I arrived at Alice Springs around noon and checked into the All Seasons Frontier Oasis Hotel. A very nice hotel, with nice rooms. And air conditioning thank goodness. At least it was a dry heat. 8) I walked around the town in the afternoon and had lunch at one of the many cafes on the Todd Mall. Then a short walk around the Central Business District and I decided to hike up Anzac Hill. A hot climb but worth it. The view from the top was nice, including both some fork tail kites and the local Anzac Memorial.
I walked over to Lasseter's Casino in the evening and had the buffet. They included a made to order stir fry, along with a more typical buffet selection. Good food, a lousy night at blackjack.
Starting today, and for most of the rest of my trip, I am touring with AAT Kings. I prefer being able to go and do what I want when I want, but the distances were to great and the time too short for me to really do that on this trip. AAT Kings did a good job of moving us around to see the most possible, while still getting a good look at what was at each place.
Next time around, I will probably again use a tour company to see the East MacDonnell Range, then spend a few days checking out things I have already been to in more depth. I would definitely like to spend a couple of days just in and around Alice Springs, since there are a lot of cultural and historical centers there.
Our tour driver was in a hurry the last part of the tour so he could get us to the Alice Springs Desert Park in time to see as much as possible. But even then there was a great deal that we couldn't see. The Desert Park deserves at least a day all to itself.
The Desert Park is divided into habitats showcasing the different types of desert environment in Australia. They have included the plant life, and as much animal life as possible, that are native to the various habitats. There several aviaries scattered through the habitats, each holding bird species native to that type of environment. There is also a Nocturnal House, containing some of the many animal species that thrive in the desert during the night hours. Only one picture I took there came out because use of a flash is not allowed. But seeing all of the animals housed there was very nice.