This site last updated on  07-Nov-2003
The first event of this tour was a Sounds of Silence dinner in the desert, under the stars. We were greeted with champagne, and a Didgeridoo player to watch the sunset on Uluru, over Kata Tjuta.
A very early start to see Uluru at sunrise. The rock goes through a number of colour changes, from mauve to lilac to red. We then moved over to the Mutitjulu Walk, where we saw rock art, with text interpreting some symbols, and further text describing the location. There was a wonderful area where the water falls in a rain storm. Next onto the Mala Walk, which is a sacred area to the Aboriginal peoples. There is a sacred water hole used in the Mala ceremony called Kantju. The caves are symbols, and one is portrayed as the home of a marsupial mole. The rock was in the middle of an inland sea at one time, which gave rise to these wave shaped caves. Just to prove I was there, here's me. The afternoon was wrecked by a dust storm, where the sky went a mauve colour.
The road to Alice Springs is long and straight through the desert. It takes you passed Mt Connor, and you can still see the haziness from the previous day's dust storm. The vegetation is primarily Desert Oak and Mulga bushes, with plenty of Spinifex grass. We arrived at the King's Canyon resort in time to see the sun set on the Escarpment. It was quite a spectator sport, including me!
The next day saw us up early for a 6 km walk around King's Canyon rim. on the South Rim, you could see the original, barely weathered split. It looks as if a giant has put a spade through the mud! We walked through Domes that looked like the "Lost City". The walk took us down steep steps into "The Garden of Eden", where there is a substantial permanent water source, enough to support a pair of ducks! If you look to the right, you can see the exit of the "Garden of Eden" through a chasm in the rocks. One of my companions, Jeff helped to provide some scale. We also got excellent views over the desert, to give some idea of the landscape.
Next morning in Alice Springs I took a tour to Simpson's Gap, a good water source, where we saw signs of Wallabies digging for water. Next we went to Standley Chasm, after passing by the grave of John Flynn, the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The Chasm is a huge cleft in the rock, which water rushes through in the rains, but it is also a permanent spring water source that Rock Wallabies use. On the way back to Alice, we passed a site of a famous painting by an Aboriginal called "Twin Ghost Gums". In the afternoon, I had a tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Visited an Art Gallery, and saw the original painting of the Twin Ghost Gums, visited the School of the Air, and finally went to the original Telegraph Station, the reason for Alice Springs existing as a white settlement. We were shown the "spring", and the site had the original buildings, Telegraph wires, blacksmiths shop, and the place where they made and repaired wheels. The station is set in a fairly barren place!

The next day, after being collected by a friend, Andrea Holman, I visited the Desert Park, a "must visit" place. You can see the Desert Woodland Habitat, the Sandy Country Habitat, the Desert Rivers Habitat, and a Nocturnal House. You also get to see some of the animals of the region, including the Red Kangaroo. However, the special part for me was the demonstration of the desert birds of prey. This beautiful Hobby gave us a stunning demonstration of catching prey whilst in flight. We also saw a Desert Falcon, and this lovely Wedge Tailed Eagle, who eventually came in to eat! In the afternoon, I helped Andrea's friend Cheryl move house!!!