View of Ayers Rock
Here's a nice view of the Rock from the Oasis of the Yulara Resort.
There are a few shops and restaurants here at the resort, and I remember the Information Centre is very good and informative about Aboriginal culture and desert life.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE IS WATER
I ALWAYS USE A SMALL BACKPACK THAT CARRIES MY NEEDED ITEMS.. (BELOW)
THE MAIN ITEM TO CARRY IS A LARGE BOTTLE OF WATER.. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE GOOD RELIABLE WALKING BOOTS/SHOES HERE AS A TWISTED ANKLE CAN MEAN DISASTER..
DUE TO WHAT CAN BE EXTREME HEAT OUT HERE WEAR A GOOD WIDE BRIMMED HAT FOR MAXIMUM SUN PROTECTION..
ANOTHER ITEM I FIND A MUST IS A PONCHO MINE IS A SMALL ROLLED UP POCKETSIZE . I ALWAYS CARRY A GOOD INSECT REPELLANT WHEN TRAVELLING IN THE BUSH HERE..EASILY AVAILABLE ..
A GOOD SUNBURN PROTECTION CREAM. A SMALL PACKET OF FACEWIPES.
A GOOD LIP BALM.AND A SMALL PACKET OF TISSUES IN CASE YOU HAVE TO GO... A GOOD CAMERA IS A MUST OUT HERE TO CAPTURE THE MARVELLOUS SCENES OF NATURE.
THE NECCESARY CHARGING EQUIPMENT .
A SPARE MEMORY CARD.
AN INTERNATIONAL POWER PLUG ADAPTOR. A SMALL SELF CHARGING TORCH.. REMEMBER WHEN WALKING OUT HERE...CARRY PLENTY OF WATER ...NEVER WALK ALONE....AND ABOVE ALL BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN WALKING...THIS IS A VERY ISOLATED AREA..A TWISTED ANKLE CAN MEAN DISASTER. NO DOCTOR DOWN THE ROAD..
ALSO WHEN ARRIVING AT NATIONAL PARKS BEFORE SETTING OUT ....USE THE AMMENITIES..!!
Sir Richard's Virgin Blue visits Alice as well...
If you've been reading my transportation tips in sequence, you've just finished my "Qantas" tip. But any newbies, a quick recap..... Qantas and Virgin Blue are the largest airline participants in service at the Alice Springs airport. Both have their relative strengths and weaknesses, at least from my perspective.
For Virgin Blue, the biggest strength is their low fares. The cost of flying Virgin Blue seems to be about 25-30% than comparable routings on Qantas...sometimes more. What will you NOT get by spending less? Food on the plane. That's pretty much it. Now, I flew Qantas several times, and they were great. The food they served was quite good..... but probably not worth the fare difference. So, if your prime goal is to get there for the fewest bones, fly Virgin Blue.
The negative on Virgin Blue is their schedule. Qantas clearly has more non-stops and fewer connections for points all over Australia. When I flew from Alice to Brisbane, I chose Qantas for fewer connections. I decided that time was money, and I wanted to spend less than 10 hours of my day flying all over Australia. On some itineraries, the differences may be more minimal.
In short, my advice to flying IN Australia is this..... IF Virgin Blue has a schedule and connections that make you happy, save your money and fly with Sir Richard. But, you can't go wrong with the Red 'Roo, either.... it just costs a bit more.
And, you get food.
At Ayers Rock (some distance away from the resort) there is an Observatory which I remember as being very good.
Because you are hundreds and hundreds of kilometres from any town, the view of the stars here on a clear night is just fantastic (even to one such as I who is used to looking at nice bright night skies as I live near the countryside)
The commentary is also good - Northern Hemispherians can learn about our Southern skies and constellations.
Do a little humpin' when you visit Alice Springs
A little "humping".... I wonder how many people I've googled into this site with that line. Sorry folks, it's not a porno story.... we're talking camels.
Australia is actually home to one of the largest populations of wild camels in the world. Introduced into the country in the late 19th century, camels are perfectly suited for life in the outback. In fact, Australia exports camels TO the mideast. I wonder if buying an Aussie camel in Pakistan is anything like buying a Toyota in America. Hmmmmm.
Anyway, there are numerous operators who offer the experience of riding camels in and around Alice Springs. We hooked up with Frontier Camel Tours, an outfit that serves both Alice Springs and the Ayers Rock/Uluru area. And, they were an excellent choice.
You'll generally have the choice of having a short or longer ride, and perhaps combining said ride with breakfast or dinner. There are overnight camping caravans as well. We chose to do an evening ride followed by a "gourmet dinner". And, as it turns out the dinner was excellent. (See some of my tips on recipes and food)
The camel ride was a hoot. Camel riding isn't the smoothest operation known to man. Getting on can be an adventure, especially if you have a camel named Longridge BECAUSE he gets up and down so fast. He just about launched me over the moon. Our cameleer was a fellow named Dennis, and he was another smiling, friendly Aussie whose path we crossed. Infectious smile, complete with a shiny gold tooth, and a million funny stories. Yep, this was a guy you'd figure as Outback material.
OK, like I say, there are many opportunities to do camel stuff in Alice Springs. I cannot recommend Frontier Camels enough. As a side note, they clearly love and care for their camels well, which always makes us happy.
Say hello to Dennis, his helper Sue, and the master dinner chef Dieter if you visit Frontier Camel Tours.
For more information, you can email them Frontier directly at email@example.com. The cost? Our dinner ride and tour was A$105 per person.