This is the final post from Tina and Kylie, who travelled with their family from Cairns to Alice Springs as part of the Follow the Sun Relay.
On Saturday we enjoyed a sleep in and a day around the campground, including free activities at the town centre where we learned about indigenous weapons and how to use them. It turns out Kylie is the Indigenous name for a boomerang, which also means “crooked”!
That evening we had an early dinner and headed to the Field of Lights. We opted for the “Star Pass” which included canapes and drinks on the sand dunes at twilight. As Uluru’s silhouette falls into darkness the field of lights illuminates and as far as the eye can see gentle rhythms of colour light up the desert. With a backdrop of the Milky Way on an evening with a “new moon”, we walked through this unique and mesmerising experience with sights that were beyond breathtaking and an experience that can never be replicated.
The next day we commenced our trip back to Alice Springs and back to BIG4 MacDonnell Range Tourist Park where we would spend our last 4 nights on the road.
On Monday we celebrated Kylie’s 34th birthday, so after a sleep in and presents we prepared a family breakfast of bacon and eggs with fresh herbs from the gardens near the camp kitchen. We relaxed as a family and enjoyed the facilities of the park. Elliotte even pulled out Nevaeh’s wobbly tooth, which meant another visit from the Tooth Fairy. She sure was busy on this trip!
That evening we enjoyed a great celebratory dinner at The Overlanders Steakhouse for Kylie’s birthday.
The next day we got onboard the Alice Springs Hop on Hop off Bus and travelled around town with the bonus of the driver acting as a tour guide and sharing his local knowledge and experience of the area.
We visited the Alice Springs School of the Air Visitor Centre where the girls got to experience what it was like to be a student of the School of the Air and could witness live lessons and learn about the history of the Centre. After this experience the girls all wanted to move to a rural location where there is no school in a 50km radius so that they could now attend School of the Air!
We hopped back on the bus and visited the Anzac Hill Lookout and the Todd Mall for some last minute souvenirs and then back to the BIG4 MacDonnell Range Tourist Park.
On Wednesday we visited the Alice Springs Desert Park. The park is set at the foot of the MacDonnell Ranges and well established in its surroundings. The girls experienced the Free Flight Bird Show, and were amazed to see the birds fly in and out like they came in from the wild. It has three different walk-through desert habitat areas, showcasing the difference fauna and flora in those areas. A favourite of kids was the Nocturnal House which is home to many central Australian animals. After our eyes adjusted to the evening light we were able to enjoy the animals in their natural environment. I think one of their favourite things was seeing a bat eat a live baby chick and of course the dingo.
Our last day was spent packing while the kids enjoyed the pool and waterside. Of course, an hour before our departure to the airport we had a catastrophe on the go carts, which ended with one of the girls screaming in agony and gouging her knee after a race gone wrong!
After loading our six bags and children in a taxi to the airport and upon arrival, we discovered that our plane had been delayed. This called for a last-minute celebratory drink at the bar and a treat in the massage chairs for the girls.
We then boarded our plane for our flight home. We had mixed emotions of our epic adventure coming to an end. We were glad to get home to our creature comforts and pets, but sad to say goodbye to “Byron”, our motorhome for the last 5 weeks. There was so much more to see and do!
Until next time, there is no place we’d rather be…….
Tina and Kylie
Check out more Follow the Sun Relay posts here!