Frequently Asked Questions About Alice Springs

Alice Springs, outback Australia, FAQs

On this page, you’ll find a list of common Alice Springs FAQS.

Our aim is to help you learn more about the Outback’s most famous town.

WARNING: If you don’t have a sense of humour, DO NOT read this page!

It contains tongue-in-cheek Aussie humour!

Yes, that’s right: humour, not humor.

In Australia, we put the ‘U’ in humour so it’s funnier for YOU!

Where is Alice Springs?

Alice Springs FAQS, Alice Springs Frequently asked questions, Alice Springs, NT, Australia

Alice Springs is located in the Northern Territory.

It’s almost directly in the centre of the Australian continent.

This does of course mean that it’s the centre of Australia and everything else revolves around Alice Springs!

 

Should we call it ‘The Alice’?

Every time you call it ‘The Alice’, a cute little Bilby dies.

Locals call it ‘Alice’, ‘Alice Springs’ or ‘Town’.

Please don’t call it ‘The Alice’.

It doesn’t make you sound like a been-there, done-that, tried and true Aussie outback veteran.

It makes you sound like a tourist wanna-be and we locals will cringe!

Simpsons Gap, just 15 minutes drive from Alice Springs

What is the Nearest Major City?

Alice is a bloody long way from any other major town or city!

Darwin and Adelaide (both capital cities) are the nearest cities.

Both are 1500 kilometres away.

This means a day and half driving on the Stuart Highway, the longest, straightest highway in Australia.

How far is Alice Springs from Sydney?

It’s 2776 km from Sydney to Alice Springs by road.

We’ve driven this trip many times.

It takes almost 3 days to drive from Sydney to Alice.

You’ll find other road distances on our Alice Springs Facts page.

Ringneck Parrots are very common in Alice Springs

When is the best time to visit?

April through to October are the best times to visit.

This is the cooler part of the year.

June-August is the peak tourist season here.

If you’re looking to get out and see as much as possible and miss the peak tourist time, we recommend May as the best time of year.

It’s not too cold in May and most of the flies will be gone.

Read more about Alice Springs weather here.

How Long Should I Stay?

There’s enough to see and do around Alice Springs to easily fill in two weeks.

However, if you wanted to just see the highlights, then two nights/three days would be enough time.

We’ve written a really useful post on the top 10 Must-See Places that you should read.

You can find that post here.

Will I be able to see Ayers Rock from my hotel?

Um. No.

Ayers Rock (Uluru) is 460 kilometres from Alice Springs.

If you see it from your hotel room, you’ve been drinking too much or smoking funny weed!

How far is Uluru from Alice Springs?

Uluru (Ayers Rock) is 460 km from Alice Springs.

It takes 4 1/2 hours to drive there.

And no, you don’t need a four wheel-drive to drive to Ayers Rock – you can get there in a conventional vehicle via the Stuart and Lasseter Highways.

Take a relaxing walk along the Todd River to the historic Telegraph Station

How many people live there?

The population of Alice Springs is approximately 28,000.

In the winter, we can have anything up to 5000 tourists in town, so it’s a good idea to book your accommodation before you get here.

Are there shops?

Yes. If you forget your toothbrush or underwear, you’ll be able to buy them here.

Alice Springs is the only big town serving an area that is as large as Western Europe (or, one and a half times as large as Texas).

This means it has to have everything that a regional city would have.

We have two major supermarkets, seven smaller suburban supermarkets, and large chain stores like K-Mart, Target, Sussan, Dymocks, as well as big name fast food stores like MacDonald’s, KFC and Red Rooster.

Enjoying the alfresco cafes in Todd Mall

How far is the Airport from the town centre?

The airport is 15 kilometres south of the town centre.

There is an inexpensive shuttle bus service at the airport, car hire services, and lots of taxis.

What are the monthly average temperatures?

Anywhere from boiling hot to freezing cold to absolutely perfect!

And we can get rain at any time of year, but we’re most likely to get it in December-February (summer).

Please check our Alice Springs weather page for information.

Should I Dress Like Crocodile Dundee to Visit Alice Springs?

Umm…

… No. Not unless you want to look really silly.

Life in Alice is casual or ‘relaxed’, so unless you’re on a business trip, leave your suits and up-tight city garb at home.

For most of the year comfortable, casual clothing such as travel pants or jeans, a hat, runners or cross trainers, or skirts are fine.

In the summer, shorts, skirts and t-shirts are what most people wear.

Jeans and a collared shirt or clean t-shirt are acceptable evening wear in all restaurants for men and women.

Don’t wear flip flops (Australians call these ‘thongs’) to restaurants or bars at night. You will not be allowed in.

DO NOT buy photographer’s vests, huge hiking boots, or those fake ‘Outback’ hats that many tourists seem to think they need just to walk down Todd Mall.

If you’re tempted to purchase any of these items, or dress like Crocodile Dundee, then take a long, hard look at what locals are wearing.

We don’t actually wear any of this kind of stuff!

Is it safe?

Contrary to what some newspapers and a few local whingers would have you believe, Alice Springs is a safe place to visit or live.

We know. We’ve lived here for a very long time.

Use your common sense when you come here.

Would you walk home alone or into a dark alley at night in a city?

The answer is probably no.

Then don’t do it in Alice Springs, either. Petty crimes and thefts happen everywhere.

Please avoid places like Gap Road and Todd Mall after 10pm at night. Don’t walk back to your accommodation at this time of night. Catch a taxi.

 


We hope you’ve enjoyed our humourous take on the questions we get asked about Alice Springs.

Why not leave us some feedback in the comments section below?

Of course, if you’ve got any other questions about the town, please contact us.

Finally, we get many, many questions about what it’s like to live in Alice Springs.
To answer the most common questions we get, we’ve written a whole page which you can find here.

6 Comments

  • Vladyta says:

    Very informative and funny article. We are currently planning our Australian itinerary but sadly won’t make it to Alice Springs or Uluru… Even though it sounds like such an awesome place. Can’t believe how isolated it is. wow.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Vladyta

      Thanks for your kind comments. Glad you found the article funny… however, you’re going to come all the way to Australia from the Netherlands and go home without seeing the real outback?? Noooo!!! Come out and see us! You can’t say you’ve been to Australia unless you come to the outback!

  • Amanda says:

    Are there crocodiles in Alice Springs?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Amanda,

      The only crocodile in Alice Springs is Terry the crocodile who’s on display at the Reptile Centre here. There are NO permanent rivers in the REAL outback and therefore, it’s too dry for crocodiles to live here. The nearest ‘natural’ crocodiles are over 1100km away in Elliott. So please, spread the TRUTH: crocodiles do NOT live in the real outback. They live in what we locals call the ‘TOP END’ or tropical northern Australia.

  • Dave says:

    I will be out in Mid-May this year, which appears to be Late Autumn. Trying to determine appropriate clothing for the trip. Will it be shorts weather, pants weather, t-shirt, or jacket? Will be travelling the West McDonnells, Kings Canyon to Uluru and back.

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