Posts Tagged ‘MacDonnell Ranges’

Entertaining yourself in Alice … part 2

June 6, 2010 1 comment

Alice Springs is not your typical small town with not much happening. Those that disagree, try living in some of the small towns in the rural areas of any of the other states.

We have the following:

Then there’s our magnificent landscape. Camp if you like, but much can be done via day trips too.

Uluru, or the Rock (formerly known as Ayer’s Rock) is worthy of a visit. It’s not a day trip unless you do the Emu Run Tour (coach trip). It’s 450km or so down the road. Lovely drive, and you’ll get to see the spectacular Mount Connor well prior to reaching the federal National Park. And if you’re sightseeing at the Rock, you simply must drive the extra distance and inspect & explore Kata Tjuta (formerly The Olgas).


Where to live in Alice Springs

May 1, 2010 11 comments

Alice Springs has suburbs, quite a few of them for such a small town. A few years ago the NT government decided to change the names of these suburbs. The people in power reside north of the Berrimah line. They said they’d “consult” and listen to the people of Alice Springs on this issue but they didn’t. They just said they did and chose the names they liked. Typical.

So now we have “Desert Springs” instead of the Golf Course Estate. Like many locals I refuse to use the name Desert Springs. It has always been the Golf Course Estate. Only the real estate agents use the new name, probably because they have to.

We can tell if you’re new to town if you say “Desert Springs” instead of Golf Course Estate.

“Araluen” the suburb is nowhere near the Araluen Cultural Centre. (That’s in “Gillen”.) The suburb of Araluen encompasses the area most locals called “off Tmara Mara” or “near Diarama” or even the old “Carmichael Estate”.

The empty land alongside Stephens Road (near the Golf Course itself) is now known “Mount Johns” or “Mount Johns Valley”. The property developers have moved in & we even have a new road, “Road 1” so it’s not going to be vacant land for much longer.  So they say.

Thankfully the Darwin boffins kept old “East Side”.

My first two years in Alice Springs were spent residing in a most delightful & peaceful area off Tmara Mara. Magnificent house & easy walking distance to the shopping village at Diarama. The town council’s bus route also ran past the main road, Larapinta Drive. Convenient if you’re without a vehicle.

These days I live in the old part of the Golf Course Estate. My lounge room window provides me with a vista of the eastern MacDonnell Ranges – step over the back fence and after a short stroll I can begin climbing. We get a lot of kangaroos & wallabies throughout the year. In fact, my fence has been damaged by the constant thumping of a hefty kangaroo tail against the iron sheets.

We’re close to the Golf Course (funny that) & the Olive Pink Botanical Garden.

The Estate is an incredibly quiet part of town and I adore living here. Our rents are going up each year but as yet, it’s not enough to make us look for a new residence.

I have to say, there’s nowhere in Alice that isn’t nice to live. Some areas are older, some are further out of the main part of town, some are near the university, but all areas seem to be very pleasant and safe. There are pockets here and there that see problems with noise & occasional burglaries, but compared to a major capital city, we’re very quiet and sedate.

If you’re after the now-traditional Australian 4-bed + 2-bath home with family/rumpus room then you’ll need to focus your search on the new areas. Like the Golf Course Estate (from older 4-bed homes, to new & luxurious but only 3 bed homes through to the 4 & 5 bed McMansions of which there are plenty), Braitling, Araluen and out to Larapinta’s new sections.

If you like rural and quirky, then the Ilparpa & White Gums rural area is for you. There’s a low mountain range here from which the area gets its name, the Ilparpas.

Rural but classy (err, we’re talking classy NT outback style) then off Colonel Rose Drive (near the airport) or along the Ross Hwy is a better choice.

I love the idea of rural but am put off by the distances & remoteness when home alone.

More rain, more floods

February 28, 2010 1 comment

It has been raining here in Alice Springs. Sometimes heavily. Very heavily.  For days.  And it’s cold.  Most undesertlike.

You may have read about it in the news here or even seen the video here.  Sadly, one person has already been swept to their death. And here’s today’s local news bulletin.

