RDA Northern TerritoryCommunity profile

We’re continuing to update these pages with data from the 2016 Census. Read more about our updates.

Skip to content

Alice Springs Town Council LGA

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Alice Springs Town Council LGA is 26,823, with a population density of 0.82 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

The Alice Springs Town Council area is located in the southern section of the Northern Territory, about 1,500 kilometres south of the Darwin CBD. The Alice Springs Town Council area is surrounded entirely by the MacDonnell Regional Council area.

Name origin

Alice Springs Town Council is named after Alice Springs, which was named after Alice Todd, wife of the Superintendent of Telegraphs in 1872, Sir Charles Todd. It was originally known as Stuart.

Settlement history

Traditionally, indigenous people lived in the area, and some continue to do so, mainly in small communities. European settlement dates from 1872 when a telegraph station for the Overland Telegraph Line was built, although the area was first explored in 1862. Population was minimal, with land used mainly for grazing. The township of Alice Springs was surveyed in 1888. Gradual growth took place from the late 1880s through to the early 1900s, aided by the exploration and mining of minerals (garnet, gold and mica). More substantial growth occurred from the 1930s, following the construction of the railway line from Adelaide. During WWII Alice Springs was a military camp, with up to 8,000 soldiers stationed in the town. The most significant development occurred from the 1960s, aided by growth in the tourism and defence industries. The population doubled in the 1960s, rising from under 5,000 in 1961 to about 11,000 in 1971. Rapid growth continued during the 1970s and 1980s, with the population increasing to over 25,000 in 1991. The population increased slightly during the 1990s, rising to nearly 27,000 in 2001. The population then declined slightly, falling to under 26,000 in 2006, and then rose again to about 27,000 in 2011.

Land use

The Alice Springs Town Council area includes the township of Alice Springs (residential, commercial and industrial land use), surrounding rural areas and several small indigenous communities. Rural land is used mainly for pastoral purposes. Tourism is also an important industry. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 330 square kilometres.


The Alice Springs Town Council area is served by the Stuart Highway, the Ross Highway, The Ghan train and Alice Springs Airport.

Major features

Major features of the Council area include part of Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park, Alice Springs Desert Park, Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, Yeperenye/Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature Park, Kuyunba Conservation Reserve, Ilparpa Swamp Wildlife Protected Area, Royal Flying Doctor Service Alice Springs Tourist Facility, Alice Springs School of the Air, Alice Springs Reptile Centre, Lasseters Hotel Casino and Convention Centre, Araluen Cultural Precinct (including Araluen Arts Centre, Museum of Central Australia and Central Australian Aviation Museum), Old Stuart Town Gaol, Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre, National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, National Road Transport Hall of Fame, Sounds of Starlight Theatre, Pyndan Camel Tracks, Totem Theatre, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Anzac Hill, Alice Springs Town Centre (including Alice Plaza, Yeperenye Shopping Centre and Todd Mall Markets), Alice Springs Hospital, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (Central Australian Campus), Charles Darwin University (Alice Springs Campus), Alice Springs Golf Club, Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Arunga Park Speedway and Blatherskite Park.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Alice Springs Town Council area were the Arrernte Aboriginal people.

Included areas

The Alice Springs Town Council area includes the suburbs and localities of Alice Springs, Araluen, Arumbera, Braitling, Ciccone, Connellan, Desert Springs, East Side, Flynn, Gillen, Ilparpa, Irlpme, Kilgariff, Larapinta, Mount Johns, Ross, Sadadeen, Stuart, The Gap, Undoolya and White Gums.