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Alice Springs
Northern Territory
Alice Springs Australia.jpg
Alice Springs from Anzac Hill
Population: 27,481 (2008) [1]
Density: 178/km² (461.0/sq mi)
Established: 1872
Postcode: 0870-0872
Area: 148 km² (57.1 sq mi)
Time zone: ACST (UTC+9:30)
Mayor: Damien Ryan
Location:
LGA: Alice Springs Town Council
State District:
Federal Division: Lingiari
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
28.7 °C
84 °F
13.2 °C
56 °F
279.2 mm
11 in
Alice Springs location in Australia

Alice Springs is the second largest city in the Northern Territory of Australia. Popularly known as "the Alice" or simply "Alice", Alice Springs is situated in the geographic centre of Australia near the southern border of the Northern Territory.[2] The site is known as Mparntwe to its traditional inhabitants, the Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for more than 50,000 years. Alice Springs has a population of 27,481 people which makes up 12 percent of the territory's population. Alice averages 576 metres (1,890 ft) above sea level; the town is nearly equidistant from Adelaide and Darwin.

There are six suburbs altogether in Alice Springs which are close to the Alice Springs town centre. Alice Springs is mostly residential.

The town of Alice Springs straddles the usually dry Todd River on the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges. The region where Alice Springs is located is known as Central Australia, or the Red Centre, and is an arid environment consisting of several different deserts. In Alice Springs, temperatures can vary by up to 28 °C (82 °F) and rainfall can vary quite dramatically from year to year. In summer, the average maximum temperature is 36.6 °C (97.9 °F), whereas in winter the average minimum temperature can be 7.5 °C (45.5 °F).

Contents

History

The "Springs" that gave the town its name

The Arrernte Aboriginal people[3] have made their home in the Central Australian desert in and around the site of the future Alice Springs for more than 50,000 years. The Aboriginal name for Alice Springs is Mparntwe.

Three major groups Western, Eastern and Central Arrernte people live in Central Australia, their traditional land including the area of Alice Springs and East/West MacDonnell Ranges. They are also referred to as Aranda, Arrarnta, Arunta, and other similar spellings. Their neighbours are the Southern Arrernte, Luritja, Anmatyerr, Alyawarr and Western Arrernte peoples. There are five dialects of the Arrernte language: South-eastern, Central, Northern, Eastern and North-eastern.

Arrernte country is rich with mountain ranges, waterholes, and gorges; as a result the Arrernte people set aside 'conservation areas' in which various species are protected.

According to the Arrernte traditional stories, in the desert surrounding Alice Springs, the landscape was shaped by caterpillars, wild dogs, travelling boys, two sisters, euros, and other ancestral figures.

Alice Springs Desert Park, Sand Drawing Aboriginal

There are many sites of traditional importance in and around Alice Springs, such as Anthwerrke (Emily Gap), Akeyulerre (Billy Goat Hill), Ntaripe (Heavitree Gap), Atnelkentyarliweke (Anzac Hill), and Alhekulyele (Mt Gillen).

There are roughly 1,800 speakers of Eastern and Central Arrernte, making it the largest spoken language in the Arandic family, and one of the largest speaking populations of any Australian language. It is taught in schools, heard in local media and local government.

Many Arrernte people also live in communities outside of Alice Springs and on outstations.

In 1861–62, John McDouall Stuart led an expedition through Central Australia, to the west of what later became Alice Springs, thereby establishing a route from the south of the continent to the north.

A settlement came into existence as a result of the construction of a repeater station on the Overland Telegraph Line, which linked Adelaide to Darwin and Great Britain.

The OTL was completed in 1872. It traced Stuart's route and opened up the interior for permanent settlement. It wasn’t until alluvial gold was discovered at Arltunga, 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the present Alice Springs, in 1887 that any significant settlement occurred. Until the 1930s, however, the town was known as Stuart.

Telegraph station

The telegraph station was sited near what was thought to be a permanent waterhole in the normally dry Todd River and was optimistically named Alice Springs after the wife of the former Postmaster General of South Australia, Sir Charles Todd. The Todd River was named after Sir Charles himself.

The original mode of transportation in the outback were camel trains, operated by immigrants from Pathan tribes in the North-West frontier of the then British India (present-day Pakistan) who were misnamed 'Afghan' Camellers.

