Just to let you know, this is a long post with many photos. We really had a wonderful time in Alice Springs.
After arriving at the G’Day Mate Tourist Park yesterday afternoon and catching up on a little washing we were ready for a big couple of days.
Today was the second race day of the Finke Desert Race. We set off early in 0˚C temperatures to watch the race cars arrive.
The sunrise was awesome, heating up the place.
Still a bit cold, so we had a hot chocolate and cappuccino.
After spending most of the day at the Finke Desert Race, we took off to have a look at the Anzac Hill Lookout.
On the way, we drove past the Ghan. These aren’t the greatest photos as they were taken while driving along.
The road up to Anzac Hill was winding and quite steep.
All the way up were signs about each of the wars/peacekeeping activities Australian troops have been involved in.
At the top was a huge monument as well as signs explaining Australia’s role in each war/peacekeeping activity.
The view was magnificent.
Today we headed out to the West MacDonnell Ranges. On our way we saw our first wild dingo.
We drove out to the Glen Helen Gorge and went for a walk to the waterhole. We would have loved to see the Organ Pipes and Vivians Gulch, but to get to them you need to swim up the waterhole. Being the middle of winter, we weren’t going anywhere near that water.
The boys sitting at the carpark.
About to head off.
The freezing cold waterhole that we were not going to swim through!
So we started heading back to Alice Springs, stopping next at Ormiston Gorge. At Ormiston Gorge, we walked the first part of the Ghost Gum Walk all the way up to the lookout. This was quite a steep, narrow walk and with no handrails, we felt a little unsafe with the boys. We took the trip back down very slowly.
Can you see the winding track in the background?
Then we walked down the Gorge to the waterhole. There were some very brave people trying to swim in the waterhole. It was funny to watch them hop in and then out again so quickly. We just put our fingers in and that was enough for us.
Next it was onto the Ochre Pits. This was only a short 300m walk (one way). It was fascinating to see all the colours in the walls of these pits.
The road to the Ellery Creek Big Hole was dirt and very corrugated. We took this quite slow and were surprised to see the variety of cars that were actually driving down this not-so-good road. Here we took the short walk to the creek. The water here was colder than at Ormiston Gorge. This was probably due to the lack to sunshine reaching it through the Gorge.
All the walking today added up to just over 9km, which is just over half of what we did that day at Carnarvon Gorge. We were all feeling a lot better at the end of this day though. It was off to rest and get ready for more walking tomorrow.
On our way out to the West MacDonnell Ranges today, we stopped in at John Flynn‘s grave. This memorial contains the ashes of John Flynn and his wife. John Flynn was instrumental in the creation of the Royal Flying Doctors.
Our next stop was Simpson’s Gap in the West MacDonnell Ranges. This was one of the coldest walks I have ever done. The wind was freezing and the water was like ice, but it was a great walk and an awesome view.
After racing back to the car to warm up, we headed to Stanley Chasm. It was a little warmer here. After paying our fees, $25/family (or $10/adult and $8/child), we headed on our walk out to the Chasm. The best time to visit the Chasm is around lunch, as this is when the sun is brightly shining on the Chasm walls. We were there at that time, except there was not much sun. The sky was covered in clouds, but we still enjoyed the walk and loved the experience!
Next it was onto the Alice Springs Reptile Centre. Our boys did hold a woma snake at the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton and really wanted to do it again, so off we went. The place doesn’t look like much from the outside, so we were a little unsure of what it was going to be like, but on entering our opinion changed very quickly.
First we went through the inside looking at all the reptiles, before heading outside. Then at 3:30pm, we were called for the show. Our boys loved this show and R was the first one to put up his hand and hold the olive python. We also had a go and holding a blue tongued skink and a bearded dragon. Overall this was an awesome place and we really recommend it, especially if your kids love animals.
Overall, we had a busy, but amazing day that we will always remember.
Places of Interest: Alice Springs
- Finke Desert Race
- Alice Springs Reptile Centre
- Alice Springs Desert Park
- Larapinta Trail
- The Kangaroo Trail
- Alice Springs Telegraph Station
- Anzac Hill
- Mbantua Art Gallery and Cultural Museum
- National Pioneer Womans Hall of Fame
- Standley Chasm
- Olive Pink Botanical Gardens
- Road Transport Hall of Fame
- Camels Australia
- Finke Gorge National Park
- MacDonnell Ranges
- Central Australian Aviation Museum
- Chambers Pillar
- G’Day Mate Tourist Park
- Simpson’s Gap