ALICE SPRINGS is pretty much smack-bang in the middle of the country, which means it is a long way from anything and anywhere else. I’ve included Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles) in here- and that is 400kms away.
There is a lot of old history in town, but like most people headed to the famous parks around, we didn’t see it! With time, there are places to explore in any direction from this little town, which after awhile on the road is an oasis. Alice is almost never called Alice Springs.
One of Alice's more interesting museums is Megafauna Central. The Baru Darrowi roamed north west Queensland, and was probably a semi-aquatic ambush predator.
Over two metres tall, giant emus shared the earth with humans for around 15,000 years.
A deep sadness lingers over the Lutheran mission at Hermannsburg, established in 1877 by German missionaries. The scones are pretty good though.
The mission intended to bring western ways -education, medical care- to the indigenous Arrernte people. Its most famous resident was painter Albert Namatjira.
A scattering of red rocks 400kms north of Alice, Karlu Karlu is better known as Devil's Marbles.
The small campround makes a good break on the long drive between Alice and places north.
Despite being 400km from Alice, the car park at Karlu Karlu actually had servicable wi-fi!
Kaytete, Warumungu, Warlpiri and Alyawarra traditional owners of the area believe the rocks are eggs of the giant goanna.
Black-footed rock wallaby may be seen in Simpson's Gap.
Simpson's Gap is the first stop out of Alice on the 230km Larapinta Walking Trail, which winds through the magnificent West Macdonnell Ranges.
Known as Rungutjirpa to the Arrernte Aboriginal people, Simpsons Gap was the mythological home of a group of giant goanna ancestors.
Gum trees line the dry river bed between the water hole and the parking.
Dry air, heat, and wind have textured the bark of these old trees.
Thanks for the advice! (The water would sometime reach here, but is about 100m away usually.)
The steepling cliffs of Standley Chasm are home to birds, reptiles and hardy trees.
Angkerle Atwatye is the local name, and means "gap of water". The chasm is one community owned land, so please respect the signs which indicate where entry is forbidden, and enjoy the scones.
Another one of nature's weird creations, of which central Australia has many.
An Australian ring neck parrot struts at a red dirt roadside camp, a short couple of hours south of Alice.