In 1929 the Palmerston and Pine Creek Railway was completed from Darwin as far as Birdum, while the Great Northern Railway had been completed in 1891 from Port Augusta as far as Oodnadatta, South Australia, 700 kilometres (430 mi) south of Alice Springs.

Alice Springs Landsat image

The lines wouldn't meet until 2003. On 4 February 2004, the first passenger train arrived in Darwin from Adelaide.

During the 1960s it became an important defence location with the development of the US/Australian Pine Gap joint defence satellite monitoring base, home to about 700 workers from both countries, but by far the major industry in recent times is tourism.

Almost in the exact centre of the continent, Alice Springs is some 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) from the nearest ocean and 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) from the nearest major cities, Darwin and Adelaide. Alice Springs is now the midpoint of the Adelaide–Darwin Railway.[4]

World War II

During World War II, Alice Springs was a staging base, known as No 9 Australian Staging Camp, and a depot base for the long four-day trip to Darwin. The historic-listed Totem Theatre still exists from this camp.

The Australian Army also set up the 109th Australian General Hospital at Alice Springs. Seven mile aerodrome was also constructed by the Royal Australian Air Force.

Modern town

The modern town of Alice Springs has both western and Aboriginal influences. The town's focal point, the Todd Mall, hosts a number of Aboriginal art galleries and community events. Alice Springs’ desert lifestyle has inspired several unique and interesting events such as the Camel Cup, the Henley-on-Todd Regatta and the Beanie Festival.

Geography

Built environment

Alice Springs Telegraph Station

Alice Springs has many historic buildings, such as the Overland Telegraph Station, Adelaide House, the Old Courthouse and Residency and the Hartley Street School. Today the town is an important tourist hub and service centre for the surrounding area. It is a well-appointed town for its size with several large hotels, a world class convention centre and a good range of visitor attractions, restaurants and other services.

The MacDonnell Ranges run east and west of Alice Springs and contain a number of hiking trails and swimming holes such as Ormiston Gorge, Ormiston Gorge Creek, Red Bank Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge. The 223-kilometre (139 mi) long Larapinta Trail follows the West MacDonnell Ranges and is considered among the world's great walking experiences.

The Simpson Desert, south-east of Alice Springs is one of Australia's great wilderness areas containing giant red sand dunes and interesting rock formations such as Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley.

Climate

The town of Alice Springs straddles the usually dry Todd River on the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges. The region where Alice Springs is located is known as Central Australia, or the Red Centre, and is an arid environment consisting of several different deserts.

In Alice Springs, temperatures can vary by up to 28°C (50°F) and rainfall can vary quite dramatically from year to year. In summer, the average maximum temperature is in the high 30s, whereas in winter the average minimum temperature can be 7.5 °C (45.5 °F), with an average of 12.4 nights below freezing every annum.

Under the Köppen climate classification, Alice Springs has a desert climate (BWh).[5] The annual average rainfall is 279.2 millimetres (11.0 in) which would make it a semi-arid climate except that its high evapotranspiration, or its aridity, makes it a desert climate[6]. Annual precipitation is erratic, varying year to year in Alice Springs. In 2001 741 millimetres (29.2 in) fell and in 2002 only 198 millimetres (7.8 in) fell.[7] The highest daily rainfall is 204.8 millimetres (8.06 in), recorded on 31 March 1998.

