A Peek at Alice Springs…

I only had time for a quick peek at Alice Springs, known by the locals as “The Alice” before setting off on the next adventure.

Alice Springs is in the very centre of Australia encircled by thousands of kilometres of desert. It is a new town in a very old and stable geological area, built on the flood plains of the Todd and Charles river. This is an area of extremes, of droughts and flooding rains. In summer the temperatures can reach the mid 40’sC, in winter they can get down to -6C, and I am here in July, mid winter…

I had one day and I was on a mission to buy a beanie….

While on the art tour I had shown Sharon the camping itinerary and she had said, “wow that is a very busy, full programme, it will be cold in the tents. Have you got a beanie? You will certainly need one”.

So it was a walk to town, I definitely had to have a beanie…

The motel was across the road from the dry river bed of the Todd River.

Just look at that amazing sky. I also passed a number of groups of Aboriginals, mainly just sitting around.

I passed the entrance to the Botanic Gardens. They were temptingly a short way down the street from the motel. I will be back after the camping tour so will look around then.

But now I was on a mission.

Across a board walk admiring the many beautiful river red gums.alice springs 046_4000x3000

alice springs 055

It certainly doesn’t look like a river but this can be a roaring torrent in the wet season.

Every year in August they have a famous boat race The Henley-On-Todd Regatta. Yes a boat race literally run by contestants in bottomless boat. The people of the Northern Territory have a reputation for being a bit crazy. The only time it was cancelled was in 1993 when the river flooded and due to the water they couldn’t “run” it… It is a crazy event and I found a you tube to show you. Sadly I will miss this event as it is the month after we go home. youtube(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWC6jxbNGzc})

alice springs 069_4000x3000I reach town and find the shopping centre.alice springs 067_3000x4000It had an interesting mural and I recognised it as Simpsons Gap. Also very life-like kangaroo and emu standing there.

Surprisingly there was not a lot of selection of beanies, but finally I found one in a sports shop. Now I am all ready for the next adventure.
On the way back home it started to rain, only a shower, but that was quite momentous since there had been no rain since January and that was only a dribble. Look at the black sky. What a change from the sky when I set out in the morning…alice springs 072_3000x4000Now I am ready to be picked up at 5-30am tomorrow morning, with my beanie clamped firmly on my head and over my ears!!! Uluru here I come…  (to be continued)



  1. Just as I was wondering what a river red gum is, I got the picture that cited the name as Eucalyptus camadulensis. We know it simply as red gum. (We have red gum, red flowering gum, flowering red gum, river gum, flowering river gum. . . . and so on. There are many names, but they may not coincide with yours.) I grew up with the blue gum or Tasmanian blue gum, Eucalyptus globulus. It is considered to be an invasive exotic because it naturalizes here. Although, with so many of them gone, they do not seem to be much of a problem. The forest I remember in San Bruno have all been removed and replaced with urban development. I learned in school that the red gum was the equivalent of the blue gum in Southern California, but I never saw it that way. I see that it is common in large landscapes, parks and highway roadstops, but it never seems to be too invasive. Where we went to school, there were two huge specimens that were almost as big as blue gums, just not as tall.

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    • I’m not to good at identifying the different species and I have to confess I was naming it red river instead of river red, makes quite a difference🙄 interesting how urban development is changing everything. Our koalas are under threat because the gums they eat are no longer readily available.

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      • Red river gum sounds like something from southern Oklahoma. (The Red River is the southern border between Oklahoma and Texas.) I don’t keep track of the common names either. Some are different between here and southern California. I to like the eucalyptus though, for large scale landscapes. I worked on the West Valley Freeway (West of San Jose) back in the early 90s, and wanted more trees that were proportionate to the freeway, like some of the smaller eucalyptus. We used too many microtrees just because they were well rated as ‘street’ trees. Apparently, our designers did not know the difference between a street and a freeway. We are now adding eucalyptus to the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles. There is plenty of room for them on the embankments.

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  2. OMG I really think that is the same Motel that we stayed in! We had a couple of nights there, exploring the area before heading to Uluru and then another night before flying to Perth. Alice seemed a little soulless I thought.

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  3. We were in Alice Springs on our way to Uluru. I remember enjoying the School of the Airs…listening to kids in the outback attending classes via the radio. Pretty neat. It’s also where I saw a giant python hanging from a tree..!!

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  4. I’ve always been enamored of the idea of Alice Springs ever since I read Neville Shute’s A Town Like Alice. I also never would have imagined a shopping mall here, but I suppose the town must be modernized by now. Nothing stays the same, does it? I’m glad you found your beanie!

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