Origins of Alice Springs

Origins of Alice Springs

Alice Springs is the first city this gap year that’s actually smaller than we expected. In fact the population is decreasing. It’s usefulness to communications, travel and tourism all declining over the decades.

It owes its existence in the first place to communications, more specifically one of the 12 telegraph stations built out in the bush on the Adelaide to Darwin overland telegraph, a major engineering achievement of the 19th century.

When the telegraph line opened in 1872, linking Australia to the worldwide network, the country’s isolation from the modern world effectively ended. Prior to this, news and letters from Europe took at least two months to reach Australia.

Very quickly the route of the overland telegraph, signposted by its 36,000 poles, became a path for travellers to Australia’s new frontiers. Miners and pastoralists soon arrived and towns like Alice Springs were established around the telegraph stations.


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