Climate data for Alice Springs (1941-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.2
(113)
44.7
(112)
42.2
(108)
39.9
(104)
35.0
(95)
31.6
(89)
31.6
(89)
34.7
(94)
38.8
(102)
41.7
(107)
42.9
(109)
44.2
(112)
45.2
(113)
Average high °C (°F) 36.4
(98)
35.0
(95)
32.7
(91)
28.2
(83)
23.0
(73)
19.8
(68)
19.7
(67)
22.6
(73)
27.2
(81)
30.9
(88)
33.6
(92)
35.4
(96)
28.7
(84)
Average low °C (°F) 21.4
(71)
20.8
(69)
17.5
(64)
12.6
(55)
8.3
(47)
5.1
(41)
4.0
(39)
6.0
(43)
10.3
(51)
14.8
(59)
17.8
(64)
20.2
(68)
13.2
(56)
Record low °C (°F) 10.0
(50)
8.5
(47)
6.1
(43)
1.4
(35)
-2.7
(27)
-6.0
(21)
-7.5
(19)
-4.1
(25)
-1.1
(30)
1.3
(34)
3.5
(38)
9.3
(49)
-7.5
(19)
Rainfall mm (inches) 38.6
(1.52)
43.5
(1.71)
31.0
(1.22)
16.3
(0.64)
19.2
(0.76)
14.3
(0.56)
14.0
(0.55)
9.3
(0.37)
8.1
(0.32)
21.1
(0.83)
28.2
(1.11)
37.1
(1.46)
281.5
(11.08)
Sunshine hours 319.3 276.9 300.7 285.0 263.5 252.0 282.1 303.8 300.0 313.1 303.0 310.0 3,509.4
Avg. rainy days 4.6 4.6 3.1 2.1 3.1 2.8 2.5 1.9 2.2 4.6 5.6 5.8 42.9
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology [8] 2010-03-08

Demographics

In June 2006, approximately 26,486 people lived in Alice Springs with a total of 39,888 in the region. In 2006, the largest ancestry groups in the Alice Springs were, Australian (9,812 or 37%), English (6,975 or 26.6%), Irish (2,220 or 8.3%), Scottish (1,822 or 6.8%), Australian Aboriginal (1,794 or 6.7%), German (1,498 or 5.7%), and Italian (525 or 2%)[9]

Alice Springs population comprises people from many different ethnic backgrounds. The 2006 Census revealed the following most places of birth for overseas migrants: United Kingdom (3.4%), United States of America (3%), New Zealand (1.9%), and Philippines (0.8%).[10]

The most common non English languages spoken in Alice Springs are: Arrernte, Warlpiri, Luritja, Pitjantjatjara, and Italian.[10]

Aboriginal population

According to the 2001 census, Australian Aborigines make up approximately 17% of the population of Alice Springs, and 29% of the Northern Territory.[11] As Alice Springs is the regional hub of Central Australia it attracts Aboriginal people from all over that region and well beyond. Many Aborigines visit regularly to use the town's services. Aboriginal residents usually live in the suburbs, on special purpose leases (or town camps) or further out at Amoonguna to the South and on the small family outstation communities on Aboriginal Lands in surrounding areas.

The traditional owners of the Alice Springs area are the Central Arrernte people. As it is the largest town in central Australia, there are also speakers of Warlpiri, Warumungu, Kaytetye, Alyawarre, Luritja, Pintupi, Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra, Pertame, Eastern, and Western Arrernte among others.[12]

Foreign and itinerant populations

American population

Official Notice — Prohibited Area

The American population in Alice Springs is primarily associated with the proximity to Pine Gap, a joint Australian and U.S. satellite tracking station, located 19 kilometres (12 mi) south-west of Alice Springs. While Pine Gap employs 700 Americans and Australians, there are currently 2,000 people in the Alice Springs district who carry citizenship of the United States.

The American population celebrates most of the major US festivals, including Independence Day and Thanksgiving. A portion of the Australian citizens engage in the festivities as well. Also present in town are some sport teams, including baseball, basketball, and American football competitions.[13]

Other cultures

Several small immigrant communities of other foreign cultures have found a home in Alice Springs, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, German, and Turkish ethnic groups. The most obvious impact of their presence in such a small and isolated town has been the opening of various restaurants serving their traditional cuisines.

Itinerant population

Alice Springs has a large itinerant population. This population is generally composed of foreign and Australian tourists, Australian Aborigines visiting from nearby Central Australian communities, and Australian or international workers on short-term contracts (colloquially referred to as "blow-ins"). The major sources of work near enough to Alice Springs to bring workers into town are the stations and mines; foreign tourists usually pass through on their way to Uluru, whilst Australian tourists usually come through as a part of an event such as the Master's Games and the Finke Desert Race. These events can cause the population of the town to fluctuate by several thousand within a matter of days.

Government

Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment — Alice Springs Cultural Precinct

The Alice Springs Town Council governs the Alice Springs area, which takes in the town centre, its suburbs and some rural area. The Alice Springs Town Council has governed Alice Springs since 1971. The Alice Springs council consists of 9 members, the Mayor and 8 aldermen. The town is not divided up into wards. The current mayor of Alice Springs is Damien Ryan. Council Meetings are held on the last Monday of each month. The Alice Springs Region is governed by the newly created shire MacDonnell Shire, for which Alice Springs serves as council seat.

