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Alice Springs

 

The drive from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs along highway 6 is 202 miles (323km) long and takes about 3h 20min.

Alice Springs has a population of approx. 26,000 people and it lies almost in the center of the country.  It was called Stuart until 1933, when it was renamed to Alice Springs.  The local Aboriginals, the Arrernte people, who call it Mparntwe. 

 

This general area is settled for at least 30,000 years.  Westerners came through this area the first time in 1861 when John McDouall Stuart led an expedition to establish a cross continent route from the south to the north.  In 1872, when the Australian Overland Telegraph Line (OTL) which linked Adelaide to Darwin was built, a permanent settlement which eventually became Alice Springs was established near a waterhole in the normally dry Todd River.

It then took until 1887, when gold was discovered 62 miles (100km) to the east, that the first permanent buildings were built.

 

The climate you can expect in Alice Springs is shown here:

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Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing camels at Pyndan Camel Tracks Alice Springs
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing an Aboriginal dance group in Alice Springs, Australia

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Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Aboriginals in Alice Springs in Australia
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Pyndan Camel Tracks Alice Springs

 

During the 19th century, dromedaries were brought Australia from British India and Afghanistan as a means of transportation that was perfectly adapted desert climates.  In the early 20th century, motorized transportation replaced the need for camels and many were released in the wild.  Because of their perfect adaption to desert climates, a thriving feral camel population developed.  This was the largest feral camel population in the world.  In 2008 it was estimated that the population had grown to about one million and was projected to double 8 - 10 years later, causing widespread damage to the fragile Australian outback.  In 2009 a management program was established that reduced the feral camel population to about 300,000 in 2013.

Today, camels are being used in Australia for their meat, milk, camel racing and recreational camel riding. 

 

Pyndan Camel Tracks Alice Springs offers 2h guided camel rides that we enjoyed a lot.

Diagram showing the average monthly temperatures in Alice Springs, Australia
Diagram showing the average monthly precipitation in Alice Springs, Australia

Aboriginal Dances

 

This event is not active anymore.  In the past, the Aboriginal Australia Art And Culture Centre, Indigenous Traditional Dance Program and the Desert Mob DanceSite Alice Springs used to have evening Aboriginal dance shows. 

The Desert Festival is an annual 10 day music and arts festival in Alice Springs in late September and early October which features Aboriginal music, dances, theater, art exhibitions and sales, and education.

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A camel at the camel ride at Pyndan Camel Tracks Alice Springs
A camel at the camel ride at Pyndan Camel Tracks Alice Springs
Camels at Pyndan Camel Tracks Alice Springs
Camels at Pyndan Camel Tracks Alice Springs
Aboriginal dance in Alice Springs, Australia
Aboriginal dance in Alice Springs, Australia
Aboriginal dance in Alice Springs, Australia

Overlanders Steakhouse

 

Unfortunately, it seems that the Overlanders Steakhouse is now closed.  We found it by accident, ate lunch there and liked it a lot.

When we got there, they had a special where they asked their guests from which country they came and then placed flags from those countries on each table.  We looked around and saw quite a few international flags.

They had a meat sampler that you could order.  It came with samples of 5 Australian meats: camel, crocodile, emu, kangaroo and ostrich.

Last but not least: their food was delicious.

Overlanders Steakhouse in Alice Springs, Australia
Food at Overlanders Steakhouse in Alice Springs, Australia
Food at Overlanders Steakhouse in Alice Springs, Australia

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