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There is something about Alice Springs


Nowhere is the Northern Territory’s innovative personality, spectacular locations, ancient Aboriginal culture and a warm and friendly welcome more on display than in the quintessential Australian outback town of Alice Springs. Flanked by the impressive MacDonnell Ranges and surrounded by a remarkable desert landscape, the town has evolved into a place where creativity, inventive thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit pervade, an undoubted legacy from the pioneering days of the 1800’s when it was first established as a telegraph station.

The recent Alice Stampede event, an annual collaborative initiative between the Northern Territory Convention Bureau and its business event sector partners, sought to convey those aspects to a group of event planners who visited Alice Springs for four days.

 The delegates, who represented associations, corporates and event management companies from Australia and New Zealand, enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the industry, innovation and cultural strengths of Alice Springs, as well as viewing its business event infrastructure. 

Highlighting the importance of the event, the business session held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre was opened by the Northern Territory Government Minister for Tourism and Culture, the Honourable Lauren Moss MLA. The Minister provided a warm welcome and delivered a range of compelling reasons why planners should bring their business events to Alice Springs.  Another speaker, Lyndon Frearson, Managing Director of technical consultancy firm Ekistica, talked about the innovative solutions required to deal with the challenges of remote area infrastructure development and how places like Alice Springs are not only motivated by outcomes but also influenced by values.

Delegates were overwhelmingly impressed by what they found in Alice Springs, along with the “can-do” enthusiasm and passion of the local industry suppliers and community.  

“What a wonderful few days in Alice, seamlessly organised by the NT Convention Bureau,” said Lisa Painter, Senior Event Manager with ID Events Australia. “It opened my eyes to the opportunities that are offered for Business Events. What an array of characters we met – this was my highlight! It’s obvious that Alice is an experience that you need to feel for yourself. Evidently everyone needs a bit of ‘Territory Time’ in their life.”

A bush balm preparation workshop staged at the iconic ‘Purple House’ renal dialysis centre provided an opportunity for Alice Stampede participants to learn about the meaningful work undertaken by this award-winning facility in its Aboriginal health care, cultural and community connections and social enterprise projects. When visiting Alice Springs landmark, Simpson’s Gap, the group was introduced to local Indigenous caterer and bush food supplier, Kungkas Can Cook. Owner Rayleen Brown talked about how she creatively integrates wild harvest bush tucker into her cuisine, showcased in the delicious bush tucker picnic lunch enjoyed by the group. Deanella Mack, a local Arrernte woman from Cultural Connections NT, also presented on culture and the strong links between her community and country.

The Alice Stampede program incorporated stunning off-site dinner locations, which included the Nocturnal House at Alice Springs Desert Park as well as an evening at ecotourism property, the Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre, where stargazing and a performance by children’s group, Drum Atweme, were also on the menu. The spectacular finale dinner was held at The Old Quarry, located approximately 15 minutes from the centre of town. The lit-up rocky escarpment provided the perfect dramatic staging for a didgeridoo player to deliver an emotive solo, whilst local band, Wolfpack Amadeus ensured a lively conclusion to the evening’s entertainment.

The action-packed itinerary included early morning hot-air ballooning, an Aboriginal art workshop, a mini Henley-on-Todd regatta at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, a cycling tour into the National Park, a ‘Living Desert’ experience at Alice Springs Desert Park and a visit to the renowned Royal Flying Doctor Service facility.

A ‘Meet the Market’ networking session held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre enabled participants to make valuable connections with a range of Alice Springs-based suppliers who specialise in the delivery of business events. 

Alice Stampede participants stayed at DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs and Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters.

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