1 June 2015
We have an 11.00 shuttle pick up to take us to the airport, so we have a few hours to explore Alice Springs before we go. We start the day trying to find a café open for breakfast at 7.30am. I fortify myself with Eggs Benny and a latte in preparation for our Self-guided Walking Tour of the historical parts of the CBD (which all date from the early 1900s).
Alice Springs is a central outback town in the middle of Australia. Today there are approximately 28,000 people and the town is the hub for many remote communities and as a travel destination and starting point. Although ‘starting point’ is a relative term as the distances are so huge – even nearby Uluru is 450km away. There is plenty more to see in Alice Springs if you have more time.
In 1862, explorer John Stuart led an expedition through the Centre. Others followed in his footsteps to site a path for the Overland Telegraph Line from Adelaide to Darwin. They found what they thought was a spring and named it after one of the wives – Alice. Unfortunately the spring turned out to be just a seasonal waterhole but they did put a telegraph station there. Until the early 1930s the town was called Stuart but there was great confusion with Alice. In 1933 there was a vote and the town officially changed its named to Alice Springs.
The main buildings we saw (unfortunately all just from the outside) included:
- Flynn Memorial Church – built as a memorial to John Flynn for his tremendous achievements for the people of the Outback
- Adelaide House – built by John Flynn and was used as the only medical centre for the region until 1939
- The Residency – built in 1927 for the first Government Resident of Central Australia, John Charles Cawood
- Anzac Hill – a memorial to lives lost in all wars; great views
- Old Stuart Town Gaol – completed in 1908 and remained in service until 1938
- Old Hartley Street School – opened in 1930 and operated until 1965
- Royal Flying Doctor Service – opened in 1939 and still fully functional today
We completed our tour of the town with a visit to OPSM where Kelly works on a casual basis. Both Boon Li and I updated our aging sunglasses there with Kelly’s help. And then we ran to get the airport shuttle that had arrived early at the Diplomat. An 11.00am pickup was supposed to allow time to pick up passengers from several hotels, but we were full after 2 stops so we got to the airport in plenty of time for our flights.
Carmella, Boon Li, Kuen and I all shared a flight to Sydney and then I transferred to the International Terminal for my flight back to Auckland – arriving in at 11.55pm (another thing that seemed a good idea at the time but getting up to go to work on Tuesday morning would be a challenge).
For this and other similar trips see:
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort and independent tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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