Locating the old Inland Motel Ayers Rock...Late update

Submitted: Friday, May 13, 2016 at 15:45
ThreadID: 132399 Views:7168 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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Hello to those who were involved in an earlier thread about a family who were soon to visit the Rock in 2015 and wanted to locate the old Inland Motel site.
The Inland Motel, was an upgrade / expansion of the original Redline Chalet which was built by the Law family and opened to their tourist clientele in 1962.as part of their national Redline coach tours business.
The expanded 22 unit air conditioned motel was opened in 1967 and traded as the Redline Motel until the entire organization went out of business in 1970, at which time the property was re-named the Inland Motel and on-sold to new lessees.
Unfortunately when the Federal Govt decided to bulldoze all the original historic tourist infrastructure to create some sort of clean slate for the new Yulara development, they totally ignored the need to preserve the history of the origins of the tourist industry of the area, leaving a gaping hole in the overall story of the post WW2 expansion of tourism in Central Australia.
I've copied a Google Image of the Rock and overlaid a white arrow, the very point of which indicates the actual Inland Motel site, to the south east of the Rock. A close look at the enlarged image will reveal the roughly north-south driveway approach to the motel facility, on the western side of which the old coach camping area was located.
I hope the folks who visited last year were assisted by the locals to identify the actual site.
Glenn Law.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 13, 2016 at 19:25

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 19:25
Gdat Glenn,
Not sure whether I provided this map before as you didn't provide a link. But the late and great Jeff Carter published a book in 1972 titled "A Guide to Central Australia" and the image below is scanned from his book and indicates the Redline motel. I don't think GPS had been invented at this time!
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Reply By: Looselion - Friday, May 13, 2016 at 20:11

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 20:11
Many thanks Phil,
Ahh yes, that's a very good map of the area as it was in the 1960's.
I noted in the earlier posts here from last year that no-one seemed to know about the connection between the Redline and Inland motels...as being one and the same.
That's mainly why I wrote my post, just to ensure that significant fact wasn't missed.
The only alteration to the map I'd make is to show the coach parking / camping area as adjoining the access track into the Redline motel.
I'm about to finish a history of the Redline story which includes an in depth description of the Centre tourist industry during the first 25 years after the war. I describe many of the personalities of the Ayers Rock tourist 'community' and identify each of the five establishments and the identities behind them.
I'm also looking into putting some pressure on the Federal govt to do something about recording and memorializing the history of these few hardy entrepreneurs who established the tourist accommodation industry out there, including my father Rex Law, because they certainly deserve it!
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Follow Up By: Member - drew2026 - Friday, May 13, 2016 at 21:47

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 21:47
would be very interested to read this Glenn if you're publishing it
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 13, 2016 at 23:39

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 23:39
I first travelled through the area in 1977. The other significant person I admire was Jack Cotterill who I think drew me a mudmap at Wallara Ranch to tell me how to get to Kings Canyon and Reedys Rockhole - trips I did in 1977 and again in 1979.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 13, 2016 at 23:49

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 23:49
I couldn't find any protos of the motel because we stayed at the campground, but here's a photo as you entered the National Park:
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Follow Up By: Looselion - Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 16:27

Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 16:27
A great experience for you to get chatting with Jack Cotterill, who no doubt you know was one of the Centre tourism pioneers, having with his wife Elsie and Daisy Underdown set up the first permanent tourist accommodation structure at the Rock in 1958. It was a corrugated iron shed affair that Jack relocated aboard a truck from the rear of Daisy's Alice Springs Hotel to a site to be known as the Alice Springs Tours Chalet, as identified on Jeff Carter's map.
The very first accommodation was established by Len Tuit, at the location on Jeff's map of the Ansett Pioneer Lodge, which was very rudimentary comprising ex-military canvas tents and marquees. It was taken over and further developed by Reg Ansett's Pioneer Tours in 1959, and eventually was also re-named as the Red Sands Motel.
Rex Law's Redline operated the first ever camping round tour to Ayers Rock and The Olgas by full size coach from any of the coastal cities, departing on a 3 week journey from Brisbane in May 1957.
I hope you'll agree that all this history, and lots more of it as I'm very honored to identify in my book, should be formally proclaimed in a tastefully accessible manner somewhere near the Rock for posterity.
I totally cringed when I came across the post here last year by the family who wanted to visit the tragic Inland Motel site, and they had to endure the frustration of dealing with trying to find a site of significant meaning to them, which had been summarily destroyed and hidden by an out-of-touch bunch of politicians and bureaucrats.
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Follow Up By: Looselion - Monday, Jul 11, 2016 at 14:30

Monday, Jul 11, 2016 at 14:30
Here's a Redline Safari Tour coach at the Park archway circa 1965. This rather iconic structure was built by Lofty Zanker, widely considered at the time the "Mayor of Ayers Rock"
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Reply By: Looselion - Friday, May 13, 2016 at 22:57

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 22:57
Hi drew2026,
Yes I'll be publishing the book, and hopefully it will be available before this year's end.
I'll make sure to return here and make a post with a subject line referring to the book about Redline, the Inland Motel and the Central Australia tourism history.
Of course it covers the entire history of Rex Law and his exploits in building an enormous coach tour and express business, not to mention being a race car driver and constructor who competed on dirt track speedways, as well as being a team owner and driver in the 1949 Australian Grand Prix at Leyburn in Qld.
Many thanks for your interest, and just for fun I'll attach an image of the motel when operating as the Redline Motel....
I should point out that the amenities building containing the reception office, kitchen and lounge bar area was behind the camera to the right of this view.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 13, 2016 at 23:57

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 23:57
Heres the section from Jeff Carters book that also includes the Motel - I think without the Redline Sign!
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 08:19

Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 08:19
A group of us travelled down from Rockhampton Downs, to the Alice, then to Ayers Rock in August, 1974.

Seem to recall a pretty good night at the bar in Redline Motel on the second night! It rained later and we made tracks back to the Alice.

Will be interested to read the book, Glenn.


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Reply By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 07:57

Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 07:57
August 18, 1983: Five killed as road train smashes into outback hotel
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Crabbe 'just cracked on the booze' ABC Alice Springs

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