Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Ghan Holiday Day 5-6 - Alice Springs and West Macdonnell ranges

It was a long drive to Alice Springs from Kings Canyon!  Fortunately we were distracted by various birds of prey on the drive and iPads are sanity savers.

Our first stop in Alice Springs was to visit their reptile centre, which was a good little centre, and even had a wandering goanna named Ruby that the kids could pet.  After the show, where we got to handle snakes and blue tongue lizards, the kids felt bold and went right up to Ruby to pat her...

Unfortunatlely my daughter was bitten by the goanna and it had to be "removed" from her hand by the centre's staff.  She was a brave little girl, and the bite wasn't deep and didn't require any special treatment except antiseptic and a bandage. She is also quite the trooper since she hasn't got a phobia of lizards, but she did wonder why it bit her.  I said that it was because she had been eating chicken nuggets beforehand.

We stayed at Chifley Alice Springs Resort which was comfortable and had a laundry but the internet reception was non existent unless you hung out in the lobby.  We had dinner at Doubletree Hilton's Hanuman restaurant which was an Asian restaurant with a mixed variety of Indian/Thai food but was quite tasty.

We drove through the West MacDonnell park and checked out the various waterholes along the way. We saw a great variety of birds and I THOUGHT I saw a Major Mitchell cockatoo but without a photo to back up my claim, I might as well NOT have seen it.

Simpsons Gap
Standley Chasm
Glen Helen gorge
Ellery Creek big hole
Ormiston Gorge
Of course the birdlife was what fascinated us! Red backed kingfisher, western bowerbird, whistling kite, brown falcon, forest kingfisher, treecreeper (maybe).



We even saw waterbirds like purple swamphens and white winged stilts at Glen Helen Gorge. After a long day walking we were glad to have a lie down and get ready to catch the Ghan the following day.

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