13 May 2019

The night sky in Alice Springs is something else, an overwhelming sight. The best way to enjoy it, is to get out of town, into the scrub, for a night in a swag beneath the stars.


After two days of riding in and around Alice Springs, the Tucknott family got to experience one of the truly special outback experiences – a night under the stars. Out in the desert, away from the glow of the town’s lights, you’ll find a night sky of the kind that city-folk cannot even imagine.

As the afternoon mellowed, the Tucknott’s rode west from town, out past Simpson’s Gap, to their campsite.
The ragged red tear in the rocks of Simpson’s Gap, a popular spot just a few kays from town.

“Welcome to your thousand-star hotel,” quips Clarke Petrick, of Outback Cycling, as the Tucknott family arrive at their campsite on their bikes, having ridden the 15km or so from town predominantly on trails. It’s that kind of place – head into the singletrack and in half an hour you can be in complete isolation if you want to be.

Bikes, swags, campfire, a few drinks and a million stars. Suits us.

Clarke’s crew had laid out the swags, got the fire crackling, and even uncorked a bottle of red for the Tucknotts. Tony’s smile said it all really. Once night descended, one of the desert’s traits became clear; total silence, no distractions, just you and a sky full of stars.

Tony Tucknott, in his element. If that’s not a happy man, we don’t know what is.