Must see places on the way to the Rock?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:30
ThreadID: 96499 Views:1978 Replies:11 FollowUps:7
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G'day,

We're off to Ayers Rock & Alice Springs in September and want to make the most of the sights along the way.

We start at Warrnambool and travel thru Coober Pedy then on to Uluru, Alice, Kings Canyon & hopefully Palm Valley. I've heard the Devils Marbles are worth looking at but would like to know what other sights, areas ect...are worth seeing while we are in the area. I'd also like to do the Oodnadatta Track however this will be dependant on the conditions.

Have a Landcruiser, towing a van (not offroad) and will have the family with me (kids ranging from 9 to 2 yrs of age).

Looking forward to your responses,

Derm
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Reply By: jamesw - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:15

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:15
We stayed at Kings Creek Station a few months ago and it was excellent. I am sure the family will like it and it is only 20 minutes drive to Kings Canyon from there. All sealed road too. Kings Canyon resort is pricey and over rated. If you stay in Coober Pedy do the underground mine tour. It's very easy access and very interesting. Some good things to see there and free as well if you seek them out. The Old Telegraph Station in Alice and the Desert Park will be of interest to you all. Have a safe and happy trip.

Cheers
James
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Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:45

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:45
The kids may like a night underground at Coober Pedy. There are a couple of reasonable motels. Also a drive to the Breakaways is worth it. You could go in an anticlockwise direction and come home from the dog fence on the Oodnadatta Track. Have you got time to Visit Woomera? I haven't been there but it will be on our next drive past there.
AnswerID: 489449

Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 09:40

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 09:40
We arrived in Woomera at lunch time, mid week. Not a sole on the streets and the museum also closed for lunch. Really a bazzar place. Plenty of rockets and other stuff in strategic positions around the town tho.

There's also that really large lake not far from Woomera either, think it had a womans name? Well worth a lunch or overnight stop.

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 09:44

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 09:44
Lets make that "Bizarre: shall we. Didn't look right when I first typed it either.

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:13

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:13
Hi Dermott,

There is much more to that area than Uluru. The Olgas are even better than Uluru I think.

If you cant do the Oodnadatta track you could still see some of that country by doing days trips out from the bitumen. Do a trip from Coober Pedy to William Creek and maybe drive out to Lake Eyre or do a flight from William Creek. Likewise you could go out to the Painted Desert from the Cadney Park Roadhouse.

The Breakaways just north of Coober Pedy are a Must See, but the Devils Marbles are a way north of Alice Springs.

There is a lot to see around Alice Sp - the East MacDonnells are beautiful and less busy than the western part. Trephinna Goge, N'Dhala Gorge and Arltunga are all great places to visit, and there is an interesting tourist drive that goes east from the bitumen a few miles north of Alice and takes you east to Arltunga. Gemtree, with a good CP may also be of interest.

Have a look through our blogs for further info.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:45

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:45
Hi Val

Quote: with a good CP may also be of interest.

"CP"???

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:48

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:48
Caravan Park!!
J and V
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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 13:01

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 13:01
I guess that lets the cat out of the bag. We don't use them much hey!
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Reply By: Member - blackbird1937 - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:36

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:36
Hi, The rockets at Woomera are definitely worth looking at, Len Beadell is buried there , Rainbow Valley is good , you might even see camels while going in or out, Simpsons Gap at the Alice also the Truck Museum. The Olgas at sunrise was worth getting up to see . Have a great trip. Vern.
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Reply By: Member - Broodie H3 - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 14:44

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 14:44
we towed our Roadstar c/van, 23ft L.O.A up the Oodnadatta track from Marree to William creek, and then too Coober Peedy, the van is not an off roader, and had no problems Just make sure that all vents are covered, eg; fridge, door, etc, etc, and the windows are locked, also let some pressure out of the tyres for when you come across the corrugated bits. The road wasn't too bad for corrugations when we went through, which was the last week of May,camped overnight at William creek and did a day trip out to Hamilton bay, and also did a flight over lake Eyre, truly worth while. Have fun and enjoy the experience, we surely did.
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Broodie H3
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Reply By: ao767brad - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:45

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:45
We took the kids this time last year, north via the flinders ranges, a night in Leigh Creek, a stay at Coward Springs on the Oodnadatta track and then over to Coober Pedy, the scenic flight over Lake Eyre is very expensive($1500 for 4) if you have a family so may be out of the budget? Flinders had great walks and drives, wonderfull wildlife, emu's, wallabies, kangaroos and heaps of good camp spots in the park. Coober Pedy the mines, underground church, the breakaways and dog fence. Uluru the base walk (start early takes at least 3 hours) or drive and walk in to each waterhole, visitors area, sunset viewing area, sunrise viewing even if you just walk up to the lookout in the campgound. Day at the Olgas, do some short walks. In yulara the info center was good.
Alice the Desert Park took a whole day to do all the walks and listen to the talks, they said it was one of the best days they had. Half a day at the new indoor heated pool with waterslides in Alice.Eastern Mcdonald ranges day trip to gaps, rocks, gorges and Arltunga, walk the length of Trephina Gorge. Western Ranges day trip/overnight to gaps, gorges and Glen Helen. Devils marbles 400km each way from Alice but a great night if you get there early enough for a camp spot at the Marbles(no later than 2-3pm). Heaps to do just be prepared for the cold mornings.
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Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 19:40

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 19:40
If you do the Oodnadatta trk to Coober Pedy instead of continuing north, you;ll miss the roughest part. Keep your speed to 70 or 80 and you'll be fine. Temptation is to go faster but you'll cop some damage if you do.

