Living in Alice Springs: What’s it Really Like?

moving-to-Alice

Thinking of moving to Alice Springs?

We get at least one email a week asking us what life is like in Alice Springs, how difficult is it to get a job and what the housing situation is like.

On this page we give you everything you’ll need to know if you’re thinking about moving to Alice Springs.

The good. The bad. The ugly.

Let’s start with our story:

Why We Came to Alice Springs

Without doubt, Alice Springs is one of the easiest places to get work in Australia.

Which is how we both came here.

Gary came up here to work as a ranger, with no real idea how long he was going to stay, but I (Amanda) was only planning to stay 5 years.

After 15 years, I’m still here because I liked it so much.

Before I came for the job interview here, I’d never visited Alice Springs, Central Australia or the Northern Territory.

I came from a conservative country town in New South Wales known for its tulips and cafes.

When I came here and saw the facilities that Alice Springs had to offer, discovered how easy it was to get around, and how it was surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of spectacular national parks, I was instantly in love.

Three weeks after my job interview, I moved here.

Amanda-GeocachingMe on top of Mt Johns with Alice Springs in the background

In my working life in Alice Springs, I’ve had opportunities to do amazing work with Aboriginal people that I never would have expected.

I’ve learned about their dreaming stories, visited sacred sites with Elders, danced in sacred dances, and learned an Aboriginal language.

I’ve helped set up an employment and training program for Aboriginal people to work on national parks and become rangers.

I’ve been the director of a government department.

I’m now working with Aboriginal language interpreters and loving it!

I’ve seen things and been places that very few have the opportunity to see.

Generally, I love living here, but there’s a few things that really bug me.

Like the awful customer service in some shops or the summer heat in December, January and February.

Before You Even Consider Moving Here:

You need to know that Alice Springs is a long, long way from anything else.

You can’t just nip off to the next town on Saturday morning for a latte.

The next town (Ti-Tree) is 200km away.

What’s more, we’re very poorly served by airlines. We have Qantas and Virgin (only flies to Adelaide), and they rip us off most of the time (told you I wouldn’t pull any punches!).

If you are the kind of person who would absolutely DIE if you couldn’t got to the beach every weekend -or couldn’t handle the thought of being a long way away from the beach- don’t even think about moving here unless it’s short term.

You’ll hate it.

You also need to know a few other important things about the town BEFORE you start your journey towards moving:

  • In summer it gets seriously hot (40-44 degrees in January are not uncommon)
  • In winter it gets FREEZING cold (YES- below zero Celsius)
  • In between, it’s goddamn perfect
  • Around 5000 people in the town are Aboriginal. A lot of ignorant people seem to have an issue with this. If Aboriginal people freak you out, don’t come here.

The Good Things About Living Here

For us, the best things about Alice Springs is its quality of life:

  • It’s relaxed, friendly and there’s no traffic
  • People love to stop and have a chat
  • The pace of life is slower
  • In 10 minutes, you can be anywhere in the town
  • Very few people wear suits to work – in fact, we have saying here that only real estate agents and politicians wear business suits in the Northern Territory!
  • It’s a great place to raise a family. There are 4 high schools, and around 8 or 9 primary schools
  • There’s every kind of sport here you could ever want. Every second year, it’s home to the Master’s Games
  • Great weather (most of the time), so we have a very outdoor life style
  • Very easy to make friends and have a busy social life
  • Work is very easy to find. There are always positions vacant – no matter what your profession
  • It seems to have more festivals, markets and events than many cities!
  • Because it’s the service centre for an area that’s the size of Western Europe, it’s got all the shops and services that you’d find in a much larger place

And… it’s set in the beautiful MacDonnell Ranges. In ten minutes, you can be out in the bush!

Ormiston Gorge. Just over an hour from Alice Springs and a fave with locals!

And Now for the Bad Things

Yes, there are bad things about living here. These are the ones which bother us the most.

