Located in the heart of the MacDonnell Ranges lies Alice Springs, Australia’s most famous oasis and the capital of the Outback. This isolated town is where Arrernte Aborigines have lived for 20,000 years, and where pioneer men and women found a new definition of “tough”. Here you can race camels, participate in a dry river regatta , and visit MacDonnell siding and the Gahn Preservation Society Rail Museum and enjoy a 14 mile train ride into the outback.
Along with being hot and dusty there are stunning ranges, refreshing waterholes, palm trees, wildlife, and even a lush golf course. It is the jumping off point to visit Uluru, (Ayres Rock), situated on the stuart Highway, it sits smack dap in the middle of Australia. for being a relatively small town (20,000) there are loads of things to do!
Start the day off with a sunrise balloon ride over the desert,all the while viewing kangaroo, wallabee, cattle, millions of birds , and various other wildlife from high above the landscape in your gondolla. After a champagne breakfast it’s time to be off to an aboriginal camp to learn the teaching of the ancient ones, meanwhile sampling a lunch of grub worms and termites. Passing by the Tropic of Capricorn marker on the way, one suddenly realizes how far away from home we are. I wonder why we don’t fall off the planet, since we are on the botom of it?!
Observing the way these native peoples still live, I come to realize how privileged a life I live , at the same time realizing we have somehow lost some of the important things and values in life. The aborigines are so tied to the earth , their connection is so close to nature that sometimes their insight is astounding!
On the way back to town be sure to see the Old Telegraph Station on the Stuart Highway Stuart Hwy to view historic telegraph equipment at the site of the original Alice Springs settlement and communications post.
The afternoon is spent visiting the MacDowell Ranges,14 miles west of Alice, along with Simpson’s Gap, be sure to allow enough time for a swim in Ellery Creek, Big Hole or Ormiston Gorge! With the shortage of water in these parts, no opportunity for a refreshing swim should be ignored!
Just southeast of here is the Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve, Fine carvings (petroglyphs) of abstract symbols and animal tracks that go back 300 generations are the featured attraction.
To finish off the day , dine in one of Alice Springs varied restaurants, everything from Chinese to the local cowboy bar!