Darwin or bust - a short drive up the road travel blog

Standley Chasm drawfing Dan

The Ochre Pits on the walls of a dry river bed, amazing...

A beautiful waterhole

Wonderful scenery

Exploring a crack

Corroboree Rock

Rock art

This art is sacred to the aboriginals

Preparing for the next Australian Ninja Warrior show

This stunner is the largest ghost gum in the country and is...

Glorious scenery everywhere you look

Alice Springs is flanked by the West and East Macdonnell Ranges and as you drive through they form a gateway into town. The Alice is a modern town with a pedestrianised mall and airconditioned shopping centres. This weekend is the Henley on Todd Annual Regatta in the dry Todd River near town and there is street entertainment as part of the festivities. There are also lots of lovely and expensive Aboriginal Art Galleries and tour companies and overseas tourists. Not too sure why some of the aborigines need to sit on the footpath, they seem to sit in any patch of shade.

We visited beautiful gorges and waterholes in both the West and East Macdonnell Ranges on different days. We made it to Standley Chasm in the West Ranges just after noon and the sun was still shining into this towering chasm with its huge red cliffs surrounding us. The path in follows a creek bed and is lined with ghost gums and cycads. Further along the Ranges Ochre Pits line a dry creek bed, the colours were shades of yellow and reddish brown which are all used as paints by the aboriginals. There are signs warning of penalties of up to $5000 for touching the site.

Ormiston Gorge was a huge gorge with a lovely waterhole which some brave people (not us) were splashing around in.

In the East Ranges which are less popular, we visited numerous gaps and gorges some of which had rock paintings and are very sacred to the local aboriginals.

We spent the night at Ross River Resort and are starting to realise the word resort gets used a lot. Our cabin was built in the 1960s and has seen little maintenance since then. Our wooden cabin was very rustic and inside the walls were lined with hessian. There was no TV and no Wifi however we were lucky to get mobile phone coverage. There was a pool but Grae checked and the water temperature was a chilly 16 degrees. There were peacocks displaying and lots of pink galahs and crested pidgeons in the grounds. There was also a laundry with washing machine and dryer which came in handy as the red dust makes it hard to keep anything clean.

This time of year the desest gets hot during the day and cold during the night, so in the rooms we go from turning the aircon from cooling during the day to heating during the night.

Dinner at the Resort was a set menu and served strictly at 6.00pm. We got to the homestead for dinner at 6.10 and our dinner was sitting on the table. We asked for it, chicken pie and vegetables to be reheated. The place wasn't busy at all but obviously there's a strict time for dinner.

Breakfast was included in our room rate (we learnt by accident) and the homestead had a lovely crackling log fire burning in the morning which made it hard to go outside after we'd finished.

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