The drive to Alice Springs and West McDonald Ranges is a damn long one! But luckily we did at least spend a night on the way there in Coober Pedy, and in a cave house in fact. Even though there was a mass amount of wind blowing all night, sleeping in a bed was just heaven. And as such, after the long drive from Coober Pedy we decided that another night in a bed wouldn’t be too bad.
My wonderful fiancé found a motel at a lovely price for the three of us, and for the night we had beds again. And air conditioning. And even a small kitchen. Essentially we had a mini apartment #score!
I guess what most people expect when they enter a town in the middle of the desert, is a dusty old town, kind of like what we actually expected and experienced when we stopped into Coober Pedy. Definitely not a bad thing and definitely not what welcomed us into Alice Springs.
We drove through a parting of the ranges and into a beautiful green oasis of a town. Seriously we were not shocked, but maybe a little surprised and what we had expected was totally blown away. What a pretty little town. Still a town in the desert in the middle of Australia, don’t get me wrong, but pretty.
And our luck of staying indoors continued. As we settled into our motel apartment with some beers, the weather surprised us. Rain just bucketed down, and not just rain but a storm of rain and wind. The crazy weather was following us, after our night in Coober Pedy. It was pretty spectacular though, after all a storm in the middle of the desert is beautiful and fierce and afterwards the skies are spectacularly clear. Which is exactly what we were blessed with the next day.
We set off into the West McDonald Ranges. Driving into the ranges was breathtaking in itself. After all, whilst in Alice Springs you can see the ranges just on the other side of town, as a reminder that you are surrounded by crazy beautiful nature and the beauty of a desert oasis.
What made driving into the ranges even more awesome, was the fact that we were driving on Namatjira Road. For many that wont hold any meaning, but for Alex and I, we lived on Namatjira Place in Leederville in my Nan’s rental property. We lived there for 3.5 years, it had been home for a little while and so driving along the road, in the area where the man it was named after, was pretty cool.
Along the drive there are so many places you can stop, which we did, but those that stood out for us most were Ellery Creek Big Hole and Simpsons Gap. As you can see, by location alone they are stunning! And the fact that it was scorching hot also made these spots even more appealing, given the beautiful cool watering holes.
After a full day of exploring the ranges, sweating quite a bit, drinking not nearly enough water, but also having the best time trekking around red dirt in beautiful desert watering holes, we headed back to Alice Springs. And having great foresight that morning, we returned back to our motel. One more night in a bed wouldn’t harm.
Air conditioning definitely does not get enough credit in these blogs! Seriously without it during these first few desert nights, I don’t think we would have survived the remainder of our days to come, let alone sleep. And trust me, we had no aircon in the coming days, it definitely made things HARD and HOT, but we dreamt of those nights spent in Alice Springs….