School holidays in Alice Springs are filled with some incredible experiences. This unique city is in the heart of Australia’s red centre and you can feel overwhelmed with everything on offer, however we have come up with the best September school holiday activities so you don’t have to.
Alice Springs and surrounds boasts a unique environment and culture which families can embrace in their school holiday fun. From wildlife to desert landscapes, you will be sure that we have captured all the best things to do in school holidays in Alice Springs.
Short on school holiday ideas? Don’t worry, kids school holiday activities don’t have to be a chore. We have included some easy and fun September school holiday activities for you to do at home. But with so much on offer, we are pretty sure that school holiday activities in Alice Springs will leave you wishing you had booked a longer holiday in the red centre.
We have compiled the complete guide to the best school holiday activities in Alice Springs over the September school holidays to help make your life so much easier!
State schools finish on Friday 24 September 2021 and return to class on Monday 11 October 2021.
Spring school holidays in the Northern Territory are Saturday 25 September 2021to Sunday 10 October 2021.
- Please note that term dates for some urban and remote schools in the Northern Territory differ.
Fun things to do for the Alice Springs school holidays
We have broken our list of Alice Springs school holiday activities into sections to help you:
As with everything at the moment, please check with the venue directly (either by their website or social media pages) to ensure they are open during the times you wish to attend. You should also check their current policy around advanced bookings, entry requirements/timings and social distancing rules.
10 fun free school holiday activities
We all know it is great to have a heap of free activities up your sleeve for when the kids are bored. These spring holidays we have found the best free things to do and see in Alice Springs.
Walk the short distance to the top of Anzac Hill for the best views of Alice Springs and surrounding landscape. Here you will find a memorial dedicated to members of the armed services and a great location to really take in an overview of the town. A short walk uphill (and then back down) so very family friendly. Families tip: Don’t forget the camera!
Visit West MacDonnell Ranges
West of Alice Springs you will find the West MacDonnell Ranges, or Tjoritja as they are known by the traditional owners. There are some incredibly beautiful sights to see so be sure to walk some of the tracks and swim in the swimming holes. Some locations offer range guided tour but please read up on the area before you go. Families tip: Our pick is Ormiston Gorge!
See East MacDonnell Ranges
After you see the West MacDonnell Ranges, it’s time to visit the ones in the east. Our pick would be to visit the Emily and Jessie Gaps. There are short walks into both and you can bring along a picnic to make a day of it. You can also see some Aboriginal art on site (do not touch). Please note that you cannot visit all the East MacDonnell Ranges without a 4WD.
See the murals in Alice St
Take a trip along Alice Street to see the vibrant and colourful murals painted there. This unique street art is painted on the walls of local businesses by local artists. It is easy to spend a morning here with a coffee (or ice-cream!) enjoying the local artwork.
Hiking families will love exploring the Larapinta Trail. This trail is more than 200km long, but is broken into 12 sections and a number of the starting points are easily accessible without a 4WD. No matter which section you choose, you will be rewarded with stunning scenery and a unique look at this beautiful landscape. There are options for transfers between locations or for food drop offs if you don’t want to carry it.
Central Australian Aviation Museum
If the kids are fascinated with flying, bring them here. This museum lets them get up close to a number of planes, including some used in the early days by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Housed in an old aircraft hangar, they will delight in seeing the machines that were once integral to Alice Springs. The Museum is easily accessible via public transport and offers ample parking if you choose to drive.
Visit the library
Enjoy and indoor activity in Alice Springs and head to the library for a reprieve. Conveniently located in the CBD the Alice Springs library is a haven for book lovers or for those wanting to enjoy some quiet time. There is an excellent ever changing school holiday program on offer, so make sure you check out the website before you go.
Arltunga Historical Reserve
This is a great place to visit for those families who love to hike. Arltunga was once a thriving gold town and a visit here is a trip back in time. Stop at the visitors centre to hear the stories of the gold rush, then chose a trail to explore this region. Visit a gold mine, old government building or simply visit a gorge. Hikes are of various lengths and the old building remains along the way really give an insight as to what life was like. NOTE: The reserve is not accessible after heavy rain so always check weather conditions.
Visit the Tropic of Capricorn marker
Just north of Alice Springs is the monument marking the Tropic of Capricorn. The current marker was built in 1988 and designed by a local resident. A great photo opportunity and a chance to learn about the importance of this line of latitude.
