Territory Flag of the Northern Territories
..."The Northern Territory doesn't have a 'blue duster' like all other Australian states. It was the first internal or external Australian territory to adopt a flag post-Federation (1901) in 1978 upon the granting of self government. The main device is a stylised local flower - Sturt's Desert Rose with the seven petals forming a seven pointed star symbolic of the Territory as potentially the seventh state. The Southern Cross represents NT's location. The colour Ochre represents the NT earth and the black panel is regarded by some as representing the aboriginal people"...
Rugby League is one of the two main winter sports in Australia. Its a working class mans game and was founded over 100 years ago.
Rugby League has been played in Alice Springs since 1963, and two of the clubs in the compeititon today are original foundation teams of the competition, Wests and United.
Rugby League is played every Saturday on Anzac Oval from late April until the grand final in early September.
Choo-Choo-Choose the Ghan!
One of Australia's great interstate trains, the Ghan, services Alice Springs. The Ghan crosses Oz, on a north-south axis, running from Adelaide (on the Great Southern Ocean) to Darwin (on the Indian Ocean).
The Ghan's most appropriate motto is "The legendary journey through the heart of Australia".
The Ghan runs from Adelaide to Alice Springs twice a week, and one of those times, it goes on north to Darwin. So from Alice Springs, you have two opportunities per week to travel to/from Adelaide, and one to travel to/from Darwin.
If you have the time and the knack for an adventure, I seriously suggest that you take the Ghan into or out of Alice Springs.
If you're traveling in first class (Gold Kangaroo) and you make advance booking, you can bring your automobile along on the train's motorail for a reasonable cost...something like A$100.
For all you train lovers, here are a few Ghan facts, courtesy of "Platform Magazine", published by the Great Southern Railway Company of Australia...
Adelaide to Alice, one night, 1559 km
Alice to Darwin, one night, 1420 km
Average length of train, 403 meters, 15 passenger cars + locomotive + motorail
Average speed of the Ghan 85 km/hr
Max speed of the Ghan 115 km/hr
Weight of the train is 735 tons. (It gets heavier after dinner. : )
The basic routing of the train, starting with Adelaide and continuing to Darwin is as follows:
Adelaide - Coonamia - Port Germein - Port Augusta - Tent Hill - Pimba - Kingoonya - Coondambo - Tarcoola - Manguri (near Coober Pedy) - Kulgera - The Iron Man - Finke River - ALICE SPRINGS - Tennant Creek - Katherine - Pine Creek - Adelaide River (a long way FROM Adelaide, mind you...) - Darwin
Anzac Hill War Memorial
Standing with pride atop Anzac Hill in Alice Springs is the War Memorial, a white painted concrete obelisk with a stepped concrete base.
Alongside the plinth on which the obelisk stands, there are two metal flagpoles, on the east flies the Australian flag whilst on the west flies the Northern Territory flag. Behind the obelisk is a wall mounted with a number of plaques.
The telegraph station was established in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adalaide -- there are 11 other stations strung along between these 2 cities, but the one at the Alice is the best preserved.
Alice Springs got its name from the waterhole at the Telegraph Station.
The Station still has the original stone buildings (restored, of course!) with house furnishings and artefacts from the early 1900s. You have to pay a fee to access the historic interpretive display and you can also take a guided tour if you want. It's open from 8 am to 5 pm
However, if you aren't into the full historical stuff or are trying to save some money, take advantage of the beautiful setting at least. It's right next to the MacDonnell Ranges so there are pleanty of opportunities for walking, picnicking, and wildlife observation.
The station is 4 kilometres (about 2.5 miles) north of town. The walk isn't too bad as long as it's not too hot! Make sure you bring a lot of water though, any time of year. There is a walking or cycling track into the Reserve from the highway and the Todd River. Obviously, it would be nicer if you can get a ride out there, though! The Park Reserve is open from 8 am to 9 pm