Aussie Adventures Pt11

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 20:38

Member - Muncey 72

Had a nice relaxing time in Alice, no one visited us at night so I did not have to use the bat. We had a look around town and topped up on some shopping (still no luck with the Crocodile Dundee Movie) and then just chilled around the caravan park. With 3 pools, slides, bouncy pillows and kids game area there was plenty to do. As we had been to Alice 3 years ago we did not need to rush around doing all the local attractions, it was actually really nice just doing nothing (well just a bit tanning around the pool). The weather was perfect 27 degrees through the day and 1 degree at night. Every Sunday the caravan park puts on free pancakes so we indulge in them before heading to the airport to drop Alex off. Tears of joy or sadness not quite sure as we watch Alex go through security and head into the transit lounge. I don’t think she saw us high fiving each other as we jump for joy outside……Only kidding. After we dry our eyes we continue down the Stuart Highway before turning west along Ernest Giles Road. This road is 100kms of gravel but is a lot quicker than going the bitumen road. The road is really good until the last 10kms which is very corrugated. We stop for lunch on the road side and also collect some wood for tonight’s fire. We arrive at Kings Creek Station at 2pm and book in for 2 nights unpowered at $53 a night. Not cheap but what is in the outback, definitely not fuel which is $2:17 for diesel. Kings Creek Station is approx. 35kms from Kings Canyon and is a working station. Its well laid out and very clean, with its own café, shop and chopper flights. Unfortunately, the pool is currently closed due to a faulty pump but there is a pool at the Kings Canyon Resort 35kms up the road. After the fires going we sit around talking about the days ahead and what we have seen, its so strange already without Alex almost surreal.
Expecting a cold night, we were pleasantly surprised it was a mild 12 degrees. Up and on the road by 8:15am we drive out to Kings Canyon and get prepared for the 6km Rim walk. We done this walk 3 years ago and were so impressed that it was one of the first things on this trips to do list. The first part of the walk consists of about 600 steps at about a 30% gradient. Its steep and very tough on the legs but after that it plateau’s out and is a gradual incline and decline throughout the Canyon. The views are stunning, especially in the morning sunlight. There are photo opportunities at every turn with many a view to see. The shear size of the Canyon blows me away and how its has been created by the weather along. Once you cross the canyon floor and start walking along the opposite ridge line the views back to where you have just been walking are equally spectacular. I love this place and will come back again one day and do the walk again, it’s just so rewarding. All up the walk takes us exactly 3 hrs and by the time we get back to the car we are ready to blag a swim in the resort pool. The water in the pool is almost frozen over, well that’s what the temperature felt like but I’m sure the water will do the muscles good. After a swim and an ice-cream we head back to the station and get organized to head to Ayres Rock tomorrow morning.
Another barmy 12-degree night and we enjoy honey on toast for breakfast, man this honey is good. Still using the honey, the guy gave us back in Georgetown. We get packed up and head down the road south and join the Lasseter Hwy. We see Mt Conner in the distance which looks a bit like Ayers Rock until you get closer to it. Then approx. 50kms out from the Yulara township you get you first glimpse of Ayers Rock, its big, very big. We mange to get into the campground and set up in the overflow area at $50 for 2 nights. After a quick lunch we head straight out to the rock hoping to climb it. Bingo, as we get closer the boys spot people on the rock so we are in luck. Morgan turns a pale shade of white as we get our backpacks on and hug Maz goodbye, “are we really going to do this dad”? You betch ya buddy. I have climbed the rock before 3years ago with Alex but really wanted the boys to experience it aswell before it is closed permanently next year. Its steep, very steep. The first 300 metres is straight up and you have a chain anchored into the rock for assistance. Harrison lead the way whilst I stayed behind Morgan, it was a tough climb which involved quite a few rests and reassuring Morgan he could make it. After the initial steep part, it was pretty easy walking up to the top. It was definitely not flat though very up and down almost like large waves on the surface. The views from the top were amazing and you could see the Olgas 42kms away. Morgan and Harrison were very pumped when they made it and we got a team photo and Harrison signed the visitors book. Going down was the next challenge, just as hard on the legs but easier on the heart. If you’re not good with heights this is definitely not for you. So proud of the boys something we shall never forget. After meeting Maz at the bottom we all celebrated with Pizzas fo tea.
Today was a more leisurely day of sorts as we have a sleep in and the look around the shopping precinct at the resort. By 11am we are back at the rock to pick up our bicycles we have hired and we spend the next 2 hrs riding around the base of Ayers Rock. This was great and a really good way of seeing how big it is. Last time we came here we walked around, so the cycle was a nice change. The Rock is awesome in its own right without any of the stories that go with it. We have a swim in the arvo, again the pool is ice but good for the muscles. We watch the sunset at one of the many lookouts dotted around the resort and then fall asleep to the humm of the Yulara power station which is only about 1 km from the overflow area.
This morning was a very early start 5:20am we are up and on the AAT Links bus out to see the Stars of Light display. Basically 50,000 solar lights in a paddock with Ayers Rock in the background. It was actually very very good, we walked around the display which is a about 500mx400m square and continually changing colours. As the sun came up the lights went out and practically just blended into the vegetation. Lovely sunrise and a great start to the day. After packing up we get fuel at $2:15 and then head out to the Olgas get some photos, let the tyres down and then start our journey on the Great Central road. The road is gravel with plans to bituem it all the way one day. The first couple of hours the road was very good, most of the time we sat on about 85kms hr. We stop at Lasseters cave for a break and look around and speak to a couple who are heading in the other direction, there road report was not as good as mine. We get to Docker River and as we approach town, 2 locals are just sitting on the road! I drive by slowly and they just wave and smile! We do not stop and collect 200 we drive straight through, we cross the border into WA and the road gets a little worst but not as bad as the couple had reported. The scenery is not like I imagined, its actually very undulated with many ranges on both sides of the road very beautiful. We stop our first wild mob of camels, man there an ugly beast. We stop at Warakurna and fill up with fuel…..how much I hear you say well try $2:40 for diesel. Its vey windy now and we drive through a couple of dust storms, we stop for the night down a small track off the road. No fire tonight as its to windy.
