Saturday, 15 September 2018

Day 11 – Alice Springs

As part of the planning I selected the camping ground at the Gap Hotel in Alice Springs.  There were two reasons for selecting it; price and it’s location on the northern side of The Gap.  There are other camping grounds outside The Gap however from these it would mean having to drive to see Alice.  Being inside The Gap does have one major disadvantage; crime!

Unfortunately Alice has a large transient aboriginal population who have been kick-out of their rural communities for being trouble-makers.  They then gravitate to Alice Springs where many of them continue to cause problems.  This becomes readily apparent when you enter Alice and immediately notice many of the homes and business have high fences topped with razor wire.  With nothing to do, they collect their social welfare payments and spend it on alcohol which they consume in public places or; more often; in the dry Todd riverbed.  They probably form the majority of the drowning when the river is in flood.

Burglary is a major problem and a couple of German tourists in a campervan were robbed of $400 one night in the camping ground where we were staying.  The thieves were quite brazen using a torch to search through caravans and tents.  They only look for cash because no local is going to buy a stolen laptop or camera from them.

At 4pm every day all bulk alcohol outlets in Alice (supermarkets, bottle stores, hotels, etc) have a policeman on duty outside to ensure no cask alcohol (mostly wine or cider) is sold until after 6pm.  Moreover many of the outlets have signs stating “No footwear – No service!”  The majority of the itinerate aborigines don’t have footwear.


Sign outside one business

Aborigines receive free medical and dental care.  This sign was on the wall of the dental centre.


Regrettably Alice tends to display the worst of aboriginal culture.


The old courthouse with the large glass clad modern courthouse in the background


Another historical building

We walked up to the old telegraph station and springs (which were dry)




and the Telegraph Station


No comments :