  • Alcohol control – there are strict laws about when and how much alcohol you can buy
  • Drunk Aboriginal people fighting. You will see them – but they usually leave non-Aboriginal people alone
  • This might sound crazy, but there are too many places where you can buy alcohol. For example, fish and chip shops and service stations. We’re not joking!
  • Alice Springs is a long way from anywhere else
  • We are poorly serviced by airlines and airfares are outrageously high
  • It gets very hot in the summer time
  • Customer service can be very bad
  • Many shops and businesses shut at 12pm Saturday. The eateries in the shopping malls aren’t open on Sundays, even though most of the other shops are
  • At certain times, it can be hard to find houses to rent or buy
  • Petrol (fuel/gas) is about 30 cents per litre more expensive than in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide

Really, those bad things aren’t all that bad – they’re just annoying. The good things about living in Alice Springs far outweigh the bad.

Alice Springs, Todd Mall, outback Australia

But I’ve Heard It’s Dangerous…

Ok let’s get this straight. Alice Springs is no more or less dangerous than ANYWHERE else in Australia.

Am I qualified to say that? I think I am.

I’ve lived in Sydney, Bowral, Narooma, Camden & Canberra. I’ve spent a lot of time semi-living in Darwin, too, when I was a Director in the NT government.

So I have few places to compare with.

My Verdict: ALICE SPRINGS IS SAFE TO LIVE IN & VISIT.

Do NOT believe what you see in the media about the town being a dangerous place to live and walk around.

This is simply NOT TRUE.

Alice Springs has its share of petty crime (i.e. house & car break-ins) just like Sydney, Melbourne or London. So don’t leave your car, house or hotel room unlocked or leave your valuables in plain sight!

HOWEVER: the violent crimes that you hear about in the media are usually from one unfortunate cause: drunk Aboriginal people beating up, stabbing and even murdering OTHER Aboriginal people.

This means that for most locals (including MOST Aboriginal people) that it’s rare to be assaulted, beaten up or have your stuff stolen.

The reality is that Alice is like any other place – use your commonsense when it comes to doing things like walking down dark alleys late at night.

A simple rule is this: if you WOULDN’T do it at home, then don’t do it here.

Overall, it’s a great place to live and work. If I had to sum the life here up in three words I’d say: relaxed, comfortable, interesting.

Finding Work in Alice Springs

The best news of all is that its EASY to find work here.

How easy?

If you have ANY kind of qualification, you’ll be snapped up usually in the first week you’re here.

Even if you don’t have any kind of qualification, a pulse and a willingness to actually turn up to work gives you a kick-ass chance of getting a job.

The number of jobs always outstrips the number of people looking for work. That’s just a fact of life here.

Rates of pay here tend to be higher than elsewhere in Australia and many jobs offer 6 weeks of annual leave per year.

Where to look for work:

There are also several employment agencies here.

Word of mouth (even door knocking small businesses) will also get the word around.

A grindstone used by Aboriginal women to make flour. If an anthropologist can find work in Alice Springs, ANYONE can.

Housing is the BIG Problem

Whilst employment is really easy to find, getting a place to live can be quite difficult.

Unfortunately, rents and property values in Alice Springs are high and finding a decent, livable house can be difficult at certain times of the year (such as the at the end of school terms when a lot of teaching staff arrive or leave town).

You will find many share houses available. At the moment (2016) a room in a share house is around $160-$250.

At present (2016) rents on a nice 3 or 4 bedroom house in town are over $550 per week.

The median purchase price of a house in town is around $500K.

We can’t really recommend one over the other, although it would make sense for you to purchase a house if you were planning on staying here long-term.

Always inspect a house before you agree to rent or buy. There are some absolute holes in Alice, and you would NOT want to end up living in one them.

Once piece of advice that we always give to people thinking of moving here is to try and housesit for a few weeks when you first arrive.

The housesitting scene in Alice is HUGE – not only will housesitting save you money, you’ll also have to time to get to know the town, and get a feel for where you might want to live.

If you’re interested in housesitting, then you absolutely MUST join the Alice Springs Housesitting Group on Facebook. This is the very FIRST place to go and ask what’s around.

Another option is to email us here. We sometimes hear of housesitting opportunities that aren’t advertised.

Cost of Living

Items like fuel, furniture and white goods are more expensive to buy here.

With furniture, whitegoods and other items, you can try to force our local retailers to price match to city prices. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t… which is why internet shopping is HUGE here.

