I may have mentioned a few times that I’ve been crazy excited to visit the territory for a while now, reaching the border was awesome and of course we got a photo under the big welcome sign! Our first stop was Tennant Creek where there wasn’t really much too, well there were a few shops etc. but not our sort of ‘stuff to do’. We decided to risk driving in the dark and head out of town to Wachuhope Campsite which was supposed to be nice and it also put us a bit closer to our destination for the morning; Alice Springs. On the way down we caught sight of the moon, which was really low in the sky, huge, and an amazing red colour, so pretty. An unpowered site for the night cost $10 per person and they have great facilities there, toilets, showers, bbq’s, fridge, seating area, everything we needed anyway. We got chatting to a guy called Neil who was on his way down to Victoria for a bike rally with his Triumph called Mable, he had loads to tell us about NT and Darwin which was great. We tend to get such early nights on these trips but stayed up chatting and drinking until about 10.30 that night which was a nice change. We set off on another early start the next morning and made it all the way down to Alice Springs by about 10.30am, I don’t think either of us has ever driven so far in such a short space of time before!
finally made it!
Alice is a reasonably sized town with a Coles, Woolies, K Mart, all the big fast food joints and clothing shops too. We visited a HUGE Salvation Army thrift shop, which was awesome; we didn’t manage to pick much up, just some picnic plates to make our BBQing a bit easier. There are also some botanical gardens, the Old Ghan Rail Museum, Old Timers Museum and my favourite Anzac Hill. You can either walk or drive up this really steep hill passing signs with dates of all the wars the Australians have been involved in, then once you reach the top there’s a memorial to all the fallen soldiers, a huge flag pole with an Australian flag and lots of plaques with information about the different wars, really interesting if like me you’re into that sort of thing. We finally decided in the afternoon that we’d like to watch the sunrise at Ayers Rock the next morning so would carry on driving south on the Stuart Highway to a campsite called Curtain Springs. The campground was something else that Neil (the biker) had told us on our first night in NT and it sounded like a really good and cheap place to stay for the night. The drive down is pretty uneventful until you reach Mt Connor, or as the locals call it ‘Fooluru’. Named because everyone that sees it in the distance initially things that it’s Uluru they’re seeing for the first time! And just like everyone else, we were taken in by the tricky mountain as well. When it was quite small on the horizon Sammy pointed it out and we were so in awe, as we got closer however we were a bit like, oh that isn’t how it looks in pictures etc. then we stopped at a look out explaining that it was in fact Mt Connor and not Uluru at all… whoops! It was so impressive though I can’t believe I’ve never read anything about it or no one has ever recommended it! Absolutely check it out if you are heading down to Uluru and Kata Tjuta it’s so worth it.
view of alice from anzac hill.
lest we forget.
my favourite marker on the way up.
mt connor, or fooluru.
We arrived at Curtin Springs way before dark so had a little look around, they have emus and tons of aviaries with cockatoos, parrots etc. The campground has free unpowered sites which is awesome just 100km from Uluru, as well as powered sites, cabins and accommodation too. The campground is part of the property Curtain Springs that has an awesome history. In the bar there are huge folders full of pictures of life on the station, info about the last rains, cattle reared on site and so much more, really interesting to someone who has just spent months working on a station and has been surrounded by talk of the latest rain and cattle prices! The take away alcohol you can buy at the beer is crazy expensive due to it being the only option for about 200km, so make sure you stock up before you arrive if you like a drink in the evening. We cooked our burgers on the free BBQ’s and watched the sun set sat on the top of the car before having an early night, we planned a 4.30am get up, eek!
curtin springs station.
been there, done that!
sunset over curtin springs.
sammy took this photo without me even asking, for everyone who knows him this is a shock!