Alice was so different from what I was expecting. I had expected a town in the middle of a desert surrounded with nothing, everything the colour of dust, similar to Coober Pedy. Instead it is a town surrounded by hills (MacDonnell Ranges) and after the rain, Alice looked green and inviting. Alice was put on the map when the telegraph station then later gold was discovered in East MacDonnells in 1887.
We pulled up at the caravan park. A police car was parked outside of the little shop connected to the van park. Not a good look. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. We made sure to lock everything away and not to take any chances. We latter found out that all liquor outlets will have a police officer present for when the shop is open.
On the first day we went to Anzac Hill, it gives us a great view of Alice. We had traveled not only half way across Australia but also more than half way up the country.
We then went to find something for lunch. We walked down what we thought could be the main street. We chose chinese. As we read the menu we realized they only cooked dumpling in lots of different way. We chose and received dumplings. Ok it was what we ordered but we did think we would receive something more on the plate.
The telegraph station was interesting. When the “singing” wire was stretched across Australia it brought the world closer to us. It took only 2 years for it to reach Alice Springs cutting the silence and bringing Alice Spring to the world. An amazing feat considering there was almost nothing along the way. There were almost no roads along the 3000 ks. In 1872 the telegraph station was built and became the first white settlement in Central Australia.
We walked around and looked at the old building. I walked into one and out of the corner of my eyes I caught the image of a ghost. I spun around to look again. The spirit was still there and this time he was talking to me. Spooky, for a brief second. The ghost was a hologram. Very impressive. The hologram told the story of the 4 telegraph employees who worked at the station.
There was a ranger tour as well; he gave us more history about the telegraph station and Alice Springs. When letters or news had to travel by boat across the ocean it could take anywhere from 6 months to a year. With the telegram it took that time to about 2 day or less, it is easy to see how the telegram had such a great impact on Australia.
Alice Springs was named by William Mills. He found a water hole he thought was a spring and named it after Mrs Alice Todd. Mrs Todd was the wife of Charles Todd the superintendent for the telegraph line. Mrs Todd never visited Alice Springs maybe she didn’t like the idea her namesake was a big puddle.
After the wonder though time, Adrian and I had a coffee at the telegraph café. It seemed to be a popular place for some of the locals as they came to join up.