Our big retailers are pretty much what you’ll find in all large Australian country towns: Bunnings, Harvey Norman, KMart, Target, & Carla Furnishers. There’s also Repco, Supercheap Auto and BBQs Galore.

There are several secondhand stores where you can buy furniture, but the prices are outrageous compared to secondhand stores in cities.

The best way to find furniture/whitegoods bargains:

  • do the ‘Lawn Sale’ (this is what garage sales are called in Alice) rounds on a Saturday morning – especially for furniture
  • join one of the Alice Buy, Swap, Sell groups on Facebook.

Groceries, clothes and other everyday items are little different to capital cities.

Our average weekly food bill for a family of four, plus two dogs and four chickens is between $180-$200 per week. And we do not scrimp!!

One thing we do notice living here is that the quality of fruit and vegetables can vary widely from week to week.

Summer stone fruit tend to be very disappointing in comparison with what you can buy in South Australia. About one or two weeks over summer, we actually get decent stone fruit. The rest of the time, stone fruit is like cricket balls!

Our water, electricity and council rates are lower than those which I (Amanda) had in Bowral (country NSW), but probably higher than some other places.

We spend around $1100 in council land rates and $2500 for power and water combined (we have a 4 bedroom house with a pool, and we use solar hot water). These prices are per annum.

The cost of registering our 4WD is around $680 per year, and includes 3rd party insurance.

We Hope You’ve Found this Post Useful

Overall, the good things about living in Alice Springs outweigh the bad, which is why we’ve stayed here so long.

Please let us know if this information has been useful to you in the comments section below.

PLEASE do not email us asking for help to find work OR asking what school to send your children to.

We are primarily a travel information site and we have provided all the resources to help you find work above.

As perceptions of schools are highly subjective, our preferences for our children’s schooling may be very different to your own

If you have any other questions about life in Alice Springs that we haven’t answered here, PLEASE send us an email.


 

64 Comments

  • Haylee Walmsley says:

    Hi Amanda and Gary, I found your information very useful, especially the idea of housesitting. Good to know of another accommodation option if I decide to make the big move, thankyou. Photos are cool.

    • Amanda
      Please kindly advise been here in Australia NSW for a year from Africa where I worked or International organisations as a development officer for 20 years and an agriculturist by profession . Do you think I could have a chance especial in remote Alice Springs for a job. If so hw can I start the process.

      Thank you
      Francis

  • Tania says:

    Great info, my family and I have been to Alice Springs a few times. We are ocean people but one thing that I fall in love with every time is the air, it is so fresh and like a natural drug. I really just cant get enough of it, and often still think about it today.

  • Gelyn says:

    The information are very very useful

    Thank you

  • Chan says:

    HI the info was great, Me and a work mate are planniing to maybe move to Alice Springs for work and somthing different, the info was very helpful and given us a better insight. We worried about finding work and a plaace to stay but thanks to your info, we onlly got just one worry. but i am sure we can move around. it.

  • Kerryanna says:

    Hi There

    Just came across your information. As i was informed tonight this may be one of the areas we will be moving to .We would be coming from the U.S. I was wondering about the jobs for me if I was interested in part time..Do I need a work permit??? Also could you recommend the best way to find good housing?? as my husband will leave that up to me so he can focus on his job. Also how is the medical facility’s there?? If any?? we will be trying for a baby. and I’m curious if there’s a hospital near by..lol Thanks so much for this information it helped allot.. Hope to hear from you soon..

    Kerryanna

    • Nia says:

      HI Kerryanna,

      Did you ever end up in Australia? I’m a TV Producer researching a series about US families in the outback and I’d love to talk to you or any other families looking to move from the USA.
      Please get in touch when you can.
      Many thanks
      Nia

  • Romarin says:

    Thanks for writing this article, it is really useful and has given me a bit of insight as to what to expect. I work in Community Services, foster care agency, and I am thinking about moving to Alice end of the year or in 2014.. Really appreciate having some insight into job market and housing..

  • Katie S says:

    Thank you for this!

    Making my way up to Alice in July-August and was stressing about “life” there. Can’t wait to experience the bush and be a true Aussie for a while!

