Shopping in Alice Springs needn’t break the bank!
We know that shopping in Alice Springs can be expensive.
We’ve written this page to help you save money shopping in Alice Springs. You’ll also find tourist information about shopping hours and locations here.
With the exception of boats (!), you can buy just about everything in Alice Springs that you can buy elsewhere in Australia.
If you forget your favourite brand of shampoo, a pair of shorts, or need a pedicure we promise you’ll be able to get it in Alice Springs.
Alice Springs has LOTS of shops
Shopping in Alice Springs is easy because most shops are located in the town’s Central Business District (CBD): the Yeperenye Shopping Centre, Alice Plaza and Todd Mall.
The best thing about shopping in Alice Springs is that everything is within easy walking distance – you won’t get lost shopping in town!
The main tourist, souvenir and Aboriginal art shops are located in Todd Mall, which is the official main street of Alice Springs. There’s also some great cafes and restaurants in Todd Mall.
Walk to the middle of Todd Mall (near the sails), and you’ll find the Tourist Information Centre.
To us locals, however, Todd Mall is mainly for tourists and eating out. If you want to get the ‘real’ feel of shopping in Alice Springs, you need to leave very touristy, expensive Todd Mall.
Alice Springs has two shopping malls in the CBD: Yeperenye Shopping Centre and Alice Plaza. There are also a number of arcades and smaller malls: Coles Complex, Leichtodd Plaza and Reg Harris Lane.
Retail hours are generally:
Monday -Friday: 9am-5:30pm
Sunday: Large chain stores open around 10am-3pm
Shops in Todd Mall are open longer hours: 9am-4pm Most smaller retail outlets (apart from Todd Mall) are closed on Sundays.
Alice Springs has two large supermarkets that are open extended hours (from around 6am-10pm every day):
- Woolworths (called ‘Woollies’) Supermarket in the Yeperenye Shopping Centre (between Bath and Hartley Streets)
- Coles Supermarket in the Coles Complex (between Bath Street and Railway Tce)
Generally, these two supermarkets are the cheapest places to buy grocery items except for meat, fresh fruit and vegetables. Coles and Woollies stock everything that you can buy in supermarket in capital cities.
So if you decide you want ingredients to make sushi, gado-gado or need Oreos, you’ll be able to buy them in Coles and Woollies.
The busiest times in the supermarkets are around 4:00pm-6:00pm weekdays, and Saturday mornings. I hate grocery shopping at the best of times and AVOID shopping at these times. The big supermarkets are especially busy right before long weekends. Go early in the morning – around 7 am!
During peak tourist season (June-August) and around the Finke Desert Race (beginning of June) or long weekends in winter, Coles and Woollies often run out of some things. Fresh fruit and vegetables, especially.
This isn’t a disaster! Alice Springs has lots of smaller, suburban supermarkets as well. These are open from around 8am-8pm most days.
Foodland supermarkets often have better quality fruit and vegetables than the larger supermarkets. Foodland Supermarkets also seem to have the best and cheapest meats:
- Eastside Foodland (great for fresh vegetables)
- Northside Foodland (cheapest, high quality meat and great for fresh vegetables)
- Flynn Drive Foodland
- IGA Millner Road (next door to Millner Meats – a legendary local butcher)
- IGA Larapinta
- Piggly’s (IGA Gap Road)
Local TIP: There is an AWESOME fresh fruit and veggie market at the Diarama Village (on Larapinta Drive, about 3km west of the CBD) on Thursday evenings.
Organic food (at a price!!) is available at Afghan Traders in Smith Street (corner of Hele and Smith).
Clothes, Hair, Camping Gear
You’ll find many major Australian retailers like Just Jeans, Priceline, Sussan, Millers, Payless Shoes, and Jay Jays in Alice Springs. There’s also Kmart and Target.
If you’re looking for hairdressers, a quick walk around will reveal that Alice Springs has LOTS of hairdressers. The cheapest, no-appointment necessary haircuts are available at:
- Express Cuts – located in the Coles Complex
- Supercuts – located near the sails in Todd Mall, just past the ANZ Bank
- Hair at the Memo. This is the cheapest, best and where we go! Take cash. It’s conveniently located for backpackers, in Todd Street (also called Gap Road), at the Memo Club
We love camping equipment! We walk into a camping store and can’t help ourselves – we just find some gadget that we know we’ll need. Like an espresso maker for bush trips. Or a Legionnaire’s cap in camouflage colours.
