Alice Springs Region
About Alice Springs
The area is known as Mparntwe to its original inhabitants, the Arrernte people, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for tens of thousands of years.
26,823 (Census data 2016)
17.6% Indigenous Australians (census 2016)
23.6980° S, 133.8807° E
1,499kms south of Darwin
1,532kms north of Adelaide
Indigenous Languages spoken:
Main indigenous language is Arrernte (Central, Eastern & Western Arrernte) Walpiri, Luritja/Pintubi & Anmatyerr are also commonly spoken languages
Summer (December – February)
In summer average temperatures range from 20-35°C (60-95°F), and can soar to around 40°C (104°F). January is the wettest month with around 40mm (1.5″) of rainfall, however the climate is considered dry and arid for most of the year.
Autumn (March – May)
Autumn is one of the best times to visit Alice Springs, with warm days and cool nights. Average temperatures range from 12-27°C (53.6-80.6°F).
Winter (June – August)
During winter, average temperatures fall between 4.8-20°C (40.6-68°F), with July being the coolest month. Night time temperatures can drop below 0°C (32°F) and thick frost on the ground can resemble a carpet of snow.
Spring (September – November)
In spring the weather begins to warm up with average temperatures between 13.8-30.6°C (56.8-87°F). It can bring spectacular thunderstorms and cool evenings.
Local Government – Alice Springs Town Council
Town Camps – Tangentyere Council
Central Land Council – see info below
Federal electorate – Lingiari
If you are travelling to Alice Springs you do not need a permit. If you are traveling around the Central Desert region, or onto an Indigenous community, you MUST apply for a permit through the Central Land Council.
Central Land Council – T 08 8959 4343 www.clc.org.au
Aboriginal Health Controlled Organisations
NT Government Services
Alice Springs Hospital – Gap Road
A 186-bed acute care hospital provides acute care needs for the whole of the Central Australia Region, serving up to 60,000 people including visitors to the region.
Hosts an emergency room (paediatric and general), maternity ward with three birthing suites, continuing care ward, paediatric ward and a 26 chair satellite dialysis unit. A number of specialist services are provided on a visiting basis. The range of clinical work is unique, with a strong focus on Indigenous Health and infectious diseases.
X-ray, MRI and ultrasound facilities.
T (08) 8951 7777 F (08) 8951 7844
Services available within Alice Springs Hospital:
- Immunisation clinics
- Continence care
- Visiting specialists
- Aged care assessment
- Internal medicine
- Drug and Alcohol services
- Thoracic medicine
- Health promotion and prevention
- Palliative care services
- Women’s health
- General surgery
- Men’s health
- Public Health
Health Programs in the Alice Springs region
Mental health Early Intervention Services
School Counsellors – all Public Schools within the NT have allocated Counsellors to each school including Primary, Middle and Secondary Schools. Contact school directly for referral
Mental Illness Fellowship NT – they have a number of programs including MiTrack for young people and also carer support groups 08 8953 1467
EASA (Employers Assisted Program) – provides free counselling and psychological support to a number of organisations employees eg Government employees etc. You will need to contact them to ascertain if your employer is part of this program 08 8953 4225
GP Clinics – Your GP can often facilitate an appropriate referral to the suitable organisation, often through completing a Mental Health Care Plan which will help to fund a number of counselling sessions free at certain services Book an appointment with GP
Child and Family Health Nurses at Flynn Drive Community Health Centre – for those with children who access this service you can also request support to be referred on to a service to support your emotional wellbeing 08 8951 6711
Child Development Team at Flynn Drive Community Centre – for children who need to access OTs, Speech Therapy, Physio 08 8951 6711
Social and Emotional Wellbeing Team at CAAC (Congress) – they provide case management and support programmes for Aboriginal people living in Alice Springs 08 8959 4750
Lifeline Central Australia – Provides community education and training with a focus on the area of suicide awareness and prevention. 08 8953 1250 www.lifeline.org.au/central-australia/training-services
Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) Primary Mental Health Clinicians
RFDS Mental Health clinicians provide culturally appropriate in-field treatment of mild to moderate diagnosable mental illness to outback communities where there is little or no other clinical mental health service
ITEC Health and Safe Pathways – Gregory Tce
