Central Australia

Moved in to Elke's Backpacker in Alice Springs, (previously a motel) with good facilities and friendly staff.
http://www.elkesbackpackers.com.au/alice/accom.html.
Booked a 5 day trip in a 4WD to see most of Central Australia's most spectacular "outback" country, including:

The Desert Park
Discreetly designed to fit in with the countryside, and including a great display of native birds, and a Nocturnal House containing reptiles.
Ellery Creek Big Hole and Ormiston Gorge
Picturesque, but too cold to swim in.
Palm Valley
Where the worlds oldest plant "the Cycad" grows, plus date palms and eucalypt trees. The valley looks so old it wouldn't be surprising if a dinosaur appeared.
Kings Canyon
Which we hiked up, across and down, taking in the magnificent colours, views and scenes (including rock formations identical with the Bungle Bungle in Western Australia) which probably makes this my favourite outback place in Australia.
Ayers Rock / Uluru
Walked up to the top and then across to the centre, which was challenging, but provided magnificent views. Sunsets are only spectacular if there are clouds. Enjoyed helicopter ride around the rock to see it from a different perspective.
Olgas / Kata Tjuta
Hiked into "Valley of the Winds" and back. Would like to hike out the other end one day.

Joined a staff member from Elke's Backpacker, to hike along the ridge at the top of East McDonald Range, which once again provided fantastic views. Hard going, but satisfying to have accomplished. Enjoyed musical show at "Starlight Theatre" consisting of didgeridoo accompanied by drums, percussion instruments and synthesizer. Visited Reptile Centre and had photo taken with a python draped around my neck. Appreciated half-day tour of Stanley Chasm and Simpson's Gap, both with massive red cliffs.

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Last updated 24 May 2006.