Comedian Fiona O'Loughlin grew up in South Australia. However, the man she married was a Territorian from Alice Springs, which is where they initially decided to settle for only a year or so.
Twenty-three years and five children later, the family is still there and they wouldn't even think about living anywhere else.
Fiona is known as the funniest working mother in Australia. She made her debut in the Hobart Comedy Festival and was invited to London to join The World Stands Up. She has spent the past 10 years working as a stand-up comedian, columnist, writer and presenter for ABC Radio.
While Fiona is on the road for around six months of the year, she says Alice Springs is the best place to go home to. She loves the peace and describes Alice Springs as being like a big retreat.
Alice Springs, the second largest town in the Northern Territory is almost equidistant between Adelaide and Darwin making it pretty close to the centre of Australia. Alice Springs straddles the usually dry Todd River on the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges in an arid environment with several deserts.
Being a coffee lover, Fiona knows she's back home when she visits Bar Doppio, a little piece of Melbourne in Alice Springs. It has a bohemian air and the menu is largely vegetarian, but fish and meat are also available. Meals are cheap and wholesome and their own muesli is popular for breakfast. If you're heading out, take-away is available.
While in town, Fiona invariably visits Gallery Gondwana in Todd Mall. She loves to choose gifts for friends at the gallery, which has art from across the Central and Western desert regions.
Gallery Gondwana was established 18 years ago and works closely with art centres throughout Australia and actively supports the art of Indigenous cultures. It has played an important role in introducing the Red Centre's rich art history to the world.
After visiting the gallery, Fiona pops into her husband Chris' bar and restaurant. The Lane is the only place in Alice Springs serving wood-fired pizzas and claims to have the best wine list in the Territory.
It's the place to go for a light lunch, special dinner or a family night. The Lane supports local musicians and diners enjoy live music with their meals!