Wildflower Explosion in Central Australia 2016

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This year has seen a bumper wildflower season. I think it must be the rainy winter that we've had that has lead to the wildflower explosion in Central Australia. Beyond our back fence and even in our yard (though there would have been more had I not been so militant about getting rid of 'weeds') there are wildflowers everywhere. On an average year there are normally a few along the river, but not everywhere else. It has been wonderful to see. I also think that we are seeing more due to the amazing efforts of the community landcare groups that have worked to get rid of the buffel grass and saltbush in the swamp and the buffel grass around Spencer Hill.

Below are a few more photos of the wonderful wildflowers that have appeared this year.

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Alice Springs Stormageddon 2016

Last Friday Alice Springs experienced stormageddon. The sky began to darken around 3pm, but the thunder and the clouds seemed to be heading south. Lulu, Zelda and I were at the park but Lulu began to worry about rain coming so rather than walk to the shop like I had planned, we headed home. I took some of the washing inside, just in case. We cooked the chocolate chip cookies that we had prepared dough for earlier that morning. I put on ABC4Kids as we entered the 'wind down' part of the day. The first batch of cookies were baked but before I could make a coffee, the rain started.

The noise was unbelievable! The tv signal stopped working and I moved Lulu from under the roof of the extension to the lounge room where it was somewhat quieter. We put DocMcStuffins on netflix on the laptop and had the laptop on my lap so that we could here it, though the sound was up as high as it could go. As the hail piled up outside, the water slowly began to leak though the join in the ceiling between the old house and the 70s extension. Luckily we had had the roof replaced when we renovated, otherwise things could have been a lot worse.

After the second storm had passed Lulu and I explored outside (Zelda slept the entire time). We found that ice had blanketed our yard, along with torn leaves from the trees and large branches blocked the road. It was something else. I shared a few photos on my instagram, but here are a few more of the storm aftermath.

Girl in the Pjs: Alice Springs Storm 2016
 Girl in the Pjs: Alice Springs Storm 2016
Girl in the Pjs: Alice Springs Storm 2016
Girl in the Pjs: Alice Springs Storm 2016
Girl in the Pjs: Alice Springs Storm 2016
Girl in the Pjs: Alice Springs Storm 2016
Girl in the Pjs: Alice Springs Storm 2016

An evening at the Alice Springs Desert Park

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The

Alice Springs Desert Park

recently had an open evening. It has been an embarrassingly long time since I went to the Desert Park. Like over ten years! Turns out that a lot has changed in 10 years. There is now an aquarium, a desert waterlife exhibit, a dingo enclosure and many more fun things for kids.

The Desert Park presents an number of different desert ecosystems and contributes to the conservation of desert flora and fauna. The nocturnal house is still my favourite. You can see all sorts of desert animals that only come out at night like the b

rush-tailed phascogale

. Lulu loved the aquarium - yes there are desert fish!

Here are a few photos from our visit & if you are ever in Alice Springs, put

the Desert Park

at the top of your to do list! 

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Eat Drink Shop Alice Springs City Guide

I have sporadically mentioned all of these places many times over the years on this blog or on my Instagram and I thought it was about time to pull it all together on an easy to read & use map. To make the map, I worked with illustrator Angie from

Angie B Studio

 and the result is this gorgeous map below.

This little map contains all of my favourite places in the town to eat, drink and shop.

Eat Drink Shop Alice Springs - a Girl in the Pjs City Guide

. If you are ever in Alice Springs, be sure to check these places out.

Eat Drink Shop Alice Springs City Guide | Girl in the Pjs

1.

Casa Nostra

- we eat here at least once a week! Lulu always orders the spaghetti bolognese, I rotate between the gnocchi with spinach, the scaloppine lemone or the kenny's special pizza, Nick rotates between the steak diablo, the puttanesca,  or the mexican calzone. And we love a large mexican pizza takeaway. Most locals have their favourite thing that they order every time. I hope you'll find yours. Be sure to order your dessert when you arrive. There is only one tray of vanilla slice and it goes quickly!

Eat Drink Shop Alice Springs City Guide | Girl in the Pjs

2. 

Exotiq 

Homewares

- For those of us who can't just pop over to Bali whenever we like, there is Exotiq Homewares. You can wander around there and pretend you are in Bali or you can purchase their wonderful Balinese homewares and create a little bit of Bali in Alice Springs.

3.

The Goods Coffee Shop

- a relative newcomer to Alice Springs, the Goods Cafe has gone off with a bang. Strong coffee and great savoury snack food.

 Eat Drink Shop Alice Springs City Guide | Girl in the Pjs

4.

Ju Ju Beane

- Stocking a large range of bespoke children's toys, Ju Ju Beane is the destination for kid's presents. They have recently started stocking a small range of newborn essentials and a large range of kids shoes.

5.

Novita Gifts

- The go to place for any gift you need, Novita stocks all things from Bohemia Crystal to Kate Spade to Cabtree & Evelyn. They also have a large selection of baby clothes, toys and essentials. You will get lost in there!

Eat Drink Shop Alice Springs City Guide | Girl in the Pjs

6.

Red Sands Cafe

- my go to for a quick lunchtime sandwich. They make the best BLT.

7.

Mixed Lollies

- The place to go for a fancy frock. Stocking major Australian labels like Alice McCall, Cameo, Maurie & Eve & Lulu's go to label, Rock Your Baby. Accessories a plenty with Petite Grande, House of Harlow and Tiff Manuell.

Eat Drink Shop Alice Springs City Guide | Girl in the Pjs

8.

Epilogue

- Cocktails, Tapas, Burgers and Pizza. Epilogue also has a wicked roof top area that is open Friday and Saturday nights. Plus Timber and Steel reminded me in the comments that Epilogue often have live music on said rooftop!

9.

Page 27

- The go to breakfast place. Poached eggs, a huge veggie breakfast (I always add bacon), baby chinos and wicked iced coffee.

10.

Loco Burrito

- Finally Alice Springs is indulging my love of tex-mex. Loco Burrito has been welcomed with open arms.  Great for a quick lunch or dinner, the best thing is eating in their cute courtyard garden.

Eat Drink Shop Alice Springs City Guide | Girl in the Pjs

11.

Monte's

- The list isn't complete without mentioning Monte's. Monte's is the go to place for a quick afterwork beer that turns into dinner that turns into the staff kicking you out at closing time. Get on it.

Alice Springs has so many awesome places to Eat Drink Shop, it was hard to narrow it down to this list. I will give an honourable mention shout out to

the Coffee Horse

- I love their toasted sandwiches and they also have great coffee. Is the map missing your favourite place? Add it in the comments below.