  • Thuy says:

    Thank you so much for the insight!
    Can’t wait to move.
    Tiger Airways has very cheap fares to and from Alice Springs =)

  • Thuy says:

    *from Melbourne and Sydney

  • Court says:

    I grew up in Alice Springs and have recently moved interstate to attend university. Overall a pretty decent summary of life in Alice Springs. I love, love, love that I grew up there, I believe that I am a much more well rounded person that is more down to earth and can handle so much more than my newly found city friends. I miss it every single day! It has a ruggedly romantic beauty to it! No place like it!

  • Lisa says:

    Hi Gary and Amanda,
    It’s looking like we might be coming to experience Alice in the near future. I am wanting to know what the medical/hospital facilities are like or what is available?
    I have a child that can need emergency hospital care very quickly and without warning.
    Thanks
    Lisa

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Alice Springs has a huge public hospital. It’s modern and if you’re Australia, you’ll enjoy free public health care. I’ve been there for minor surgery, as has my daughter and son. We’ve also been there for accidents and emergencies. Friends have had their babies there. I have NO complaints about it, and like most health care in country Australia, I’ve always enjoyed excellent treatment. Where there is a need for very specialised procedures, you will be referred/transferred to Adelaide or Darwin by air.

      • Lisa says:

        Thanks Amanda.
        I’ll be in touch again hopefully when we are ready to make the move!
        House sitting sounds like a great idea initially.
        What suburbs would you recommend for renting if working at the uni?

  • Kiran says:

    Very Useful Information u have put up there, kind of gives more of relaxed no panic situation after reading the whole lot. Thanks Again

  • joyce says:

    Great info. Im coming up to study at the desert centre early next year, fly in and out.When i finish my studies im seriously thinking about working up there. I live in victoria.Hope to run into you.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Joyce,

      Let us know when you’ve arrived via our contact form (look for ‘Contact Us’ at the top of the page). Happy to catch up for coffee or a cider at Monte’s (the best local hangout).

      If you’re like us, you’ll fall in love with the Centre.

      Cheers,
      Amanda

  • Saroj says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I am from Colombo Sri Lanka, I have been Grant visa to Migrate to Australia under Skill Select as a sill migrant and I have been sponsored by NT state government. I am wondering where to settle, Darwin or Alice Springs? we are a young family with 2 kids son 5 years and Daughter 1 year old.

    I am in Sales, marketing and advertising. with over 8 years experience and with Australian Bachelor Degree. i am a professional skilled, talented in my profession. I could say I am a specialist in my subject.

    so I wish you could help or guide me to take a decision about this. there are many information about Darwin but not much about Alice..
    looking forward to hear from you. Thanks Mate.

    Saroj 🙂

  • Alex & Laura says:

    Hi Amanda,
    i wanted to thank you for all the great and valuable info about Alice Springs. We hit into your website after i was contacted for a job over there (i’m an engineer, and the local power company seems to be in need), and even if this is taking like forever to actually get the offer on the table, me and Laura have fell in love with the Northern Territory and decided to move there anyhow, even if the company doesn’t come ahead with that offer. It would be nice to have a beer or two (drinks on me obviously) and make some new friends.

    Ciao
    Alex&Laura

  • errol says:

    Amanda and Gary. thanks for the write up. Alice Springs takes a bad rap and it is good to see people loving life at AS.
    I have never been to AS but am planning to arrive there in May as I have been appointed to a job. I live at Brisbane with my wife and 3 kids. As the country is in recession, it becomes difficult to keep our jobs and those lefts have to put up with a lot of crap. I applied for AS and was successful.
    I have worked at Gove and have loved the place.
    Lack of facilities are a major deterrent.
    My needs currently are a house in the bush (say around 5 kms from the city), safe and comfortable but reasonably affordable. Initially I need to rent but will be keeping some animals so that my kids can have a ball of a time. Can you advise some options urgently.

    Cheers

    Errol

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Errol,

      Sorry for the delayed reply – we’ve been away on holiday ourselves. I would recommend that you investigate rental properties in the Ilparpa Road, Colonel Rose Dr, Ross Hwy/Ragonesi Road areas. These are where you’ll find acreages within a few km of the ‘city’ (lol… Alice is just a big country town). Try LJ Hookers, Framptons or Elders here in Alice Springs. Rentals ARE NOT CHEAP! in Alice and if you’re going to be here for any length of time (years) you may want to weigh up buying vs renting.

