Tomorrow is my last day in Alice Springs. As it turns out the world around me wanted to say goodbye on Wednesday by offering an amazing day of rain followed by on of the best sunsets I have ever seen, and living out here that is a big call.
Sitting at the first saddle of the Mt Gillen walk I was treated to rainbows, glowing mountains in the distance, golden valleys and red red rocks at the sunset around me.
Thanks Alice Springs. You’ve been amazing!
Yesterday I had a mid-week adventure to rival all others. Central Australia has received vast amounts of rain recently (20-60mm) and as a result all of the gorges have been filling up, and as anyone who has been following the blog would know I have been making the most of it!
Yesterday’s mid week adventure was to Palm Valley, an isolated valley full of cycads and palm trees an hour and a half from Alice Springs. Normally dry, our experience of the valley required wading through water holes and rock hoping around others. The creeks are full of tadpoles, frogs and fish. The air was full of cicadas and dragonflies, and generally it was a pretty amazing day.
Rainbow Valley is about an hours drive from Alice Springs. The large, multicolour sandstone monuments rise out of the low lying sand dunes and claypans that surround this isolated relic of a bygone landscape.
Everyone I’ve spoken to about the valley has told me the best time to visit is early in the morning or for sunset (campsites look good), but I’m really glad we went out during the middle of a summers day to witness the true colours without and centralian sunset adding or subtracting anything.
The walk out to mushroom rock is well worth it. Sitting in the shade with a cool breeze blowing made it a lovely place to chill for a while before braving thebsun again.
Last night while driving out to Simpsons Gap we could see the thunder heads of a summer storm in the desert. The rain it may have produced certainly never reached us so we remain stuck in the sticky heat of humidity in the desert. It is nice that the desert is so green at the moment, but honestly a little respite would be great!
This is a slightly unusual post in that I haven’t actually done anything but am putting a call out for opinions and ideas.
I have some time up my sleeve you see and want to fill that time with fun and adventures and silliness ( to the extent that I may give up the use of commas).
I have my two touring bikes, one set and ready to go, the other needing a few pieces of kit that are on order but ostensibly ready as well. This means I could just as easily go cycle touring or bike packing.
I am considering south west WA on the road tourer with no end goal other than to ride east as my first option. Alternatively I’d take my off road tourer to the east coast or Tasmania.
Does anyone in the ether have awesome suggestions of rides that would are great and that I should do?
The South Island of NZ is so different to the North that it is almost hard to fathom. The North was almost like Australia with rolling hills and green among the odd patch of golden paddock and a surprising number of gumtrees.
The South Island is tall! It has mountains, those things they tell you about as a kid growing up in Australia but never quite develop an understanding of living in a country were things just aren’t tall.
Anyway out itinerary for the South Island was pretty packed and as it turned out pretty limited. There is just so much to see that in the 9 days available we saw some of what we assumed were going to be the highlights and some other places that actually were.
For those interested it is well worth looking into the DOC (department of conservation) campsites on the south island because not only are they amazing but they are almost all near water and close to some point of interest you’d want to stop at anyway. We picked up one of their free maps and put it to very good use!
Our itinerary was something like this.
Christchurch – Akaroa – Mt Cook – Queenstown – Milford Sound – Wanaka – Franz Joseph – Greymouth – Arthurs Pass – Christchurch.
You can guess that there could be a whole lot more detail included in that but I don’t want to use words when there are photos to be seen.
Art by Ian Strange
One of the original motorised sleds taken to the Antarctic. Such an amazing piece of history to behold.
Akaroa is beautiful. Go there!
Sheep on the road. Possibly the most kiwi experience we had.
Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo (I think)
Just the side of the road really.
Sunset in Queenstown
It rained in Milford Sound. I loved it.
Trying to fly!
Trying to fly a different way. The wind was so strong I almost managed to glide!
Franz Jospeh Glacier
The rebuild of Christchurch is amazing. So much respect for the people who’ve moved back into the devastated city