Alice Springs Rest and Trip About. Part 1

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After our trip across the Simpson desert we were in need of rest and relaxation and that’s exactly what we did.

We booked ourselves into the best family caravan park in Alice springs and set about having a holiday from our holiday. The caravan park had plenty to offer a four year old ready for some fun times. With pools, water slide, jumping pillows, playgrounds and pedal cart hire this was the place to be in Alice Springs. Oh and a shop that sells ice creams.

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Slide and three pools. Not bad hey. I went down the slide but not Alec.

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The park also had adult size ones. So Alec and I were able to ride around together.

We didn’t spend all our time in the caravan park and played tourist around town.

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Alec catching up on his baby chino diet.

Alice springs desert park was the first tourist attraction we visited. We got to see a lot of animals native to the desert area’s of the region. Alec and I had seen some of them already in the wild over the last couple of weeks.

The nocturnal display was the highlight of the park. We were able to see animals that would normally very hard to see in the wild.

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The desert park was very educational. Alec was given an activity book to do. It was designed for older kids but we still learnt lot’s and Alec loved taking notes as we went.

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The nocturnal display was amazing. In this display we got to see Bilby’s. Very cool.

Keeping with the animal theme we also visited the Alice Springs reptile centre. Here we got up close to a variety of snakes and lizards.

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We got to watch a showing of some of the creatures.

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Alec even got to touch some of the reptiles.

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Alec’s favorite was the Pig-Nose turtle.

Not everything we did was animal related. We hired bikes and did some exercise. Well one bike and a tag along for Alec.

Alice springs is a town in love with the bicycle. I noticed plenty of it residents riding on the many bike paths around town. To top it off Alice Springs has world class mountain bike trails spread among mountain ranges around the town.

Alec and I picked up the bikes from the centre of town and followed the bike path along the river to the Alice Spring telegraph station which is the start point of many of the mountain bike trails. We had a break then continued back to town. This time riding on the other side of the river. However I made a mistake with the navigation and we ended up riding on a section of a mountain bike trial. Lucky it was one of the easier tracks.

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We made it through the mountain bike trial slowly. Sometimes by pushing the bikes. But in the end it was great fun.

Our week of rest and relaxing in Alice springs was awesome fun. But I was keen to do some exploring. We had another week to fill in before family fly in. We packed up camp and headed out of town with no real plans, except a list of places I wanted to visit.

We headed south on the Old South road. (Maryvale road)  This road follows the old Ghan railway and the race track for the Fink desert off road race. It quickly turn to gravel, but in good condition. Making good time we stopped at the Ewaniga rock carvings and then on to Maryvale station for afternoon tea.

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Lets see what’s down this road.

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Alec doing some exploring. The county is dry and vast out this way.

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The carvings were interesting. Something a bit different from the usual rock painting.

 

We left Maryvale station and turned off the Old South road and onto a dusty track that took us to the rock formation of Chambers Pillar and our camp for the night.IMG_0722

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We even got a small taste of sand dunes again.

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This was from the viewing area on top of dune above the camp ground.

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Our camp for the night. Some firewood had been left by a fellow traveler. So we made good use of it.

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We even got to lay in bed and watch the fire. Awesome.

In the morning we did some exploring around chambers Pillar.

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A short climb connects to a walkway about half way up the formation . Giving amazing views of the surrounding county.

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On the side of the pillar engravings have been etched into the stone. These were done by early pioneers, which used it as a navigation point.

After our exploring we headed back onto the old south road. The road got worse as we continued south. With large sections of the road badly corrugated and sandy the going was slow. The goal the aboriginal town of Fink. Hopefully we would be able to find a camp for the night.

As we traveled the race track was alway visible as it ran parallel with the road. I would be lying if I didn’t imagine myself driving flat out in a high powered off road buggy. I put the foot down in the patrol a couple of time as my imagination ran wild. One day maybe.

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Many of the top teams practice months before the race starts. To avoid accidents, rules are place regarding direction of travel. The track is not a loop. Basically a straight line from Alice Springs to Fink then back again. It’s a two-day race.

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No, not a speed limit sign. This is a distant marker for the competitors.

Since we were also following the old Ghan railway line there were a number of historic sites to stop at and explore.

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One of the old sidings for the Ghan. Alec was excited as it was the same as the one’s in Thomas the tank engine.

We made it to Fink around one o’clock. I wanted to buy fuel but found the only shop closed for lunch. So we waited at a park until lunch was finished and the shop reopened.

 

I decided not to stop here for the night. There was not much in the way of camp spots and it was still early in the day so we drove on. Our next stop the centre of Australia.

The Lambert Centre of Australia was calculated in 1988 to be the exact centre of Australia. Apart from the flag pole and a plaque it’s really just an isolated spot in the middle of the scrub. But kinder cool any way.

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From here we continued to the Stuart highway and our camp for the night at the Kulgera pub.IMG_4048

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Our home for the night. Far more comfortable than the swags.

 

On the move all the time.

We seem to be always driving somewhere. There is a reason for that. It’s not because we are pushed for time, but more for comfort. The day time temperatures were hot and fly’s still very bad. It was far more pleasant to be in the air condition car.

We often used cheap accommodation instead of camping for this reason as well. As you will see as we continue our travels

In the photo below the camera has picked up some of the fly’s around my face. For a short time I was able to go without the fly net. Alec would refused to leave the car unless he had his on.

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