When it all began!
Explorers, miners, settlers, bush workers and the ‘overlanders’ - the people involved in the largest movements of cattle in the history of Australia and the World. The first building, where the Steakhouse now stands, was the old, and original Alice Springs’ Town Hall which had been relocated from near Anzac Oval prior to 1939. The Town Hall had also been used as a dance and recreation hall.
The building was then opened as a general store in 1939 by Akbar Khan, an Afghan from Broken Hill, and later became a grocer shop, betting shop and billiard hall. In 1967, the building was converted to a restaurant called ‘La Tosca’. Sadly, this historic building was destroyed by a fire on the 7th July, 1969.
In 1946, the classic Australian drama feature film, ‘The Overlanders’ starring Chips Rafferty and Daphne Campbell premiered. Filmed mainly on location in beautiful Central Australia, the screenplay depicts Dan McAlpine (Chips Rafferty) as ‘Boss Drover’ with the assistance of six people moving 1000 head of cattle some 2000 miles across Australia during World War II.
‘The Overlanders Steakhouse’ was officially opened by Daphne Campbell (now Calder) in 1971. Architecturally designed, the restaurant genuinely captures the rustic ambience of Outback Australia. The decor features historic saddlery used and donated by local ‘Drovers’ or cattlemen/ranchers of yesteryear and today. It is a ‘living museum’ which is proudly supported by locals and visitors alike.
The movie 'A Town Like Alice', based on the book written by Neville Shute and starring Virginia McKenna (of Born Free fame) is well known to many from around the world. Filmed in 1956, the movie immortalises the town affectionately known as 'The Alice'.
The 'Overlanders Steakhouse' features a framed 'playbill' or poster of 'A Town Like Alice' autographed by Virginia McKenna during her recent visit to Australia.