A town called Alice

General Information | Trips that go here

Alice Springs started out life around 1872 with the completion of the Overland Telegraph Line between Adelaide and Darwin and then onto the United Kingdom. It was the site of a repeater station for the line that was built on the Todd River at an area they named Alice Springs. It must have been a wet year as the normally dry river had water in it and was mistakenly thought to be a permanent waterhole. They named it after the wife of Sir Charles Todd, ex Postmaster General of South Australia. The river was named after him.

Prior to European settlement the area was inhabited by the Arrernte Aboriginal people for more than 40,000 years and was referred to as Mparntwe. There were three distinct groups encompassing the Western, Eastern and Central Arrernte people and the area they inhabited included the East and West MacDonnell Ranges along with the area that is now Alice of which the Central Arrernte are the traditional owners. 

Alice Springs is the largest town in Central Australia, or the Red Centre as its known, and the second largest city in the Northern Territory after Darwin. It has a population of approximately 26,000, a very cosmopolitan mix made up of Australian Aboriginal, Australian, English, Irish, Scottish, German, Italian, New Zealand and North American. Almost 18% were born outside Australia. There is the old saying that many people arrive in Alice Springs with the intention of passing through but end up making Alice their home. It has a very relaxed lifestyle, favourable climate and is blessed with beautiful ancient mountain ranges, waterholes, fauna and flora.