Abstract: Concern about the quality of education in rural and remote Australian locations has prompted attempts to improve the recruitment and retention of high quality teaching staff. This study reports on the expectations held by pre-service teachers about rural and remote teaching, focussing on both the professional and personal/social domains. The participants were enrolled in a rural education unit as part of Secondary Graduate Diploma of Education at The University of Western Australia. The findings suggest that pre-service teachers are under-informed about rural and remote teaching, relying on narrow, stereotypical images of the rural and remote teaching experience. The expectations of the pre-service teachers included vague and dichotomous images. They held simultaneously idyllic and horrific expectations. The disparity between the expectations of the pre-service teachers and the range of possible realities has implications for the staffing of rural and remote schools and the subsequent level of satisfaction experienced by novice teachers.