Alice Springs is the third largest town in the Northern Territory, Australia. Popularly known as "the Alice" or simply "Alice", Alice Springs is situated in the geographic centre of Australia near the southern border of the Northern Territory. 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" in the English language was named by surveyor W. W. Mills after Lady Alice Todd (née Alice Gillam Bell), wife of Sir Charles Todd. Alice Springs has a population of 25,186 people, which makes up 12 percent of the territory's population. Alice averages 576 metres (1,890 ft) above sea level; the town is nearly equidistant from Adelaide, South Australia and Darwin.
The town of Alice Springs straddles the usually dry Todd River on the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges. The region where Alice Springs is located is known as Central Australia, or the Red Centre, and is an arid environment consisting of several different deserts. In Alice Springs, temperatures can vary dramatically with an average maximum temperature in summer of 35.6 °C (96.1 °F), and an average minimum temperature in winter of 5.1 °C (41.2 °F). Alice Springs is also the only significant town in Australia named after an Australian woman.
Recreation and Culture:
Alice Springs has been referred to as the lesbian capital of Australia. Analysis of same gender dual occupancy and household ownership figures from the Australian Census appears to substantiate the claim. The large population is attributable to the Pine Gap Women's Peace Protest of 1983 which created a critical population mass and continually self-sustaining lesbian community.
Events and Festivals:
The town's focal point, the Todd Mall, hosts a number of Aboriginal art galleries and community events. Alice Springs’ desert lifestyle has inspired several unique events, such as the Alice Desert Festival Camel Cup, the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, Beanie Festival and the Finke Desert Race. The Finke Desert Race is some 400 kilometres (250 mi) south of Alice Springs in the Simpson Desert.
Arts and Entertainment:
Alice Springs is renowned as the Aboriginal Art capital of Central Australia, home to many local and Aboriginal art galleries. Indigenous Australian art is the more dominant, and galleries showcase the rich culture and native traditions that abound in Central Australia. Trade in Aboriginal art soared after the painting movement began at Papunya, a Central Australian Aboriginal settlement, and swept other indigenous communities. Central Australia is the home of some of the most prominent names in Aboriginal art, including Emily Kngwarreye, Minnie Pwerle, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Albert Namatjira and Wenten Rubuntja. The Museum of Central Australia / Stehlow Research Centre feature some of the most important natural history and archival materials tied to the history and culture of the region. The Strehlow Archives also contain materials linked to the Arendte people of Central Australia. The Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment presents World-class ballets and orchestras, as well as local performances. The National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame is also located in the town.
Locals also enjoy meeting up in Konjo Park for BBQ's every Sunday at 11am. This is an excellent time to meet and greet the locals who can quite often undertake games of Football and Frisbee. The annual Desert Mob Art Show sees art collectors and art lovers from all over the world travel to Alice Springs to see works from Aboriginal art centres in Central Australia, with works by artists from remote areas of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. This show is in conjunction with the Artist Association Desart and usually runs in September of each year at the Araluen Art Centre.