For many "The Alice" is a symbol of the outback. It grew beside a vital telegraph station on the Overland Telegraph Line from an isolated settlement at the mercy of distance and climate to a modern and expanding municipality with a thriving tourist industry.
Alice Springs is a main outlet for contemporary Aboriginal paintings with many galleries in town selling the works of artists from outlying areas. A heritage walk (details from the Visitor Centre in Hartley Street) seeks out buildings remaining from the pioneer days. Also well worth a visit are the restored building of the Telegraph Station, four kilometers north from the town centre beside the Todd River.
The nearby MacDonnell Ranges dominate the, otherwise flat, landscape and contain a number of fascinating natural attractions including gorges, water holes and the fabulous flora and fauna of the Red Centre.
Looming stark from the spinifex and red earth, Uluru (348 metres above the plain) and Kata Tjuta (548 metres above the plain) were laid down some 550 million years ago as an alluvial fan created by the outflow of water from the plantless valleys of an ancient, and no longer present, mountain range a little west of the present day location of Kata Tjuta.
The ring road around Uluru (anti-clockwise gives car passengers the best view) allows visitors to experience its many aspects and appreciate its amazing size. Almost unbelievably, this is only the tip of a seam of hard sedimentary rock (known as arkose) that extends several kilometers below the sands. There are both sunrise (on the eastern side) and sunset (to the west) viewing areas.
Over 500 species of plants, 150 species of birds and 75 reptile species inhabit the park. The nine-kilometre (four-hour circuit) Uluru Base Walk takes in ancient rock art, caves and waterholes. Ranger and Aboriginal guided tours are available for some walks and provide a valuable introduction to local Aboriginal culture.
Each feature of Uluru has a meaning and traditional Aboriginal law, or Tjukurpa. The shorter (one and a half hours return) Mala Walk (self-guided and ranger-led) visits caves and rock art sites on the way to Kantju Waterhole. On the south side of the rock an even shorter walk (forty-five minutes return) leads to Mutitjulu Waterhole one of the most reliable at Uluru; its waters have sustained the people of the area for thousands of years. The Liru Walk is conducted jointly by rangers and senior Anangu (local Aboriginal people) and takes about two and a half hours.
The climb, the most popular of all activities at Uluru, is also the most physically demanding. It follows the path believed to have been taken by the Mala (hare-wallaby) men on their arrival at Uluru and is a route of great spiritual significance. Although they have given permission, the local Aboriginal people would prefer visitors not to climb the rock.
From the resort a journey of around 50 kilometres west takes you to Kata Tjuta, an area of great significance to its traditional owners. Visitors are asked to respect the sacred sites here by keeping to the marked tracks.
The Valley of the Winds Walk (four hours return) winds between the towering domes with magnificent views over the start desert landscape. The great variety of vegetation to be seen along this walk is particularly spectacular during spring of after rain. The shorter Olga Gorge (Walpa) Walk (one hour return) leads into the deep, shade gorge created by the massive walls of the two highest domes at Kata Tjuta. The view west at the end of the walk gives a good impression of the scale of the huge sandstone domes. It is well worth waiting for sunset which can be watched from a special viewing area on the western side. About twenty minutes after the sun has set, the yellow-pink western sky makes Kata Tjuta glow an even deeper colour.
The star of Watarrka National Park (72 200 hectares) is Kings Canyon located 9 kms from the resort on a good sealed road. The Kings Canyon loop walk (three to four hours) around the canyon rim should not be missed it offers some of the best scenery in Central Australia with splendid views from the one hundred metre high sandstone canyon walls. There are interesting detours along the way through a maze of weathered domes (the lost city) and a sunken valley with permanent waterholes and lush vegetation (the Garden of Eden). The walk is quite strenuous in parts especially the climb up to the canyon rim. The shorter (one hour return) Kings Creek Walk meanders along the canyon floor to a lookout point. Both tracks are rough underfoot. The natural features of Watarrka National Park hold great significance for the local Aboriginal people who live in three communities within the park and conduct cultural tours.
|Alice Springs Resort|
What many refer to as the best accommodation in town, Alice Springs Resort combines efficient and friendly outback service with modern, comfortable facilities. Low rise architecture and lush green lawns contribute to the relaxed atmosphere of our award-winning resort, situated on the banks of the famous Todd River with its magnificent river red gums.
|Ayers Rock Resort - Desert Gardens Hotel|
A superior 4 1/2 star hotel at Ayers Rock Resort. Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the setting for this lovely hotel. Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of stylish accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to the magnificent deluxe rooms overlooking the desert.
|Ayers Rock Resort - Sails in the Desert Hotel|
The ultimate in 5-star comfort at Ayers Rock Resort. Named after the soaring white sails that crown its roof, this is Ayers Rock Resort's premier hotel. Exquisitely furnished and designed, the interior decor focuses on Aboriginal heritage and culture, with a gallery in the lobby and significant artworks featured throughout the public areas and in the private rooms.
Luxurious, eco-sensitive and romantic, Longitude 131 offers immersion in the wilderness of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, complete with 5 star luxury and private views of the sun rising and setting over Uluru (Ayers Rock).
|Ayers Rock Resort - Outback Pioneer|
Offering traditional Australian outback hospitality with your choice of 3 1/2 star Hotel or 2 star Lodge accommodation. Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge offers you a choice of comfortable, affordable hotel rooms, budget cabins or dormitories. This is a place where friendships are made and good times are had
|Ayers Rock Resort - Emu Walk Apartments|
Ayers Rock Resort's 4 star fully serviced apartments. Sheltered behind gardens of native trees and forming a walkway through the heart of the Resort is an avenue of terraced apartments. Light and spacious, well equipped and fully serviced, the Emu Walk Apartments can cater for up to six people - ideal if you are holidaying with family or friends. All apartments are fully self-contained, with separate kitchen, living and bedroom areas.
|Ayers Rock Resort|
Ayers Rock Resort lies at the gateway to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in Australia's Northern Territory. Given its remote location, a resort of world class standards is possibly something you might not have expected to find here in the Outback. Ayers Rock Resort is all that and more. Here you can immerse yourself in the timeless landscape of one of the world's most beautiful natural wonders
Kings Canyon Resort is located in a loop off the main highway running between Ayers Rock and Alice Springs. The sensitively designed resort is just seven kilometres from Watarrka National Park, the home of the magical sandstone formation of Kings Canyon.
No records returned.
DesigNZ on Travel
85 Phillips Drive
Phone: +64 (07) 577 1434