A Pit Stop At Curtain Springs
Located just 100km east of Ayers Rock or 360km southwest of Alice Springs, most visitors to Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon will make a pit stop at Curtain Springs to refuel, replenish their supplies, have a warm meal and/or a good night’s rest.
The establishment offers a choice of ensuite and budget rooms as well as powered and unpowered campgrounds for rent. The powered campsites start at $40 per night whereas the unpowered campsites are free of charge. However, there is a charge per person per shower for everyone using the campgrounds.
The price for the ensuite rooms (dated 2015) is as follows:
- Ensuite double/twin room ($170 a night)
- Ensuite triple room ($200 a night)
- Ensuite quad room ($240 a night)
- Ensuite family room ($270 a night, additional $25 per bed for the use of the fold out beds)
The price for the budget rooms with shared bathroom (dated 2015) is as follows:
- One person per room ($85)
- Two people per room ($120)
Get more information about the accommodation and facilities at Curtain Springs here.
A Shop & Outback Cattle Station
There is a small shop in Curtain Springs where visitors/guests can buy reasonably priced souvenirs, sandwiches, soft drinks, ice-creams, foods, basic groceries, tea and coffee as well as alcohol both to drink in or takeaway.
Curtain Springs also happens to be a cattle station, supplying quality beef and good steak to its guests/customers. Initially, the station started with 1,500 head of cattle but the number has grown through the years.
One of the emu was in an enclosure located not too far away from the entrance. The other was left to roam the surrounding area, but we were not lucky enough to see it. It must have hid itself from us, fearing that we might catch and eat it.
Safari Tents at Kings Creek Station
We continued our journey and arrived at Kings Creek Station in the evening to see rows of safari tents lined up neatly on the land. The station lies 36km from the magnificent Kings Canyon (Watarrka) and is set amongst majestic desert oaks.
At our station, Rhea distributed swags to everyone. A swag is made from strong canvas, sewn like a large sleeping bag with a comfortable sponge mattress and a sleeping bag inside – providing warmth, comfort and security. It was my second time sleeping in a swag. The first time was at Emu Run Tours Outback Station 1. Read the story here.
This time, we had the option to either sleep in the comfort of a safari tent or under the blanket of stars. Do not get me wrong, it is safe to sleep out in the open. Daphne and I chose to sleep in a safari tent just for the sake of the experience.
Scrumptious Outback BBQ & Roasting Marshmallows Over The Bonfire
While we were busy settling in our safari tents or setting up our swags under the shady desert oaks, Rhea prepared our dinner. This time, we had a scrumptious BBQ dinner! It was not long before the aroma of grilled savoury sausages and slices of marinated camel meat and beef lingered the air.
Some of the group members were kind enough to offer their help while the rest of us waited patiently for the food to be served. Besides grilled meat, we had generous servings of fresh salad and fruits too. Cold orange juice complimented the dinner perfectly.
In the end, everyone was busy eating and no one took photos of the food. After that, with our stomachs full, we sat by the bonfire and had a bonding session. Encouraged by their grandmother, the children sang ‘Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree’ song – I love that song! Everyone cheered and happily sang along. The fun part, we roasted marshmallows over the fire too! It tastes good!
Stargazing The Southern Night Sky
The Australian outback is one of the best places to explore the galaxy of stars in the night sky. The clear night sky and minimal light pollution allows us to view the stars and planets like we have never seen them before.
In the dark, Rhea gave us an insightful astronomy tour – she pointed out the location of the Southern Cross and the constellations in the sky. We spotted Libra, Orion and Scorpio. She also talked about the Milky Way. I personally saw a shooting star and made a wish. It was truly a remarkable sight, an unforgettable experience! After that, all of us retired for the night in preparation for a busy day tomorrow.
Up next: An extremely challenging and literally breathtaking Kings Canyon Rim Walk