Monthly Archives: May 2022

Alice Springs NT – Day 1

Tuesday 31st May 2022
Today was a day of organising and planning. We booked our transfer for the Larapinta Trail to start on Friday morning. It was a little tricky as our Caravan Park is outside the pickup zone, do we get a taxi to centre early in the morning, stay in a hotel the night before we start or another caravan park closer. It became very difficult as the Finke Race is on starting 5th June so Alice is totally booked out. No cabins, hotel rooms, caravan parksites. We were lucky we managed this one.

We have lucked in, our transfer guy has said he will pick us up from outside our caravan park on Friday morning 7.45am. That has made it a lot easier for us.

I spent the morning packaging my breakfast for our 17 day hike. That’s 17 packs of cereal, sultanas, almonds and powdered milk. Weighing each ingredient to ensure the weight stays down, Very time consuming. Then we went into Alice to organise the key for food drop lockers, bought some more freeze dried food and groceries. It is really hard to make sure you have everything you need to pack your daily food needs. It is list after list after list.

We ran out of time to go to Bunnings and Desert Dwellers so that is now on tomorrows list of things to do. We managed to do the groceries quite late and hen had a lovely dinner at a sushi train.


Redbank Gorge, Tjoritja (West MacDonnell) Ranges to Alice Springs NT

Monday 30th May 2022
We had a lovely day today.

Firstly we enjoyed a beautiful morning at our campsite talking to Trish and Steve, a couple of travellers. Steve an indigenous guy a bit older than us and his wife Trish from Mareeba QLD. We traded stories and chatted for ages and before we knew it the time was already 10.30am. Steve was really impressed that I always try to use indigenous names I’m my blog and said it is great to see people making an effort even if I pronounce them all wrong. At least we try. We packed up and headed down to the Redbank Gorge trail and saw some people who had just finished the full Larapinta trail so we spent the next 30mins chatting to them and gleaning information, do’s and don’ts, etc. It was very beneficial. 

We then headed to the gorge walk which was up the riverbed to a beautiful gorge. We enjoyed another chat to some people who were here for the Finke dirt race which starts here about 5th June. So looks like accommodations might be a problem. Only time will tell. 

We then headed back and whilst preparing for lunch we met another couple who had just finished the trail. We chatted again some more. We finally headed on our way to Alice Springs at about 1.30pm. We stopped the Mt Sonder Lookout to take a photo of our climb and decided we should maybe check out accommodation. Availability.  We were hoping to get a cabin so David could do some work and we could prepare for the hike. The weather is supposed to be rainy on Wednesday. There was not a cabin to be had, nor a cheap motel on, nor anything on Airbnb. So it looks like a campsite in a caravan park. We just managed to get a site at Temple Bar Caravan park a little bit out of town. We tried to stay here in 2018 as it has grassy sites and comes highly recommended on WikiCamps. 

The drive to Alice Springs was along Larapinta Drive which is where we will be hiking in the ranges, the view was spectacular yet again. Unfortunately I had a little snooze along the way and missed some, but will get it at a lower speed over the next couple of weeks as we hike the range.

We will hopefully make a decision as to a start date for the hike tomorrow and do some more planning. We are feeling more confident about the hike after our training hikes over the last 2 weeks. Out fitness has improved and our bodies are holding up pretty well. David’s shin splints seem to be ok today. 

Kings Canyon to Redbank Gorge, Tjoritja (West MacDonnell) National Park, NT

Sunday 29th May 2022
Well we have had an epic day today. 

We had a lovely morning at Kings Canyon, but I am in trouble again. I had a big snoring night so DB got no sleep again. Oops!

We headed off on our way about 10am headed for Redbank Gorge. We were taking the Mereenie Rd which goes through Aboriginal Land so it has a $6.50 fee. It is a 200km or so dirt road which was graded about 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately it was already corrugated but not too bad. The scenery was amazing, the hills and plains were spectacular. On the way to Redbank Gorge we stopped at Gosse Bluff which was created by a comet which arrived 142 million years ago. Then we headed on to Redbank Gorge.