Alice Springs and the surrounding region have five elected members to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. There is one elected member of the Federal Parliament in the Australian House of Representatives for the area outside of Darwin, the Electoral Division of Lingiari.

Economy

This view shows the transport links passing through Heavitree Gap in the MacDonnell Ranges found adjacent to the town

Alice Springs began as a service town to the pastoral industry that first came to the region. The introduction of the rail line increased its economy and productivity.[citation needed] Today the town services a region of 546,046 square kilometres (210,830 sq mi) and a regional population of 38,749. The region includes a number of mining and pastoral communities, the Joint Defence Space Research Facility at Pine Gap and tourist attractions at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Watarrka National Park and the MacDonnell Ranges.

Whilst Alice started as a result of the Overland Telegraph line, it is now very much reliant on domestic and international tourism. It is home to the Northern Territory's largest dedicated travel organiser, Territory Discoveries, which employs over 50 full time local staff members.

Flying Doctor dispatch service,

As well as Territory Discoveries, all major tour companies have a base in Alice Springs, including AAT Kings & APT, as well as numerous local operators, including Emu Run Tours, Anganu Waai! tours, Alice Wanderer and Wayoutback Desert Safaris, the only locally based Advanced Ecotourism Accredited operator.

Alice is home to numerous hotels, from the 5 star Lasseters Hotel & Casino, to the backpacker standard Toddies Resort. Also, there are several caravan parks for the driving visitor.

A dispatch centre for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia operates here.

Education

Education is overseen territory-wide by the Department of Education and Training (DET), whose role is to continually improve education outcomes for all students, with a focus on Indigenous students.[14]

Preschool, primary and secondary

Alice Springs is served by nineteen public and private schools that cater to local and overseas students. Over 3,843 primary and secondary students are enrolled in schools in Darwin, with 2,187 students attending primary education, and 1,656 students attending secondary education.[15] There are over 1,932 students enrolled in government schools and 1,055 students enrolled in independent schools.[15]

Alice Springs has an Alice Springs School of the Air which delivers education to students in remote areas.

Tertiary and vocational

The Alice Springs Campus of Charles Darwin University offers courses in TAFE and higher education. The Centre for Appropriate Technology was established in 1980 and provides a range of services to encourage and help Aboriginal people enhance their quality of life on remote communities.

Recreation and culture

Social characteristics

Alice Springs is often referred to as the lesbian capital of Australia due to the large percentage of lesbians in the population.[16] The town is a place friendly to all people of all sexual orientations, race, and social standing.

Events and festivals

Camel Cup, Alice Springs

There are many festivals and events, the town's focal point, the Todd Mall, hosts a number of Aboriginal art galleries and community events. Alice Springs’ desert lifestyle has inspired several unique and interesting events such as the Camel Cup, the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, Beanie Festival and the Finke Desert Race. The Finke Desert Race is some 400 kilometres (250 mi) south of Alice Springs in the Simpson Desert.

The American population celebrates most of the major American festivals, including Halloween, Independence Day and Thanksgiving. A portion of the Australian citizens engage in the festivities as well.

Arts and entertainment

Alice Springs is Australia's art capital, home to many local and Aboriginal art galleries. Indigenous Australian art is largely the more dominant showcasing the rich culture and native traditions that abound in Central Australia. Trade in Aboriginal art soared after the painting movement began at Papunya, a Central Australian Aboriginal settlement, and swept other indigenous communities. Central Australia has borne some of the most prominent names in Aboriginal art, including Emily Kngwarreye, Minnie Pwerle, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Albert Namatjira and Wenten Rubuntja. Each year since 11 July 2003, the music festival, Bass in the Dust has been hosted at Alice Springs and the Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment presents world-class ballets and orchestras, as well as local performances.

Liz Phair included a song called "Alice Springs" on her 1994 album Whip Smart. The group Midnight Oil mentions Alice Springs in its song Kosciusko and in Warakurna ('There is enough in Redfern as there is in Alice'), and Pine Gap in its song Power and the Passion.

