Friday, October 8, 2010

Mt Conner NT, Afternoon/Evening trip (15 June, 2010)

On the road to Yulara, there is a huge flat topped, rock like formation, tour guides tease tourists with this sight, "oh, can anyone see Uluru", or "what is that.,"  I have heard these words myself, on my trip 30 years ago, everyone of the bus went "ooh" and wanted the driver to stop the bus.  Amongst the tourist trade Mt Conner is referred to as 'Fooluru'. Mags mentioned she would like to go out to Mt Conner, and I said "they don't do tours out there". The good news was, tours are now available to view Mt Conner at sunset, followed by a BBQ meal at the Curtain Springs Station Roadhouse.  Mt Conner is owned by Curtain Springs Station.
The rough dirt road through Curtain Spring Station was the original route from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock, (as it was named in the 'old days'), and it would have been a rugged, hot and tiring ride, which took a week! One of the over night stops for travellers, was at Curtain Springs Station, the following day they would be on the rough, dirty, rocky road for the next leg to The Rock. Our trip from Alice Springs to Uluru took 5 hours, on a great bitumen road all the way. The day trip from Yulara Resort to Mt Conner was in an air conditioned 4Wheel Drive (SUV). Along the route we stopped off at a salt lake which is on the station.  Large clumps of pale pink salt can be found sitting on the top of the lake; me being the questioning person I am asked "what makes the salt pink?'  Neither of the two guides knew.  I wonder if they did a search on Google to find an answer, or maybe one of you can tell me? 
Spotted wild camels wandering about, these were quickly reported to the Station Owner as they are classed as feral animals, which compete with the cattle for food and water, as well as damaging fences.  In the harsh and dry climate of Central Australia, water is precious commodity, so, camels are shot on sight. The Camel population (in Australia), is greater than in the Middle East; if a camel is lucky, they may be captured and shipped off to Arabia to become a racing camel or as breeding stock to refresh the blood lines.  The Camels in Australia have a pure blood line, and are strong and healthy as they have been wandering free for the past 100 years.  Camel meat is also sold in The Territory, and the taste is a cross between Beef and Mutton.
Mt Conner is actually the same size as Uluru, but 1 metre lower,some of the staff from the Station have built a cairn at the tope to bring the height up to match Uluru. There is a VERY rugged track up the eastern side of Mt Conner which we drove up, to about half way.  The view is wonderful and most of us had a bit of fun playing around at pretending to fall off the side of the mountain, me included of course! Those who know me well, know I am a big kid at heart!

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