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Alice Springs is located 576 meters above sea level, and is near the geographical center of Australia. It is nevertheless one of Australia's most isolated cities, avtstandsmessig considered, with about 1,500 km to Darwin in the north, and Adelaide in the south.

The foundation of the city came with the creation of a transcontinental telegraph line between Adelaide and Darwin, when one had to have a repeat station between the two coasts. The location was selected because it was equidistant to both cities and that they found a permanent source of water in the otherwise dry Todd River. Telegraph line was completed in 1872. The city was named after the wife of record boss of South Australia, Charles Todd, who also gave its name to the river. The city was, however, known as Stuart until 1930.

Only when it was discovered gold deposits 100 kilometers from Alice Springs in 1887 was that the larger settlements came to the area.
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