What’s it like to live in Alice Springs?


There are so many varied perceptions out there of what Alice Springs is like. A lot of negative comments are made but are they justified? So I thought I’d share some of my honest observations on what it’s really like. Just random as I think of things.

After living in the tropics the absence of mould is great. Not even in the shower cubicle.
When I mop the floor, the water in the bucket turns red. Fine red dust everywhere
The wind is crazy when it blows. No such thing as a gentle breeze. Wind chimes are a no go. Too bloody noisy.
Skin moisturiser and lip cream are essential. Dry climate = dry skin and flat hair.
Sunrise and sunset are pure magic every single day with the pastel layering of the sky.
When I exercise I hardly sweat. The dry evaporates it.
Constant blue skies are good for the soul and your mood.
The desert landscape is full of colour. Red, blue, yellow, pink, purple, green in many shades.
The landscape is soft and gentle except at midday when the sun is high in the sky and it gets harsh.
The town centre is crazy busy all the time. Getting a park is sometimes challenging.
The dry Todd River in the middle of town is picturesque with tall gum trees. I look forward to it flowing one day.
Walking the Todd Mall is so pretty at night with light displays on the ground.
The town is really multicultural and it’s a really friendly. The community is open minded, welcoming and tolerant. That makes it a great place to live.

Always the sound of galahs. Its wonderful to hear and sounds like home.

As with any place there is crime. Alice Springs has a lot of petty theft. Stolen cars, broken car windows, stolen bikes. Bored young Aboriginal kids roaming the streets at night are rumoured to be the main culprits. The police can’t do much because they are kids. The system isn’t working very well. We’ve had no issues personally, our area has no public housing. We do see young children wandering around other suburbs at night and always say “where are their parents?” We just make sure our bikes are always padlocked at home just in case. Prevention is a good strategy.
Buying alcohol is a interesting experience but it makes the town better and safer so it’s okay.
Coles and Woolies are great supermarkets here and the cost of food is no different but fuel is more expensive.
Everyone has bikes. The town has bike paths and trails everywhere.
When it’s hot, it’s hot and when it’s cold, it’s bloody freezing. There are perfect days though.
It feels safe. On occasion we see and hear a group of Aborigines having a blue. It’s a very vocal thing and their culture is different to ours so we accept it as part of the local vibe. But I have not felt threatened walking around town, even at night.
Work is in abundance here and it’s very much a government town. If you want work you’ll find it.
Not so many tourist buses these days. Flights go straight to Uluru and many tourists bypass Alice. Shame for them. Lots of 4WD campers still though.
The stars at night are phenomenal. Not much light pollution here which equates to amazing night skies.
The lifestyle is unpretentious, casual and easygoing and the pace is slower. Shorts and thongs are the go.
People drink at lot here because it’s so dry. Alcohol and soft drink go down a real treat.
The town water has a taste. It’s bore water but you get used to it.
The bush flies are so annoying when they try to get in your eyes and ears. I love my fly net. No mosquitoes or midges though.
We are in the unique position that every beach in the country is pretty much the same distance away. Being in the centre is pretty good.
Central Australia is the best place in the world for a campfire at night, especially in your own backyard. There’s always a supply of good dry wood.

The proof is in the images so I’ll let the following collection of photographs do the talking

The MacDonnell Ranges are a stunning backdrop. Add gum trees and perpetual blue skies and you have Central Australia.
Galahs are such characters. Here they are lined up on our back fence. The sound of them frolicking is part of the landscape
A bicycle in Alice is a must have. This is me heading for Simpson’s Gap on the 17km bike path. The scenery is spectacular.
Red dust blowing in from the desert. This is a dust storm and there was a fine layer of red dust all through our home.
The same view at sunset without the dust storm. We have a hill behind our home with this lovely view of the town. This is toward the east.

And this is toward the West. We lugged our own bench seat up there because you need a seat to enjoy the view
A backyard campfire at sunset is wonderful.
There’s always a good view in the mirror
Sturt Desert Peas blooming in spring. The wildflowers are spectacular
The pastel layers in the sky at dawn and dusk are magical
There are so many gaps, gorges and waterholes in the Ranges. You may have to travel a bit but there are places to go swimming. Cool, shady places.
Sometimes you just have to sit on a rock and enjoy the view. That’s Alice Springs nestled below the range.

So, Alice Springs is quite a lovely place to call home and definitely a lovely place to visit. Its unique, has soul and a character all of its own. The community is vibrant and there’s alway things happening, events to go too and on a balmy evening with those colours in the sky it’s so lovely. Its the heart of the Outback.