Saturday, 30 June 2012

Arrival in Alice Springs

Today we drove to Alice Springs. It is amazing there are hundreds of wild melons that grow on the side of the road everywhere.

We went off road on the way, well as much as the conventional vehicle can handle to see the Rainbow Valley.

The sandstone cliffs at Rainbow Valley are unlike the deep reds that are found at Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Watarrka. Rather, the glowing reds near the top of the cliff run down through a series of stunning yellows and whites which give this area its name. The sandstone cliffs surround a large clay pan which fills with water in wetter years and has always provided a sacred meeting place for the ceremonies of the traditonal custodians. 

It is just astounding that beautiful little flowers grow in this harsh environment.

Mushroom Rock. 

We then made it to Alice Springs and our B & B.

It is on the outskirts of town and is owned by the most enthusiastic guy who has single handedly removed all foreign grasses etc planted native trees and he now has gardens, orchids etc. The whole complex is completely self sufficient run from solar panels. He has counted over 90 varieties of birds in the property and in only 15 minutes I spotted 6 different birds which is amazing.

Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Today we went to walk the Rim Walk of Kings Canyon, this was the most challenging walk thus far of the holiday but with so many wonderful rewards. The walk climbs steeply up from the valley floor as you can see by the stairs at the start of the walk.

Giving spectacular views into the valley below. It is a 6km loop walk around the top of the canyon.

You travel through weathered, buttressed domes of the Lost City shown below. The beehive shaped rock formations, which indeed resembles the ruins of some ancient Aztec city carved over time by water and wind erosion.

The chasm plunges 270 metres  to the canyon floor. 

You then walk though the sheltered Garden of Eden with permanent waterholes and lush vegetation. The rich plant life includes Red River Gums, Bottle Brushes, Wattles, Fig Trees and an abundance of ferns giving this a real rain forest appearance. Note to do this you walk back down to the valley floor and then back up to the canyon rim to continue the walk.

A well earned rest by the water to have a drink before continuing on the walk.