We camped in Alice Springs for a few days to recover from the past few days travelling and to stock up with supplies ready for the 1500km journey south to Port Augusta.
Alice Springs was different to what I expected. I had imaged it would be small outback town similar to many of the others we had passed through but instead we found a busy bustling modern town complete with Woolworths and McDonalds.
We spent a day exploring the East MacDonnell Ranges and the Ross River area. One of our stops was at Trephina Gorge where we did a loop walk which took us along the dry sandy river bed and back along the rim of the gorge.
We drove out another 36km from the gorge along a dusty track to the Arltunga Historical Reserve. This is the location of and old gold mining town. Miners would travel by train to Oodnadatta and then walk 600km over very difficult terrain to reach the goldfield.
Later they used other forms of transport.
Another track leading south took us to the Ross River and a 4x4 track leading to N'Dhala Gorge where there are nearly 6000 aboriginal Petroglyphs carved into the rocks.
As you probably guessed, these were carved by the Arrernte people and represent the dreaming story about two caterpillars, Utnerrengatye and Ntjarlke.
The journey south from Alice Springs to Port Augusta took us three days with an overnight camp at the roadhouse at Marla and another at Woomera. On the way down we visited the Henbury Meteorite Craters. These were formed about 4000 years ago when a meteorite the size of an oil drum crashed into the earth. A lot of erosion has taken place but the craters were easy to make out.
Woomera was (is) the base for rocket and missile testing. There are loads of rockets on display and the town has a couple of interesting museums.
That last rocket missed, I wonder if I could do better with this one?