A = Alice Springs, Australia

It’s April 1st and time to start the A to Z Challenge.  In the Theme Reveal, I indicated that I would be doing this year’s challenge using a travel theme.  It’s giving me a chance to relive some of our travel adventures over the years.

First stop … Australia.

Alice Springs isn’t exactly a hot spot on the must-see list for tourists to Australia …. unless you are planning a trip into the Outback.

In 2004, during our tour of Australia, we flew into Alice Springs for our journey to Uluru and King’s Canyon.

Although it was intended to be only a stopover, it turns out Alice Springs gave us one of the highlights of our vacation – a sunset camel ride.

A = Alice Springs

I’ve read other people’s horror stories of trying to ride a camel … but that wasn’t my experience.

The swaying gait of a camel is very different from a horse, however since I have no idea how to ride a horse, I adapted very quickly to it.  I loved the quiet, gentle journey we took down a dry river bed as the sun was setting.

A = Alice Springs-2
This looks like one blissed-out camel!

Did you know Australia has wild camels?  According to Wikipedia, Australia is the only country in the world with feral camels.

They were imported into Australia during the 1800s for transportation and hauling of heavy materials across the Outback.  When motorized vehicles were introduced in the 1900s, the camels were released into the wild where they have since thrived.

A = Alice Springs2

Sometimes a memorable adventure can be found in the most unlikely of places.



  1. When you said you were doing the A to Z challenge I had to go back to find the first post. That’s how behind I am with reading my emails. I’m going to try and find all of them. I’ve never been to Australia but camels is not the first thing I think of when considering travelling there.


    • I know the feeling about being behind. We’re just squeaking into the half way mark and I feel like I’ve been at this forever. I’m a little overwhelmed by all the outstanding posts I have to read!!


  2. What with all the furore of packing and moving and cleaning and moving and cleaning and unpacking during March I have seriously neglected visiting my blogging friends, although I have sort of spotted your travel posts on the Reader but decided to visit all in one go once I had the time. I won’t comment on all I have missed, but hope to follow properly when you start again tomorrow (Thank goodness for Sundays off!). But I had to comment on the first one as you probably know that I am an Australiaphile – and I have been to Alice Springs! Not many Aussies actually have. I passed on the camel ride but loved visiting the nearby Macdonnell Ranges where there is spectacular scenery and I did hire a land cruiser and drove on a dry river bed! Your post has brought back happy memories Jo. Good luck with the rest of the month. I am scratching my head as to what you will produce for Q and X – always the hardest 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now you have gone and entered another challenge.I’m just starting A and you have already posted F. How will I ever keep up with you?

    I never would have thought that Australia and camels go together…I too, enjoyed my camel ride though my destination was not as cool as yours. 😉


      • Mine was at a zoo. But, I do have an image that rotates through the header of my blog which shows my aunt riding a camel with the pyramids in the background.:D…something you don’t see every day.


  4. Wow, oh wow, Joanne! What an Awesome A post. That shadow photograph is outstanding! I am going back to A. I am an “errant” blogging friend but seriously try to catch up rather than skip posts! 🙂


  5. Your camel does look blissed-out and the camel behind you seems to be trying to figure out what the hold up is!
    What an awesome adventure this must have been. And a great start to your A-Z challenge

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not an obvious thing to do as tourist to Australia, but certainly a memorable trip 🙂
      A marathon at Uluru would be a very different race destination. I’m guessing flat as a pancake and not a stick of shade.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good luck with your A-Z Challenge. I, for one, am thrilled on your theme because I get to travel around the world thanks to you. Camels in Australia? How cool is that? 🙂


  7. Australia has feral dogs, cats, goats, horses, pigs, donkeys, water buffalo, camels, deer, foxes, toads, rabbits and unfortunately some humans. Because of human activity (pasture), we have too many kangaroos – driving at night, especially during a drought like now, can be an exciting adventure. Koalas are mostly endangered, but on the surf coast here in Victoria, they are threatened by themselves; too many of them eating out all of their favourite trees. Certain species of possums have also flourished since western settlement. I’m glad you picked Aussie land though too, Joanne, as I do love this place and feel privileged to live here.


    • You live in a very unique and special corner of the world, Mick. I would feel privileged too if I were you 🙂
      Although it’s been a very long time since I visited, I still hold such huge memories in my heart.
      … and then there’s the gorgeous 5 foot didgeridoo we brought home with us that’s standing in our living room 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • A didg! Now you’ve just gotta master circular breathing and then you can play the thing. If you ever come back here, I recommend Tasmania and New Zealand. Spectacular places and so very different to our outback. But you already know that from Ruth’s blog😊


        • I’ve tried and tried and tried to figure out circular breathing. I’m afraid it’s not going to happen in this lifetime.

          … and yes, Tasmania and NZ are definitely on the list!!


