So, What’s it Really Like in the Middle of Australia?

Well, how can I put this? There’s not much about.

Today I want to wrap up my adventures in the middle of Australia with this final report. I have already quite comprehensively covered Uluru so now, here’s the other stuff. Pretty much slap bang in the middle is the one large town, Alice Springs. And, by and large, this is Alice Springs in its entirety as viewed from a rather large hill that we climbed up.

central australia

Central Australia overlooking Alice SpringsMost of the roads in the area look something like this……

Central Australia roads

Central Australia - another roadAnd you can drive for miles without seeing anything. But there are quite a few “local” attractions. For example, we visited this place called Standley Chasm, it was about an hour’s drive from Alice Springs and for seven dollars you could park up and take a 20 minute walk to the view the chasm. It is best viewed at midday when the sun hits it.

Standley ChasmWhen you have finished your walk and returned to the car park, there’s a small gift shop and a nice little cafe serving food and drink. I couldn’t help wondering what a strange lifestyle it was for the owners though. If they run out of milk they have a two hour round trip to Alice Springs. And not another town in driving distance.

The Ochre Pit about another half hour down the road was worth a look too……

The Ochre PitOchre being the yellow brown or reddish earth pigment used by the aboriginals for painting and I believe protection from the sun. Don’t take any away from this pit though; you’ll get fined up to $5000. It belongs to the aboriginals.

Then there was the gorge at Glen Helen which is where you will also find one of the nine watering holes in the area fed by the Finke River. Without these, central Australia might well be very much different than it is today.

Glen Helen waterholeMuch of the countryside looks like this…..

Central Australian Countryside

More Central Australian CountrysideAnd on some evenings the sky can change colour several times in the space of 20 minutes, like this….

Central Australian Sky

Even More Central Australian Sky

Red Central Australian Sky

Did I see any creepy crawlies in central Australia?

No, but I saw a strange and colourful grub, if it was a grub. I have no idea….

Strange Colourful GrubThen, what you and I would almost certainly call a mouse, but may have been a Spinifex, sometimes described as a hopping mouse that I believe is actually a marsupial and not a mouse at all. On the other hand, it could have been a vole. Again I just don’t know.

Mouse, Spinifex or Vole?Apparently, central Australia is overrun with wild camels and in certain areas they are causing havoc. I was lucky enough to see some on the horizon…….

Wild Camels in Central AustraliaAnd finally, we saw a couple of dingoes. One of them was in the car park near Uluru and he was definitely looking for food. Signs suggested these dingoes could attack at any time and to beware…….

Wild Dingoes in Central AustraliaBut they didn’t look too tough to me. Take a look at this; it’s a BBC video I found of a dingo attacking a kangaroo. But don’t worry, nobody gets hurt and it’s actually quite funny in the end. It’s more like Skippy meets Lassie….

There! Any questions about Central Australia?

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Bilal February 17, 2015, 12:13 am |

    Hi! I am bilal from India . Iam studying in 11th class and after doing 12th i wish to study in australia. I love australians and its geography and beaches. I am from a middle class family . Is Australia good? Are the universities economical? Also please tell me cost of living in aus.
    Secondly i will not be 18 years of age . So would it post any problem for me?
    Please inform me about all this . I will be thankful to U all my life

    • Rohit Diwan July 5, 2016, 8:25 am |

      No dude. U r pretty much screwed. I came to Australia 10 years ago to study and i ended up being a farmer in uluru instead. Sad story. Stay in india.

  • Kamma March 29, 2014, 2:56 am |

    That dingo is gorgeous. No wonder the farmers of old interbred them with their dogs.

    • BobinOz March 31, 2014, 1:46 pm |

      He was a fine specimen, very calm as well. Which was great, I wouldn’t have wanted to fight him!

  • BobinOz July 30, 2010, 7:42 pm |

    Hi Amanda

    Yes, I thought it was. Haha!

    Actually, I’m chuffed I refered to it as a grub. Thanks for giving us the real name. He was a pretty thing, my daughter wanted to pick him up though. No, we’ll just leave him be, I said.

    Well, you never know, do you? Unless you do.

  • Amanda July 30, 2010, 4:48 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    The caterpillar is called ‘Ntyarlke’ (pronounced n-JARL-kuh) in Arrernte. He’s one of the four ancestral caterpillars that created the MacDonnell Ranges around Alice Springs according to Arrernte (Aboriginal) people. In English, he’s known as the Elephant Grub.

  • BobinOz July 23, 2010, 6:32 pm |

    Oh yes, the video. Very funny, it’s a great bit of work by the Beeb. Good for the roo, he did well and the dingo played his part too. They seemed so calm when it was all over.

    Thanks for the compliment about my website, it’s appreciated. I just checked out your site, very impressive too. If any readers want to know about the Gold Coast, click on Annie from Gold Coast above.

  • Annie from Gold Coast Australia July 22, 2010, 9:20 pm |

    Thank you for pointing me to this dingo Bob, this really makes up for not seeing one in person at Fraser Island!

    That BBC dingo video is so funny – I had forgotten that Dingo’s don’t bark. I love the bit where he sits down – classic!

    I can see, even though i am already totally sold on living in Australia, I am going to be spending a bit of time on your website as there is some really interesting stuff.


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