The annual Desert Mob Art Show sees art collectors and art lovers from all over the world travel to Alice Springs to see works from Aboriginal art centres in Central Australia, with works by artists from remote areas of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. This show is in conjunction with the Artist Association Desart and usually runs in September of each year at the Araluen Art Centre.

Nevil Shute's novel A Town Like Alice, and the resulting film and television miniseries, takes its name from Alice Springs, although little of the action takes place there. The local library is the Nevil Shute Memorial Library.

Recreation

Other leisure and entertainment activities include hiking in the nearby MacDonnell Ranges, driving the four-wheel drive tracks at Finke Gorge National Park and visiting the many art galleries in Todd Mall.

On 2 September 2007, Australians in Alice Springs challenge featured wild cat stew recipe or casserole as solution to the millions of feral cats roaming the outback. But wildlife activists strongly opposed including the cat on the nation's menus.

Yearly, felines, descendants of domestic pets, kill millions of small native animals, devouring almost anything that moves, including small marsupials, lizards, birds and spiders making them the most serious threats to Australia's native fauna.

Aborigines roasted the cats on open fire since they considered the dish delicious. Scientists warned that eating wild cats could expose man to harmful bacteria and toxins.[17]

Parks and gardens

The Alice Springs Desert Park was created to educate visitors about the many facets of the surrounding desert environment. The arid climate botanic garden, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, is a short distance from the town centre. They were named after anthropologist, naturalist and artist Olive Pink, who lived in the town for almost 30 years and died in 1975. She was well known locally and referred to by all as Miss Pink. The Alice Springs Reptile Centre is located in the town centre.

Sport

Traeger Park, Alice Springs

Alice Springs has a high participation in many different sports, including tennis, hockey, Australian rules football, basketball, soccer, cricket and rugby football.

Australian rules football is a particularly popular sport in Alice Springs in terms of both participation and as a spectator sport. The Central Australian Football League has several teams. The sport is particularly popular in Indigenous communities. The local stadium, Traeger Park, has a 10,000 seat capacity and was designed to host (pre-season) AFL and is currently home to the Northern Territory Thunder. In 2004, an AFL pre-season Regional Challenge match between Collingwood Football Club and Port Adelaide Football Club attracted a capacity sell-out crowd.

Cricket is also a popular sport in Alice Springs and is primarily played at Traeger Park. The Imparja Cup Cricket Carnival first was played in 1994 and attracts Indigenous teams from all across Australia. The four main clubs are Federal Demons CC, Rovers CC, RSL Works CC and Wests CC.

Soccer is very popular among the younger community. A high number of children play it. Soccer is also played quite a bit by adults in different divisions. There is also an all African league for soccer in Alice Springs.

The Traeger Park sporting complex also hosts tennis, baseball, boxing, swimming, canoe polo, hockey, basketball, squash, badminton, sausage throwing gymnastics and skateboarding.

A unique sporting event, held annually, is the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, also known as the Todd River Race. It is a sand river race with bottomless boats and it remains the only dry river regatta in the world. Another unusual sporting event is the Camel Cup. This is also held annually at the local racetrack, Blatherskite Park. It is a full day event featuring a series of races using camels instead of horses.

Rugby League has been a part of the local sporting scene since 1963. The Australian Rugby League has held a number of pre-season games in Alice Springs, usually at the ANZAC Oval. The local competition is the Central Australian Rugby Football League, that has both junior and senior leagues.

The annual Camel Cup is held in July at Blatherskite Park, part of the Central Australian Show Society grounds.

Every year, on the Queens Birthday long weekend, the annual Finke Desert Race is held. It is a grueling off road race that runs from Alice Springs to the Finke community, then back again the next day. The total length of the race is roughly 500 kilometres (310 mi). It attracts spectators, who camp along the whole length of the track, and roughly 500 competitors, buggies and bikes, every year, making it the biggest sporting event in the Alice Springs calendar.

Media

Alice Springs Desert Park, Bush Tucker

Alice Springs is served by both local and national radio and television services. The government-owned ABC provides four broadcast radio stations — local radio 783 ABC Alice Springs and the national networks Radio National, ABC Classic FM and Triple J.

