Read PART ONE here if you missed it! https://wildernesscalling.net/2015/09/27/uluru-with-lots-of-kids-part-one/ None of us had had a proper shower since we were in Richmond and that was 3 days ago! You can imagine how pleased I was when I got to scrub those kids in Alice Springs. Also got to do the first lot of laundry for the trip, so needed to do that, one pair of clothes per child a day just doesn’t happen camping. Yeah a bit of what I call “glamping” here, we had lovely hot showers, laundry use, BBQ’s, a pool – not that we used that! The best thing of all was that the lovely people at the campsite put us right next to the playground! So good, we just watched the kids from our site. There is a massive jumping pillow here also, which was just behind us. We stayed at the BIG 4 caravan park, highly recommend it, yes its more money than a national park stay BUT you have to do some laundry and have a shower every now and again.
I love Alice, I loved it when I was here over a decade ago and I love it now, can’t explain it. Maybe its those beautiful Macdonnell Ranges that run through the city, just amazing. It only took aprrox 5hrs to get here from Devils Marbles, and I checked the weather forecast. So exciting, getting down to 3 degrees tonight and boy will we feel it in a tent and with no fire! As soon as the sun went down it was freezing, I kept putting on more layers, my jeans were not cutting it though and I wished I bought some track pants. I tried to stay up talking with our friends but had to give up as I was sooo cold and just wanted a warm bed. I even filled a hot water bottle and took it to bed with me (thanks Bec 😉 ) still took ages for me to warm up and doze off. Guess what we did the next day? Went to Kmart to stock up on beanies, trackpants, even gloves for the kids! Your laughing at me now I know, you think I’m exaggerating, I promise you I’m not! Camping in 3 degrees or less is HARD, let alone having to wake up in the dark cause your kids don’t sleep in! So you can’t just stay in bed till it warms up, oh no, your kids want to get up and go outside in these conditions! Anyway, the husbands went to Kmart with a list while us mummies did mummy duty. I should of known sending a man to buy clothes may come with some sort of downfall. He did well, they both did, but my darling husband said that there were no ladies trackpants so he bought me boys/kids trackpants, needless to say they only came down to mid calf 😦 Oh well, they will do, I’ll just pull my socks up to meet them, that shouldn’t look too bad?
We visited the Alice Springs Desert Park, I highly recommend this. But You have to understand its ALL Australian animals, outback animals. If you understand Australian animals you’ll know there is not a huge amount of them out during the day, so the main feature of the park is the nocturnal house, it’s FANTASTIC! Around the rest of the park are other animals but not masses of them, there are dingoes, emus, kangaroos and the like. Mostly you get to go into the native bird houses and watch the colourful and wonderful fly all around you, make sure you time your visit with the free bird of prey show. I just love walking around this park, its not like a normal zoo, its like an actual park, a bushland one, its as if your on a bush walk as you walk through the different habitats they have created.
After two nights in Alice we visited Stanley Chasm on the way to Finke Gorge, I’m going to overuse the word beautiful in this holiday series haha …… the chasm is BEAUTIFUL. The walk from carpark to the chasm is BEAUTIFUL, I love how in this desert centre of our country you can find pockets of cool woodland, filled with wild flowers and water. The best time to visit is near the middle of the day when the sun enters down into the chasm and turns it red.
Finke Gorge National Park, somehow this became the highlight of the trip, you would think Uluru would of been, and yes it was amazing but something about being more in the wilderness and away from everything made this place special. The camp ground is pretty standard for a national park, there is toilets and water, we stayed at the campground near Palm Valley. It was cold here but thankfully you can have a fire in the communal pits. At night you can hear the dingoes all around, they obviously come after everyone has gone to sleep and forage for scraps, so make sure ALL food and your rubbish is well secured. We saw a few but there was definitely more around in the shadows and they came out once we went to bed. Sounds scary but its really cool and they are very frightened of you so they don’t come near you. This is thankfully because no one feeds them, so they are not familiar with humans. We still didn’t let our kids go out to pee by themselves at night. In the morning, you can see the wild dog foot prints all around, the kids loved it. Palm Valley is one of a kind literally, the palms that grow here grow NOWHERE else in the world, its like a prehistoric place untouched by time, very special. Water flows through here at times but it was the dry season so it was just waterholes along our walk. It was quite cool in the valley, we had to have our jumpers on until we warmed up walking. You can be amazed at how far kids can walk, don’t doubt them! we did many km’s of walking on this trip. I carried our 6mths old, our 2 yr old could walk a fair amount but when he got tired Adrian carried him in the backpack carrier. Our 4 yr old walked all the walks. The other families kids also did all the walks except for their baby of course!
It was very windy at night in the Gorge, some backpackers had a cheap little tent and it completely blew over in the middle of the night! I think they even found this a bit funny.You can drive right through this national park with a 4WD and spend many days here, which I want to do another time so much, but we left after 2 nights to keep on schedule.
Okay I’m going to have to make a PART THREE to this saga haha there’s just so much adventure to tell! Stay tuned!