I first read A Town Like Aliceprobably 15 years ago. (Have you read it? You certainly ought to.) I found the edited miniseries from 1981 a few years ago and watched it and well, almost hated it. I didn't even finish watching it. But I found it again at the library a few days ago (the unedited, 6-hour version) and decided that I would try it again since I really loved the book and every review I've seen for the miniseries is very positive.
And it was a lot better the second time, unedited. My biggest problem the first time around was with the actions of one of the main characters- he does something totally out of character solely to create tension with the result of another character doing something silly too. In the edited version these scenes were a major part of the movie, but in the unedited version, they're not nearly as much of a problem.
Still, I have the same basic problem with the movie. It focuses too much on a love story- a major part of the book, yes, but not the only thing. There is no explanation of the title- in fact, Jean's business ventures are only a small part of the miniseries while in the book they form the basis of how she creates a town like Alice Springs. That is entirely lost in the miniseries. A better title would have been A Love Like (name of the characters) or something silly like that. The miniseries missed a huge part of the book and I can't call it a faithful adaption of the book.
So read the book. :)