Back to Alice Springs via Hermannsburg

We packed up and left Glen Helen before 9am and headed further west. The plan was to follow the road around in a big loop to Hermannsburg then back to Alice.

Looking towards Mt Sondor

We had a few laughs the last few days at the Winding Road signs. We came across them on the way to Redbank Gorge and further on. What passes for a winding road in the NT is really just a few bends. They didn’t seem like winding roads to us at all.

Now going to the Snowy Mountains there are winding roads!

We pulled in to check out Tylors Pass Lookout. From there you get a fantastic view across to Gosse Bluff. About 140 million years ago a space object, thought to be a comet about 600m across, crashed to earth on that spot. The shock waves shattered the rocks and stood them on them on end. Over time the rocks have eroded away and the formation is now about 5km in diameter. You can visit Gosse Bluff and camp there however the road in is 4WD only so not for us. It’s still pretty impressive even from the lookout.

We passed the Mereenie Loop Road intersection. This is the way to Kings Canyon if you don’t mind going on the dirt. You also need a permit to travel on that road.

We noticed signs for horses in the area and there was plenty of evidence left by them on the road. Katie and the kids saw a horse on the side of the road. It appeared to be struggling to get up. Maybe it was hit by a car or maybe it was having a foal or maybe it was just sick. We kept our eyes peeled but didn’t see any more horses.

We did see a mob of about 20 donkeys. That was a bit of a surprise!

One of the most famous Aboriginal painters, Albert Namatjira lived at Hermannsburg. He was a Western Arrernte man and became the first commercially and internationally acclaimed Aboriginal artist with his works being displayed and sold all around the world.

The Historic Precinct of Hermannsburg is 130kms west of Alice Springs and 107km from Glen Helen. It is a sealed road all the way. Hermannsburg was established in 1877 by Lutheran missionaries from Hermannsburg, Germany. The missionaries at Hermannsburg saw from the beginning the importance of learning and recording the written form of the local Aranda language. The mission children were educated in both English and Aranda. The Christian message was still at the heart of the mission philosophy. The missionaries forged a strong relationship with the Aranda people that continues to this day.

The land was returned to the Aranda people in 1982 and the buildings at Hermannsburg fell into disrepair. Local Aranda leader, Kasper Gus Ntjalka Williams, helped have the site declared a National Heritage Place in 2006. This has enabled funding to assist with improvements and signage for the many visitors to the area.

We arrived back in Alice around lunchtime and first stop was for fuel and gas bottles. We checked in to the Discovery Parks – Alice Springs where we were just a few days ago. While Richard and the boys stayed behind, Katie, Maddie and I set off to get the groceries.

OMG what on earth was going on in Alice? The supermarket was packed with people. There was hardly any bread left, all the long life milk was gone, there was hardly any toilet paper, the checkout queues were 4-5 deep. It was like Christmas shopping!! No one batted an eyelid though and the checkout lady said this was normal.

Back at camp it was time to get washing done. The inside of the motorhome looks like a laundry with clothes hanging everywhere to dry.

We head off towards Uluru in the morning and I think everyone is a bit excited about that.


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