Have you ever been on the road and wanted to find a good spot to watch the sunset? Those kind of spots are often difficult to find aren’t they? You can never really tell where you might find a good lookout, but the Anzac Hill lookout in Alice Springs is well situated and gives a panoramic view of the town. I mean, surely we can look at the direction of the sun and figure out east to west? That would stop us watching a sunset through a mountain. To be fair though, I’d probably just climb up that mountain. The purpose of this post though, is to give you some information on the lookout point on Anzac Hill.
In Alice Springs you’d certainly have no trouble finding the best vantage point though. The Anzac Hill lookout is one of the most visited spots in Alice Springs and sitting at the top of the hill is a war monument. Although the monument at the lookout was originally unveiled on ANZAC day in 1934, dedicated to those who fought and died in World War 1, it has since come to represent all of the lives lost in conflict on behalf of Australia and New Zealand. Quite the honourable piece of stone isn’t it? It’s actually much prettier than my terrible picture shows too.
Access to the Anzac Hill lookout is quite considerable too. You can actually drive pretty much to the top of the hill, so if you happen to have any disabilities you can still get up there and see the breathtaking views. I’m not joking either, you can literally see all across Alice Springs from the top. I personally managed to perch myself on top of a metal railing (thank god for having good balance) so that I could get a better view. It can get quite busy up there, especially at sunrise and sunset. You need to be patient with it though, as you might’ve read before, I had a habit of leaving before the sun had completely set and ended up missing out on some spectacular lighting.
Atop the hill is really peaceful, and there are some cobbled type steps up the side of the hell. Granted, there are also a lot of fox trail type pathways which I almost managed to kill myself on, but more on that later. That means you’ve got 2 ways to get to the top of this beauty and enjoy the lookout, no excuses! You wouldn’t want to miss these views, would you?
You can see from these pictures exactly what the kind of views you get are like. Just take a look at the size of the cars down below, the hill really isn’t very tall at all so it isn’t hard to scale, even for a beginner wearing thongs. The best bit is that, apart from having a panoramic view of Alice Springs in its entirety, you can also see the surrounding MacDonnell ranges. The ranges are a 644km long mountain range that is, more or less, right in the middle of the outback. That also has a lot to do with why all of my images are a combination of green and red.
Moving swiftly on; my little trip to Anzac Hill lookout.
We actually scaled Anzac hill quite early, well before sunset; as I mentioned before, we had a habit of missing the good sunsets and none of us in the group wanted to risk missing another. That gave us plenty of time to find a pretty spot and take in the views while we still had daylight, but also check out the monument. Eventually we settled on a nice spot looking west to get a good view of the sunset. Being my ever so predictable self, as I also mentioned earlier, I climbed up onto some railings so that I could be above every one else. It was quite busy up there so to get a good spot, particularly for photography, wasn’t easy. And I didn’t have a tripod.
Then we let the sun set. I say let, it’s not like I had any say in the matter. I took a couple of pictures, one of which you can see above. As it started to get a bit darker I took this shot as the street lights had started to turn on and obviously the drivers were becoming blind so there were car lights too.
I hope you’ll excuse the blurry, not very good quality of this shot. As I’ll explain shortly. Again, long exposure and lack of tripod work heavily against you! Don’t make that mistake.
The sunset, for the most part, was highly uneventful. There was a ridiculous amount of cloud coverage, and not a whole lot of light managing to penetrate through. We waiting just over an hour before finally giving up and heading down the dodgy fox trail type pathway to the bottom of the hill, so that we could all go and get pizza (Pizza! Yay!) Which by the way, we had a special off for thanks to blagging tour guides. Having finally managed to reach the bottom of the hill in dim light, we eventually crossed the road ready to get food when…
All of a sudden the sky turned the most spectacularly deep blood red I have EVER seen. It made Devil’s Marbles look like the sunset there never happened. It was genuinely amazing. Shame we’d walked down that hill right? Actually, 2 seconds later and me and Simon are both running full sprint back up the hill to get as high as we can and try to grab a shot. Now consider that it takes time to run up hills, then reconfiguring your camera, and then actually getting a shot. But the sun doesn’t stop and wait while you do all this (inconsiderate ball of gas that it is) soo.. let’s just say that my pictures turned out dreadful. And lets also say that I didn’t hurt myself too much, but I may have almost fallen flat on my face on the unlit, uneven path a few times.
I guess I might as well show you what I gained for my efforts:
No filters, standard exposure. The only remotely salvageable image I managed to take. You get the gist of what I mean with the blood red colour from this though. It was certainly an experience, and I’d recommend anyone give it a try. Head up to the top of Anzac Hill, find a good lookout spot and just watch the sunset. Nothing more, nothing less. Take pictures if you will. Then let me see them. I want to know what I missed out on.