Target: The Red Centre

Moving on to Kings Creek Station for morning tea – scones & cream – gah, I detest those things!

They had a few camels yarded. Ostensibly, they were going to be trucked out once a load was reached. I think they had a long way to go to get truckload numbers…

There are a few camel abattoirs in Australia.

I always find it hard to get a clear story around these types of things. Very often it gets portrayed in glowing terms as an exciting ‘potential’ (that word again…) or emerging industry; discussion of culling is deflected - especially if squeamish/emotional city and overseas folk are in an audience…

I believe that there is some camel meat exported, but it must be tiny because figures don’t appear on the DAFF meat export statistics. And a grand total of 13 live camels were exported in 2022/23, I imagine for breeding purposes. Australia has the largest population of free-ranging camels in the world, and the genetics would date back well over a century.

They are a significant pest, highly destructive of infrastructure around water points, and of natural vegetation and bush tucker. Also, they can be extremely aggressive when in rut or with young calves.

Culling is both a necessity and a conditional requirement of pastoral leases in areas where camels roam – and come in from adjacent Crown Land and reserves. I know of at least one station in far NE WA where they shoot almost 1000 camels in a year, yet they still cause significant destruction, let alone the time and expense put into shooting them.

Then we moved on to the intersection of Luritja Road with Lasseter Highway, the latter being the direct route to Uluru/Eyres Rock from Alice Springs. The loop we were following is the Red Centre Way.

And then the old trick played on every newbie that comes this way.

Wow! There’s Ayers Rock/Uluru! So excited!

Hyuk, hyuk… - nah, that’s Mt Conner – come in, suckers! It’s the perennial joke on that route, coming in from the east.

Anyway, after the usual mirth from those in the know, we carry on to Sails In The Desert Resort at Yulara.

This is typical of the accommodation on the tour.

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First order of business after settling in was to muster to head out for drinks and canapes overlooking Ayers Rock/Uluru and to await the lighting up of Bruce Munro’s Field Of Light.

The real Uluru/Ayers Rock…

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Looking the other way, then back again…

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Drinks finished, we then went down to wander amongst the lights.

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Love reading about your red centre trip and seeing all the photos.
Your Ghan trip report encouraged me to book a Ghan red centre trip last July, loved it.
We too thought Outback was an excellent company to travel with, ticked lots of boxes and inclusions for us.
We did the Kings Canyon hike (only 5 of us) it was spectacular! An IMG_7228.jpeg amazing experience, but that first 500mt vertical ascent got the heart pumping. We did see an amazing sunrise.
We also did a Kakadu tour with Outback Spirit.
 
Great TR so far - and wow at how much green there is - never seen it like that in multiple trips!
 
That night was the Sounds of Silence outdoor dinner and stargazing. The venue is located a few km from the resort, with drinks on top of a dune giving views towards both Kata Tjuta and Ayers Rock. Just after sunset, it was a short walk down to the dinner venue.

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A very pleasant evening.

Next morning, before breakfast, we walked across the road in front of the resort to a lookout point at the top of a dune to watch the sunrise. Following breakfast, we began the drive back to Alice Springs to end the tour about mid-afternoon.

As we were not flying out until the next morning, we requested to be dropped off at ASP to collect a rental car for a little local sightseeing for the rest of the day.

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As we were not flying out until the next morning, we requested to be dropped off at ASP to collect a rental car for a little local sightseeing for the rest of the day.

Simpson’s Gap.

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Then to the Telegraph Station.

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Onto the bird to ADL the next morning. The woman in the high-vis told me not to take photos. I dibn’t think it was prohibited, but there you go.

The yellow-tailed birds in storage were Cebu Air. It appeared as though the Cathay Dragon bird was being prepped to exit storage.

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The ADL-PER flight was interesting at the end. The Captain came on and announced that ATC had put us into a holding pattern. I can’t recall that ever happening before at PER. We then swung south and lined up coming over Jandakot GA airfield, which seemed a bit different.

Of course, it is extremely unusual to be coming into PER in the late afternoon with an E wind blowing and not the usual fresh SW sea breeze…

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And so ended a great trip.
 
Thanks for sharing your trip. I loved seeing all the photos, which brought back nice memories from our similar trip last July.
 
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As we were not flying out until the next morning, we requested to be dropped off at ASP to collect a rental car for a little local sightseeing for the rest of the day.

Simpson’s Gap.

View attachment 380019View attachment 380020

Then to the Telegraph Station.

View attachment 380021View attachment 380022View attachment 380023View attachment 380024

Onto the bird to ADL the next morning. The woman in the high-vis told me not to take photos. I dibn’t think it was prohibited, but there you go.

The yellow-tailed birds in storage were Cebu Air. It appeared as though the Cathay Dragon bird was being prepped to exit storage.

View attachment 380025View attachment 380026View attachment 380027

The ADL-PER flight was interesting at the end. The Captain came on and announced that ATC had put us into a holding pattern. I can’t recall that ever happening before at PER. We then swung south and lined up coming over Jandakot GA airfield, which seemed a bit different.

Of course, it is extremely unusual to be coming into PER in the late afternoon with an E wind blowing and not the usual fresh SW sea breeze…

View attachment 380028

And so ended a great trip.

When I came back to PER on QF9 10 days ago or so (with a north-easter blowing) we too came in over Jandakot. First time I can recall taking that approach to land on 03. Previously approaches from the east to that runway would have a sharp right turn further north around Cannington area.
 
An update to the ASP aircraft storage, courtesy of The Australian this evening.

It answers some puzzles that I had.

It's paywalled, so I'll snip out key bits.

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And this explains the origin (of at least one) and fate of of the disguised and dismembered A380s at the site that so puzzled me:

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Given that SIA was the launch customer for the A380, and that QF is now reputedly flying the oldest A380, maybe it's reasonable to surmise that the two birds out at ASP are ex SIA oldies, out of the 24 they had delivered.

Interesting that they've been down to Bunnings, proved their age, and grabbed some spray paint to blot out the SIA livery. I guess APAS charged them a suitable motza for doing what the average graffiti vandal does gratuitously...
 
Anything "new" to do since they shut the climb, Ive seen ads about a drone light show or something but its a long to go and way to see that. Seen everything else in your pix on my last visit pre closure.
 
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Anything "new" to do since they shut the climb, Ive seen ads about a drone light show or something but its a long to go and way to see that. Seen everything else in your pix on my last visit pre closure.

There is a drone show. We could see it in the distance at the Sounds of Silence dinner.

They would need to add another night to the tour to include the drone show.

Going OT, but if you have not seen one, drone shows can be amazing, as we discovered at Vivid in Sydney last year where 1000 drones were involved. Whether the one at Uluru is as spectacular, I do not know, but I think cracker nights are dead...

As you say, a long way to go for a drone show. Easier to go to SYD - but choose your night as the drones don't fly every night (at least they didn't in the 2023 inaugural year.)

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