      Hope this helps,

      Amanda

  • VV says:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/destroyed-in-alice/story-fn59niix-1226008040782

    please click the above link and read through it….! is there anything true in it…!?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi VV,

      This is true for Aboriginal people who live in town camps. It is total hype, overkill and exaggeration for the rest of the town. It is NO more or less dangerous to live here than any other place in Australia.

      We would not have stayed here for so long, raised three children here and put up with life here if it were truly dangerous.

      Even more, both our daughters moved away to attend university and they -and most of their friends- have RETURNED to live and work here because the lifestyle here is just so good.

      Hope this helps dispel the myths.

  • Bernardo says:

    Hi Amanda and Gary

    Tahnk you very much for your information!Im about to send an expression of interest to live in NT and I would like to ask you for some update information about the living expenses (for example, food, utilities, rent), and accommodation costs to settle in the NT.

    Again, thank you very much and I look forward to your response,

    Saludos,

    Bernardo

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Bernado,

      I’ve updated and expanded the Living Costs sections for 2014, and added a few more local tips and tricks.

      The latest NT government has increased the cost of power and water by about 20% – the prices reflect this. I’ve also added how much we spend on average for our weekly groceries.

  • ANGELO says:

    Hi AMANDA,

    I am Angelo, from Madagascar. I plan to migrate to NT, Alice springs, under the occupation Environmental consultant (positive assessement). I shall come with my four Kids and my wife. Do you think a big family like could find anywhere to rent. Our move is planed by december if visa is issued on time.
    Thank you for you description of Alice Springs.
    Angelo

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Angelo,

      Yes, you should be able to find a house to rent for your family, however it sometimes takes time to find a suitable home and our rental prices here can be expensive ($500-$650 per week for a decent house). The most difficult times of year to find rental properties are during December and at the end of school terms here – as many people leave town or arrive in town when their children are on school holidays (we don’t use the American term ‘vacation’ here). Hope this helps, good luck and let’s hope to see you in Alice soon 🙂

      Amanda & Gary

  • Leanne says:

    Very useful and informative site. We’ve been here 2 months from southern Victoria due to my hubby starting a job here, and we think it a great place so far and I think we will continue to enjoy it so am looking for a house to buy, and I am looking forward to looking for and finding work myself. Thanks for all the great information you have shared, it’s very valuable for people like us who have never ‘left home before’ and are a long way from home. 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks so much for writing, Leanne. I’m really glad you found the post useful. It’s one of our most popular articles. Give us a hoi through the Facebook page if youd ever like to catch up for a coffee or a drink at Monte’s – Amanda

  • Rachael says:

    It was great to read such an honest article about Alice Springs. We are moving before Christmas due to my husband’s work, and I’m excited. What are the schools and daycare centres like in the area?

  • RAHUL says:

    Thanks a lot for this information. It shows the whole picture about living in Alice Springs.

  • Barbara says:

    Hi Amanda:

    Greetings!

    I’m working on a television documentary project about American families moving to foreign countries to homestead and live off-grid. Do you know of any families doing this in the Alice Springs area? Would an American family be able to buy land and build their own self-sufficient home, use solar power, grown and raise their own food there? If so, do you have any suggestions for how I might find the families, via a newspaper or organization of some kind? Are there areas in the Outback more conducive to leading this kind of lifestyle? Thanks! Barbara

  • Matt says:

    Hi Amanda. Great post. I found it very helpful. My partner and I are looking to move to Alice Springs from New Zealand in the new year and this article has me sold!

    I have a degree in anthropology and 3 years experience in IT so I hope to pick up a job in either field.

    Your tips on house sitting and links you provided were of great help.

    Matt

  • Matt says:

    Hi Amanda (Sorry if you get two of my posts)

    My partner and I are hoping to move to Alice Springs from New Zealand in the new year and have found this post very helpful. Especially the bits about house sitting/job watching.

    I have a degree in Anthropology and have been working in IT for the last few years so I’m hoping to pick up a job in one of those fields, though I’m not sure how easy that will be in such a remote location.

