – a lookout hill.
 
Then onto Ormiston where you can do the walk which includes climbing stairs to Ghost Gum Lookout. This is a 40 minute return walk. Those who don’t wish to do the lookout walk can walk up to the waterhole for a swim. This is only 500 metres from the visitors centre and is an easy walk. There are toilet facilities at Ormiston. When you’ve viewed these sights it is onto Glen Helen Resort for lunch and a drink. This is only 12 kilometres from Ormiston.On the return we will stop at Chalet Ridge – another hilltop lookout.

The run back to Alice is 95 kilometres from this lookout.

Day Ride - North

Arulta Atwarte (Native Gap) & Aileron Roadhouse
Depart at 0900 and return by 1530.
This is a 266 kilometre return trip north of Alice.
Fuel is available at Aileron – 133 kilometres north.
 
It is a good dual lane bitumen road all the way. On this ride we will be stopping off at a number of places of interest on the road which are spaced at regular intervals on the road north.
 
Two stops heading north: Arulta Atwarte (Native Gap) Conservation Reserve. This is 115 kilometres north of Alice. Here you can climb the hill and view the surrounding country side. Ryan Well Historical Reverse.
 
Three stops coming south: Connors Well, Tropic of Capricorn Marker & the Highway High Point Marker. At Aileron, there is a walk that involves climbing a hill and at the top is a remarkably tall statue of an Aboriginal. This statue is visible from kilometres either side of Aileron. Also at Aileron are memorabilia around the roadhouse and inside there is a display of historic photo and art work.
 
The roadhouse offers full facilities, meals and takeaway food. We return by the same route on the north /south highway from Darwin to Adelaide.
Local Tours

Alice Springs Desert Park

In just a few hours discover many of the secrets of Central Australian deserts. Hundreds of species of plants and animals can be seen, smelt and heard, with their stories shared through guide presentations, audio guide and movie displays. You will never look at the desert in the same way again. Enjoy a delicious snack or meal, or fresh hot coffee in the Café. 

Aboriginal Art Tours

Experiences of every type can be had here. Learn about Aboriginal Art from the artist themselves and speak with them while they are painting in the art centre. Even try your hand at dot painting. While enjoying a glass of wine and nibbles, view paintings from well-known artists and take a tour of the gallery while a staff member explains about the art.

Hot Air Ballooning

Rise early and witness a beautiful sunrise over the MacDonnell Ranges and the waking of the new day from a hot air balloon. In the early morning sun, the ridges are red and vibrant against the clear blue sky. After landing, celebrate with a desert style champagne breakfast.

Best of Alice

Our unique Best of Alice Springs tour epitomises the soul of the Red Centre. The pioneering character of Alice Springs, the stark beauty of the West MacDonnells, the creation of Standley Chasm and an Aboriginal experience with an authentic 'Aussie Tucker' dinner.

 

Scenic Helicopter Tour - Alice Springs & other areas

Enjoy a chilled glass of sparkling wine before joining your pilot for the perfect end to your day. Tracking west to Honeymoon Gap, we follow the ochre coloured sandstone cliffs to Mt Gillen steeped in Aboriginal legend, and watch as the sun sets over Alice Springs highlighting the vivid colours of the desert ranges and perhaps glimpse rock wallabies sunning themselves on the rocky ledges in the late afternoon sun. An amazing opportunity to experience the awe inspiring colours and tones of an outback sunset from a helicopter!  
 

Rock Blasting Helicopter Ride from Uluru / Ayers Rock

Jump into a helicopter and blast off to Uluru/Ayers Rock. On the way see Ayers Rock Resort and the surrounding desert. You will also be able to view The Olgas and Lake Amadeus on this exciting taste of helicopter Adventuring. 

 

 Golf

The Alice Spring Golf Course provides a spectacular venue with its grassed tees, fairways and greens in dazzling contrast to the red hues of the MacDonnell Ranges, the backdrop for most holes. Rated amongst the top 10 desert golf courses in the world, the 18 championship golf holes with a par of 72 will challenge every team member.

Quad Bike Adventures

Do you have a taste for adventure and love the outdoors? Experience some of the most beautiful scenery Alice Springs has to offer on a quad bike adventure. Travel over bush tracks of varied terrain, down dry river beds passing majestic river gums and ride beside ancient mountain ranges. A 4x Outback Adventure!

 

Palm Valley Tour

Follow Larapinta Drive into the Aboriginal homelands of the Arrernte people and into real outback adventure country - the Finke Gorge National Park. Travel by 4WD coach on the dry bed of the Finke River to Palm Valley, a strange semi - tropical oasis in the Red ceNTre.

Afternoon 4WD Sunset Tour

Tour by 4WD and feel the essence of the remote Australian outback as we travel through Historical Owen Springs Station. Walk around the ruins of CeNTral Australia's first Homestead and enjoy a light meal with Champagne as the sun sets over Rainbow Valley's sandstone cliffs.

 

Uluru (Ayers Rock)  

Nothing will prepare you for your first close up of Uluru (Ayers Rock) - its ancient mystery, its spirit and its wonder. Visit this monolith of Uluru......and stand in awe! Uluru (Ayers Rock) is about 450km South West from Alice.

 

Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and dunes Tour

This is a fascinating introduction to the desert and its developments. Walk to the dune lookout to experience a spectacular panoramic view of the domes of Kata Tjuta. Afterwards walk into Walpa Gorge while your guide describes the ancient geology and unique flora of this arid environment.

 

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon is situated within the Watarrka National Park, and is a huge canyon 270m high. The walk around the rim of the canyon is definitely worth it as the views are spectacular, although it can take 3-4 hours and should only be attempted early in the morning during the summer months. On your way around the rim of the canyon you will pass the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden, and the beehive rock formations called the Lost City. The views from the canyon are also spectacular, overlooking the beautiful landscape.
 
Alternatively you can take the walk through the canyon gorge looking up to the towering canyon above you. This walk is a slightly more reasonable 1 hour walk. Another way to see the canyon is from helicopter. There are numerous flights leaving from both the Kings Canyon Resort and Kings Creek Station. This shouldn't be missed, as you get to fully appreciate the scale of the canyon.

From Alice you can get to Kings Canyon by following the Stuart Highway South until the turn off for the Ernest Giles Road. This then joins up to Luritja Road, which takes you right to the canyon. From Uluru you would follow the Lasseters Highway until the turn off for Laritja Road.

 

The Devils Marbles

After leaving Whycliffe Well, going north of Alice your next stop off point is The Devil’s Marbles. You will be surprised to come upon them as they appeared on the edge of the road after travelling for a while with not a lot to see. It is such a special place to visit. They are amazing! There were so many smooth rocks that are scattered around the surrounding countryside. You can wander through the rock formations and take numerous photo’s for your album.

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