Central Australia


Alice Springs Scout Group
 


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The Alice Springs Area:

It's a beautiful huge area, Alice Springs is an isolated township, within driving distance for camps and activities we see desert sands, mountain ranges, gaps and gorges in the MacDonnell Ranges, dry creek-beds, spinifex (spiky grass) country, rock-holes, clay-pans, salt-pans, caves and gold-mines

Bear in mind, that for us, 150 kms is less than a 2 hour drive, because there are no towns to pass through and no traffic lights.
I
n fact, once we leave town, we may not see more than half a dozen cars all day...



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Salt lake

 


Rock Hole


Rainbow Vally sandstone hills - 70 km from Alice.

Environment

Our district is actually the southern region of the NT - it's almost the size of Texas.

(Enlarge - Nortern Territory, Texas, France)

Alice Springs (pop 25000) is in the centre of Australia.

Nearest capital cities:

Darwin NT (1400 km north)

Adelaide SA (1600 km south)


McDonnell Ranges viewed from Alice suburbs

Nearest towns with Scout groups:

Tennant Creek (pop 2000 � 513 km north)

Woomera (1050 km south)

It�s an Arid area, which means it�s very dry. Average rainfall is 250mm per year.

Our Creeks and rivers are usually dry, unless it�s been raining recently.

 


Spinifex country Ormiston Gorge

 

 

 

Lifestyle

In the winter, temperatures can be freezing at night to 5 degrees Centigrade below zero, but by the afternoon it averages at 20.

In the Summer, the averages go from 21 to 36, which means it can go as high as 45, but that�s when you stick to the shade, and we don�t go camping much.

There are heaps of places around Alice to go camping, though. The MacDonnell Ranges have Gaps and Gorges, offering shade from the heat.

There are plenty of waterholes in the dry creeks, just the spot to practice canoeing for a trip away, or a swim to escape the afternoon heat

There is red sand dune country, great for rolling down. We are careful of the fragile wildflowers that grow there though.

There are clay pans, which are flat hard, dried mud flats or floodplains, perfect for land yachting. We don�t have standards for bonnet surfing behind a car, so we DON�T do that as a scouting activity.

 

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This is what it's like to live in the Alice Springs area


WestMac Nat. Park.

Large dry salt lakes have also been used, but when the yacht tips over, you skin your knees, and get salt rubbed in which really stings!.


Mt Gillen Sunrise

Weird Cloudbank

Mt Gillen Sunset

 

The ranges are not high ( mostly less than 300m) and are geologically very old. For rock climbers, that means crumbly and you have to be careful.
For abseiling, there are quite a few good spots, close to town, where you need most of your 50m rope to zip down a steep rock face.(more)

There are caves, too, not too far out of town, and we sometimes go to the old goldfields at Arltunga, to explore the mines, and pan for gold.

 

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It's beautiful here..


Quarantine Valley - just behind Zeil St.
Facilities in the Alice Springs town

Isolated? Yep, perfectly! That makes us very self-sufficient.

Because we can�t drive to the next town to do stuff, Alice has almost everything in town.

The bush is never far away, in fact, it's often only a kilometre in any direction.

 

Our favourite places to go are:

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We love it


2 Hands - no flies..

The Dustbowl 10 pin bowling - good for a social outing away from the hall.

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Rifle Range (pistol shooting too)

Date Farm � great for day trips, they have really nice date ice cream date scones and cakes and cappuccino for the adults!

 

The Camel Farm � short camel rides, activities and displays about the Afghan cameleers of our pioneering days.

 
 

The Ghan Preservation Society has a 1:1 scale railway station and steam train set. They have a diesel engine and carriages too.
Sometimes we go on night-time dinner trip or afternoon there-and-back picnic run to Ooraminna siding.

Indoor Go-Karting, motorized go carts tearing through a shed, and around an industrial site.

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Simpsons Gap bike trail � 21 kms - an excellent bitumen cycle path that winds though the open woodland and gentle hills to the next Gap in the ranges.

 

 

YMCA Rockwall, complete with instructors and all the climbing gear!

No falling rocks, so you don't need a helmet!

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The Desert Park (Largest nocturnal house in the world, and plants and wildlife displays in natural habitats � It�s WORLD CLASS! � we�re really lucky to have it.

Reptile World � where we get to pet or feed snakes and huge lizards.

Town Pool � an Olympic sized one, and a medium one for the joeys.

Newland Park Road Safety Centre � Some kid size bitumen roads with traffic lights and road signs, stacks of bikes to ride for Joeys and Cubs

 

 
 

Other places we can go include:

Speedway and Motorcycle racing at Ilparpa

Offroad buggy racing at Ooraminna (35 km south)

Bond Springs Aerodrome for Gliding

Camel trekking

Ballooning

Desert quad motorcycle adventures

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Alice Springs Scout Group website
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