Visit a playground
Let the kids run around and enjoy themselves at Lewis Gilbert Park. Swing, slide and climb your way to an enjoyable morning outdoors. This park is sand based, so the little kids can play as well. Families tip: There is no shade so bring hats and sunscreen.
10 fun cheap school holiday activities
School holidays can be affordable, if you know where to look – and we do! Check out our top 10 picks of cheap Alice Springs family attractions.
Alice Springs Reptile Centre
The Alice Spring Reptile Centre is the largest reptile display centre in central Australia. Kids can get up close to some more feared animals like snakes, crocodiles and huge goannas. There are 3 shows daily, so make sure to see at least one and then after, have a go at holding a python or lizard if you are brave enough. Venture into the gecko cave to see animals that would otherwise be impossible to see. A fun day out.
National Road Transport Hall of Fame
Get your engines revving at this car lovers paradise. There are some impressive machines on display, including trucks, cars and Australia’s first motorised 8 wheeled road train! Also onsite is the Kenworth Museum, a collection of trucks that have been instrumental in establishing Alice Springs as a transport hub.
Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre
The Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre aims to inspire sustainable living and wants everyone to learn how. They offer tours for kids aimed at the sustainability of our resources and allow kids to really get to know the outback environment. They also have astronomy tours so you can see the stars and comprehend just how big our world really is. Really keen? Why not sleep out under the stars in your own swag to really get a feel for the skies.
Mountain biking with Outback Cycling
There is nothing better than letting the kids loose on bikes to burn off some energy. Plus, there is no better way to really see and experience a city. Get on two wheels and explore all that Alice Springs and the surrounds has to offer. There is also an option to join a guided tour to learn more from the locals.
Adelaide House Museum
This museum was once the first hospital in Central Australia and was designed by John Flynn of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. See memorabilia from the days when the hospital was in operation and hear about some of the wonderful innovations in use. The house is the site of the original evaporative cooling system as well as the pedal radio, which helped the break the silence of the bush.
The Dust Bowl Tenpin Centre
Have some indoor fun in Alice Springs at the Dust Bowl Tenpin Centre. Challenge the family to a game or two at this modern facility. Lanes are set up for all ages and abilities so come in and cool off. Check out the website before you go to see any specials.
Olive Pink Botanic Gardens
Not your ordinary botanic garden, this one embraces their uniqueness and proudly shows off Australia’s arid country. There are 4 walks on offer, ranging from 15 – 40 minutes where you can learn about more than 600 species of plants, many of them drought resistant. Take a walk to the lookout and see views of the town, the river and ranges. Families tip: Enjoy a cold drink afterwards at the café.
Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve
This indoor and outdoor museum shows off the history of communications in this remote region. Take a guided (or self-guided) tour of restored telegraph station and wander through the historic building that make up this precinct including the station master’s kitchen and shoeing yard. Bring your bike and enjoy some cycling tracks in the area and then enjoy a barbeque picnic after. Families tip: Kids can complete a quiz to win a prize.
Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre
Cool off at the pool! This centre is a great place to spend the day with kids. They will love the single AND double loop waterslides, as well as the splash pad. There are indoor and outdoor pools so the weather won’t stop you. During school holidays they offer some great events so make sure you check out their Facebook page before you go.
Araluen Cultural Precinct
This precinct includes some fabulous cultural venues including an art gallery and theatre, museums and café and really show off the best that the region has to offer. Take in some of the artworks and workshops on offer and wander the museums to explore the history of the Alice Springs region. Make sure you see the mural, caterpillar sculpture and beautiful stained glass window all scattered around the precinct.
10 BIG days out in Alice Springs these school holidays
Make some lasting memories these September holidays with our BIG days out. We have found the top attractions in Alice Springs which we know you will love.
Alice Springs Desert Park
Visit Alice Springs Desert Park to see the desert come alive. Three desert landscapes have been recreated to help tell the stories of the desert and the animals that live here. The animals here are unique and you are unlikely to find habitats like this in many other places. Stroll the park at your own pace or take an audio tour to learn as you go. Families tip: For an extra special experience take a nocturnal tour!
Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Facility
A visit to this facility will teach the history of this incredible service and its founder, John Flynn. Started in May 1928 this services has helped thousands by giving isolated people access to doctors and medical facilities. Tours of the museum run all day and kids will love the hologram show with a life sized John Flynn!
School of the Air visitor centre
Every wondered what it would be like to be in the world’s largest classroom? A visit to the School of the Air visitor centre will give you a taste of what school life is like in Central Australia. A visit includes observing a live or recorded school lesson, as well as a film and guide presentation. Families tip: The centre is just near the Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, so why not combine the visits.