Larapinta Trail – Tjoritja Ranges – Alice Springs – Day 1
Sunday 29th May 2022
Redbank to Mt Sonder return – Section 12

Distance 15.1km
Moving time 4:04
Track time 4:44
Up 723m Down 716m

We were unable to book a campsite for tonight this morning so at 3pm we decided to walk to the Mt Sonter saddle to make a call to the NT National Parks office. Unfortunately when we got to the saddle there was no phone reception so we couldn’t book. Oh well, we decided to continue on to the Mt Sonter Summit as we were already a third of the way there. It was a big walk, 16km return with an elevation climb of over 750m with only 3 hours of daylight. The views were fantastic along the way but it was a shame it wasn’t sunny as it would have been even better. This walk is the 12th section of the Larapinta Trail which we hope to walk in a few days time. We paced it out up the challenging climb and made it in record time arriving at 5.23pm. Pretty good effort for 8km and 750m elevation climb. We hung around at the summit for about 20 mins but the wind was howling and we needed to make tracks so we made the most of the little light left today, sunset is 6pm so we will be trekking the rest in the dark. As always our had torches are in the backpack. So off we went, we paced it out again and the light lasted until about 6.20pm and then it was walk by torchlight. We kept up a good pace and got back to the car by 7.43pm. It was a shame we didn’t get to enjoy the view on the way down but maybe next time. We did get sunset so we were happy with that.

We headed to the campsite and had our first easy dinner as we were both pretty tired. Fried egg wraps. It was a fantastic but exhausting day.

Kings Canyon NT

Saturday 28th May 2022
Sorry for the delay in updates we have had no wifi for a few days.

After sharing more stories with our Tassie neighbours this morning, we headed to Kings Canyon to do the Scenic Rim walk. This was a 6km loop walk up to the rim of Kings Canyon and then a loop around the top. It was very like the Kimberleys WA and also some of the rocks looked like Purnululu (The Bungles) on a smaller scale. Again there wasn’t much birdlife or animals today but the views were amazing yet again. After the rim walk we then did the 2km return River Creek walk in to the Canyon. We took it pretty easy today, we only did about 10km with all the extra lookouts and gorges in about 4 hours. So a very leisurely pace. 

We then headed to Kathleen Springs but decided not to walk anymore. It was another 2km return gorge walk and instead we headed back to camp for a rest. Very unusual for us.

We enjoyed the sunset over the Canyon whilst we ate an early dinner. It was a lovely day.

We have seen a few dingoes walking around camp tonight and I just heard one howling.

Uluru to Kings Canyon NT

Friday 27th May 2022
Well my cold led to a very sleepless night for David, I apparently snored all night, so our plan to go to the Rock for sunrise was squashed. Instead I headed out on my own for a walk to Uluru lookout which was a 1.3km walk from the campground and left David to get some sleep.

It was dark at 6.15am as I left but the sky was amazing. I wished I had got up a little earlier but it is what it is. It was a lovely walk and the sky was so good. When I reached the lookout I was the only one there and the view of Uluru in the dawn light was magical. Yet again I am in awe of its splendour. After being mesmerised for a while I decided to do some yoga. Part way through in the middle of a pose I notice you could also see Kata Tjuta from there as well. It was a lot further away but was still magical. Is I enjoyed some more time watching the beautiful view.

My solitude was only interrupted momentarily by one runner tourist on his daily exercise run, apart from that I had it all to myself. At about 8.15am I decided I should probably head back to camp for breakfast as we are checking out of here today.

We left at about 2pm and had a lovely drive from Uluru to Kings Canyon. The vegetation was changeable and the views were lovely. The odd mountain popped up and the the beautiful Kings Canyon was in sunset glow as we arrived. 

Yet again, the campground was at capacity and we were lucky to find a spot. We popped in between a couple from Narara and Hobart. We chatted for a little while with our Central Coast locals and then for a very long time with our Tassie neighbours. They were our age and also avid hikers. It was their maiden voyage with a rooftop tent and they were keen for all the tips, from cookers to blogging. We enjoyed a lovely night of travel stories from both of us. 


Uluru and Kata Tjuta NT- Day 3

Thursday 26th May 2022
Today I woke feeling a lot better, but unfortunately I kept DB awake all night with my snoring so he was pretty tires. Oops!

After a slow morning with a bit of housekeeping we went for a walk around the village, hotel area and shops. The standard setup for any resort – food, cafes, souvenir shops and an IGA.

