Alice Springs Danger and Warnings
Personal Security and Safety in Alice Springs Northern Territory
Alice Springs is a popular tourist destination situated in the heart of Australia. While it can be a safe and enjoyable place to visit, it is important to be aware of potential dangers and take precautions to ensure personal safety. Like any other place "The Alice" has its own set of unique personal security risks that visitors and residents should be aware of
Some of the potential dangers and warnings in Alice Springs include:
- Street crime, including theft, break-ins, and assault
- Alcohol-related violence and anti-social behavior in certain areas
- Safety concerns for women and men travelling alone, particularly at night
- Dangers associated with the Outback
- Venemous Snakes, Local Dogs. (More below)
- Natural hazards such as extreme heat, weather conditions and wildlife (More Below)
- Road Safety (More below)
Many of these risks can be minimized by taking common sense precautions:
- Avoiding walking alone at night, particularly in dark or isolated areas
- Staying alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in busy or crowded areas
- Keeping valuables out of sight and securing belongings when in public
- Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption
- Informing friends and family of your travel plans and itinerary, including when you expect to return
Alice Springs is home to many Indigenous Australians and it is important to be respectful of their culture and traditions. If you are a new resident It is important to take the time to learn about the local customs. If you are an interstate or international visitor it is important to be mindful of cultural differences. Generally a smile and a friendly "Werte" in the North (Arrernte for Hello) or " Palya" pronounced Pal Ya (Pitjantjatjara for Hello) south of town (especially Uluru) can be enough to demonstrate to any local that you mean friendship. Aboriginal people are generally very friendly, warm and happy people.
You can also say "Palya Brus" or "Werte Brus" (Hello Brother) they are combined language terms that all Indigenous locals understand, and some white Australians understand. you can then turn to English and end all your short sentences with a simple "Brus" such as: "How you going Brus". "Can you tell me the way to the Telegraph Station Brus" to politely brush someone off "No I'm sorry Brus, I got to go" in fact the word Sorry has its own unique meaning to local people and it is very well understood.
It is best not to take photographs of Aboriginal People in the local mall and streets, if you do, politley ask permission first, they may expect some loose change in return so carry some gold coins in your pocket. It is best not to give paper money as this may leave a local beleiving you are wealthy and asking for more. Do not take photographs of Aboriginal Artwork on display without permission it is generally easy to politely negotiate a bargain price to buy the beautiful artworks that are commonly sold for cash in the Todd mall and the streets. Do not take photographs of Sacred Places, these are sometimes signposted.
Sharing among Family Group is a very important cultural tradition to Alice Springs people, generally in an Indigenous community everything is shared, and this is a strange concept even to white Australians, Food, Money, Toys, even Cars and Houses can be considered a community resource and that is a testament to an underlaying great kindness and community spirit that exists in the locals. With that a culturally apropriate way to explain to an Indigenous person that you should not give further money is to say "I'm sorry, you are not my family brus, thank you, I got to go".
Demonstrate Genuine Kindness and Respect to the locals then it is rare that you will have a problem rather you will make a new friend.
If you are concerned about your safety or have been the victim of a crime, it is important to seek assistance from local authorities. In Australia, emergency services can be reached by dialing 000. For more information on safety and security in Alice Springs, The following resources are available:
Fireworks Season in Alice: Is a spectacle and certainly a hazard. This is generally around Territory Day 1st of July the one day in NT where fireworks go legally on sale. This limitation naturally causes some silliness and the locals purchase truck loads of fireworks. They go nuts! Similar to how you should handle Local Drop Bears, Hoop Snakes and Boxing Kangaroos if you feel one bite at your neck just scream and run! Essentially do not be stupid with fireworks.
