Last day in Central Australia
Caution: This chapter is not so much reflective with interspersed humour, rather it is an educational recount (well mostly). Ok so now i can tell kids why we need to learn this writing style HA HA HA
Oh the luxury of a sleep in , in a hotel room 🙂 Had a late breakfast in Alice Springs then we strolled around Todd Mall cause Brian had his heart set on buying a painting of the area. We’d already bought a local art style piece at Uluru you may remember 🙂 Found one to his liking, purchased it and organised to have it sent home.
Then, with about 4 hours to kill we headed to the Araluen Precinct. It is a five minute ($10 of course) taxi ride from the city.It houses art galleries, a museum, craft store and aviation museum as well as a sacred site.
First we visited the art gallery. It had both local traditional art styles as well as an Albert Namatjira exhibit. It had a lot of interesting information about the art styles as well as the artists.
Next stop was the Central Australian Museum . This informative centre started with the beginning of the area’s formation, explanations for the formations we see today and examples of meteorites that have landed in Central Australia. . Some pieces were cut in half to reveal their shiny metallic interiors.
As you moved through the centre the next display related to the mega fauna evidence located at The Alcoota site out past Alice Springs. Recreations from bone discoveries were included…fascinating to see as I had researched mega fauna finds at that site for my own interest years before.
The last part of the exhibit was dedicated to present day local fauna and some discussion on introduced pest varieties and their impact. This place must be a well used resource by schools no doubt ( always the teacher sneaks out even on holidays…ha ha) .
On the first floor , was a display regarding an anglo man called Strehlow. Apparently he grew up in Hermannsburg and after leaving the area to study literature at university he returned and began documenting the lives of the area’s indigenous people to the point they initiated him as their elder and entrusted many artifacts from sacred ceremonies to him . After much disagreement on who should have these when he died they are now held in this museum…well some are but I believe some were sold privately. Must google this when I have time .
In a bit of a rush then for we had spent more time here than we thought we would ,we raced to the Aviation Museum. We had a quick look at the engine and now memorial to the Kookaburra ( a plane that crashed while out looking for Kingsford Smith who ironically was found safely) and read information about its journey and the peril of its pilots lost to dehydration and heat exposure. I have experienced the conditions of this place and can imagine how it was for them in their predicament – the hopelessness they would have felt in this desert.
Taxied it back to the hotel, collected our bags and arrived at the Ghan Station about 15 minutes before check in. That meant time to have a coke , packet of chips…oh and to buy a souvenir pen 🙂
Boarded the Ghan at 5:30 pm for a 6pm departure. Again we were in the same cabin! The sunset while we were not far from Alice Springs, the Internet cut out ,we ate dinner then settled in for a long trip to Darwin. Got up when the train stopped at Tennant Creek (11pm) and looked at the scenery floodlit for the train’s arrival. This area is not far from where Peter Falconia went missing. The flora growth was shrubby and the full moon cast an eerie glow as we departed an hour and a half later…yes I was STILL awake . With a full moon , that scrub would offer no place to hide… Not that I’m making judgment on what happened that fateful night 🙂
Some random photos 🙂
Road to Ellery Creek Waterhole
Glimpses of the West Macdonnell Ranges
Nightclub wristbands ha ha