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erad 28-06-16 08:30 PM

Trips around Alice Springs
 
Just been to Alice for a week. It coincided with the annual Finke Desert race, although I had no part of that - I went the other way when they were practicing and actually doing the race.

Most of the week we were retracing tracks we had done before, but it had been nearly 20 years since we were there, so we had a great time.

We went out to Palm Valley. Awesome place. To get there, you have to drive out past Hermansberg and then along the bed of the Finke River. It had rained a week or so before, so we had to go through some deeper water, but this was not too bad. Someone had put some marker poles to follow. There are some nasty rock shelves to cross, and the return crossing was into the sun, so I couldn't see where the shelves were. It is really worth a visit.

Most of the trips we did could be done with a 2WD. Chambers Pillar could have been done with 2WD but you would need good ground clearance. It is a fascinating place. To stand at the top of the stairs and look at the graffiti done by everyone since Chambers & Co, you realise that those guys walked this country with camels and their own provisions. We got there in a comfortable, air conditioned Pajero easily in a few hours.There is no comparison. Being at the Dig Tree and hearing the story of Burke & Wills had the same effect on me. They were tough men in those days...

The other places - Elery Creek Big Hole, Emily Gap, Trephina Gorge, NDhala gorge - the list goes on and on - we spent a week and saw most of them, but on 4 days we ran out of time and finished up returning in the dark. Not a good idea - there are lots of feral camels, horses, cows, kangaroos, emus etc out there and we didn't want to hit anything so it was a careful trip back into town each time. Oddly enough, we saw more roadkill on the road from Canberra to Cooma than on the entire 12500 trip, including even out near Longreach.

After Alice, we went to Yulara. Been there twice before, but it was years ago. The Rock has grown about twice as high as we remember it. So have the costs. Ripoff. $25 per person to go into Uluru, $49 per night in the campground and we could not get even a warm shower because there were so many people there. It was the last time we will be there....

Alltold, a great place to visit, as many of you would already know. if you haven't been there, put it high on your bucket list. Sorry - no photos because it was all done on a movie camera and as yet I cannot get stills off the disc.

Les PK Ranger 29-06-16 09:23 AM

Great country, have walked Larapinta Track Redbank Gorge (actually from west end of Mt Zeil and bagged the summit, NTs highest peak) back to Alice, 17 days or so.

Also did 4WD trip up there after July 2015 Simpson crossing, mostly West Macs.

If you get back there, Roma Gorge has awesome heliographs in the gorge, well worth the interesting little 4WD through to it . . . this is towards west end of Namatjira Drive, just past Redbank Gorge, but before where it turns south down to Gosse Bluff (another great place to visit / camp).
Roma Gorge is on most of the HEMA 4WD Maps.


Another good drive is Boggy Hole drive down from Hermmansburg, follows the Finke River, 4WD only, some sand / rock, but not too technical.
This goes down to Ernest Giles Hwy, great 2 day run, and either out to Luritja Rd (Kings Canyon road) or the Stuart Hwy (where Henbury Meteor site is, interesting place too).


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