Dogs: Seriously Local Dogs can be a risk in Alice Springs, Beware when walking alone on the local bush trails for packs of dogs. The problem is generaly stray hungry introduced species of cross-bred dogs and not Dingos. While carrying a walking pole or a big stick can be a defence it is simply best not to walk alone and certainly outside of town. If you are caught out throw rocks and show no fear while moving slowly away
Venemous Snakes: While rarely encountered Australia is home to 20 of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world including all of the top 11. Watch where you step and where you sit down. When outdoors. Wear loose, long pants and good walking boots. Shine a torch on your path when walking outside at night. Never handle a snake. Stay still or slowly back up they will slither away and vanish rather quickly.
If you are concerned about snakes or plan to walk the local trails a great place to make your first port of call in Alice is the local Reptile Center located close to town center at 9 Stuart Terrace. Here and for your safety you will get a great education.
Essential First Aid for someone with a snake bite:
Keep the person at rest, reassured and under observation.
Dial 000 if possible.
Do not wash venom off the skin or clothes.
Begin CPR if necessary and send for help.
If bitten on a arm hand or leg limb use a firm bandage around the bite.
Alice Springs has a good public Hospital located at 6 Gap Rd the emergency department is easy to find, also see our Hospitals and Emergency Map
Outback Safety for Alice Springs and the Northern Territory
Only a few minutes out of town in all directions you will encounter the the Australian Outback. The Desert surrounding Alice for many hundreds of miles is a vast and beautiful landscape, and it can also be extremely dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Here are some tips to help ensure your safety, protect your family and others..
- Be prepared: The Australian Outback is a harsh environment, and it's important to be prepared for any situation. Make sure you have plenty of water, food, and fuel, and carry a first-aid kit, spare tire, and other emergency supplies. Plan your journey carefully!
- Stay on marked roads: It's important to stay on marked roads and tracks, as venturing off-road can be dangerous due to the risk of getting lost or stuck in soft sand. If you do need to venture off-road, make sure you have the necessary permits and equipment, and always let someone know where you're going and when you plan to return.
- Watch out for wildlife: The Australian Outback is home to a variety of wildlife, including snakes, spiders, and kangaroos. Be sure to watch out for animals on the road, particularly at dawn and dusk when they are most active. After Dusk, no matter what the posted speed limit, Slow Down! While a Kangaroo can suddenly appear and wreck your holiday a Cow or a Camel entering your wind screen can wreck your life.
- Pay intense attention when driving: Keep a sharp eye, concentrate three times more than you would in the city. slow down during the day when you see birds ahead. Raptors and very large Eagles commonly feast on Road Kill they are slow to take flight and can suddenly fly in your direction and to kill one of these magnificent creatures is so sad. Also be highly alert for large and small reptiles on the road, these little creatures have tough enough life without you unecessarily squashing them.
- Injured Wildlife: Sadly accidents happen too often. If you do hit a Kangaroo or a creature, stop, park safely and then drag it well of the road this is important so that birds of prey dont linger in the path of other cars. If the animal is alive you can call Wildcare Alice Springs on 0419 221 128. If possible wrap it in a blanket and bring it back to town. if a Kangaroo is dead it may be a female check the lower stomach for a pouch because a baby Kangaroo may still be alive. Bring it to town and the nearest Vet.
- Be aware of weather conditions: The Australian Outback can experience extreme weather conditions, including heatwaves, bushfires, and flash flooding. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you set out and adjust your plans accordingly. While the Stuart Highway North and South, East and West out of Alice Springs are prone to flooding
- Stay in touch: It's important to let someone know your itinerary and check in regularly, particularly if you're traveling alone. This way, if something goes wrong, help can be sent quickly.
- Respect local customs: The Australian Outback is home to many Indigenous Australians, and it's important to respect their customs and traditions. Be sure to learn about local customs and seek permission before entering sacred sites.
By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the beauty and adventure of the Australian Outback while staying safe. Remember that the Outback can be an unforgiving environment, so always err on the side of caution, be safe and stay alive!
Overall, it is important to be aware of the risks to ensure personal security and safety in Alice Springs. By being aware of your surroundings, taking precautions, and respecting local customs, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to this very unique town in the Northern Territory of Australia.