When I told people I was going to Alice Springs for 2 weeks, the looks I got in response were often puzzled, followed up with questions like:
Why? What are you going to do there for two weeks?
Well, to be fair, they weren’t entirely wrong to ask, considering it is not a really a tourist destination, apart from visiting Uluru and the other National Parks that surround it. With this work/travel lifestyle that I am (attempting) to live, I’ve found that I cannot move from place to place at a rapid pace. Work comes first. I can’t always be on the move and still maintain a high level of productivity. So, my first jump from Melbourne was staying in a hostel for 2 weeks in Alice Springs, apart from the 3-day hiatus I took to visit Uluru.
Jump Inn Alice Springs was the PERFECT accommodation for these past few weeks. If you’re a “digital nomad” and are traveling through Australia, without a doubt, you should opt to stay here during your travels. It’s peaceful, with a swimming pool, super friendly owners, and most importantly, high-speed internet. It’s the perfect answer after weeks of partying in Queensland or Melbourne, a way to check out mentally and just relax. I arrived as a stranger, walking in with my backpack and travel plans, and I am leaving as a family member, having spent quality time with the staff and other guests at the hostel.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Alice was how quiet the town was. It felt like a little suburb that could be anywhere in the world, we just happened to be right in the middle of all of Australia, surrounded by miles and miles of outback and bush.
Since being in Alice, while I admit I didn’t do all the touristic things you can do, I managed to see a fair bit of the town and enjoy my stay. To keep up with my fitness goals, I’ve been committed to going running, and on my runs, I’ve explored Anzac Hill and the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, two highlights of the city.
Anzac Hill is a viewpoint of the entire city of Alice Springs. It provides a 360° view of the whole town, and you can read information about the military involvement of Australia in wars throughout history. It serves as a memorial to fallen Australian soldiers, as well as a focal point to visit while in Alice Springs.
The Olive Pink Botanic Gardens are another great spot to visit in Alice, and I made sure to route my run to go by them. You can see flora and fauna of the Northern Territory, and enjoy a stunning sunset here. There is also a cafe in the gardens worth stopping at to enjoy a coffee.
Another place to enjoy a coffee in the city center is Page 27. It’s a cute, quirky cafe with a stellar breakfast or brunch menu, great coffee, and friendly staff. There is both outdoor seating in a marketplace, and indoor seating.
Walking around Alice and admiring some of the Aboriginal art in the various shops around the city was one of my favorite things to enjoy during my stay. There are gorgeous pieces of art to look at in different shops and galleries, and if you’re looking for a keepsake to remember your time in Alice Springs, I’d definitely recommend spending a bit more on a piece of art over buying another tacky souvenir.
Every morning of my stay, I enjoyed the free breakfast at Jump Inn to start my day with energy. Free coffee and tea, bread for toasting with lots of different spreads, and a variety of cereals were all provided. The mornings were great, I could start getting work done, enjoy a cup of coffee, and be productive. The staff were very accommodating and always saying hello as they passed by me and my laptop, curled up in a comfy booth typing away.
I usually took a short break midday to go on a run, and then spent some time soaking up the sun by the pool while reading my book. I’d get a few more hours of work done, and then it was time to relax for the evening.
The bar and restaurant at Jump Inn are excellent. With a selection of local Australian beers, including one of my new favorites, Mountain Goat Steam Ale, and a varied menu, with healthy and tasty value options for backpackers. My favorite things I tried were the chicken wings and the Gua Bao fried chicken buns – I got temporarily addicted to these during my stay, for $3, it was a justifiable addiction.
I also really enjoyed the room I stayed in in the hostel. I was able to meet lots of friendly backpackers who were traveling a similar path to me, and we had our own bathroom with shower ensuite, which was a nice touch. The room had a working air-conditioning, which is essential to have in the middle of the outback. You could tell a lot of care was put into renovating these rooms, the mattresses were super comfortable, and everything seemed new and clean, which was a nice change from some of the backpacker hostels I’ve encountered.
Overall, Jump Inn was a great experience. It’s a great place to stay if you’re going to Uluru on tour, if you need a clean place to crash after driving through the Northern Territory, or if you’re a digital nomad looking to unplug and get work done in a quiet spot. If you visit Alice Springs, definitely consider staying at Jump Inn.