Alice Springs owes its origins to the ‘very ambitious’ telegraph line
that was erected in the 1860’s. Alice Springs was the halfway point of
the project and was also the largest repeater junction. The Telegraph
had to be manned, and from this small beginning the town was born.
The settlement 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.
The site is known as Mparntwe to its original inhabitants, the
Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and
around what is now Alice Springs for thousands of years.
Alice Springs has grown very rapidly in recent times and there is very
little of the old “Alice’ that has survived; that said the growth for
the most part is tasteful and welcoming. The Alice is also a town that
experiences the climatic extremes, and can be both a cold and
certainly very hot place.
A European settlement was started ten years later with 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.
When visiting The Alice, a visit to Simpson’s Gap
and Standley Chasm
is a must.
There also a number of memorials to the early pioneer are of the
The Alice Springs War Memorial is located high on a hill that
overlooks the town.
There are a number of museums in The Alice. The Aboriginal and Arts is
a must. There is no compunction to buy, but you will have the urge.
The Gann Rail Museum is also a must visit.
All of the churches are fifties and sixties buildings.
The United Church
though has significance. The Catholic
is a nice modern representation.
There are none of the ‘original’ pubs,
but the Todd Hotel has lots of character.
The traveller has completed a long road journey to get to Alice
Springs, now have a few days break and enjoy the place.