It was in Alice Springs that I stopped writing my journal. We had completed the CSR and arrived back at a major city. The trip however was not over.
First things first - car repairs. We gave the car a good clean, discovered the battery isolator had fallen loose so that had to be repaired. We also got a well needed wheel alignment and balance (some of the balance weights had come off during the CSR). The CV boot repair would have to wait as there were no mechanics that could work on the car that day.
Even though I’d been to Alice a few times now, I hadn’t ever done any of the tourist things. While the wheel alignment was being we visited the reptile centre, followed by the School of the air and RFDS visitor centre.
The School of the air was lovely however I would have loved to see them demonstrate and showcase the radio system that pioneered their beginnings.
RFDS visitor center was pretty forgettable. It mostly consisted of a video patting themselves on the back.
From Alice Springs we headed to Yulara/Uluru but first an early morning stop a King Canyon to do the rim walk. It’s about 6km and has a fairly tough initial climb, but oh so worth it. This is certainly a walk you want to do.
Uluru / Kata Tjuta
I think I’ve been you Yulara 3 or 4 times for work, but never actually been as a tourist, so it was a little weird checking into a hotel there. We stayed in one of the more expensive rooms which was very comfortable compared to all the camping we had been doing. That night we watched the sunset on Uluru.
The next day we did Kata Tjuta walks in morning and the Uluru base walks in the afternoon. I’ve got 31,809 steps logged for that day. In the evening we watched the sunset over Kata Tjuta. If you ever visit area, make sure you don’t leave out Kata Tjuta as it’s just an amazing area.
From Yulara to Coober Pedy. I regret not booking for longer as our room was amazing, and there was a lot more to do in Coober Pedy than I first expected (originally we planned for just a stop over).
That evening we had dinner at the Big Winch and enjoyed the sunset over the sparse desert. In the morning we popped out to the wind turbines. Amazingly you stand practically underneath them - much better than the viewing spots that many of the ones in Victoria have. Then a tour of the Old Timers Mine.
William Creek, Oodnadatta track, Lyndhurst
This caught me by surprise. The intention was to find a track from Coober Pedy across to Cameron Corner, but I didn’t think much about what was on the way.
William Creek hotel was a lovely little stop. Perfect for lunch. From there we run along the Oodnadatta track which is scattered with remnants of the Ghan railway line. We ended up stopping fairly often to check things out.
There’s also The Bubbler and Blanche Cup. Considering how dry it is out here, fresh water is amazing to see.
Just before Lyndhurst is Mutonia Sculpture Park which is a stunning collection of sculptures. I have no idea how they survive out here, but certainly worth the time to check out.
Strzelecki Track, Cameron Corner, Sturt National Park, Tibooburra
From there we hit the Strzelecki Track towards Cameron Corner. Cameron Corner store was very disappointing, so much so we didn’t bother to stay the night and just made our way to Tibooburra. The drive through Sturt National Park was amazing. Such a change in environment.
Broken Hill, Menindee
We did some tours of Broken Hill and then proceeded down to Menindee. We ended up staying at Burke & Wills Campground and the sunset did not disappoint.
And our last stop on the journey, Lake Hattah. We’ve visited here before and I think it might become a regular stop if we take these sorts of routes again. Lovely sunsets and lovely mornings. Many birds!