Commercial radio stations are 8HA 900 kHz and SUN FM 96.9 MHz and community radio is provided by indigenous broadcaster 8KIN 100.5 MHz. Four broadcast television services operate in Alice Springs — commercial stations Imparja Television (callsign IMP9) and Seven Central (QQQ31), and Government-owned ABC (ABAD7) and SBS (SBS28). Imparja has a commercial agreement with the Nine network.

There are two local newspapers circulated in Alice Springs. The weekly publication, The Alice Springs News appears each Thursday with a circulation of 11,500, and the twice weekly The Centralian Advocate, which is published on Tuesdays ($1.10) and Fridays ($1.40)

Infrastructure

Transport

The Ghan at Alice Springs Station
Departing Runway 12 at Alice Springs

Located on the Adelaide-Darwin railway, Alice Springs is accessible by train. Alice Springs railway station is visited by the The Ghan, operated by Great Southern Railway, on its journey between Adelaide and Darwin. The train arrives twice weekly in each direction.[18]

The line first opened to Alice Springs in 1929, as the narrow gauge Central Australia Railway. It was not until 1980 that the current standard gauge line was opened, which was extended to Darwin in 2004.

The Ghan
Tennant Creek

(to Darwin)

Alice Springs Kulgera

(to Adelaide)

There are daily express coach services to and from Adelaide and Darwin servicing Alice Springs. The Stuart Highway, running north from Adelaide to Darwin via Alice Springs, is Northern Territory's most important road. The distance from Alice Springs to Adelaide is 1,530 kilometres (950 mi) and to Darwin is 1,498 kilometres (931 mi).

There are daily flights from Alice Springs Airport to Adelaide, Ayers Rock (Uluru), Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

There are also direct flights a few times a week to Brisbane.

There are two airlines which fly to and from Alice Springs: Qantas and Tiger Airways. Virgin Blue made an appearance in Alice Springs for a short time, before they were undercut by Qantas.

Alice Springs is also a base for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

Sister cities

In January 2005, a Sister City relationship was established between Alice Springs and the Afghan district of Paghman.[19]

See also

References

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (23 April 2009). 7'!A1 "Regional Population Growth". http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/057C7AB6661166CDCA2575A0001802DC/$File/32180ds0002_2001-08.xls#'Table 7'!A1. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  2. ^ Geoscience Australia Centre of Australia, States and Territories updated July 2006 "Officially, there is no centre of Australia. This is because there are many complex but equally valid methods that can determine possible centres of a large, irregularly-shaped area — especially one that is curved by the earth's surface." However, several methods for calculating the possible centre of mainland Australia have been developed … the results enclose an area which includes the town of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges — refer the Geoscience Australia page for further details.
  3. ^ Arrernte Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre Alice Springs
  4. ^ The Ghan – Outback experiences – Northern Territory Official Travel Site
  5. ^ Linacre, Edward; Geerts, Bart (1997). Climates and Weather Explained. London: Routledge. p. 379. ISBN 0-415-12519-7. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=mkZa1KLHCAQC&lpg=PA379&pg=PA379#v=onepage&q=&f=false. 
  6. ^ McKnight & Hess, pp. 212-1, "Climate Zones and Types: Dry Climates (Zone B)"
  7. ^ Alice Springs' Climate
  8. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations". http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_015590_All.shtml. 
  9. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics. Tables&javascript=true&textversion=false&navmapdisplayed=true&breadcrumb=TLPD&&collection=Census&period=2006&productlabel=Ancestry (Region) by Country of Birth of Parents&producttype=Census Tables&method=Place of Usual Residence&topic=Ancestry& "Alice Springs Ancestry Groups". http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/ABSNavigation/prenav/ViewData?action=404&documentproductno=LGA70200&documenttype=Details&order=1&tabname=Details&areacode=LGA70200&issue=2006&producttype=Census Tables&javascript=true&textversion=false&navmapdisplayed=true&breadcrumb=TLPD&&collection=Census&period=2006&productlabel=Ancestry (Region) by Country of Birth of Parents&producttype=Census Tables&method=Place of Usual Residence&topic=Ancestry&. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  10. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Alice Springs (T) (Local Government Area)". 2006 Census QuickStats. http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/ABSNavigation/prenav/LocationSearch?collection=Census&period=2006&areacode=LGA70200&producttype=QuickStats&breadcrumb=PL&action=401. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  11. ^ About Alice Springs
  12. ^ "Alice Springs – Aboriginal Culture". Alice Springs Town Council. 2006-06-08. http://www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au/about_alice/aboriginal.asp. Retrieved 2006-11-25. 
  13. ^ The American Connection
  14. ^ Department of Education and Training — About the Department
  15. ^ a b Tables&javascript=true&textversion=false&navmapdisplayed=true&breadcrumb=TLPD&&collection=Census&period=2006&productlabel=Type of Educational Institution Attending (Full/Part-Time Student Status by Age) by Sex&producttype=Census Tables&method=Place of Usual Residence&topic=School Education& ABS education tables
  16. ^ DAILY TELEGRAPH, Outed: Lesbian capital of Australia
  17. ^ BBC NEWS, Australians cook up wild cat stew
  18. ^ Australian Railmaps, "RAIL MAP — PERTH to ADELAIDE, CENTRAL AND NORTHERN AUSTRALIA". Accessed 12 June 2007.
  19. ^ "Alice Springs – Sister city media release". Alice Springs Town Council. 2005-08-09. http://www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au/news/newsItem.asp?date=050809&txt=Ali. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 

