Alice Springs Desert Park (quote from Sir David Attenborough - "there is no Zoo or Wildlife Park in the world that can match it" - so allow at least half a day if possible to explore the 1300 hectares of amazing desert landscapes; discover Sand Country, Woodlands and Desert Rivers, a Nocturnal House, exhibition centre and Nature Theatre, cafe and rest rooms. Easy walk trails, plants, birds, frogs, fish, kangaroos, emus, nocturnal reptiles, mammals birds and invertebrates, free flying birds of prey demonstration, bush medicine, clay and gypsum earths and salt pans. Aboriginal Survival, water gathering, food gathering and the important distinctions of the roles of the sexes in survival of the Arrernte traditional owners of country), Old Timer's Traeger Museum (begin to get an idea of where and why the outback sense of humour developed - if you couldn't laugh sometimes, you would cry - in politically correct speak Old Timers Museum is part of an "aged persons village" - imagine 'pedalling a bike' in order to talk to someone 'over the air' - Alfred Traeger invented the pedal radio and made communication with the outside world possible, imagine winding a wheel to make wooden drums go around to wring out the washing, imagine waiting for the camel to walk to town with the mail; in the mid 20th century, John Blakeman saw Central Australian history disappearing and collected paraphernalia and photos from settlement days and items of interest; see fossils, Aboriginal artefacts, wagons, carts, historic household goods, items from pastoral stations, mining and early settlers and outback pioneers), The Residency (learn of early administrative history of the region in the grand historic house of the Government Representative to Central Australia (1927- 1970's), National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame (worth a couple of hours - trials and tribulations of 'ladies who settled', artefacts, and histories, 3m x 2.5m quilt with stories of the first women to........enter Parliament.... to star in a film.... the first Indigenous woman elected to Australian Federal Parliament.... to become a Methodist Minister.... be a doctor in the RAAF and many more firsts, Cafe, gift shop in old gaol), ANZAC Hill (sunset. a good time to pay homage at the highest point in town, stark hilltop with ANZAC memorial - vistas across town, MacDonnell Ranges), annual Alice Springs Beanie Festival (beanie makers from around the world create cute, crazy and seriously chic beanies in competition, - exhibitions, craft, food, drinks, stalls, concerts all in a brilliant bush party atmosphere).
Keeping to the hard top all the way, take the Larapinta Drive and the Namatjira Drive; perhaps see camels and you take in amazing rugged mountain views en route, some 133 km west of Alice Springs to Glen Helen Gorge (a long time in the making, sandstone was deposited on quartz in the massive inland sea area some 500 million years ago; movements and quakes shifted the grounds and over the eons, time and tide of the Finke River cut through the range to create the most stunning gorge Glen Helen and remains a semi permanent waterhole and swimming hole, black footed wallabies, walk tracks to explore with sunsets colouring the world of cliffs, river desert and mountains "perfect"), Glen Helen Lodge (368 ha Nature Park, stupendous gorge views, large deep waterhole of importance to original owners of the country the Arrernte people, quaint, restored riverside homestead, historical artefacts, excellent cafe/restaurant for lunch and bar). Watch the colours of the world change along the ranges as the sun sets in the west as you drive back to Alice Springs