Published: May 31st 2011May 31st 2011
Had the longest run to date, from Wycliffe Well to Alice Springs of 370km. We stayed here before, about 15 to 20 years ago, can’t recall! We passed through a few years ago on the Ghan train from Adelaide to Darwin. Doesn’t seem to have changed much. Went out to a proper restaurant for dinner. Proper as compared to a roadhouse or café with everything except the salad deep fried or grilled.
Temperatures in AS are about 0deg to 18 deg. This is not what we expected! AS is at about 600m altitude so we can’t grizzle. We’ve gone out and bought some warm clothes and a fleece blanket. As we are going camping later we’ll need all of them in the desert.
On Friday we played golf at Alice Springs Golf Club. Really good. Designed by Peter Thomson and the greens were very fast!! Any way Don is now 2 up after 10 rounds. Very competitive. We have been playing tourist and have visited the Alice Springs Desert Park, the Todd Mall Markets, the Ross River Station and Arltunga. On Monday we took a day trip to Hermannsburg, the Finke River and Palm Valley. We had been to these places
Fossils at the oldest river in the world
on our last trip.
Alice Springs has lots of Aborigines sitting around the place. The Todd River flooded in February so they haven’t drifted back there yet. The main problem is with the “desert abos” as opposed to the “town abos”. All the reservations have excluded alcohol so the young restless come into town to buy alcohol and lie around.
The town is not booming, there are several closed shops in the Mall, and the rest are not busy. The campgrounds are busy, but mostly with travelers. The tourist season doesn’t start until mid-June, so maybe it’ll get better.
Alice Springs Desert Park is a Govt enterprise and is well worth a visit. (Or Google it) Lots of plants and selection of wild birds. Great to look at but b….. impossible to photo well!
On Sunday we went out to Arltunga which had 3,000 people when Alice had 30. Now Arltunga has none. They originally thought they discovered rubies, but they turned out to be garnets. However, as is common in Australia, they found gold, so the rush was justified. Lucky Australians.
The Finke River is claimed to be the oldest river in the world, having run in the same
Finke River Oasis
Rare: Cycads, Palms, Water.
course for 300 million years. Its part of the Channel Country which includes about ½ of Queensland and a lot of NSW and it all drains towards Lake Eyre and evaporates there. About ¼ of Australia. We went and camped there on our last big visit The palms and cycads are very old and rare to find in a desert. Hermannsburg is an old Lutheran mission station and was the home of Albert Namatjira, the first of the abo painters. It hasn’t changed much. As we recall, it’s a bit tidier than last time, but not much.
P n D
31 May 2011
There are more photos below