Becoming ‘South’ Territorians

Becoming ‘South’ Territorians

Plenty of Aussies can tell you about the annual whale migration, or the animals, birds and fish that indicate the change in seasons.

But those on the East and West Coast are relatively unaware of one of the greatest migrations, that of the Central Australian corridor. Every year, there are many people who head north from South Australia and plenty who head south from the Northern Territory.

The Stuart Highway has seen many a moving box, a fair share of teary exits, and fresh, hopeful faces of those heading to a new chapter in their lives.

In 2022, we commenced our own migration south to chase our racing dreams. Bidding farewell to the Top End and heading to Central Australia. This move alone was quite a culture shock! Leaving the humid tropics and entering the humid-less desert. Instantly, our lips cracked, our cuticles split, and -curiously- our feet began to sweat in a way the build-up had never achieved.

Our move was perfectly time to coincide with the remnants of cyclone, so we encountered lots and lots of rain, our tarps were inadequate and did little to stop the seepage of rainwater. We had not factored in the wet season following us so far!

Next, we learnt that Alice Springs has a little discussed but incredibly debilitating housing shortage. It took us five weeks to find a shed we could also live in, something we thought would have only taken us a week or two.

We then spent the year. In October, we faced the difficult task of locating and securing housing once again. But with time and budget constraints, it was not to be. All our worldly possessions went into storage and we left on a three-week life changing trip (read about it here).

Upon returning, it became clear that our time in Alice Springs was over and it was time to cross the border and head further south. Completing our migration from the NT to SA, becoming another pair of South Territorians.

It’s been a year now, and we talk often about the NT. While we have settled into our new home, you’ll still hear us starting sentences with “Well…in Darwin” or “Yes, this bakery is nice but there’s this one in Alice Springs…”.

Sometimes, you'll find us teaching others about the NT history, or the difference between a state and a terrritory...

Every now and then we meet fellow South Territorians, people who love to share whereabouts and for how long they were up north. Then the story of why they no longer call the NT home. We commiserate and bond over the shared love. Now we understand those who, long ago, would let us know that yes, they were living in Darwin but are actually from South Australia. No doubt many from each of the Central Australian Corridor make the move for good, but many more are simply migrating and will one day heed the call and return.

But don't feel too bad for us, we've still got an annual visit back to the NT, the Finke Desert Race!

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