Mooned in Alice

First-up this week are some images of the supermoon from the Ilparpa claypans — a set of twelve interconnected claypans about 15km south-east of town.

I knew I wanted to photograph the supermoon on Monday, but I had no idea where to take the photos from. Luckily, when I got home from work my amazing housemates were packing a picnic and told me I was coming with them to watch to moon with a bunch of their friends at the claypans.

This is a good example of how great the people in Alice Springs are; everyone is very inclusive and they're always keen to get out and do something.

We arrived at the claypans just as the sun was setting, and watched the supermoon rise into the sky while we sat on the red dirt and ate our picnic.

The biggest moon in fifty years rising over the red centre

The biggest moon in fifty years rising over the red centre

The outback landscape lit up by the supermoon

The outback landscape lit up by the supermoon

After three weeks in Alice Springs I decided it was time to get back into some proper exercise. I started this week with a walk to the top of ANZAC Hill on Tuesday, and a run along the trails behind my house on Wednesday.

The walk was a roaring success. The run was a mild disaster.

The view over Alice Springs on my way to the top of ANZAC Hill

The view over Alice Springs on my way to the top of ANZAC Hill

Before the run I was so preoccupied worrying about drinking enough water that I forgot to eat. I ended up running for over an hour sustained only by a fly that dived into my mouth in the first five minutes.

I arrived home after the run hungry and thirsty despite drinking about four litres of water during the day. Upon my return I promptly inhaled a tub of hummus and spent the rest of the night submerged in the pool, wishing I could drink its entire contents.

Which brings me to the subject of hydration — my biggest challenge since moving to Alice Springs.

The average daily temperature at the moment is 35 degrees, and I never seem to be able to drink enough water to replace what I lose during the day. As a result I’m always a little bit sleepy, and have the excitement of an octogenarian whenever I manage a trip to the bathroom.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this obsessed with the volume and colour of my urine.

To quote an old hockey coach of mine: “If your wee looks like lager you’re probably okay. If it looks like amber ale you’re probably dehydrated. If it looks like stout you’re probably dead.”

No doubt that’s already too much information on the topic, so here's a photo of a rainbow over a roundabout.

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This weekend was my first full weekend off since I arrived. I spent the majority of it by the pool, but I managed to drag myself away on Saturday evening to see the ‘Wrapt in Christmas’ craft market, and headed out later that night for some drinks at Epilogue (one of the few places in town to spend a night out).

I went to the craft market for the specific reason of purchasing a handmade mug from a group of kids who were raising money for Purple House — an organisation that helps indigenous dialysis patients in Alice Springs.

A wrote a story about Purple House earlier that week for the paper, and I took photos of the kids with their mugs for a yarn about the market.

I decided it was a good enough cause to break my rule of only owning cheap souvenir mugs from the U.K.

Photos from the Purple Truck party (and an article by me!), and the children with their mugs

Photos from the Purple Truck party (and an article by me!), and the children with their mugs

By the time I got to the market the mugs were almost sold out, but I managed to snare this one featuring a cute butterfly drawing by a six year old artist from Ross River called Aquaria.

I promise this is the last time I'll post a photo of a mug

I promise this is the last time I'll post a photo of a mug

My highlights from the paper this week (apart from my first published article on Purple House) include a portrait of Acacia Tree School Principal, Wendy Haynes, and my first photos in the sports pages.

I'll be here again next week posting about my one month anniversary in Alice Springs, after that I'll be reducing the frequency of these updates to fortnightly so there's more interesting content about Alice Springs and less talk about mugs and wee.


Emma Murray is a documentary photographer based in Alice Springs. The Alice Years is a personal project documenting life in and around the red centre.