Arrival in the Red Centre
Alice Springs Travel Blog› entry 6 of 12 › view all entries
We flew from Sydney to Alice Springs, which afforded some wonderful views over the red desert that covers vast swathes of central Australia. It's staggering to someone from Europe that it can take four hours to fly half way across a country, but Australia's a big place.
On arrival we were required to place our fruit in a bin before we even got into the terminal building; I did my best to eat two apples on the tarmac, so not too much would go to waste!
I really enjoyed the three days we spent in Alice Springs. The town has a wonderful relaxed atmosphere, and I think that there's a real sense of history about the place. The town has on open, airy feel, and the light is strong and appealing.
On arrival, we started our time in Alice Springs with a walk up Anzac Hill, a small hill at the north end of the town centre which affords decent views over the centre of the town (the town is predominantly flat).
We also headed to some of the sights in the centre of town. First was a trip to the Flying Doctors centre, which was unfortunately not operational on the day we visited (I think that it only operates out of there during the week), but we still got a tour round
After that we headed to the Reptile Centre, which is home to a wonderful collection of lizards and snakes, plus a salt-water crocodile. They do a talk every couple of hours or so, where they introduce you to some of the residents, and you get to hold a few different creatures. It was a really friendly and interesting place.
On our second day we hired bikes and headed out to some of the attractions a bit further out of town. We started out heading to the old telegraph station, which is the reason for the founding of the town in the first place; Alice Springs was one of the many telegraph stations which serviced the telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin, which revolutionised communication between the UK and its Australian colonies. The station has been turned into a museum, but you get the feeling that the look of the place hasn't changed a great deal, and you can almost imagine yourself there at the time it was first built. You can't see the town from the telegraph station, and so you can imagine the feeling of isolation that the original occupants must have had, living in the centre of the desert. The occupants of the Alice Springs station were lucky that the indigenous population was less violent than was to be found close to other of the telegraph stations along the route; at other stations there were incidents where the staff were killed by the local population.
From the telegraph station we hopped back on our bikes and headed out to Alice Springs Desert Park. The park is a small nature reserve containing a large collection of Australian desert plants and animals. There were some particularly cute animals, especially the mala and the spinifex hopping mouse. The range of species on view was impressive, and the centre easy to stroll around. We unfortunately missed all of the shows and demonstrations which are held at various times of the day.
On our last day in Alice Springs we stumbled across the Kangaroo rescue centre, where they take in orphaned baby kangaroos, and raise them. We saw kangaroos of various ages, the youngest still bald, and cared for in cotton bags which can be worn by the keepers to simulate the mother's pouch. We were reminded again how cute Australian wildlife can be!