Alice Springs Northern Territory is the second largest town (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a city) in the Northern Territory of 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 traditional inhabitants, the Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for more than 50,000 years. Alice Springs has a population of 27,481 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 and Darwin.
There are six suburbs altogether in Alice Springs which are close to the Alice Springs town centre. Alice Springs is mostly residential.
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 by up to 28 Â°C (82 Â°F) and rainfall can vary quite dramatically from year to year. In summer, the average maximum temperature is 36.6 Â°C (97.9 Â°F), whereas in winter the average minimum temperature can be 7.5 Â°C (45.5 Â°F).
The region around Alice Springs is part of the Central Ranges xeric scrub area of dry scrubby grassland and includes the MacDonnell Ranges which run east and west of the city and contain a number of hiking trails and swimming holes such as Ormiston Gorge, Ormiston Gorge Creek, Red Bank Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge. The 223-kilometre (139 mi) long Larapinta Trail follows the West MacDonnell Ranges and is considered among the world's great walking experiences.
The Simpson Desert, south-east of Alice Springs is one of Australia's great wilderness areas containing giant red sand dunes and interesting rock formations such as Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley.