Central Australia Adventure June 2012, day 15, 16 & 17

Wednesday, Jul 04, 2012 at 16:40

D-Max Dave

Central Australia Adventure June 2012, day 15, 16 171/07/12

Still at Kings Canyon Resort, went to see the resort repair shop about the broken shocker mount, first impression of the bloke there was not a good one, he was supposed to be an Expert welder according to the resort, but I was skeptical, I guess you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

He told me that he would be able to fix it but could not guarantee that it would last, I had nothing to loose so I left the trailer with him. Two hours later I picked it up, he was right with his prediction that it may not last, i drove the 800 meters of tar road back to the cabin only to find it had broken somewhere along the 800 meters, Wow, that's one he'll of a welding job. Needless to say I went straight back, got my money back, looks like one shocker will have to do for awhile.

After that fiasco we hit the walking tracks around the Canyon, did a couple of easy ones which were very nice and not to tough for he boys, or me.

That afternoon we walked around the resort camp ground to have a look at what was available, the place is pretty big but a bit busy, especially in the centre sections, lots of school excursions, and bus groups. The best spots we found are along the edge where the site numbers are 60 - 67 these site have a great view and are not so crowded.

Overall my impression of the resort is not that good, there are some great sights nearby but we found the resort to be overpriced, staffed generally by people that didn't really care, and poorly maintained, if money is not a concern you could have a great time I'm sure, perhaps staying in a $269.00 per night resort room.

The most disappointing thing was that not far up the road was what appears to to be a great place to stay, Kings Creek Station, powered sites for $29.00, each with fire pits, and tables for eating/food preparation, there are tours available, camel rides, helicopter flights, and it only a short drive to the national park.

I guess we live and learn.

Our next stop was going to be Uluru tourist park for a couple of nights, we rang to book but found it to be booked out for the next four nights, looking in our camps 6 book we found Curtain Spings, about 80k out of Uluru. It was not what we had planned but that's how it goes sometimes.

As it turns out Curtain Spings is a great spot, one of the best free camps I have seen, the spots are big, you can have fires, there is a restaurant and pub walking distance from the camp, and the staff are very pleasant.

After setting up and a bit of lunch we headed into Uluru to check it out, about 45 min to the resort shops and main area. They have an IGA which is great as the price seem normal in comparison to smaller stores we have been to.

We stocked up there and headed back,to camp via the bottle shop in the resort, we came out empty handed, $35.00 for a six pack of standard beer, and $42.00 for the cheapest wine on he list, compared to the pub at Curtain Springs, where the six pack was $23.00 and the wine $22.00.

We collected fire wood on the way back, and came across a huge heard of camels which the boys thought was very exiting.

Back at camp we prepared dinner and had some drinks while the boys played footy with a bunch of other kids in the camp ground, it was amusing to watch because what appears to be the resident emu kept getting in the way, dinner out of the way, we watched the sunset by the fire, and prepared ourselves for bed.

Just by luck we found ourselves in a great spot enjoying the great outdoors, and without being ripped off as well, tomorrow we hit the rock and the Olga's.

Day 16.......... Tried to get up early this morning to get to the Rock and the Olga's as early as possible, it was a little hard as it was a very cold night and getting out of bed was not easy, we managed to get going about 0900hrs and were at the Rock by 1000hrs. First stop the coffee shop at the resort for some nice coffee and toasted sandwiches for breakfast, then off to see the Rock, the sight of the Rock is awesome, even at a distance it is very impressive indeed. We went to the base were the climb starts, there were many people already on there way up and down, and from the bottom the people up near what I thought was near the top looked like ants.

Joanne was not keen to climb but the boys and I thought we would go a little way first and see what it was like, the boys did not even get to the start of the chain before deciding to go back down to Mum, I sat there for a little while contemplating and watching who was going up and who was going down, after a little while I thought what the hell, got to try it now that I'm here and off I went.

About an hour and a half later I was at the top, what an experience, it was hard, but rewarding. It's one of those things you do once in a lifetime I think, and I am glad I did it, also glad I did not try to take the boys up, it would have been nerve racking worrying about them falling.

I find it amazing that more people don't fall, there a some very steep parts to it with no safety chain most of the way, and it can get very windy up there, I also think that a lot of people don't realize what they are getting themselves into until they are part way up.

There were people that looked like they were going for a stroll in the park on a nice summer day, shorts, tee shirt, and those flat grip less Dunlop volley type shoes, others looked like they were not fit enough to walk around a suburban city block,

After the climb we drove around the base and found some small walks to do, saw some rock paintings, and got some interesting views of the Rock.

We also visited the cultural centre, bought some trinkets, and had a picnic lunch in the very nice shelters provided, it is a really great place to visit and you probably need a few days to take it all in.

We were running out of time as the drive back to Curtain Springs was a hour and we didn't want to drive back in the dark, we had a bit of a look at the Olga's before heading back. Stopped along the way to get some firewood, and got back in time for wine/beer time before dinner.

Dinner out of the way and we were all sitting in front of a great fire to warm up before bed, that's the beauty of these smaller camp sites, you can have a fire, unlike some of the bigger parks.

We have decided to stay another night here, tomorrow we will just chill out, maybe do some washing which desperately need to do, and if we have the time we might take a tour of Mt Conner which is close by and looks very interesting.

Day 17........ Today we choose to have an easy day here at Curtain Springs, it has turned out to be such a great spot, especially for a free camp.

A day of laundry duty, car and trailer maintenance and cleaning, and getting everything back into it's place.

Went for a drive in the afternoon and got as close to Mount Connor as we could, it's not far from the camp ground and is apparently on the Curtain Springs property, you cannot get right up to it without doing a tour from the station.

The tour which includes dinner at sunset would have cost our family $600.00, we elected to take some photo's from a high point on the road instead, we did go to the outdoor restaurant at the station which was just fantastic, the food was great and priced well, and we met some nice travelers there as well.

We would recommend Curtain Springs to anyone wanting to visit the rock and wanting a economical, interesting and friendly alternative to Yularu Tourist Park which we found expensive, busy, and poorly maintained, and staffed by unfriendly people who dons seem to give a bleep !

We will definitely stay in Curtain Springs again if in the area.

Tomorrow we head for Marla, our overnight stop on the way to Coober Pedy, I have no idea what is there, I guess we will find out. From Coober Pedy we will go north to Oodnandatta, and onto the Oodnandatta track to maree.

I am a little concerned though because the trailer now only has one shocker, hopefully it will be ok on the tracks we still have to do.


Dave T
BlogID: 4139
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