Thankfully, Alice Springs has some great camping and outdoor shops.
At the southern end of Todd Mall, you’ll find Lone Dingo, which is our main outdoor shop. If you’re after hiking gear, maps, high quality sleeping bags and backpacks, then you’ll love this store.
Lone Dingo is a little more expensive than the same kinds of shops in capital cities, however, they have the best and friendliest customer service in town. Even better, the owners of the store and all the people who work here are keen hikers and campers.
Desert Dwellers is located on the corner of Elder Street & Milner Road (in the industrial area). This is THE place to go if you’re looking for absolutely everything you could ever need to go camping: stoves, tables, chairs, tents, coolboxes, fridges, tarpaulins etc. The service is friendly and helpful.
It’s also the place to buy the famous outback fly repellant creme.
Their motto is :If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!. We totally agree!
Centre Swags located at 9 Smith Street, Alice Springs is the best, cheapest and only place we go to buy swags and mosquito domes. They make swags onsite, so you’ll save $$ if you buy them here.
Great, informative blog!
I’ll soon be in the red center for two weeks and am wondering if I need to look up where grocery stores and water sources are along the way, as we’ll be car camping. Since its so sparsely populated, I assume it won’t be easy to find provisions and water everywhere there?
Thanks so much for your comments. When you say ‘along the way’- could you tell me exactly where you mean, so that I can help you with the correct information. For example, if you mean when you are driving up the Stuart Hwy, then yes, there are roadhouses which have supplies, approximately every 150km. In Alice Springs, as we’ve said, there are LOTS of supermarkets and shops. Alice is effectively a small regional ‘city’, and even has named suburbs, and thus, local neigbourhood supermarkets.
Of course if you mean somewhere else, then I’ll need to know where, so I can give you the best information.
Can you tell me where I can get the white cream that acts as a fly repellent, where two of the ingredients are rosemary and cedar oil.
Desert Dwellers camping shop.
Very informative! We’ll be there soon and need some camping items before we hit the Tanami Track. Now I know just where to go! Thank you for this resource.
Love your website. Thanks for taking the time to put down such detailed, local information.
May I ask, is this information still current? As Bettina above began to ask, do you have information about water availability on the way to Alice? We will be travelling in September from Yunta to Arkaroola, then along Oodnadatta track from Copley via Marree, Coward Springs, William Creek onto Oodnadatta (side trip to Dalhousie Springs), then onto Uluru/Olga’s via Marla. From Uluru we’ll be going to Alice via Fink Gorge and West Macdonnell NP.
We’re pretty self sufficient but I’m just trying to figure out how much additional space (ie. What to leave behind ) I’ll need for extra water and how many fresh ingredients I may be able to find along the way to supplement our supplies. I realise this changes from week to week, but any info would be appreciated.
I got caught out last year travelling in the vic high country. I rang ahead to an IGA and they said they stocked a great range. Turned out they meant they stocked a great, extensive range of chips, confectionery and soft drinks and were very light on fruit, veg, meat, dairy and frozen items. My kids were thrilled!
Again, many thanks. Great site.
We live in Alice Springs and ALL this information is current. Alice Springs is a big, major, town. Think Goulburn in NSW or Renmark or Bendigo.
You can get water in all of the places you’ve mentioned along the Oodnadatta Track, there are roadhouses every 150 or so kilometres up the Stuart and Lasseter Highways, and as long as you fill up at Kings Canyon, you’ll be able to get water again at Finke Gorge (not Fink – that’s the outlaw motorcycle gang!) Gorge campground.
Fresh ingredients will be available at the supermarket in Yulara (the IGA at Uluru – Yulara is the name of the little town there). Limited fresh fruit, meat and veggies are available at the Marree Roadhouse (say hi to Lyall!) and at the Pink Roadhouse and the little supermarket in Oodnadatta, and some again at Marla Roadhouse. After that, you’ll be able to restock in Alice Springs at Woollies or Coles (they are proper, big supermarkets).
Hope your trip goes to plan, and let us know if you need anymore help,
Is there a big w or jb hifi