    Anyway… thanks again for your post, it was a great read. Alice Springs has such an attractive culture/lifestyle.

    Matt

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Matt,

      Glad you found the article useful. Try the Central Land Council and the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority for anthropology jobs. There are more anthropologists in Alice Springs per capita than any other place in Australia – apart from ANU in Canberra! If I see any anthro jobs, in the local paper, I’ll send you the details. Actually, I’ll write you email – I can give you a few more insider tips!

      Cheers,
      Amanda

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I really enjoyed reading your article. I came across it when I googled ‘living in Alice’. I had a telephone interview yesterday for Western Diagnostic Pathology and I have my fingers crossed that I get offered the position. I’ve visited Darwin in the past but never the Centre so I would love to have the opportunity to see it for myself. Now I’m going to delve into your website some more and check out your Facebook page. Thanks for your knowledge and wisdom. Melissa xx

    • Amanda says:

      Good luck, Mel. I saw your post on the FB page – let us know if you get the job and we’ll have a celebratory drink when you get here – Amanda

  • steven says:

    Hi Amanda.Thanks for the info..
    got a telephone interview for a job at Pine Gap..we are in Brisbane..Do businesses still battle to find staff in Alice?..
    My wife works in retail at a shoe shop selling shoes…so don’t think she would have a prob finding work???…

    There must still be work there if companies are willing to interview people in Brisbane for a job?

    Don’t you think businesses would rather employ locals first then bring someone from interstate??

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Steve,

      Whilst the employment situation is still very good here in Alice, there are only 4 pages of jobs in the paper most Fridays, instead of the 8-9 we had a few years back. Having said that, YES larger companies and government departments are still hiring interstate because they struggle to get people. I’m doing a contract for an NT Government agency at the moment, and they had 3 positions. One was filled from Adelaide, and the other two people were local BUT they got better offers, so now they agency is having to re-hire. So your wife should not have too much of a problem getting a job in retail, either. Just start asking! People will refer you to someone who’s looking for someone – cheers, Amanda

  • steven says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for the info Had a job interview for permanent work in the alice..it could lead to something
    we have found the employment situation has dropped of considerable Australia wide..even more so in capital cities( The QLD economy has taken a knock with heaps of coal mines laying of people to)…its a rat race chasing work and an efford to fight all the traffic,rush…rush rush..ect…every company says they are time poor…push you more and you have to compete with a million other people..

    so it could be an opportunity waiting to happen..?

    hows the accommodation situation??…in the city its also hard to find and rentals are upwards of $450 pluss !!!!!!!…we have come to the conclusion accommodation is not cheap anywere you go in Australia and capital cities are just as expensive as regional towns..

    whats a good heads up in alice for two people???…or were to look??…nothing flash
    we have even got our caravan…could stay in that until we find something in Alice?

  • KHADY says:

    Hello Amanda,
    I just arrived from France with a one year working visa and i hesitated to come to Alice springs now. I’m expected to come in march. I’m actually in Perth and it’s noisy and crowded.
    Do you think that during summer time they still hire “a lot” in Alice springs? I use to work as an accountant and Human ressources consultant and for this year I don’t have a special request for the post (waiter, sale assistant, housekeeping). I just want to be paid reasonably and find a job quickly.
    Best regardds,
    Khady

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Khady,

      Over the Christmas-January period here in Alice Springs, it’s usually very quiet. People go away on holidays and many places -even government departments, close down, so there won’t be many jobs advertised. From February onwards, things start getting busy again. There aren’t that may jobs advertised from Christmas through to mid-January, most years here. So, arriving in March isn’t a bad thing – it also means that you’ll avoid our VERY hot summer.

      The kind of work you have done in the past is the kind of work that’s not difficult to find here (HR, finance), so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding work. Good luck and let us know if you need anymore information,

      Cheers, Amanda

  • KHADY says:

    … So let’s avoid the VERY hot summer time and quiet working period!!!
    Thank you very much for these informations. They are really helpful. It confirms my decision to come to Alice Springs.

