3-4 years ago my daughter and I, and a couple …

Comment on After years of under-achieving, tourism promoters say they are getting cracking by Ian Sharp.

3-4 years ago my daughter and I, and a couple of her mates, one from Melbourne, the other from Germany, did a winter 4WD trip out along the Mereenie loop to Watarka, then on to Uluru, Docker River, Giles, Wingellina and the Corner Post, then up the Sandy Blight track to Kintore and home via Papunya and Glen Helen.
Great trip, permits not a hassle but not done overnight, swags under the stars, campfires, some great camping (a couple of beautiful desert oak sandhill sites plus Curtin Springs, Uluru and Warakurna camp grounds (hot showers much appreciated!).
Docker River was a highlight for the visitors, the interaction with local people, the dog proof gate at the store, the goats, and the great campground a few kms out of town, fireplaces and dunnies, and of course camels. It was fantastic experience for all of us, one I’d like to share in again. And one that many locals and visitors would revel in. Self-drive tours are a great experience and give a sense of adventure. I know that the NT Tourism industry is promoting this soort of experience, but perhaps we need to do more to make this type of adventure travel more accessible to visitors (knowledge/permits/gear, maybe guides?) I think there is huge potential here.
A favourite shorter trip of mine with visitors is down to Old Andado via Mac Clark Reserve, onto Mt Dare and then Dalbousie and maybe Purni Bore and beyond, then return via Charlotte Waters, Aputula, Rainbow Valley. Shorter still, down to Ewaninga petroglyph site, on to Chambers Pillar and back via Titjikala and the art gallery, then across to Rainbopw Valley.
Always a hit with the visitors, and never fail to enjoy them too. And up to Newhaven, great self-drive tracks there with interpretative notes … and the Binns Track north to the Davenport Ranges.
I think Steve Brown is right on this, enormous potential if we can get it right.

Recent Comments by Ian Sharp

Classroom cops back – but only in one Alice school
There were school cops at ASHS and Anzac in the 80s and 90s, also at Centralian for a while. The success depended on the cops’ willingness to muck in, most were good, some excellent.
A positive influence in the schools. No need for guns though, crikey, we are not America yet.

Zoning: Racial segregation can start in primary school
Trust a geographer to have a look at a map! And the stats. Good analysis Steff.
And her point is right, government schools are a good place for Indigenous and non-Indigenous kids to mix in. It worked for our kids at Sadadeen Primary and Anzac Hill High.
Trevor Read is a top bloke, did great work at ASHS years ago, but had climbed Jim Hackers Greasy Pole.
He is now the head departmental honcho in the Alice and is spruiking the official line, Sir Humphrey style, trying to steer us away from the obvious. But what can be done?
Would rezoning be likely to cause a shift from public to private, rather than rebalance the student mix? A great opportunity for some creative thinking here.
In my mind this is a bigger issue for the Alice than Anzac Oval.
Get together Steff and Trev, two good smart people, help Alice schools get back on track. For the good of all.

Elkedra jackaroo: station life in the 1950s
Another great read from the Alice Springs News Online. Takes us back to a different world.

‘Bring back school based constables’
I remember joining the staff at Alice Springs Highschool in ’86 and being surprised to find there was a school cop.
We had a couple of good ones, including Kym Davies, did a lot for the kids, including a boating expedition on the Roper. And kept the staff in line too.

Genocide in Australia – unthinkable?
Well said John Bell. I look forward to reading Tatz’s book now.

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