Adelaide to Alice Springs

Trip Start Jul 09, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Where I stayed
caravan park

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Sunday, July 9, 2006

I hope you enjoy reading my diary of our trip.  We have travelled overseas in between travelling in our home country of Australia.  We thought we would travel overseas first and then do the "caravanning" when we retired, but on one of our overseas trips we discovered that people were asking us about Australia and although we had travelled what we thought was a fair slice of Australia, we realised that there was a lot of Australia that we hadn't seen.  Our plan for travelling in Australia had now changed and we decided to see more of Australia before we retired and perhaps do some overseas travel later.  We are both still working, so our travel is limited to our annual leave.


Sunday morning in Adelaide in July was sunny, windy and quite cool. We had prepared our van for the big trip and were excited to be leaving. The house was locked and everything turned off, the last minute phone calls to family and friends and a final check of our "check list".  

We stopped near Port Pirie for lunch and then at Port Augusta for fuel. Our thoughts were still back home as we kept going through our check list of what had been forgotten.   We were enjoying the drive  and as it got to late afternoon we looked for a camping spot and found a great bush setting off the road near Bookaloo and set up for the night. We set our vans up for the night and got a good campfire going and enjoyed a drink or two and explored nearby but there wasn't much around, just rocks and scrub but it was great to be out of the suburbs.

Next morning was sunny but cold to start but we had breakfast by the campfire and soon we were ready to drive to our next fuel stop which was Pimba.  The roadhouse was full of travellers so we had to wait but it was a good chance to stretch our legs after sitting in the car.  We arrived at Coober Pedy late afternoon, refuelled and drove on to find a spot to spend the night.  Got the campfire going and cooked our meal and enjoyed the company of our friends who were travelling with us.  The next morning was sunny and we drove on to Marla for fuel.  Saw some wedge tailed eagles, some lovely scenery with some low hills.  Refuelled at Kulgera and again at Erldunda and then headed off to Curtin Springs for the night.  Saw camels and some wild horses on road.  Headed off next morning for Yulara Caravan Park, had not booked ahead but were lucky to get in here.  A good caravan park, but a bit muddy after some rain overnight.  Went out to see the Rock, got a 3 day pass which was well worth it.  It was windy so they had closed the Rock for walking on, but we did the walk around the base which was really great.  Much more to see than I had imagined.  Its such a big Rock.  We waited for sunset but the sky was cloudy so we missed out but next day we went out again and although it was cloudy it was raining so we were really lucky and saw the rain on the rock - a fabulous sight.  Drove out to the Olgas, again they are fantastic and as the weather was wet and cloudy we couldn't walk much as it was very slippery but they were covered in low cloud and had a really spiritual effect.
Drove to Kings Canyon and booked into the park, another lovely spot.  Did the Rim Walk which was about a 6 km hike, but it seemed longer, as I'm not the fittest walker but it was well worth the effort.  Back at the caravan park we had some entertainment in the dining room with the "Roadies".
Next day we drove to Alice Springs for supplies and fuel. Next stop Glen Helen Gorge, a good small caravan park with a nice walk to the waterhole and at sunset the gorge lit up with a brilliant red light.  Drove to Ormiston Gorge and saw some black footed wallabies and walked around and then on to the Ochre Pits and another walk, easy access via a paved pathway.
Left Glen Helen Gorge and on to Gemtree, passed the Tropic of Capricorn and finally to Gemtree.  We set up camp and planned our next couple of days, hopefully fossicking for garnets. We booked in for the garnet fossicking trip and set off with our picks and shovels.  What an interesting day we had and we managed to dig, sift and sort quite a few garnets of varying sizes and quality. A good day but very hot in the gemfields.  Headed back to Alice Springs and booked into a caravan park for a few nights.  Viisited the Transport Hall of Fame which was huge and spent most of the day there as there was a lot to see.  Next day we went to Hermansberg and Palm Valley.  A very rough road to Palm Valley but wonderful scenery and worth it, but had to go slow as the road was mostly rocks. Had the next day looking around Alice Springs, the Old Telegraph Station - lots of lovely old restored buildings, School of the Air tour was really interesting too.  Next we drove to Emily Gap and Jessie Gap had a short walk with good picnic spots.  Next stop was Ross River Homestead.  The weather was perfect so we decided to stay a few days and relax here without driving.  Ross River was wonderful and we enjoyed our stay here, but if the weather had been any warmer apparently it is not a good place to be.  The Homestead provides good meals and the Ross River Pie is something special and not to be missed.  Got some good photos here as the sunsets and sunrises are magnificent. Drove out to Arltunga, and old gold mining site.  A good Visitor Centre here and worth spending some time looking around. Next day we drove to N'Dhala Gorge - another rough road but a lovely walk and a lot of aboriginal rock carvings.
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