My heart is so happy friends!! May I just say that I’ve had the BEST time in Alice Springs and Uluru! I’ve met some amazing people and just loved everything about my time here. I wish I could freeze time and just stay here a bit longer, but alas I cannot ;). Honestly though, if you’re even thinking about venturing out to the Northern Territory, please do it!!! It’s a chance of a lifetime. 🙂
I arrived in Alice Springs last Thursday just before noon. It was about a 3 hour flight from Sydney. The airport is small though! When we landed we had to turn around on the runway to drive back to the ramp stand! 😉 And it was hot! That dry heat hits you from the second you step off the plane. But there’s also that sense of adventure! Lots of old Land Rovers are parked outside (I always wanted one!!).
I pretty much planned and booked everything the morning before I left for Australia. I had a week off from work and decided I wanted to go somewhere :). So I’d thought about camping, but the camping trip I could afford was just a sleeping bag- no tent, and I thought maybe in this heat not the best idea… I was also slightly worried about what bugs I might wake up to lol! But I definitely want to go back and do the 3 day camping trip around Uluru and King’s Canyon. It’s only about $330 Australian dollars, so not bad at all! 🙂
I, however, chose a different path. It’s quite expensive to stay in Yalara (which is right outside of Uluru). A dorm room costs $46 Australian a night! Quite high for a hostel. So, I did the more budget friendly option and stayed in a great hostel in Alice Springs for about $25 Australian dollars a night (yes Australia is quite pricey! In Thailand and Cambodia I spent about $6-13 a night for a hostel!) ;). It’s about a 4-5 hour drive from Uluru though, just FYI! But it’s easy to get there, and Alice Springs has lots of stuff to do :).
The hostel I chose was Alice Secret Traveller’s Inn. They also have private rooms for about $46 a night if you’re interested. The place was lovely! It was very relaxing! And I loved the man who ran it and all the guests! My room was interesting. I literally had one of three beds in a caravan! It was very comfortable and adorable, however there were a ton of bugs in there. Not the fault of the hostel! It was under a large tree covered in bugs and they were bound to get in ;). Still not as bad as my almost Temple of Doom scenario in Egypt! That was intense! But they sprayed the bugs and left the can of bug spray, and I didn’t see another bug while I was there- thankfully! I did though think to myself that I should have just done the camping! Lol! But it was very comfortable! And I highly recommend it :).
I pre-booked my spot to visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary that evening (which I was SO excited about!! :D), however that pick up was for 5:15pm and it was just about 1pm at this time so I decided to venture into town to find some lunch.
It was about a ten minute walk to town, and you’ll soon find it’s very small. Some nice Aboriginal art galleries, a couple small restaurants, some tourist shops, and a saloon is about all you’ll find on the main street. There’s a casino a little outside of town (you might remember from Priscilla Queen of the Desert?) ;).
I wandered around the town a bit after and bought a souvenir for my amazing brother. I like to get him something from every country I visit. The people in Australia are so kind by the way! I absolutely love them. They all seem so genuinely happy. Something I absolutely love!! 🙂
I head back to the hostel around 4pm to make sure my camera is charged and I rest up a bit. I’m seriously so excited for the kangaroos at this point! 😉 But, I still have some time. I wander around the grounds a bit at the hostel. There’s a lovely pool but I kind of wanted to sit in the air conditioned room so I go inside to the large kitchen area. Most of the other guests are in here too. All very lovely people. I also see the 6 bed dorms are in this building. They look nice too! Lots of backpackers in Alice Springs. Though it’s definitely not a resort destination so of course it would mostly be us adventure seeking travelers ;).
I meet a lovely woman who’s been traveling around and also going to see the kangaroos this evening. She was fantastic! She just bought a one way ticket and is touring around. She might go to Bali after, I told her she absolutely should!
It’s now about 5:15pm when we head out to wait for the bus. Oh a little about the sanctuary, no one is allowed to drive there as he wants to keep a very safe place for the kangaroos. He only allows small groups to tour Wednesday and Thursday evenings so I do recommend booking in advance if it’s high season. I got mine the Monday before, and it wasn’t full, but it’s also low season in the Northern Territory.
The man who runs it, Brolga, is such a dear! He actually had a series about his kangaroos on the discovery channel maybe? Or Animal Planet? I didn’t actually watch it, but I knew of it. I saw a few clips online. My main reason for going was really just to see the kangaroos ;). You do get to watch a couple episodes on the bus on your way out to the sanctuary if you haven’t ever seen it. I think he’s called Kangaroo Dundee? I’m not sure, but I should look more into this ;). (There were some older English ladies who were just enamored with him. It was quite funny, and I didn’t hear the question they asked but at one point I did hear Brolga mention his wife, and the women backed off a bit. Too funny! Though at least they had good taste I suppose ;). )
We drive down a dirt road and suddenly we’re here! Kangaroo time!!! May I just say it really will be a life highlight! It’s not cheap, but worth every penny! I mean you get to hold a baby kangaroo!!! How many places can you do that?! And his reason for this is simply beautiful, he’s trying to save more kangaroos. He wants people to know what to do if you ever see a dead kangaroo in the road. Definitely check the pouch! And if there’s a baby inside take him or her out, place him in a pillow case and then in a soft bag (to imitate a pouch), and then offer just a small cup of water in your hand to the baby Joey. He said you can find kangaroo milk if you find yourself with a baby kangaroo for more than a day, but there’s lots of places to take them where they’ll be cared for. Though Brolga did say they are in need of more kangaroo moms in Alice Springs. He said he could teach me to care for them in an hour and then have about 5 kangaroos for me to take care of by lunch the next day!! Oh I was so tempted!!!! They’re such magical creatures! So lovely. And curious! And it’s the greatest feeling in the world to have one in your arms. It’s really indescribably! Awww I may have found my second career ;).
You get about 2.5 hours in the sanctuary. It’ll go fast though! You get to walk around his huge grounds, feed them, pet them (they’re so soft!!) and just watch kangaroos in their natural habitat. And since they’re nocturnal, sunset is the best time to go :). I just had the absolute best time. My heart was so happy!! And for those who did watch the show, Roger is still there, he’s an old man though now- 11 years old!! His son Monty, is HUGE! And is the new leader there. He’s over 6’7″ when he stands!!! I love kangaroos :).
So yes, definitely visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary if you find yourself in Alice Springs.
This post is getting a bit long so I’ll write about my adventure in Uluru in another ;). But thank you for coming on this journey with me! Stay amazing! And happy traveling :).