The after lunch we headed back to the Valley of the Winds walk at Kata Tjuta as I was well enough to walk today. It was a beautiful walk through Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) which are conglomerate rocks. There were a couple of beautiful lookouts and it was a reasonably easy 8km walk. Taking about 2 hours we unfortunately missed the sunset at the viewpoint by about 10 mins but managed too catch a beautiful skyline at the sand dune viewing lookout.

It was lovely day out and feeling well was a bonus. We then enjoyed a nice dinner at the resort. My first night off cooking since we set out a couple of weeks ago. Tomorrow we head to Kings Canyon.

Uluru and Kata Tjuta NT – Day 2

Wednesday 25th May 2022
Today we had a bit of a slow day. I had a really bad night and am not feeling that great. We went for a short walk into the Walpa Gorge at Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). This was only about 2.2km return, so a nice easy one. The Olgas are as magnificent as Uluru just lots of rocks as opposed to one big one. 

After lunch David walked the Valley of the Winds in the Olgas which was about a 7.5km loop in to the Olgas. It was a lovely walk, he was gone for about 2 hours as he chatted with a few people along the way just to be his usual social self. I just had a snooze in the shade of a tree in the car.

Hopefully I feel better tomorrow and we will go back and do the walk again. I would also like to do the Dot Painting class but I will see how I feel.

Just did a RAT, result negative. Yay!

Erldunda to Uluru NT

Tuesday 24tgh May 2022
This morning we headed finally towards Uluru. After 4 years, we finally made it back.

We drove the remaining 268km west along the way we passed Mt Connor, an incredibly big mesa. Then we continued along to Uluru, when we first arrived, instead of checking in (silly us) we went straight to the rock. It was the most magnificent rock I have ever seen. It was totally mesmerising, even in the inclement weather conditions. I think the cloud made it look even better.

Then we headed back to the campground to check in which took forever as it was 2 o’clock. Grey nomad time. Eeeekkk!!. One day we will learn, but obviously not today. We finally headed back to the rock at 4pm where we did the base walk. This was a 11km loop around the base of Uluru. We watched the colours change with the fading light, enjoyed seeing the different formations, the gorge and the most amazing sheer rock face ever. It was quite spectacular. As you can imagine we hardly saw anyone on the track and when we returned we were yet again the last car left in the carpark.

Unfortunately we missed sunset but still managed some lovely photos as the light disappeared at the sunset viewing area.

It was a great day!


Coober Pedy SA to Erldunda NT

Monday 23rd May 2022
Today was to be a big driving day. After topping up the fridge and food, then breaking the bank filling up the car at $2.25 per litre today, OUCH, we were on our way. It was a very long drive all the way into the Northern Territory. I have excelled myself this trip doing 1.5hr stints behind the wheel. I am definitely feeling a bit more comfy driving the open road. Along the way there were a few changes to the scenery. Starting with the sand hills of mine dumps at Coober Pedy, then the green shrub dotted plains, then a few sections where the trees were a bit taller and more dense preventing us from seeing across the plains, then back to plains and then a bit of mountain ranges in the distance. We were hoping to get a bit closer to Uluru today but decided to stop at 4.15pm at the turn off to Uluru at the Erldunda Roadhouse, it may have been a mistake as the truck noise at the moment is quite loud. Hopefully the road trains stop before bed time.

Well it has been 4 years since we drove passed this turn off and it looks like tomorrow we will finally reach Uluru. I am really looking forward to seeing this magnificent rock. Hope everyone is well. Talk soon. Big hugs to you all. Love Fiona and David xx

Mt Eba Homestead to Coober Pedy, SA

Sunday 22nd May 2022
After another quiet night we are on our way again today. We are driving to Coober Pedy today. Yet again the countryside is beautiful as we drive along. We arrived there at about lunch time, had a look at a few things in Coober Pedy, most of them were underground – The Catholic Church, The Catacombs Church. I think it is a bit of a debating point whether than are underground as really most of them are dug into the hill as opposed to down in a hole. We then went for a 70km loop drive through an Aboriginal Heritage site called Kanku – The Breakaways. This was a scenic drive alongside the dog fence, passed the Moon Plains, Papa Kutjara (2 dogs) and another lookout. The landscape was very impressive.

We are camping at Riba’s Caravan Park tonight where we will go for an underground mine tour after dinner.