"Base for 2010 VT Survivor Camp and Meet" Top 5 Page for this destination Alice Springs by AlbuqRay

Alice Springs Travel Guide: 348 reviews and 1,151 photos

2010 - Was Green Center Instead of Red Center

Alice Springs is the unofficial capital of Australia's outback. The Australia eguide has a nice list of things to do in "The Alice." It is located in the normally dry Red Center of Australia; however, in 2010 a drought had broken and it had been raining. Everywhere we went was green and the plants were blooming. It was a perfect time to have the 2010 VT survivor camp and meeting in that area. Deb (Adelaidean) and Rosie (Rosie235) had organized the "survivor" camp which included remote places south of Alice Springs, Uluru National Park, Finke Gorge National Park (Palm Valley), and the West MacDonnell Ranges. For someone like me, this was the experience of a lifetime. Not only did I get to see many spectacular sites, but I got to do it with six very special people. It was supposed to be early Spring but it turned out to be late Winter. We actually had frost on the tents a couple of times. BTW, "surviving" was not so difficult. We actually ate like kings and queens! If I had to pick a favorite place, I would pick Palm Valley, even though the scariest thing happened there... Deb's encounter with a six foot eastern brown snake.

Because it was very unusual to have so many plants blooming, I took lots of pictures. I put them in two albums on my Northern Territory Shutterfly web page. One has 854 pictures of flowers in the Alice Springs area and the other 210 pictures of the flowers along the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Darwin. I have also done a Shutterfly album with the flowering plants at the Alice Springs Desert Park.

Here is what we did:

In and Near Alice Springs (see Transportation and Shopping tips):
Aug 9 - Visited Alice Springs Old Ghan Museum; bought camping supplies at Cole's

South of Alice Springs (see Off the Beaten Path tips):
Aug 10 - Visited Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve, Oak Valley, and Stuart's Well/Jim's Place; camped at Rainbow Valley
Aug 11 - Visited Henbury Meteorite Craters; stopped at Stuart's Well/Jim's Place; traveled Ernest Giles Road

Uluru Area (see Uluru National Park tips):
Aug 11 continued - Camped at Ayers Rock Resort in Yulara; went to Sound of Silence dinner and show, or watched Uluru sunset from Imalung Lookout
Aug 12 - Visited Uluru (sunset viewing area, Cultural Center, Kantju Gorge walk); visited Kata Tjula (Olga Mountains) Valley of the Winds and watched sunset; camped at Ayers Rock Resort in Yulara
Aug 13 - Visited Uluru's Mutitjulu Waterhole and Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area

South of Alice Springs (see Off the Beaten Path and Warnings or Dangers tips):
Aug 13 continued - Stopped at Mount Conner Lookout; camped at Kings Creek Station
Aug 14 - Walked Kings Creek Trail and Kathleen Springs Trail; watched sunset from Tank Hill; camped at Kings Creek Station
Aug 15 - Stopped at Kings Canyon Resort, Morris Pass Scenic Lookout, and Albert Namatjiras House; camped at Palm Valley; visited Cycad Gorge and did Arankaia Walk
Aug 16 - Watched Palm Valley sunrise; did partial Mpulungkinya walk and survived eastern brown snake; visited "I-caves" canyon; walked to Kalarranga Lookout; camped at Palm Valley
Aug 17 - Visited Hermannsburg and Gosse Bluff Craters

West MacDonnell Ranges (see MacDonnell Ranges Things to Do tips):
Aug 17 continued - Went through Tyler's Pass (start of West MacDonnell National Park); stopped at Glen Helen Gorge; camped at Ellery Creek Big Hole
Aug 18 - Visited Redbank Gorge, Mount Sonder Lookout, Finke 2 Mile, Ormiston Gorge, Ochre Pits, and Standley Chasm; arrived in Alice Springs
Aug 19 - Visited Simpson Gap

In and Near Alice Springs (see Things to Do, General, Sports Travel and Nightlife tips):
Aug 19 continued - Visited Flynn's Grave, and Alice Springs Desert Park; had VT meet and greet at Desert Palms Resort
Aug 20 - Built Seabiscuit boat frame; took tour of Alice Springs (Mbantua Gallery and Cultural Museum, Royal Flying Doctors Service, School of Air, Old Telegraph Station, Anzac Hill); went to Sounds of Starlight dinner and didgeridoo show
Aug 21 - Attended Henley-on-Todd Regatta (Todd Mall parade, Seabiscuit race, sand shoveling, team sand ski races, tug-of-wars, and battle boat event); Seabiscuit's last cruise; partied at Bojangles

After the 2010 VT survivor camp and meet, I got to ride back to Darwin with Zyg (1+1), who is a ranger in Kakadu National Park. We decided to do a day trip to the East MacDonnell Ranges before we left Alice Springs. We saw Jessie Gap, Corroboree Rock, Ross River Homestead, Trephina Gorge, Arltunga mining ghost town, and many things in between, including a wild camel and the Terry "Fish" Gill Memorial. (see MacDonnell Ranges Off the Beaten Path tips)

Survivor Camp "Survivors"

Deb (Adelaidean) and her husband Bob
Rosie (Rosie235)
George (Tiabunna) and his wife Pauline
Zyg (1+1)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Near to many magical places
  • Cons:Rains all the time (hey, it did when I was there)
  • In a nutshell:Vibrant place to base your travels into the Red Center
  • Last visit to Alice Springs: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (111)

Comments (6)

  • betska's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Fantastic pages & tips, Ray. Brings back some wonderful memories. The survivor mattress...haha...and those onions!!! Bettsxxxx

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    I'm going to have to come back for a second shot at this rich dish. It may have taken you a while but the time has been well spent!!

  • adelaidean's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    youre very welcome Ray...I enjoyed your tips, helps relive the great time we all had!

  • rosie235's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    ha ha ha, zig doing what zig does best....lol.. love the pics Ray...we had a wonderful time didnt we...

  • Babzz's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Ok, now ID all those flowers for us ;)

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    Thanks for sending Ray Marg


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