          • Well I hope it looks nice at least. We get an extra hour today because daylight saving has ended. Gives me more time to think about tomorrow’s entry. And maybe the day after. This is fun.


  8. I had no idea there were 700,000 feral camels in Australia. Wow. It makes me wonder if their population interferes with any other native species or if they just keep to themselves. Not sure I would want to ride a camel…do they come with a safety belt so you don’t fall off?

    Good start with the A-Z challenge, Joanne!


  9. So interesting! Love the shadow shot….And this challenge should be fun to follow ~ I look forward to your take on some of the more challenging letters (X, I’m talking about you)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is the second post I’ve read today about Australia… I think the gods are trying to tell me that I need to visit that amazing country (my story and I’m sticking to it). I just love the picture of the blissed-out camel. Did you ever see the movie Tracks, a true story about a woman who walks across Australia with just her dog and some camels? If not, I think you’d enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had no idea Australia had wild camels! Perhaps I shall learn something each day with you Joanne. We took Alice Springs off of our itinerary quite early on due to lack of time. Do you think on a second trip which will include the Great Barrier Reef it is worth a visit?


    • The whole point of Alice Springs was to go to Uluru and King’s Canyon … I think it is definitely worth the trip.

      Great Barrier Reef? Oh yes!! We spent 3 days on a boat on the reef scuba diving. Misha, who isn’t a licensed diver, saw everything we saw just snorkelling. I would definitely do it again … this time with a camera!

      Having said that, I’m most alarmed by recent reports about the extent of coral bleaching on the GBR. The reef is under extreme stress from global warming. I’m afraid that by the time I get back to Australia some day, the reef as I knew it in 2004 will be gone 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Feral camels? I love that fact. I’ve only ridden on a horse once– and it was a disaster. Therefore I believe that I’m meant to ride camels. I can sway. Now all I have to do is get to Australia!


  13. Cracking start for your challenge!

    I have also shared the joy of riding a camel in the Northern Territory and it was under the exact same circumstances on a trip to Uluru and Kings Canyon. 20 years ago my mum organised a surprise trip for one of my dad’s milestone birthdays and a group of about 20 of us flew into Uluru and out of Alice Springs Via Kings Canyon. It was one of my favourite holidays ever. Thanks for the post it has brought back so many great memories.

    I wanted to do a trip to Uluru with my husband and son before leaving Australia as they have not been but because accommodation is so limited it was all booked out in the months prior to our departure. I’m determined to do a trip with them on our next visit back home.

    Looking forward to B


    • When we were in the Outback, we actually camped. It was a campground with toilets and showers (one of the most horrifying experiences of my life!!!), and *permanent* tents with cots.
      I remember the night sky was THE. MOST. SPECTACULAR I’ve ever seen! I hope to see it again some day because so far, nowhere else has ever come close.

      btw – LOVED King’s Canyon!!


      • Ha Ha, we camped at Kings Canyon in the permanent tents with cots and my mum sold it to us as “glamping” (far from it) but we stayed in a hotel in Uluru. Did you do the Sounds of Silence dinner in the desert at Uluru? Amazing! That, walking the base of Uluru and walking the rim of Kings Canyon are all once in a lifetime.


        • I don’t know about the Sounds of Silence dinner. We had a campfire dinner – I remember the food being baked in the ground tucked into the sand around the fire.
          Why is it any food eaten outdoors seems to the best we’ve ever had?!!

          … and yeah, it wasn’t *glamping* by any stretch of the imagination, although after experiencing some of Australia’s monster spiders, I appreciated having a “floor” to the tent and sleeping in an elevated cot :/


    • I’m not normally comfortable with the thought of riding on an animal, but this was a fun experience.

      I had a good laugh at the camel when I saw this picture. It helps that their faces have a permanent *smile* 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so touched you started your A to Z with Australia. You could have chosen Austria or Angola or Atlantis.

    I don’t think we’re the only country with feral camels but we do have more of them than anyone else. (700,000 last I heard.)


    • Australia will always be dear to my heart for MANY reasons 🙂

      It’s a little sad about the camels. I was reading that they are thriving so well, they need to be culled. That’s a good news, bad news kind of scenario.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Will be fun to read your alphabet posts! Alice Springs always brings to mind a book I’ve read «A town like Alice» … perhaps it was filmed too, with a different title. Must be long time ago, because it feels a little vague now.


  16. My sister-in-law talked about the feral camels when we were in Morocco, planning our camel trek out into the desert. Such an interesting story. Australia is a place I hope to visit some day, so much to cover! Looking so forward to reading your take on A to Z.


  17. I totally missed your theme reveal post! I’m so glad you signed on for this again and to begin with a camel ride in the Outback? I can’t imagine where we’re going from here! Can’t wait….I think April is becoming my favourite month on here!


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