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Published: June 29th 2019
We arrived into Alice Springs under the cover of darkness and through the 'Gap' I later learnt the gap was the southern entry into Alice springs via a gap between the Western and Eastern MacDonnell Ranges. The Todd River along with the railway and main road run through this gap. There's not a lot of room and I'm looking forward to travelling along it via the Ghan in a few weeks.
Our first day in Alice started with brunch in a lovely cafe downtown ... shockingly this was the first chance we've had to do Eggs Beni. After brunch we decided to check out the Alice Springs Reptile Centre. We were just in time for the talk and got to hold a couple of lizards and a Python. They have a huge range of reptiles including Terry the Saltwater Crocodile in a pool out back.
Not far was the National Pioneers Womens Hall of Fame located in the old Alice Springs Goal. It's really two exhibits in the one place. A museum recognising and honouring pioneering women who contributed to the development of Australia and touring the heritage listed Alice Springs Gaol and Labor Prison. All the building for
the gaol were restored and the stories of inmates and staff were well presented.
The last stop for the day was to check out the Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Facility. Our visit started with a hologram show where John Flynn tells his story of his vision and how the Royal Flying Doctors was established. I even got to go inside a replica aircraft. Today they have 91 aircraft serving Australia and Asia Pacific. They do more than emergency flights, they transport passengers to hospitals and do outback community visits.
After picking up a hire car the next morning we headed to ANZAC Hill to look at the town that appeared to be surrounded by the ranges. We were very impressed by the ANZAC memorial.
Our next stop was the Alice Springs Telegraph Station the birth place of Alice Springs. It was established in 1871 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide. We’ll be back to the Telegraph Station for a meal under the stairs as an off board meeting excursion when we are on the Ghan in a few weeks.
Speaking of the Ghan we ended our day at the Old Ghan Heritage Railway and Museum. Definitely
a must see if you are in town and for the big kids like me you get to climb into and over things ... unfortunately we spent too much time in the train side of the museum we didn’t get into the road transport side... who would image this would happen
For our last day in Alice we were heading out to the West MacDonnell Ranges. Instead of starting at Simpsons Gap we went straight out to Tyler’s Pass and made our way back. It was a great drive and the range changed colour before our eyes. We stopped in at Ormiston Gorge. I loved the no swimming signs for the Finke River when you can see all the way to the bottom .. it’s only sand. There was a small watering hole but I wasn’t game to test the water. We noticed the Neil Hargrave Lookout had a mobile sign on it so we went to check it out and found the mobile phone hotspot for making emergency calls only. In all my travelling I've never seen this before.
The Orchre Pits were our next stop. My photos don’t do justice to the colours of the rocks. As
much as we would have liked to do Ellery Creek Big Hope I didn’t like the look of the gravel road so we headed to Standley Chasm / Angkerle . This was the only stop that is 100% Aboriginal owned and operated supporting the Arrernte Community.
We arrived at our last stop Simpson Gap late afternoon. There was only a few people around, so it was very quiet however we didn’t see any Rock Wallaby’s
Next stop ... Darwin
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