Kings Canyon/Uluru
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30.     On Down the Track.

We continued on towards the Charlotte Range and Chambers Pillar through varying country - ghost gums, casuarinas, mauve pussytails and thryptomene.

30a.     Chambers Pillar

Chambers Pillar at sunset was beautiful!

Next day (July 13 2000) we headed across to the "real" civilisation of Kings Canyon, first opening and closing the 12 gates of Maryvale Station - we chose the wrong day to be "tail end Charlie"! The vegetation changed again as we now saw many flowering acacia bushes, plus more young casuarinas, and the lovely mauve thryptomene bush. The Hugh River Stock route took us across to the "black top" and a short way up the bitumen to Stuarts Well on the Stuart Highway for lunch, before heading back down to the Henbury Meteorite Craters, the result of a metorite impact some 4000 years ago. From there we headed across to Kings Canyon Resort keeping an eye on our first threatening sky, but no rain eventuated!

31.      Kings Canyon  

Kings Canyon is the "must see" of the sights within cooee of Alice Springs. We walked the 3 hour Canyon walk which was spectacular, a steep climb up to the canyon rim and then an easy walk around the top, and down to the "Garden of Eden" pool where we had lunch. Later in the day we enjoyed a helicopter ride over the canyon which gave a different perspective. 

31a Thryptomene

Thryptomene bushes were flowering profusely in the Kings Canyon / Uluru area.

32.    Spearwood Bush

The Spearwood bush is another attractive flowering plant - the Aboriginals use the branches to make spears.

33.    Sunset at Kings Canyon

Nina, Greg and Harvey enjoy a beer after a hard workout photographing the sunset at Kings Canyon!

34.    Kit on top of the World!

From Kings Canyon we drove the Mereenie Loop road to Palm Valley with a diversion to the meteorite crater at Gosse Bluff.

Hermansburg Mission, where Albert Namitjira painted, was our next stop. We enjoyed the best homemade bread sandwiches and apple pie here, before touring the old sandstone buildings of the original Lutheran Mission, and the Art Gallery.

The photo above shows energetic Kit with one eye on the camera, and one leg on tonight's Palm Valley firewood!

Next day (our LAST day with the tag-a-long!) we walked for an hour up Palm Valley (a really rough track in), before heading out through the Finke River again, to Glen Helen Gorge for lunch, and then to Ormiston Gorge for a walk, and a farewell BBQ tea.

We then managed to fuse our tail lights, and get lost for the first time (in the car park!).  Fortunately Kit and Nancy got lost also, and followed us in to Alice Springs, where we appreciated the luxury of a well equipped cabin in the McDonnell Ranges Mountain Caravan Park, and a full eclipse of the moon! 

Next night all those still in Alice met for a Chinese meal before we all went our separate ways (sort of!). It's strange not being in convoy, and not following Chris and Neal in their Prado NNW ..! At least we homed in to NNW at Ayers Rock!

At Uluru we joined forces with Bob and Joy from ACT to walk around Ayers Rock (9kms) and the Olgas (6kms), and to travel down the Oodnadatta track to see Lake Eyre with water in it - an unusual sight to see!

35.    Sunset at Uluru

The photo shows Harvey and Judy appreciating the sunset at Uluru. Next morning we even got up before 6am to appreciate the sunrise! Impressive?

36.    Sunset at The Olgas

The Olgas (50km from Yulara township) are just as spectacular as Uluru, if not more so, and Bob, Harvey, and Joy (and photographer Judy!)  enjoyed pre dinner drinks and nibbles with yet another beautiful sunset.

            More please!        

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