on March 17, 2006
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 and is on the road to the airport. It has Elkes Backpackers on one side and the Aboriginal Hospital on the other. It consists of a motel complex with swimming pool and Barbecue area surrounded by a number of chalets. These are divided into eight bed dorms, four bed dorms and "deluxe" double/singles with bath, fridge and TV. The dorms go from $14 a night and the doubles/single charge about $35 to 40 a night. The single rooms do not include a bathroom so you will have to use the shower block a few yards away.But the primary aim of Toddy's is setting people up with tours of the natural wonders around Alice. The reception area is scattered with brochures of the delights of the Northern Territory (including tours of Darwin and Kakadu) and you can easily book up 3- to 5-day tours of Kings Canyon/Olgas/Uluru as Toddy's gives concessions with reputable tour companies such as "Sahara", "WayOutBack" or "Groovy Grape". Toddy's recommends that you take minimum luggage on these tours and provides secure space and books accommodation for when you return. People who have been on these tours bond around the nightly $10 barbecue and swap tales with those who are still to take part.But the most memorable aspect of Toddys for me has to be the aboriginals. Next door is an aboriginal hospital where they come in from the reservations to be treated. Also, I think the resort gives them carte blanche to use their laundry creating a never-ending stream of aboriginal women passing through. You get to see them up close and they are memorable—black features with heavy brows and lips, cheap clothes and sometimes bright red hair. These are the true denizens of "the Alice" those who have been here for thousands of years and the town is infinitely richer for their presence.They certainly added to my experience in Alice Springs. They gave Toddy's an exotic edge....
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