Jaunting to Australia
Skyline - Sydney Australia
Everyone has a place that tickles their fancy, which makes their imagination run wild whenever they hear it mentioned. My place has always been Australia. When I was a boy my father had once mentioned wanting to visit Alice Springs, near the center of the continent, and ever since I had had the idea stuck in my mind.
Finally, my military career took me to Japan. Only a few thousand miles closer than the West Coast of the United States I realized it was the best opportunity I would likely ever have. Obviously, I was going to Alice Springs, but the details were less clear. I considered a campervan in Sydney, since that would be the port of entry. I also considered a campervan in Brisbane, since that was another possible entry airport. I also thought of riding the Ghan, the famous transcontinental train. In the end, scheduling pressures required flying Tokyo to Sydney to Alice Springs.
Alice Springs turned out to be everything I had dreamed. I spent a lot of time browsing the shops on the main street. The opals on offer were like nothing I had ever seen. Live music was played every night at different venues. It is similar to the American genre of country western with a distinctive Australian twist.
There are several parks in the city, including Anzac Hill, that are not to be missed. Aboriginal art is available in many shops and some offer the opportunity to meet the artists. The Road Transport Hall of Fame can entertain the gearheads in the family, while the Reptile Center can satisfy the creepy crawly desires of any reptile fan. The famous Ayer’s Rock is only a short day trip from Alice Springs.
The botanical garden offers a guided tour to the flora of the region and an entertaining look at “bush tucker”, which is Australian for wild food.
Although English is the national language, it will take some time to get used to the Australian accent and slang. However, the people are warm and friendly and welcoming to visitors. The town council recommends seven to ten days to fully explore the Alice Springs area. I spent two weeks there and have been scheming on how to get back ever since. It may have been a once in a lifetime trip, but not if I can help it.
Guest post contributed by Discovery Campervans