Central Australia must see places??

Submitted: Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 00:03
ThreadID: 22734 Views:4748 Replies:8 FollowUps:14
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G'day explorozzers
You kind people all helped me out about 2.5 years ago when I was looking for a 4wd to buy (bought a patrol). Now I'm hoping you can help me out again.
The wife and I are heading of to the center of australia for the first time in a few weeks. A friend is generously lending us his great off road pop top caravan. We have a sketchy itinerary so far, which sounds like the pretty standard tour of the area. We have up to 18 days. Here it is so far.
Departing Adelaide
Roxby Downs (visit rellies) 1 night
Coober Pedy 1 night
Uluru 2 nights
Kings Canyon 1 or 2 nights
Hermansberg (via back road) to Palm Valley (have to double check on stopover or not?)
Redback Gorge
MacDonnell Ranges 3 or 4 nights
Alice Springs (maybe 3 or 4 nights)
So far we seem to have a few nights up the sleeve, which is good, not looking for a tight shedule on this trip.
Any hot tips on what to see, places to stay, gps marks etc
Cheers
Rod

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Reply By: mfewster - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 08:09

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 08:09
OK Rod, I'll try a couple that don't feature on all the brochures.
First three are close to town,Try the view from Anzac Hill over Alice at sunrise. All our visitors agree it is one of their best moments and worth the early rise. Try a BBQ in the Todd at sunset (turn right off the Ross River Rd just past the camel farm.)
The Araluen Arts precinct in Alice is an often overlooked treasure. Historic and contemporary art. The Museum of Central Australia is small but has superb displays and explanations of the formation of Goss's Bluff and other features. The Central Australian Aviation museum should also be checked while you are at the precinct.

The Ochre pits and Gosses Bluff are often missed. You can include the Bluff after Kings Canyon on the Meerie loop. It is really worth checking the view back over the Bluff from Tylers lookout. This however takes you around the Namatjira Drive and away from Palm Valley. Check this loop road on a map, It might be worth going to Alice via Palm Valley, then doing the circuit another day and taking in Standley Chasm, The Ochre Pits, Glen Helen Gorge (and there are several other gorges along here worth exploring if you have time). The trip through Redbank is spectaculour if floating on liLos appeals.

Cheers
Mike

Have fun.
AnswerID: 110120

Follow Up By: Mark R - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 08:38

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 08:38
Hi Rod,

Gosses Bluff a MUST SEE - brilliant - have a great trip

Regards Mark
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Follow Up By: woddonnee - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 09:33

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 09:33
G'day Guys
Thanks very much Mike, thats great stuff. With that info I reckon we are well on the way to a plan for our destinations.
Thanks for the confirmation Mark.
Next task is to work out where we will stay in the period between Uluru and Alice Springs. My wife has not been camping before and at this stage has a preference for staying at locations with bathroom facilities. Any recommendations on caravan park type locations appreciated.
Also I think I have almost convinced her that a night or 3 camping could add to the experience if anyone has suggestions for great camping spots.
Thanks again
cheers
Rod
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Reply By: Member - RockyOne - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 09:00

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 09:00
Hi Rod...At Roxby Downs,say gooday for me to Rusty Bunworth.He is camped there helping to control feral cats on the bilbie ?project..Ex army mate,I drove the 1160kms to Birdsville to see him for Anzac day..He can see the mine lites/dust at nite from his camp.Enjoy the adventure..
AnswerID: 110131

Follow Up By: woddonnee - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 09:35

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 09:35
G'day RockyOne
I'll note that down, ya never know I might bump into him :-)
cheers
Rod
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Reply By: johnsy1 - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 12:12

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 12:12
When staying at Kings Canyon we stay at Kings Creek Station and drive into the Canyon better camp also I'm friends of the owners.

Glen Helen and Ormiston Gorge both have hot showers and camp grounds.

Palm valley has solar showers but you would want to be showered about 4 in the arvo to get warm water.

Jims place at Sturat Well is worth a stop especially when Jim is there himself as he and his father put the origanal track into Kings Canyon.(Mon Fri).

Palm Valley Hermansburg and Boggy Hole can be done as a 2 day 1night run in swags.

Eastern Macs are less crowered because of people in a hurry dont have time.

Anyway have a great time and take a good Doona it can get chilly and if you are up there for the Queens birthday weekend camp down the old south road to see the Finke desert Race even if your not into motor sport its a great event.
AnswerID: 110146

Follow Up By: woddonnee - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 15:34

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 15:34
thanks johnsy1
Thats great info. We don't have swags so will have to look at alternatives for Palm Valley.
Looks like we will add to the syndrome you mentioned about Eastern Macs :-) Maybe next time?
Thanks for the Finke desert race tip, will check the timing out, thanks for reminding me, its my wifes birthday when we're away, oh and our anniversary :-)
cheers
Rod
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FollowupID: 366744

Follow Up By: Pluto - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 14:08

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 14:08
Rod

You'll be able to get an off road van into the campround at Palm Valey, but leave it there when you venture further into the valley. The views in there are well worth it and the marked walk trail are worth doing.