External links

Coordinates: 23°42′S 133°52′E / 23.7°S 133.87°E / -23.7; 133.87


Simple English

Alice Springs
Northern Territory
File:Alice Springs
Population: 26,486 (2005)
Density: 178/km² (461.0/sq mi)
Postcode: 0870-0872
Elevation: 576 m (1,890 ft)
Area: 148 km² (57.1sq mi)
Time zone: ACST (UTC+9:30)
Mayor: Damien Ryan
Location:
LGA: Alice Springs Town Council
Federal Division: Lingiari
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Rainfall
28.7 °C
84 °F
13.2 °C
56 °F
279.2 mm
11 in

Alice Springs is a city in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is 200 kms south of the centre of mainland Australia. It is about halfway between Darwin in the north and Adelaide in the south.

In 2005 there were 26,486 people living in Alice Springs.[1]. This makes it the second largest town in the Northern Territory.

Alice Springs is often called "the Alice" or simply "Alice.” It is called "Mparntwe" by the Arrernte. The Arrernte people are the Aboriginal people who have lived around Alice Springs for more than 50,000 years.

Contents

History

Indigenous History

[[File:|thumb|right|260px|Aboriginal Sand Drawing, Alice Springs Desert Park]] According to the Arrernte traditional stories, the land around Alice Springs was shaped by caterpillars, wild dogs, travelling boys, two sisters, euros and other ancestral figures. There are many sites of traditional importance in and around Alice Springs. These include Anthwerrke (Emily Gap), Akeyulerre (Billy Goat Hill), Ntaripe (Heavitree Gap), Atnelkentyarliweke (Anzac Hill) and Alhekulyele (Mt. Gillen).

Early city

[[File:|thumb|right|260px| "Springs" that gave the town its name]] In 1862, John McDouall Stuart led an expedition into Central Australia and the area where Alice Springs is located. Until the 1930s the town was known as Stuart. The Overland Telegraph Line that joined Adelaide to Darwin and Great Britain was completed in 1872. It followed Stuart’s route. It opened up the interior for permanent European settlement. When surface alluvial gold was found at Arltunga, 100 km east of Alice Springs, in 1887 many people began to move into the area.

The telegraph station was built near a waterhole in the normally dry Todd River. It was thought to be a permanent source of water, and was named Alice Springs. Alice was the wife of the former Postmaster General of South Australia, Sir Charles Todd. The Todd River was named after Sir Charles.

The original method of travel in the outback were camels. These camel trains were run by people from Pathan tribes in the North-West frontier of India and Pakistan. They were wrongly called ‘Afghans’ in Australia.

In 1929 the Palmerston and Pine Creek Railway was built from Darwin as far as Birdum, Northern Territory. The Great Northern Railway had been built in 1891 from Port Augusta as far as Oodnadatta, South Australia. The lines wouldn’t meet until 2003. On February 4, 2004, the first passenger train arrived in Darwin.

During the 1960s Alice Springs became an important defence base. About 700 people work at the US/Australian Pine Gap joint defence satellite monitoring base.

The major industry in recent times is tourism.