  • Sonz says:

    Hi Amanda
    Thanks for the honest informative info. I am moving to Alice at the end of Jan to start work in Feb Accommodation is my biggest concern at the moment – I will follow up your tips on house sitting – I’m assuming I might have missed the boat with that as people will be returning from hols at that time? – any other words is wisdom will be welcome.
    I have lived in Darwin and found rent expensive – your post has reminded me of why I applied for a job in Alice and I’m looking forward to the adventure.

  • Bamidele Abiola says:

    Hello Amanda,

    I found your write up very helpful. I have been desiring to relocate to Alice Springs in Northern Territory, Australia. I am wondering if I could get good job offers for myself and my wife. Also, good schools for my 2 little kids (8years, 6 years).I am seeking for Northern Terriory State normination. I have submitted an application on the DIBP skill select. I am an Urban and Regional Planner with over 10 years experience. My norminated occupation (Urban and Regional Planner) has been assessed positively by Vetassess. I have also have a competent English language result in my IELTS test with an overall average of 6.5. Apart from my first university degree in Urban and Regional Planning which I finished as one of the first three in my class, I also have a university masters degree in Public Administration with a distinction grade (best in class). I am a hard worker. I even got awards.
    My wife is a trained teacher with first and second university degrees. What are our chances in Alice Springs? How can I facilitate my chance of getting a job offer in Alice Spring to enhance my state normination, even though I am applying from outside Australia?

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Bamidele,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m really sorry – I can’t help you with that advice – I simply don’t have the knowledge to assist people applying for jobs from outside of Australia. It’s definitely not my area of expertise, and my article is aimed at Australian residents wondering what life here is really like. You might be better off contacting the Multicultural Community Services organisation here in Alice Springs. This is their website: http://www.mcsca.org.au/

      Good luck – there is a big African community here and my son has many close African friends. IF you can get here with all the visas and other immigration hurdles, then I’d recommend trying a year in Alice Springs to see what you think.

      Cheers,

      Amanda

  • Khady says:

    Hey…
    I just arrived in AS… I hope to find a job ASAP!!! Thank you for your advises in my last comments…
    Hope to see you soon 🙂

  • I have read a lot of interesting information for this town. I am considering moving to Australia. Still don`t choose where exactly. Alice springs actually doesn`t sound so bad. It worth considering. Thank you for sharing your post. Greetings!

  • Tanya says:

    Hi Amanda, thank you for sharing your local knowledge of Alice Springs! I noticed you said you were involved in interpreting for Aboriginal people, does this mean you know about the need for Auslan interpreters in the area? If so I would love to have a private chat with you on email if you have the time

  • Pedro says:

    HI Amanda, Thanks a lot for your good report about AS. We are a Portuguese family (myself, my wife and 2 kids) who are thinking to emigrate into Australia in the end of next year. Alice springs is one of my potential choices that I would love too. I’m an economist and a math teacher, my wife is a Marketing specialist. Do you think it’s hard to find a job there for someone with our skills background? Please could you tell me an average salary (pessimist overview) that a firm could offer in AS on this area? What sites do you recommend to start my search for a potential job? Thanks a lot for your kind support on that matter. Regards! Pedro

  • sitinder bahia says:

    hi Amanda,
    great info. I will be moving to Alice at end of jan 2016 to take up a teaching position after 22 years of living and working in Sydney. I wanted to find out more about Aboriginal life and get beyound the tokenism and superficial acknowledgement of the communities we currently have in our city schools. i think my biggest fear is the heat, snakes and flies, but I’m very excited about coming.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Sitinder,

      You’ll definitely find out a LOT about Aboriginal life as a teacher! One of our daughters is a teacher here in Alice – and I can tell you that most of what people in cities tell you or think they know about Aboriginal people is just so laughably wrong, it’s insulting. I’m sure after three months as a teacher, you’ll have a much better picture and acquaintance with Aboriginal culture and life in Central Australia. Out of the ‘fears’ you have, the only one you really have to worry about is the heat. Snakes… you will be LUCKY to see one unless you go looking. Flies aren’t really bad in town – once you get out of the suburbs though (even in the Telegraph Station) you’ll find a though. Often the amount of flies we have in summer depends on what kind of a winter we’ve had. If we don’t get many frosts and we have rain in winter, then there’s alway more flies. If we get a freezing cold winter, the flies aren’t so bad in summer. This year, we’ve a fairly bad fly season as we had a warmer, wet winter.

