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Published: February 4th 2015
Just had two amazing days in the Red Centre. We arrived at Alice Springs late afternoon, had a quick swim then went for a walk-about. Not a lot to see or do there, quite an odd little town really as the modern parts have just been built on a grid system with not a lot of style or thought behind them! We went up to a viewing point to watch the sunset and then to the only decent restaurant we could find. All the people are lovely so our stay was very short but pleasant. Early next morning we got a coach to Ayers Rock. That's about 450km so took about 6 hours with a couple of pit-stops for refreshment. No sign of any wildlife except for a few kangaroos and camels in enclosures at the cafés.
We arrived at the Ayres Rock resort at lunchtime and spent the afternoon by the pool. Beautifully hot but so many annoying flies!! You can understand the need for hats with corks hanging on them - but didn't see any of those either! There are about 6 hotels and a camp site in the resort, all very attractive and nicely done. We went on
Walking round Alice Springs
a sunset tour of the rock in the evening, followed by a bbq with the rock as the backdrop, a full moon and stars above. I have to say that watching the rock changing colour from sand through to ochre red then brown was quite awesome. A truly wonderful experience. We were worried that this might not have lived up to expectations but it really did. Absolutely worth coming here. The bbq was fun and they certainly fed us very well. The whole region is very carefully managed and the public are only allowed to go in certain areas and the rights of the local Aborigines are respected, so all works very well.
But the best bit was this morning when just Steve and I went on a sunrise helicopter trip. We went up in a 4-seater - a great experience in itself but we flew right round the rock and also round Kata-Tjuta ('many heads') which is much bigger than Ayres Rock but much more sacred so there is no public access to that one. The sunlight makes all the difference to the colours and shadows so the views were sensational. We were up there for about 45
View from Anzac Hill viewing point
minutes - an experience both of us agreed was one of the best we've ever had (up there with Machu Picchu and Pacuare Lodge Marion!!). I don't think the photos do it justice, but you can get the idea. We're off to Sydney next.
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