Geography and climate

Topography and climate

The town of Alice Springs built on the banks of the usually dry Todd River. It is on the northern side of MacDonnell Ranges. The region where Alice Springs is located is known as Central Australia, or the Red Centre. It is a very dry region, made up of several different deserts.

Temperatures can vary by up to 28 °C. In summer the average highest temperature is in the high 30s°C. In winter the average lowest temperature can be -7.5 °C.

The rainfall can vary quite a lot from year to year. The annual average rainfall is 286 mm. In 2001 741 mm fell, but in 2002 only 198 mm fell.[2]

Economy

File:Alice Springs
This view shows the road and railway passing through Heavitree Gap in the MacDonnell Ranges found next to the town

Alice Springs began as a town to supply the cattle farms that first came to the area. The arrival of the railway increased its economy and productivity. Today the town supplies a region of 546,046 square kilometres. There are 38,749 people living in the region. The region includes a number of mining and farm communities, the Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap and tourist attractions at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Watarrka National Park and the MacDonnell Ranges.

The people

In June 2004, 38,749 people lived in the region. There were 26,058 people living in the city of Alice Springs. Aboriginal people made up about 37% of people in the Alice Springs region in 2001.

Aboriginal population

According to the 2001 census, Australian Aborigines are about 17% of the people in Alice Springs, and 29% of the people in the Northern Territory.[3] Alice Springs is the business centre of Central Australia. Aboriginal people come from all over the region to use the town's services. Aboriginal residents usually live in the suburbs, on special purpose leases (or town camps). Some live farther out at Amoonguna to the south. Many live on the small family outstation communities on Aboriginal Lands in surrounding areas.

The traditional owners of the Alice Springs area are the Central Arrernte people. As it is the largest town in central Australia, there are also speakers of at least thirteen other languages.[4]

American influence

[[File:|thumb|260px|right|The road to Pine Gap - traveling any closer is prohibited!]] The American influence in Alice Springs comes from Pine Gap, a US satellite tracking station. It is 19 km south-west of Alice Springs. Pine Gap employs 700 American and Australians. There are about 2,000 people in the Alice Springs region who are US citizens.

American influence can be seen throughout Alice Springs. The Americans still celebrate all major festivals, including Halloween, Independence Day and Thanksgiving. A number of Australians also join in the festivities from time to time. There is also American sport, including baseball, basketball, and American football.[5]

Visitors

Alice Springs has a large number of visitors up of:

  • Tourists
  • Residents of Pine Gap
  • Australian Aborigines visiting from nearby Central Australian communities
  • Australian or international workers on short-term contracts (locally called "blow-ins")

Education

Alice Springs has 19 public and private schools and colleges. This includes 2 for aboriginal students, 7 pre-schools and the Alice Springs School of the Air. The School of the Air provides education to students in remote areas. The Alice Springs Campus of Charles Darwin University offers courses in TAFE and Higher Education. The Centre for Appropriate Technology was established in 1980. It has a range of services to encourage and help Aboriginal people improve their quality of life on remote communities.

Sport

[[File:|thumb|right|260px| Traeger Park, Alice Springs]] Australian Rules Football is a popular sport in Alice Springs. The Central Australian Football League has several teams and many people play. The sport is very popular in Indigenous communities. The local stadium, Traeger Park, can hold 10,000 people. It was built to hold national AFL and international cricket matches. In 2004, an AFL pre-season Regional Challenge match between Collingwood Football Club and Port Adelaide Football Club filled the stadium.

Cricket is also a popular sport in Alice Springs. The Imparja Cup Cricket Carnival started in 1994. Teams from Indigenous communities come from all across Australia. A unique sporting event, held every year, is the Henley-on-Todd Regatta. This is also known as the Todd River Race. It is a sand river race with bottomless boats. It is the only dry river regatta in the world. Another unusual sporting event is the Camel Cup. This is also held every year at the local racetrack, Blatherskite Park. It is a full day event with races using camels instead of horses.

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics Retrieved on 25 September 2006
  2. Alice Springs' Climate
  3. About Alice Springs
  4. "Alice Springs - Aboriginal Culture". Alice Springs Town Council. 2006-06-08. http://www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au/about_alice/aboriginal.asp. Retrieved 2006-11-25. 
  5. The American Connection
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