Sunday's satellite picture. Somewhere, under all that cloud is Alice Springs.

A monsoonal low pressure system has drifted south and is dumping lots of water upon the desert of Central Australia.You can check the Bureau of Meteorology for the latest weather for Alice Springs & the Northern Territory.

Radar pictures are also available there.

The Todd River is not only flowing but flooding. Again. But higher this time.

Todd River on Saturday 27 February 2010. The river has risen much further since this photo was taken.

We’ve been on flood alert (River Watch) for a few days with the risk of flood going up, going down, going back up again. As I type it’s on Level B. You can see a flood map & information brochure here.

I strolled down to the river yesterday in the late morning, snapping photos as I waltzed along the path in the drizzle & rain.

View of the MacDonnell Ranges from Stephens Road, Alice Springs. The cloud has tumbled down both sides of the mountains. Very novel & exciting. Note how green the vegetation is, we're not that used to this much greenery!

Street lamps have stayed on during the daytime as it's so dull. Stephens Road looking towards Heavitree Gap.

Greenery! So lush, so plentiful!

The Comfort Inn is usually photographed with the red mountain backdrop & startlingly clear blue skies. But not today.

The Comfort Inn Outback, Alice Springs.

The Todd flows under Taffy Pick bridge out of town, heading for the Gap. This crossing was closed today so the river has risen quite a lot since I took this photo. All the low level causeways have been shut for days.

The Todd River as viewed from South Tce just around the corner from Taffy Pick bridge. Looks quite rural, all we need is a herd of cows grazing. 🙂

Today I had to head out to the airport. All causeway crossings except for Stott Tce were shut. I cannot access Stott Tce from my suburb near the Golf Course so it was detour time through the power station land. (It’s the dotted line off Tuncks Road.)

Huge potholes, filled with water slowed the traffic right down. Then it was slow moving on to Sadadeen Road onto Stott Tce and through the roundabout near Imparja TV station (cnr of South Tce).

The river is a lot higher today than appears in these photos but I’m not about to venture out again today with the camera.

The rain got heavier for my walk home up Stephens Road. You can barely see the houses in the distance. It was around this time I figured out my old, faithful Goretex is no longer waterproff. Thank goodness for Icebreaker t-shirts!

Icebreaker clothing. Highly recommended for walking in the rain, doesn’t matter if they get wet you’ll still be warm & dry.

That cloud thickened up and sank further down the mountain by the time I was nearly home.

Spot the bird! It's a little honey-eater. The rain has brought out a lot of birds. In between the heavy downpours that is.

It rains!

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

What more can I say? It’s raining! Has been off and on all day, since last night. Sometimes heavy, ofttimes lightly. But wet. Very wet. The roof of my verandah leaks. A lot in some places. So does the carport roof. I guess they’re good at keeping the sun off but not so good with precipitation. 🙂

There are puddles! On my very damp verandah. 😦

Alice Springs Desert Park

September 18, 2009 2 comments


Playing tourist today with my daughter and her partner who are visiting Alice Springs for a week. This morning we went out to the Desert Park. As always, it’s a beautiful and fascinating place to visit. One learns so much about the desert environments, of which there are many: the sandy, the desert rivers & the desert woodlands.

This photo (above) was taken in the woodlands, looking across the Park, towards the MacDonnell Ranges.

Lots of wildflowers in bloom as we had rain fall a few weeks back. Beautiful and plentiful.

Desert rivers environment.

Western bowerbird.

The Desert Park has an enormous collection of birds displayed in numerous large (enormous) walk-through and walk-in cages.

A white-faced heron. Found in the desert rivers environment exhibit. This is one of my favourite birds.

Close-up of some healthy looking wildflowers at the Desert Park.

Typical scene at the Desert Park today. Flowers and native trees blooming colourfully everywhere.

And finally, some Desert Oaks. You see these trees out around Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and also around Arltunga (the old abandoned gold mining area, 130kms east of the Alice). They’re usually a bit more water deprived and subsequently look a bit more silvery-green-grey than this, but these are fine young trees nevertheless.