Make the most of Alice Springs with these top car hire offers and tips on how to get around the Alice.
Alice Springs is a bit of a base camp as far as some of Australia’s most famous road trips are concerned.
From this town you can reach the world-famous Uluru in just 6 hours, or springboard into the wider Red Centre region with its gorges, creeks and desert.
Before you get the motor running on your hire car, though, there are some important things you should know.
Top car hire Alice Springs deals
Road rules: What to know about driving in Alice Springs
Like the rest of Australia, cars drive on the left-hand side in the Northern Territory. A lot of the roads around Alice Springs can end up being quite remote, so always make sure you have water, supplies and a physical map when you travel.
Watch out for animals. Alice Springs is surrounded by untamed outback, national parks and nature reserves so it’s not uncommon for animals like kangaroos and wild pigs to venture onto the roads that surround the town. Keep an eye out for them and avoid driving between dusk and dawn when nocturnal creatures are most active.
Take note of dust storm season. Between September and December dust storms can whisk through the outback that surrounds Alice Springs. If you’re driving in a dust storm, turn your headlights on. If conditions get really bad, pull over to the side of the road and wait for the storm to pass.
Watch out for road trains. Huge multi-carriage trucks called road trains drive along the highways near Alice Springs. They can be 50 metres long and take up to 70 metres to come to a halt when they brake. Try to give these vehicles a wide berth, make sure you can see more than a kilometre ahead of you if you plan to overtake one, and give the driver plenty of space if a road train tries to overtake you.
Popular Alice Springs driving routes
Alice Springs to Uluru. The road trip from Alice Springs to Uluru is bucket list stuff. There are a few routes you can follow. The easiest takes you along sealed roads like the Stuart and Lasseter highways and can be completed without a four-wheel drive vehicle in about 6 hours. Once there, you’ll be rewarded with views of the terracotta-coloured monolith that is Uluru.
Alice Springs to the MacDonnell Ranges. The drive from Alice Springs to the MacDonnell Ranges takes just over an hour. The mountains look like waves of red surf and are crosshatched by walking trails. Other highlights of the region include creeks where you can swim and the Ochre Pits, where Indigenous Australians used to harvest colourful rock for use in ceremonies.
The Red Centre Way. The road trip from Alice Spring to Uluru can be extended to take in a loop known as the Red Centre Way. Most people set aside 5 to 6 days to complete this journey and the route takes in the plunging Kings Canyon, which is 1.6 kilometres deep, and the MacDonnell Ranges, mentioned above.
Frequently asked questions about car hire from Alice Springs
I'm on my provisional licence. Can I drive in Alice Springs? Most of the best-known car hire brands won’t rent a vehicle to drivers with a P licence. Redspot is the exception.
How does car insurance work? All rental cars come with standard insurance in Alice Springs. Some policies come with a dusk til dawn clause that states that damage is not covered if you drive the car after dark and hit an animal in the process. Compare car hire rental insurance with our guide before booking.