Dinner in the Bush; Alice Springs, Australia

Dinner in the bush sounded like a wild adventure. What do you imagine the bush would be like?

Today’s Planned Schedule
  • 5:00 a.m. Depart from the lobby for the Camel to Sunrise tour, optional. Return near 7:15 a.m.
  • 6:30 a.m. Breakfast opens at the White Gums Restaurant
  • 7:00 a.m. Bags ready inside your room for the porters to take
  • 8:15 a.m. Depart by Motor coach to Alice Springs
  • 9:45 a.m. Bathroom break at Mount Connor Lookout; Connor Salt Flats
  • 11:30 a.m. Lunch at Erldunda Fuel Station; See the Emus
  • 02:30 p.m. Arrive at the Doubletree by Hilton, Brief hotel stop
  • 02:45 p.m. Depart for the Old Telegraph Station, Alice Springs
  • 5:15 p.m. Drum Atweme performs at the DoubleTree Hotel ballroom
  • 6:15 p.m. Depart for dinner in the Bush, included. Return around 10 p.m.

This simple day started out with 8 hours of sleep and a wonderful shower. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the best.

Tuesday, February 17th 2015

I was up before anyone else. It was quiet. There were these heavy glass doors to open and a spacious shower. The shower head let down the softest spray of warm water and I washed my hair with Citron scented soap with honey and lavender.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

We got our bags ready and ate breakfast, then went out for a walk right around the resort grounds. We didn’t depart until 8:15 a.m. which to some people is kind of early.

Connor Salt Flats

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

After an hour and a half on the motor coach, our first stop was at the Mount Connor Lookout to see the Connor Salt Flats.

What might you ask is the difference between a bus and a motor coach? On the motor coach the seats recline just a little, there’s a place for your day bag up above your head and there’s more padding in the seats. There’s also a bathroom, but the door is always locked. Don’t expect to be able to use it.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

It was a perfectly placed stop with a two sided outhouse. One side was out of commission because someone used it in a way that required serious cleaning. There was something to climb and look at while stretching our legs.

Erldunda Fuel Station

This day is not going to win any awards for pizzazz. We ate lunch at a gas station. They had salads and other items you could buy, truck stop variety. There were tables with benches to sit and eat.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The big attraction was the emus, pronounced with a long e and a cat’s meow. They’re called “E – mews” here in Australia.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Look at those beautiful eyes.

A Dry River Bed

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

It’s often dry in the red center, but here were signs of a recent river on the way to Alice Springs.

“The Alice”

At 2:30 p.m. we arrived at our hotel, The Doubletree by Hilton. We only stopped to go to the bathroom and then were off to see the Old Telegraph Station. What a tease that was after a long period of sitting.

The Old Telegraph Station

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

It is pretty wild out in the bush. This was our short ride from the hotel to the telegraph station.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Inside the main building they had postcards, magnets and other souvenirs. They had something to drink for purchase and ice cream.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

This might have been more interesting at a different time of day, but we were tired and it was 110 degrees.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Even in the heat we perked up when we saw this pink cockatoo called a galah.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The telegraph wires were not that dramatic, but can you go to a place called the Old Telegraph Station and not take a picture of the utility pole?

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Or of this stuff that I didn’t understand how to use?

We sat in the shade and watched the birds scamper in the brush and waited for our time to go back to the hotel. Did I mention it was 110 degrees?

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

On our way to the motor coach, we saw this Australian Ring-necked parrot. These were wildly exotic species to us, but both this parrot and the cockatoo were pretty common in this area.

Alice Springs

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The town of Alice Springs has a few murals, a street lined with ordinary small town shops, and a Catholic Church.

It’s affectionately known as “The Alice.” And it’s definitely in the bush. There were a few other things in the town, but that’s what my eyes saw.

Doubletree by Hilton

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

We got back to the hotel and they had cookies at check in.

Food is such a pacifier. It’s distracting. It helps you forget that you are tired, too hot or too something else. It numbs you without really solving the problem. Have you noticed? And OK. Sometimes it’s just so good to indulge, but I didn’t.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

So we walked down the long hallway to our room.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

and I took pictures of our soap. Do you take pictures of your soap in the bathroom when you’re on vacation …or is it only me?

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

I also took a picture of what it looked like just outside our window. It was better than thinking about being too hot and missing a cookie by choice.

Drum Atweme

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Some local Aborigine girls put on a drum show for us. We brought them markers and hair bands from home. This was an after school activity designed to give purpose and meaning, designed for structure where there might be none.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

We learned in general, the people of the Aborigine culture are humble. These girls were kind and respectful, especially of their elders – their grandparents. It was admirable.

Hmm. As I write this I see one of the girls is wearing a rosary around her neck. I can see the single beads for the Our Father in between the ones for the Hail Mary.

I didn’t notice that at the time. Have you noticed interesting things in your photos once you got home?

Dinner in the Bush

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

At this point, I was still curious about what it would be like out in “the bush!”

This is the bush. The road is not paved, it’s gravel. There’s no shoulder. It’s just bush.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The first thing I saw when I got off the motor coach was this bearded lizard. The boy who held it told me it would bite.

Do you ever wonder why we as humans want to pet things that are wild? I wanted to pet him, but more than that I didn’t want to get bit. I exercised self-control.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

We didn’t sit on the ground. There were tables, chairs and a covering overhead. We had music and there was lots of singing by all of us.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

The host had us join in while he made spotted dog bread. The recipe was simple.

This is where I thought he was joking when he pronounced aluminum “Al – you – min – ee – um” rather than “uh – loom – i – num.”

I thought he was joking until the following day when I heard the same pronunciation on the radio in an advertisement for something in a hardware store.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

He put that spotted dog in the aluminum pots on top of the coals and then put coals on top of the pots to bake the bread. We saved that for dessert.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

In the meantime, we had a wonderful meal. There was tomato soup, salad and I can’t remember much else except for the steak. I really wanted that steak … and I was hungry!

I didn’t have any because it was Ash Wednesday, a day to abstain from eating meat and fast for Catholics. Fasting includes eating only one full larger meal with up to two other smaller meals that would not add up to another full meal.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

This picture is of the first star that I saw that night.

The outback is wonderful for star gazing because it’s so dark. We all made our way out into the bush away from the comfort of our chairs and tables wondering what kind of creatures might be crawling under foot. Ignoring that, we looked up into the sky at the constellations.

It was the first time I saw the Southern Cross. It was too small for my taste. There were five stars in the constellation, but it still made a cross. I can cross that off my bucket list. √Southern Cross.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

When star gazing was over, there was one piece of spotted dog bread and a cup of tea with plenty of grounds in it. Sweet!

What’s on your bucket list? A favorite food, a dangerous animal, extreme temperatures, what’s left you with a good story to tell?

About Marie LaForce

Writer | Photographer | Explorer |Dreamer | Intentional Disciple of Christ


  1. A year later, and I got to do that day all over again. Thank you for helping me remember.

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