As for the Eastern Macs. I'd prefer to spend the time there instead of Alice Springs. There is camping at Arltunga and the spectacular Ruby Gap. The drive through Cattlewater Pass is very scenic. There are other sights on Ross Hwy that I didn't get the chance to see, so give your self at least two days to do the loop. You won't regret it.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 12:53

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 12:53
East Mc donalds, with at least 1 night camping at Ruby gorge
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Follow Up By: woddonnee - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 15:44

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 15:44
Thanks Davoe
I'll check it out
cheers
Rod
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Follow Up By: Swoosh - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 17:01

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 17:01
East McDonalds - continue through Ruby Gorge and drive to the beginning of Glenn Annie Gorge. Camp here and walk right through the gorge- approx 1hr. Prospectors mined for rubies here for 18month only to find out they were garnets.
Swoosh
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 12:02

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 12:02
If you plan to camp at Ruby Gorge you'll have to do it in a tent as you definitely won't get a pop-top caravan in there. Having said that it is absolutely spectacular! People rushed to Ruby Gap in the 1860-80s, as they sought rubies. These were later discovered to be garnets. Although several miners did well from it, most were left not as rich as they had planned. If you are planning to stay in Ruby Gap then make sure you take your own water and supplies, and also collect fire wood on your journey in.

Another highlight of the East MacDonnell Ranges is N'Dhalla Gorge which is home to over 6,000 aboriginal petroglyphs (rock carvings).
!MPG:5!
The track in crosses the Ross River (*Hop out and have a look first as it's not as straight forward as you initially think) and the changes of scenery are amazing. One minute you are in desolate sand flats with blackened remnants of stunted trees and the next you have fields of wildflowers.
!MPG:3!

Don't forget to visit Arltunga, which is the oldest town in central Australia on your way to Ruby Gap.
!MPG:4!
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Follow Up By: woddonnee - Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 16:39

Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 16:39
Thanks swoosh and wombat, looks good. Thanks for the tips
cheers
Rod
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 14:33

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 14:33
The must see places would fill more than a couple of weeks.. thats the problem

dont try and cram too much in, and end up with a National Lampoons Wally World trip like so many do.
AnswerID: 110162

Follow Up By: woddonnee - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 15:47

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 15:47
G'day Truckster
Theres a familiar name from my first visits here, glad to see your still trucken :-)
Yes, I agree, what we need is a relaxing holiday.
Wasn't that a classic movie though :-)
cheers
Rod
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FollowupID: 366746

Reply By: canpin - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 17:56

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 17:56
Rod,
If you have not done it before, dont forget the Oodnadatta Track either coming or returning.
Also as you have a pop top I would recommend that you use Alice as your base and do day trips to the East & West Mac's.
There are plenty of good van parks in the Alice (refer previous posts)
Also worth seeing are Rainbow Valley (great at sunset and Chambers Pillar) which can be both done together in a day trip from Alice.

cheers

Craig
AnswerID: 110181

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 22:51

Saturday, May 07, 2005 at 22:51
That would be a pretty big day and it is well worth seeing Chambers either at sunset or sunrise.. Just like on the Rock the colours change as the sun moves and it is very spectacular. Same at Rainbow Valley. I would recommend camping at Chambers.

If you are coming from the south you can access Chambers via Hugh River Stock Route. But you would want to be at Chambers by about 3pm to be sure of a campsite suitable for a camper.

So much to see the hard part is deciding what to skip.

Duncs.
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Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 16:21

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 16:21
Agreed. Came onto this thread late and can't believe it took so long for Rainbow Valley and Chambers Pillar to come up. Aside from the big ones, these are not to be missed.
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Follow Up By: woddonnee - Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 08:54

Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 08:54
G'day
Thanks for the tips guys, all added to the mix. I'm pretty well resigned to the fact that we won't have time for the oodnadatta track.
cheers
Rod
PS sorry for being a bit slow responding
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FollowupID: 367365

Reply By: mfewster - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 07:08

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 07:08
Rod,
advice on campsites around Alice depends on what sort of rig/camper you have. Most places can be done as day trips, if you have a high clearance vehicle, Camping spots with camper trailer depend on the nature of your trailer. What are you towing and I will advise accordingly

You will love it all

mike
AnswerID: 110570

Follow Up By: woddonnee - Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 08:58

Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 08:58
G'day Mike
The van is a coromal off road type, its a single axle with 16" wheels and weighs around 1000kg (just van and 60L water, probably allow 200kg for other stuff)
Cheers
Rod
PS I'm going fishing fri-mon so may not see any replies til mid next week
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FollowupID: 367366

Reply By: woddonnee - Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 16:08

Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 16:08
G'day
Been wondering why this thread didn't come up on todays list, but figured it was because there was no new reply, only follow ups?
I'm about to find out
cheers
Rod
AnswerID: 111019

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