Australia, Alice Springs – A Town with Golden History
Alice Springs is the most famous city in the red center of Australia. All tours that take place on the sacred mountain of Uluru (also called Ayers Rock) start right here. If you go to Alice Springs from the south, you will cross the border of South Australia and Northern Territory. Although you are heading straight north, there is an hour shift between these states.
The night before we set out for Alice Springs, we spent the rest of the road close to the settlement of Marla. There was nothing - a water tank, toilets, people, or a mobile signal. True wasteland. The temperature at night was still around 40 degrees, which is a great if you sleep in a car.
On the roads we meet around two cars in a hundred kilometers. During the day due to high temperatures, we meet animals only minimally, which we regret, because we imagined this area full of kangaroos. But when we see a lot of cows and kangaroos clumped around the road, we appreciate that they don't jump across the road as we expected. Kangaroos are mainly attracted by car light at night. Wondering what it is, they jump right under the wheels. Therefore, they will warn you about night crossings in every car rental company.
The first major stop in the Northern Territory is the settlement of Erldunda, where you turn west if you go to Uluru. Because of this important junction, there are quite a lot of buses and people. They also have a small emu zoo in Erldunda.
The city of Alice Springs is located in the MacDonnell Mountains, so it is surrounded rather by a hilly terrain. If you (like us) imagined the red center of Australia as a straight flat, you might be surprised at how vast this mountain range is. The city gained popularity thanks to gold. The gold rush has brought many people here. Today, there are a large number of indigenous people in Australia, but with which the city has great problems. The body of the Aborigines is not able to break down alcohol like a white human organism, and alcohol is very popular among Aborigines, perhaps because of all the injustices committed by the colonists. The crime rate in the city is considerably high.
Weather is also extreme in the city. In summer, there are high temperatures around 40 degrees, in winter the temperature drops to zero. The rivers are therefore often dried up and floods occur when the rain comes. Especially in summer it is therefore good to keep an eye on the Internet to see if the roads you are heading are clear.
In Alice Springs you will find the perfect facilities - shops, restaurants, accommodation and gas stations where you can also pour tap water into your bottle. To the west and east of the city is the MacDonnell Mountain, which is known for its beautiful hikes. We will also look into it. At first, however, we will continue further north, to the Karlu-Karlu National Park.
GPS: 23°42'09.3"S 133°52'41.6"E
Text and photos: Jana Hejlová
The rock formation of Kata Tjuta lies about 50 kilometers west of Uluru. Both places fall under one national park and have a single ticket. The Australian name for this group of stones is The Olgas - after one of the rocks called Mount Olga. Along the way, Uluru shows us all the way again. Kata Tjuta is a group of 36 rocks, the highest of which reaches a height of 546 meters and its peak is at an altitude of 1066 meters above sea level.
If you really appreciate something about the fact that you visited Uluru in the Australian summer, that is, out of high season, then it is a minimum of people who had a similar idea to you. There are enough places in the parking lots, you do not push with the mass of tourists anywhere and you have your space in all sightseeing places.
Uluru is an icon of Australia. This majestic red monolith rises to a height of 348 meters and its highest point is located at an altitude of 863 meters above sea level. It is the largest single rock monolith in the world.
When you turn west from the village of Erldunda from Stuart Highway, you get to the Lasseter Highway, which leads under other names to Western Australia. From there, you can take road 3 north to Watarrka National Park. If you would like to continue from here to MacDonnell Park, you can, but entry is on license and only for 4x4 cars.
To the west and east of Alice Springs is the highest mountain formation in Central Australia, the Macdonnell Mountain Range with Mt. Zeil, which reaches an altitude of 1531 m. The red center of Australia is therefore one large red badge. There are several places to stay. Often it is fully equipped with no facilities.
In the mountainous center of Australia you can visit the mysterious grouping of stones. The Australians named them Devils Marbles or Devil's Marbles. According to Aboriginal legends, they are the eggs of the Rainbow Snake. On the way from Alice Springs to the north, it appears next to you quite unexpectedly (after about 400 kilometers). These unusual formations can be found in the protected reservation of Karel Karel, which has a total area of 1802 hectares.
In the reddish central Australia lies a very interesting city - Coober Pedy. It is famous for opal mining, which has been mined here since 1905. Before we arrive at Coober Peda on our way from Port Augusta, we also stop in Glendambo. Right from the beginning, we are welcomed by a sign saying that there are about 30 inhabitants and 2 million flies. We are also warned that the next gas station will be up to 253 kilometers away.
Had I let go of my travelling job and choose a place to settle, Melbourne would be my choice. Why? The city is built and developed for the people. Not for buildings, industry, developers, and not even for tourists. It is built for the people who live there. Thus it is also one of the best cities to live in in the world. Don't worry. You can still enjoy it and leave with unforgettable memories even as mere visitors.
Fifth year in a row has Melbourne become the best place to live. Last time I guided you through its modern and busy downtown. However, not many people live in downtown- many travel there for culture and to work there. Let's take a look how other districts look like, districts where people actually live and dwell in.
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It is 9 p.m. Streets are almost empty yet you are in Tasmania's largest city which is home to almost quarter of million people. The reason is simple - the city is so vast nobody stays in downtown in the evening. However, it is quite lively and busy during the day. Still, this is a noise and business of a quiet harbor city where is no reason to hurry. Apart from rising number of tourists, there are no radiant tomorrows for the city iteslf.
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