We stay on NT time for the moment and hit the road stopping at a couple of Rockholes for a look, hmm literraly a rock with a hole in it. We stop at the Warburton roadhouse and treat ourselves to bacon and egg muffins, the dogs around town all came out hoping for a snack. The area is like a war zone many local cars came into the roadhouse in all states of disrepair, some even had doors missing and ockey straps holding down the bonnet. We leave this place and continue west; the road has improved heaps and we average 90kms and hr again. We fuel up at Tjukayirla Road House at the bargin price of $2:00 and then drive approx. 15kms down the road to a location on Wiki Camps called Nellys Soak, it’s a great spot well off the road surrounded by a ridge. We set up, get a fire roaring and enjoy a beautiful chicken curry for tea hardly a breath of wind tonight. We watch a lovely night sky with a full moon, perfect.
We wake on NT time and get packed up so are on the road by 7:30 WA time, we drive a little way and stop at Beegull Waterholes and Caves. Lovely spot with a huge white cross, Carins and a couple of caves. Above this are two tiny ponds/pools of water which is supporting heaps of birdlife: Galahs, Zebra Finches and also what look like Canaries flying around everywhere all in formation. We also spot another group of Camels in the distance. We continue onto the small community of Cosmo Newberry which seems to be shut on this Saturday morning until the local teacher appears and has a chat. He lets us use his toilet in his house as the public one is…well let’s just say it needs to be demolished. The road was pretty average on the way to Cosmo but the other side towards Laverton is much better. We finish the last of the dirt road as we drive into Laverton and Maz has counted 188 burn out, wrecked and abandoned vehicles since we left the Olgas on the side of the road. Not bad in 1100kms. We fuel up and have a late lunch in Laverton and then head towards Leonora to a spot East of town called Malcolm Dam. Its another free camp for the night as we set up behind the dam wall away from everybody else next to a fire pit with wood ready to go. Once the fire is going we enjoy chicken parmi while watching an amazing orange glowing full moon rise up from the horizon, does it get any better? We all enjoy a bush shower tonight so easy when no one else around.
Today we wake to the boys having got the fire going again and have breakfast on the go for us, where was this 3 months ago? We leave a little later as there was a dew over night and the camper was damp. Once on the road its an easy 230kms into Kalgoorlie where we book into the Discovery caravan Park for 2 nights at $102 for family powered site. After setting up we all head straight for the showers, probably the best showers on the trip heaps of pressure and heat. The boys spend the arvo chewing through the camps free wifi whilst Maz catches up with an old friend for coffee and me well I get to do one last load of washing. We head to the iconic Exchange Hotel for tea (Paddy Hannans) which is packed and very nice food. Maz and I go into the front bar just to see one of the last bars that have skimpy barmaids serving, to think many years ago most pubs had this. How times have changed.
We are awoken at some godly hour by a motorbike starting up and leaving the park, it sounded like he was going to ride through the camper. It’s a cold morning when we finally crawl out of bed. We have a leisurely day taking in the sites around town, we go to the Hannan’s North Tourist Mine, The Museum in town and the super pit lookout. While we were at the Hannan’s Mine we met an elderly couple within the Chinese garden who were laying some flowers on a large rock which turns out to be a memorial for their son who lost his life in the mines some 22 years ago. They come to the gardens every year and lay flowers both in their 80’s. It was quite emotional listening to them talk about their son etc. Whilst walking around town we notice many vacant shops in the main street and a lot of businesses for sale which is a shame. The super pit lookout was cool, its one huge hole all man made absolutely massive.3.5kms long, 1.5kms wide and 600metres deep even visible from space. We get many of the dump truck drivers (Men and women) to toot as they drive pass and drop off the load of rocks at the crusher face. We tidy up our gear ready for our second last day on this adventure, tomorrow we will head to the historic town of York which is approx. 540kms from here.
We are up and ready to leave by 8am but hang around until 9am so the camper can fully dry out after the dew we had. We hit the road going through the town of Coolgardie on our way to Southern Cross where we stop for morning tea and then onto Merredin for lunch. The countryside is so green and lush. We take a back road to York and arrive about 3:30. We check into a B&B rather than setting up the camper as it is pouring with rain. Rather not get it wet and have to set up again when we arrive home. The boys just chill and watch TV for a while then we head into the old town and have tea. The kids get some lollies from an old English lolly shop ready for the trip home tomorrow. York is a beautiful of town and you could easily spend a few days here.
We make the last leg of the trip home safely albeit in wind and rain. It’s good to be home to see Alex and Chalkie our dog who goes berserk for 15 mins. The garden will keep us busy for a few weeks as it seems the weeds have taken over.
Well all good things must come to an end and its back to work for us. We had an amazing time, met some amazing people and saw some amazing things. Yes, it was very stressful at times due to car/camper problems but that’s all part of the adventure. The fun times and memories we had together as a family will always be with us, time goes so fast and you need to cherish everyday together. Will we do it again? Absolutely.

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