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  • Pyndan Camel TracksPyndan Camel Tracks Alice Springs, Australia
    The Pyndan Camel Tracks are located in Alice Springs, Australia, part of the famous outback, and home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Marcus Williams is your guide, and he had been working with camels for over twenty years and loves nothing better than taking a group or individuals across the diverse countryside in this northern territory. The area entails the geographic center of the country, by the southern border of this northern territory amidst the sprawling desert land. The tour company offers one hour rides that include the magnificent scenery and wildlife that lives around the city and is surrounded by the very ancient MacDonnell Ranges; half day morning rides that take you into the Ilparpa Valley, while stopping during the trek to have morning tea, by a sandy river bed, where you can relax and enjoy the beauty of the land and learn all that Marcus has saved for your enjoyment. They also have overnight camel tours that educate you as well as show you some of the most diverse ecology in the world. They can tailor a tour or trip to suite your own special desires, help create special events like weddings, film work since some of the camels have been in two movies made there; Troy Dan's Outback Adventures and The Alice; camel sales, equipment, training and even how to break a camel in. Marcus had originally worked in the red pyndan sand plains in the western parts of Australia, and eventually came to the central part to catch and train his camels for the arduous task of taking folks on tours around the countryside. He acquired most of his herd from around the Todd River Downs Station that is south of Alice Springs, and heading out into the Simpson Desert, he started following the camel tracks to discover a wild herd, which he herded into his yards made from mulga. Using just lassos and ropes, and much patience, Marcus was able to train the camels to do what he wanted and then walked them back to Alice Springs to set up his company. One of the most unique ways to travel the outback and learn about this marvelous wild country that hasn't been spoiled by too many people and communities.

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  • Alice Springs Cultural PrecinctAlice Springs Cultural Precinct Alice Springs, Australia
    The Alice Springs Cultural Precinct, also known as the Araluen Cultural Precinct is where many of the best cultural and historical experiences can be found in the precinct; that includes the natural history of the territory, performing and visual arts, recent European settlements and Aboriginal art and culture. Within its jurisdiction, you can find; the Araluen Arts Center, the Yeperenye sculpture, the Strehlow Research Center, Museum of Central Australia, territory crafts, and the Central Australian Aviation Museum. E.J. Eddie Connellan, was one of the pioneers of aviation in the northern territory, and started the first aerodome in Alice Springs in 1939; obtained the pastoral lease that included the aerodome and the surrounding 40 acres in 1940, and called it Araluen, which had been his family's home by Swan Hill in Victoria. The hangar, outbuildings and Connellan house still are there, which has become part of the precinct. This particular sight is very important to the Aboriginal people living here, because of the seven registered sacred sites and trees of significance that are located in the precinct and belong to the Two Women Dreaming Track. The majority of the attractions that are located here have been here for many years, and were originally individual sites. The Central Australian Aviation Museum was opened in 1979, and within 5 years, the Araluen Arts Center was opened in response to civic needs. Territory Craft moved into the Connellan staff quarters next to the art center, and in 1991, the Strehlow Research Center was constructed to contain the wonderful collection that Strehlow had acquired. Then in 1999, the renovated Museum of Central Australia was moved to the precinct, which opened officially in 1999.  The Albert Namatjira Gallery contains marvelous works by the famous Aboriginal artist, his family and contemporaries and also the beautiful watercolors done by artists of today. The Araluen Arts Center is the cultural center for the city's visual and performing arts culture that features a theater and many galleries. The Central Craft shop was the staff's quarters and the mess hall for the employees of the Connellan Airways, and houses many beautiful crafts that include pottery, silk screening, woodwork and weaving. They also carry many delightful works that were created by the local Aborigines and have them all for sale in the center. The aviation museum highlights the fantastic need for mail and supply delivery throughout the region in its early years, and was a big factor in opening up the territory for growth and exploration. It is in the Connellan hangar, and contains two early flying doctor planes in the expanse of historical aircrafts and aviation memorabilia. Inside the Museum of Central Australia, you can find some unique exhibits that showcase the evolution of the landscape and the unusual creatures that live there. One interesting note is the strange relationship that exists between the geo-morphical assumptions about how this land came about, and the belief of the Arrente explanation. Inside the museum, you will see the evolution of the region, from the big bang theory to the current day, with exotic meteorite fragments, interpretive exhibits telling of the geological history of the region and the fossils. They have created a marvelous display of an old waterhole with strange megafauna with a giant freshwater crocodile and the biggest bird to have ever lived in this world. The Streholow Research Center contains one of the most prominent collections of archival records, film, sound and museum items that can be related to the Indigenous ceremonial life of the natives. 

January 11, 2011