      Hopefully, you’ll enjoy Alice and make many new friends!

      Cheers,

      Amanda

  • Chris Kadira says:

    Hi Amanda
    Thanks for that great infor. I have had a phone interview with NPY Women’s Council and they have invited to visit AS. I hope they will offer me the job after the visit and tour. If they do not offer me the job, how easy is it to get an IT job in AS?

    Thanks

  • Liz says:

    Thanks for this informative piece. My family and I will be making the great move to Alice Springs.

    Can you pls advise on the best areas to live? Somewhere family-friendly and safe.

    Also, when you are renting, does the landlord pay the rates (excluding electricity) or does the tenant pay for it all?

    Thank you.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Liz,

      The “BEST” areas to live anywhere is a highly subjective question. For example, to me the best area to live is one where it’s quiet and dark at night, no streetlights, bush all around me and I can’t see my neighbours. However, other people would be freaked out daring to live somewhere where there’s no streetlights.

      There are streets in Alice that I would avoid: Bloomfield Street, Gap Road, Elliot Street, Poeppell Gardens, parts of the suburb (but certainly not all) of Larapinta and the same with the suburb of Sadadeen. If you’re looking for a 100% bland suburb with an almost ‘gated’ community feel, then try the Golf Course – this is as close to ‘gentrified’ we have here, but you WILL pay top dollar. If you’re looking for trendy, cosmopolitan, bohemian then try Old Eastside. If you’re looking for social justice and lots of families with little kids try the Old Racecourse area in Northside (we’ve lived here for over a decade). The rest of Alice Springs is pretty normal Aussie suburban with our unique outback twist.

      When you’re renting in Australia, the landlord pays the council, water and sewage rates and for the building insurance. You pay for electricity, telephone, broadband etc.

      Good luck and hope this helps,

      Amanda

      • Liz says:

        Thanks for the info! How about Araluen and Gillen? Are they any good for a young family with young kids?

        • Amanda says:

          Araluen is fine; Gillen you need to pick your street carefully, just as you would in Sadadeen. I’ve lived in Northside (Braitling) with my kids growing up from littlies to adults. I love it because of the bush surroundings and proximity to schools, shops, the walking trails and coffee at the Telegraph Station. Both Araluen and Gillen are far too suburban and closed in for my liking… but if you’re a city dweller, you’ll love them.

  • Susan says:

    Hi! You mentioned earlier about choosing streets carefully in Gillen. Do you know anything about Forrest Crescent in Gillen?

    Also, for the suburb of Araluen, I guess living in accommodation on Larapinta Drive in Araluen is fine…

    Thanks so much for your help.

    • Amanda says:

      Poeppell Gardens in Gillen is the place to avoid. Anywhere in Araluen is ok. Personally, I prefer Northside… less streets to avoid (Elliott is the only NO-NO), it’s close to the ‘bush’ and Telegraph Station, prices are reasonable, there’s a shopping centre with a bottlo and chemist, and a short walk to work.

  • Shaun says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks so much for the article, it was a really great read!

    Just quickly wondering what the job market is like in Alice for public relations and communications professionals.

    Not sure if it is something that is on your radar at all, but if you do have any insights, I’d be very keen to hear them.

    I’m most interested in PR / Comms work for non-profit or advocacy organisations (what I do now), and wondered if there are many of these organisations are in Alice, or if they are mostly centered around the government in Darwin.

    Working for government would also be a good outcome.

    Thanks for your help, and thanks again for the article.

    • Amanda says:

      Alice Springs is FULL of Aboriginal and other NGOs, just like it has more PhDs per capita than any other country town! I would start with the Central Land Council or Waltja and see if there’s any jobs going at either. I really can’t give specific job advice, as I’m an archaeologist/anthropologist!

  • Dave says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Could you recommend primary and secondary schooling?

    Regards,

    Dave

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Dave,

      We do not make schooling recommendations as people have very different expectations.

      My advice is to join the Alice Springs Community Forum on Facebook and ask there. Sorry, but what I think is good schooling, others may disagree with.

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