I had no idea what to expect in Alice Springs. Dave had been years ago, but I know he was just as excited as I was to be there.
One of the first things that struck us as we approached Alice after hours and hours of solid highway driving was how lush and abundant the place looked. In fact for much of that day on the road we were in awe as magnificent green and ochre plains stretched around as far as we could see.
We wanted to explore the McDonnell Ranges and because we gave ourselves four full days in Alice we took our time and managed to spend a whole day in the East and then the next in the West McDonnell Ranges.
With easy walks in and around the gorges and waterholes we happily spent hours taking in the sensations of being among some of the most ancient and spectacular places on this planet.
All of this was once a massive water course, millions of years ago, and we could see evidence of it all around us.
We were thrilled to find striking Indigenous rock art around the gorges and we were able to get up close to some of them.
Further east at the end of the bitumen road, around 90klm from Alice Springs, we came across the Ross River Homestead, a curious arrangement of colonial buildings, cabins, campground and stables.
Once the home of an 1890’s pioneering cattle family, a staff member told us that subsequent owners were renowned breeders of unique and powerful horses known as Walers, and that they supplied over 1200 Walers to Australia’s World War 2 troops in Europe. There appears to be no written record of this, but it does make an interesting story. It’s a fascinating place and would be great to stay over for a couple of days.
Both the East and the West McDonnell Ranges offered up remarkable scenes and spectacular walking tracks and rock pools.
Just check out these amazing views.
We drove for a few hundred kilometers around and beyond the ranges and discovered this massive thing in the distance.
It wasn’t until we got back to Alice that we found out it is Gosses Bluff Crater, thought to have been formed by the impact of an asteroid or comet approximately 140 million years ago. The original crater rim has been estimated at about 22 km in diameter but this has been eroded away to currently around 5 km diameter, 180 m high crater.,
We also found out you can drive right up to the crater by 4 wheel drive. Another thing for next time.
We have so many photos of these extraordinary places around Alice Springs, and I’m just going to put some up here, in no particular order.
Thanks for following along with us on our Outback road trip so far. Come back soon to see what comes up next, or better still, subscribe over on the right hand panel to get blog updates in your inbox as soon as they’re posted.