In Alice Springs and its vicinity, a single nasal swab was collected from 282 Australian aborigines in May 1981 to determine nasal carriage rates of pneumococci. Each swab was inoculated on blood agar and on gentamicin blood agar. The carriage rates were 89% in children, 39% in adolescents and 34% in adults. In all, 27 serotypes of pneumococci were met with and 15 (4%) of subjects yielded two or more serotypes. In children, types 23, 19, 6, 22 and 6 were predominant (in that order), whereas type 3 was commonest in older subjects. Approximately 25% children and 5% adults yielded drug-insensitive pneumococci. Resistance to benzylpenicillin, tetracycline and co-trimoxazole was met with, resistant pneumococci showed five resistance patterns and belonged to nine serotypes, predominantly types 19 and 23. All isolates were sensitive to chloramphenicol, erythromycin, lincomycin and rifampicin. The carriage rate of drug-insensitive pneumococci was 100-fold higher amongst children sampled than in non-aboriginal children in Australia.