About Blue Snoopy

Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.



17 June 2017 – Alice Springs NT

We experienced a warm night and awoke to a fine day.  There had been rain overnight and the forecast showed a 40% chance of rain and a possible afternoon storm.

During previous visits to Alice Springs, we had not looked at the gorges beyond Standley Chasm.  We were aware that Ormiston Gorge in the West Macdonnell National Park was very pretty and we decided to head there first, about 125k’s and then return via the other gorges closer to Alice Springs.

We had to make a quick trip into the shopping centre to have a battery recharger replaced before refuelling and then heading west.

First stop was at the grave of the Rev John Flynn, the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

We then headed west stopping several times to take pictures of the surrounding hills and mountains.  During one of these stop we found some very soft roadside but were able to return to the bitumen without any issues.

When we arrived at Ormiston Gorge we meet another couple from our group.  We had coffee and a light lunch before walking to a waterhole where we were able to view the gorge.  Our expectations were confirmed and many pictures were taken of the magnificent scenery.

Next stop was Glen Helen Gorge.  Whilst not in the same scenic league as Ormiston, this gorge was still spectacular.

We then moved onto the Ochre Pits, an area where the ancient aborigine removed the ochre from the walls of the river bank.

Intending to visit Serpentine Gorge, we decided against the visit due to six kilometres each way on a very rough road and we would have had to follow two very slow small motorhomes into the gorge.  We were also conscious of a darkening sky behind us.

We decided to head back to Alice Springs stopping at Simpsons Gap on the way.

Soon we noticed a build-up of clouds to the north of us and soon we found ourselves in rain.  After passing through the rain we stopped to take more pictures and recommenced our journey as the rain caught us.

With the threat of rain behind us, we decided not to risk getting caught in the rain at Simpsons Gap and we headed back to Alice Springs.  We stopped at Anzac Hill to take photographs of the sky with the storm we had briefly made contact with now heading to the south of Alice Springs.

We had decided to purchase a bread maker so we headed to Harvey Norman and made the purchase.  As we left the carpark, we noticed that there was rain falling in the southern part of Alice Springs.  The storm we thought was to going to miss Alice Springs had made a 90 degree turn.

At approximately 4:00pm or shortly before hand, we decided to head to Coles to purchase some bread mix.  As we approached the Coles carpark we were hit by small pieces of hail.  Within seconds the small hail was replaced by larger hail and torrential rain.  We managed to turn onto the Stuart Highway intending to return to our campsite.  The hail became larger and the rain more intense.  We crawled what must have been 100 metres in zero visibility before noticing a car stopped in front of us.  We turned on the hazard lights and sat, very conscious of the potential damage being done to the car.  After about one minute, the rain eased to the point where we were able to pass the car in front of us and head into the safety of a service station where we waited for the storm to finish.  Inspection of the car did not reveal any major damage.

The return trip to our campsite was through deep water on the road and the closer we got to the campsite, the amount of hail on the road seemed to be diminishing.  The entry to the caravan park was flooded as were the internal roads.  We drove to our campsite through water and parked on extremely wet and very soft ground.

It looks like we do have damage to the caravan definitely on the front but at the time of writing this, we have not been able to look at the roof.  Both sides appear to be OK but we will need to look further when the storms stop.  Other than the apparent damage, we appear to be secure.

Numerous caravans have been damaged in the caravan park including dents from the hail and awnings holes by hail with sharp points.

We did not have happy hour and we are now going through the third storm since arriving back.  We have experienced loud thunder and we were told that during the first storm, there were at least two lightning strikes in the caravan park.  A tree came down and was removed.

We now understand that there was significant damage done in Alice Springs including a rumour that the roof of Coles received damage.   We were told by other campers who intended to eat at the golf club that the restaurant was flooded.  The Commonwealth Bank was also flooded and we were also told that part of the Stuart Highway was closed.  Without doubt, this was one of the worst storms we have ever experienced.

Tonight, due to the water on the ground and the continuance of the storms, we are not able to get to the amenities block but fortunately we are able to use our on-board facilities.

More of the same is expected overnight as well as tomorrow.

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