ITEC Health provide age, gender and culturally specific and appropriate support services to people with a disability and older people. These services include Disability Support Services, Aged Care Nursing, In-Home Support, Respite Care, Residential Care, and Community Access and Social Inclusion. ITEC also provide staffing solutions for a wide variety of health facilities of Registered and Enrolled Nurses, and Nursing Assistants through respite services and brokered agreements. T 08 8950 9650 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Specialist Mental Health Services in Alice Springs:
Child & Youth Mental Health Services 08 8951 5950 Referrals accepted by self, family or services for those up to 18 years or those still in school
Perinatal Mental Health Service – Referrals accepted from Primary health including GP’s, Midwives or Flynn Drive for pregnant women or those up to 12 months post-delivery
Community Mental Health Services 08 8951 7711 Referrals accepted internally through MH Services such as C&Y, CATT or Perinatal
Crisis and Assessment Triage Team (CATT) 08 8951 7777 (For Mental Health Emergencies go straight to ED)
Mental Health Association of Central Australia (MHACA) 08 8950 4600
Headspace Alice Springs 08 8958 4544Free GP and counselling Services for anyone 12-25 years old
For referral form go to: https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/alice-springs/
Clinic 34 08 8951 7549 A specialist sexual health service that provides testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), HIV and AIDS throughout the NT
Alcohol and Other Drugs Services:
Alcohol and Drug Services of Central Australia CAHS 08 8951 7580 Based at the hospital and can provide assessment, detox and treatment options
Drug and Alcohol Services (Residential Treatment options) 08 8952 8412
Bush Mob 08 89533798 Residential treatment program in Alice Springs for those 12-25years of age
Social and Emotional Wellbeing at Congress 08 89594750
Staying overnight and Local Attractions
Alice Springs Desert Park
You can visit the Alice Springs Desert Park for an introduction to Australia’s outback and life in Central Australia. The Desert Park shows ancient cultural stories and the science behind the region’s landscapes and geology.
Stories of the desert are shared through displays, daily guided activities and cultural presentations. When you walk through the park you will pass through three diverse desert habitats including sand country, desert rivers and woodland. Each area has native plants and wildlife.
Alice Springs Desert Park includes a café, the Desert Park is the gateway to the West MacDonnell Ranges.
Telegraph Station – The Old Bungalow
Established in 1871 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide and also linking with an underwater cable network to London. Consequently creating the first real communication between Australia and England.
Since its closure in 1930’s the original station has been; an education centre for part aboriginal children (1932-42) known as the Bungalow; a wartime army base during World War 2 (1942-1945); and an aboriginal reserve (1945-1963).
The bungalow holds much historical significance for the aboriginal families of Central Australia, a place of sadness, trauma and abuse. This is where the children of the stolen generation were taken to and raised under horrible conditions.
Wider region – Emily, Jessie, Native Gap plus many other national parks & locations
Things to do & see
Wide Open Space Festival – May
WOS is a unique music, art and desert culture festival in Central Australia in the NT
Finke Desert Race – Queens Birthday long weekend
The Tatts Finke Desert Race is an off road, multi terrain two-day race for bikes, cars, buggies and quads through desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) community. “Finke” as it is commonly known, is one of the biggest annual sporting events in the Northern Territory
Beanie Festival – June/July
The Alice Springs Beanie Festival is a community- based event that began in 1997. The festival was organised to sell beanies crocheted by Aboriginal women in remote communities. It has grown into a fun event where Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal artists share their culture and exhibit together.
Alice Springs Regional Show – July
Alice Springs largest community event. The Show is jam packed full of Blue Ribbon Competitions, Displays, Entertainment, Nightly Arena Entertainment, Farmyard where the kids can get up close and personal with the animals, thrill seeker rides, showbags and much more.
Apex Camel Cup – July
The Camel Cup is an annual camel racing festival held in Alice Springs
Henley-on-Todd Regatta – August
The Henley-on-Todd Regatta (also called the Todd River Race) is a “boat” race held annually in the typically dry sandy bed of the Todd River in Alice Springs
Parrtjima – A Festival in Light – Sept/Oct
Alice Springs Masters Games – October every second year
The Alice Springs Masters Games is renowned as Central Australia’s jewel in crown sporting event, affectionately known as “The Friendly Games” is a biannual Masters sports event featuring over 30 sports.
NTGPE acknowledge and thank NT Primary Health Network (NTPHN) ntphn.org.au for providing the content for this community profile.