Day trip to Uluru
When you are this close to such an Australian icon, it would be crazy not to see it. Take a tour or allow a day to drive out to see Uluru and marvel at the landscape on the way. Uluru rises almost 350m above the ground so is sure to wow kids and adults alike. Take a walk to one of the many lookout spots or tackle the walking track around Uluru (approx. 10km).
Take a camel ride
Discover the incredible landscape on the back of a camel – something that the kids will be able to brag about back home! These one hour tours let you ride the camel train (all camels are tied together along a rope) through the desert seeing the native wildlife, including kangaroos, dingos, birds and lizards. Camels take 2 people so kids can sit alone (from 3 years+) with a parent in the seat behind. A truly unique experience.
Gemtree fossicking tour
Strike it rich and find your fortune on the central Australian gemfields. Grab the family and tag along as you are shown how and where to look for natural gems. Search for red garnets and mud zircons just as they did during the mining days. The day is like a giant treasure hunt for kids and who knows, you might walk away with some treasure!
Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve
Imagine a rock pillar, standing 50m high in the middle of the desert and you have Chambers Pillar. Accessed by 4WD and around 160km from Alice Springs, this reserve is a beautiful example of the central Australian environment. A sunrise and sunset the views are incredible, so bring your camera. Guided walks are held from time to time
Visit a kangaroo sanctuary
If the kids love kangaroos, then you have to bring them to Kangaroo Sanctuary. This unique sanctuary can only be visited in the afternoon/early evening by pick up tour, to ensure the best for the kangaroos (they sleep during the day!). As darkness falls, watch the kangaroos wake and the desert come to life. A guided tour lets you wander the almost 200 acre sanctuary and proceeds from the tour go towards the kangaroo rescue centre.
Aboriginal cultural tour
Join this Aboriginal walking tour to discover another side to Alice Springs. Local and experienced guides will tell stories of the land, including the Todd River, and explain the significance of land and culture to Aboriginal people. The tour goes for 1.5 hours and is an easy walk, so suitable for most families.
Visit Rainbow Valley
This day trip from Alice Springs rewards you with some spectacular views so don’t forget your camera. Rainbow Valley is a known for its coloured rocks – sandstone with bands of colour throughout it – that are best seen in the morning or afternoon. You can explore the area on foot, getting up close to rock formations and see aboriginal paintings. You can access Rainbow Valley via 4WD or a tour from Alice Springs.
5 things to do at home these school holidays
Staying at in doesn’t have to be boring. Make some time and memories at home these school holidays.
Make an A-Z scrapbook
Using magazines see if you can find a picture of something that begins with each letter of the alphabet. To make it more difficult, try to choose a theme ‘animals’ or ‘places’ beginning with every letter of the alphabet. If you get stuck you could draw some of the things in.
Have a living room disco
Crank the music and get dancing! Pick your favourite tunes and dance around the living room. Close the curtains for a darker, more ‘disco’ atmosphere.
Listen to audio books
There is nothing better than curling up with a good book, so we know the kids will be enthralled by a good audio book. Why not pull the mattresses off the beds and make a cosy corner to listen in.
Write a letter to a friend
Get out the paper and pens (no devices, that’s cheating!) and handwrite a letter. If the kids are too little, draw a picture instead. Then next time you are out, get them to post it in a postbox.
Do chalk drawing
Take out the coloured chalk and get drawing on the driveway. This is also a great way to meet your neighbours and for the kids to make new friends.
Theatres with kids shows on in Alice Springs these school holidays
If you are looking for something a little different, take a look at these venues who all offer family friendly shows and programs over the school holidays.
Araluen Arts Centre Theatre
This cultural venue has a range of live performances all year round, including music, comedy and children’s theatre. There is also a cinema onsite showing different cultural movies.
Alice Springs Cinema
Need to have some down time? Treat the kids to a movie at the Alice Springs Cinema. This fully digital cinema has four screens, meaning you are always sure to find something the kids will like. A great indoor activity in Alice Springs.
Alice Springs kids holiday ideas
If you’re looking for more things to do in the Northern Territory, click here. Please link to the landing page of the state that the city/town is in.
Soooo…. what do you think? Plenty of Alice Springs days out ideas here to keep you and the kids entertained for the whole school holidays? These Alice Springs holiday ideas are updated every term, so remember to bookmark this page.
Let us know if we missed your favourite or if you would like us to add your venue or event!