5 September 2018

Exploring the Surrounds of Alice Springs

Alice Springs is situated in the most central region of Australia. It used to be the town everyone flew into to visit Uluru, but then the big red rock got its own airstrip. Tourist numbers are declining as a result, which is a shame considering the town’s people are some of the friendliest we’ve met whilst travelling through the Northern Territory. 

While there isn’t much to do in the town of Alice Springs itself, it serves as a great base to go and explore the surrounding natural landscape. Here’s what we found:

Kings Canyon

Travel time from Alice: 5 hours (shorter with 4WD)

We completed the Rim Walk through Kings Canyon in about 2 hours, despite the signs advising us it’d take between 3-4. We overheard a tour guide explaining it’s the second largest Canyon in the world. I’ve never visited a canyon so wasn’t sure what to expect, but the rock formations were interesting and diverse. Toward the end of the walk you can stand next to a shear drop off point. It looks as though the rock has been carved away to reveal multiple hues of pink, orange and brown. It was my favourite spot to stop and consider how it was formed and appreciate the vastness of the place.    

Standley Chasm

Travel time from Alice: 45 minutes

A chasm is defined as a deep fissure in the earth's surface. Because I didn’t know this I had no idea what we were going to see when we decided to drive out there. We were told to make sure we reached the chasm by midday, because that’s when the sun stretches through the crack and lights up the space usually filled with darkness. Whilst paying our $10 entry fee we learned there was a free tour starting at 11 o’clock with a local indigenous man named Kevin. We were so thankful to have him guide us along the track because he pointed out half a dozen bush foods we would’ve otherwise walked straight by. Even though the chasm was half lit by the time we entered, I was still freezing because of the wind. We didn’t stick along long but it was a nice place and the tour made it a well worth experience.

Ellery Creek Big Hole

Travel time from : 1 hour 10 minutes

I was surprised this place wasn’t more popular because it looked like heaven to me. I sat on the bank watching tourists dive into the icy water, breaking the stunning reflections of the overhanging gum trees. There was a great energy in the air as comradery formed between those who dared to jump in. One couple brought down a blow up kayak which allowed them to explore a small channel beyond a rock wall. Despite sharing the space with a dozen or so people, it was very peaceful and we could’ve stayed for hours had it not been late afternoon.

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