Alice Springs Journals

Dead Red Heart of Australia - Uluru and Alice Springs

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A September 2005 trip to Alice Springs by actonsteve

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Quote: Stark, barren and mercilessly hot, the Dead Red Heart of Australia is unforgettable. An otherworldly place revolving around mysterious Ayers Rock/Uluru.

Dead Red Heart of Australia - Uluru and Alice Springs

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Overview

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To get a sense of scale to the Dead Red Heart of Austalia - you must see it from the air.The colours of this forbidding land from 20,000 ft are mind-blowing. As you cross the Outback it changes into various hues of red - sometimes it was russet red, sometimes it was light pink, other times it was deep mahogany. From up high it is slashed and streaked with yellow, white, black and brown. For the most part there is no sign of human life down there - just unrelenting land. It looks like the surface of Mars. Occasionally, you could see a road or a dried up riverbed snaking its way across the furnace landscape. But mostly it is a vast great emptiness.It is that sense of emptiness an...Read More

Toddy's Backpackers Resort

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Hotel | "Amongst the Aborigines-Toddy's Backpackers resort"

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Due to its remoteness accommodation in Alice Springs is a little expensive. You are caught between the four star motels that cater for the tour parties or the backpacker resorts which are affordable but allowances in comfort have to be made. One of the most memorable is Toddy's Backpackers . Its accommodation is basic but its main use is a place to stow your luggage while taking one of the 3- to 5-day trips to Uluru and the Outback. And if you have spent any time sleeping under the stars in a "swag bag" the accommodation at Toddy's can seem like luxury.Toddy's is situated in the southern part of Alice Springs along Gap Road. It is a ten minute walk from the Bus Terminal or Todd Mall...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 17, 2006

Toddy's Backpackers Resort
41 Gap Road
Alice Springs, Australia 0871
+61 (8) 8952 1322

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"Hey mate! Where's Meyers Hill?"I shrugged my shoulders, "Sorry can't help you... I'm a tourist here myself.."He ambled off, "no worries..."The above aboriginal stopped me in the street and asked for directions, but that is Alice Springs for you—the biggest city within thousands of miles. Its the focus, not just for tourists coming to see "the rock," but it also is a lifeline for ranchers/shearers, etc. A name synonymous with the harsh climate of "the Never Never," It is an oasis in the desert and has reached legendary status for its remoteness—a sort of Timbuktu of Australia.Personally, I liked it. It vies with Sydney as my favourite destination Down Un...Read More
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One of the most memorable things about my trip to Australia was being woken up by dingoes.They howled with the dawn light! After a freezing cold night in the outback the howling sounded terrible. It was the way a wolf howls. You can imagine them out there in the bush, stretching with the new day and announcing their presence to the world. Our guide says they are harmless and just hang around the campsite. But it is a most unnerving sound when you are struggling to wake up after a hard night under the stars.I wouldn't have missed my tour out of Alice Springs to Uluru, Kings Canyon, and The Olgas for the world. I truly got a sense of the vast scale and harshness of the Northern T...Read More
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Adjectives to describe Ayers Rock?Majestic? Monstrous? Magnificent? Awesome? Spiritual? Magical? Exhausting?All of those, plus - flyblown, hot, desolate and forbidding.To stand beneath Uluru/Ayers Rock is simply humbling. The whole experience is overwhelming. The sheer scale of the monolith dwarfs everything and it stands like an island above the desert around it. This scarlet monster lies at the heart of Australia. A place like nowhere else on earth, and the whole area gives off vibes that feel aeons old. To come here is to travel back to pre-history where giant megalithic rocks dominated the landscape, paintings two thousand years old are daubed on cave walls, the...Read More
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I think I enjoyed the Olgas even more then Ayers Rock.I felt I got closer to the desert here. I felt part of the Outback as we scrambled up slopes of scarlet scree, wandered through scrub and gum trees and gazed up at the biggest monolithic rocks I have ever seen. There is something primeval about The Olgas. They are standing like sentinels in the desert over 400 miles from the nearest city. The Olgas are just so powerful. Colossal orange mesas and domes looming out of the flat Outback. The Olgas was once a mesa ten times bigger then Ayers Rock, but over the millennia it has been broken down into 36 towering domes.The Olgas is even further out into the desert then Ayers Rock. I...Read More
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I am rather proud at completing the Kings Canyon hike.I can now add this to my list of accomplishments. The view from the rim into the inky depths and across to the red rock landscape was heart-stopping. From its edge you could not just see the walls of the canyon but all around me was a fantasy land of strange russet red rock shapes and textures. The great horseshoe canyon has rusted over the millennia to reveal fantastically rich reds and orange. And from the rim you can see where the great canyon opened up out onto the plains, which from this height seem to stretch into infinity..Kings Canyon is unmissable. Its a long way from "Alice," over 320 miles directly southwest. And ...Read More
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The dromedary camel stood in the middle of the red sand track and wouldn't let us pass. It was only 20 feet in front of us and the track was too narrow to drive around the grazing creature. The four-wheel-drive growled nearby until the camel, spooked, headed off into the bush in a lumbering comical gait. There it blended in with the red earth, gum trees and spinifex.One of the highlights of the trip to Australia is the four wheel tour to Ayers Rock/The Olgas. This was spread over three days involving sleeping in the open for 2 nights and many, many hours travelling over bumpy desert roads. And of course the advantage of the four-wheel-drive is that you can get off the tarmack onto remote t...Read More