Alice is great and lots of day trips around. Do the truck museum - if you have boys, they'll love it. I did too.

If you have bikes it's the best way to go around the rock - we got lots of envious comments. Absolutely magical doing the Red Centre with kids for the first time. Olgas are really sensational.
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Reply By: p_marns - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 21:10

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 21:10
dont forget ellery big hole and trephina gorge
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Reply By: 4x4WD - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 11:49

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 11:49
Worth a night staying at the underground campground in Coober Pedy (it's on the road that goes out to Lake Eyre). If you've got some time up your sleeve it'd be worth popping out to the lake, it's only a couple of hours out from Coober Pedy, I'm not sure how much water is there now but when I was there in April last year it was full.

Go do Ayres Rock and Kata Tjuta of course, do everything you can out there and be sure to look in at the Cultural Centre at the rock for info on free tours etc with the Rangers as well as demonstrations and talks by the local Traditional Owners.

Go up and stay at Kings Creek Station and visit the Canyon. Depending on what you are driving you might consider the Mereenie Loop back around through the West MacDonnell ranges to Alice Springs but it's quite rough and not advisable for caravans or camper trailers that aren't made specifically for those conditions. Loop passes can be purchased at Kings Canyon Resort (poss at the servo).
You can then look at heading up the Stuart Hwy back to Alice Springs (if you don't take the above Mereenie option). You can take a 10 km detour to the Henly Meteorite Craters, it's an interesting thing to see but they are just a few holes in the ground so it's only the sort of thing you need to visit if you particularly have an interest.

When you are up in Alice Springs be sure to set up at a local caravan park (I can suggest Wanngardi Cvn Park on Ilparpa Road - which is 15km from the town centre, nice and quiet and peaceful with no problems like in town). Then from your base in town you can go explore the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges and pop out to Emily Gap, through to Corroborree Rock and out to Ross River Resort for a beer before returning back to Alice. You could spend a day or just an afternoon on the East Macs, if you want to go a bit further afield you could pop out to Arltunga for the afternoon after doing the East Macs in the morning.
The West Mac ranges are well worth spending a day or two on, you can spend about 3 to 4 hours at the Desert Park on Larapinta Drive about 6km out of the town centre then travel out to Simpsons Gap, then Standley Chasm, all fairly easy walks, then on to Hermansburg and Palm Valley and possibly the Owen Springs 4wd trail that'll bring you back out on the Stuart Hwy about 70km south of town.

Closer to town is the old Telegraph Station and Alice Springs (the reason for the town name) and the old Stuart Town Cemetary as well as the Stuart Town Gaol. Lots of other little things like that to fill in a few hours here and there... a definite is Rex's Reptile House, the RFDS Musuem (opposite Rex's on Stuart Tce)..

There is heaps to do, never believe anyone who says that you only need a day to see Alice Springs, I've seen far too many disappointed tourists who said they didn't know that there was so much to see and do in Alice.

If you want to know more drop me a private message or email (email is best as it goes to my phone so sooner to see it and reply). I live in Alice Springs (at the aforementioned cvn park) so I can definitely give you a few more pointers/tips and places to see... and perhaps we can have a beer around a campfire and discuss options for travel.
You could always come up to Alice before going to the rock etc but as you are driving past you might as well go there first.

Oh yes, further north are the Devils Marbles, the Pebbles, and a few other things near to Tennant Creek.

My cousin lives in Warnambool, she loves it down there. :-)

Anyway guys, hope this helps.. there is a lot more I could write here but time is always far too short and the last big write up I did (took me about 6 hours with a full 3 to 4 day itinerary) didn't even get a 'thank you' from the person it was done for so I don't bother now...
AnswerID: 489511

Follow Up By: Dermottj - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 13:17

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 13:17
Thats brilliant! I might take you up on sending you a message and also, having a beer round a campfire sounds bloody good too! Really appreciate your input, just the thing I was looking for.
Regards
Derm
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Follow Up By: 4x4WD - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 19:22

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 19:22
Hey Derm,

No worries mate.. might even make one of my famous dampers in that campfire. :-)

Simon
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Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 12:48

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 12:48
Hi Derm,

If you do get to Kings Canyon the resort is the cheaper option for families with up to 4 children and closer to the Canyon...check out the websites. We stayed ther last year, and on a previous visit stayed at the Station a bit further away from the Canyon.

You should be able to drive the Mereenie Loop from there, with care, to get to Alice and see the wonderful West MacDonnell Ranges on the way. It can be rough and corrugated so you need to check close to your travel date but we did it last year towing our Jayco Outback van and brother in law with a Jayco hawk (not outback model) with no problems, also the Oodnadatta track.
Had a wonderful time on both bits.

regards,

Heather
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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 23:08

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 23:08
Hi Derm

I have blogs from 2008 here on all we saw around Kings Canyon, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Palm Valley. A long way to the Devil's Marbles - save that for a trip to Darwin.Palm Valley access not really suitable for on road caravans, and camp site has very few sites suitable to fit a caravan. We stayed at the Kings Canyon Resort to be close to start the Rim Walk early as it is a big climb and can get hot. We stayed a second night after to walk, which was our favourite in the area. I would not take your rig on the Mereenie Loop.

Motherhen
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