Get ready for pictures...because here they come.
We arrived in
as a starting point to our Outback tour. This is a very small town and we only
recommend going here as a stop over spot. There is a high population of
homeless aboriginal people, but we found the locals to be quite nice – on the
day we arrived we went for a walk around town and a woman driving her car
stopped in the middle of the street: Darwin
Lady “Are you tourists?”
Lady “How do you like
Us “It’s nice”
Lady “Good, enjoy your travels”
And off she went.
The next day we were up early and off to start our trip. Two things that you need to know if you are going to do a trip like this:
- You start your days early to beat the heat of the sun. We were up most days by 5:00am.
- You will spend a lot of time driving. In six days we were driven about 2600 km.
The company we did our tour through is called Adventure Tours Australia (adventuretours.com.au). The reasons we chose them was because we were able to see all of the sights that we wanted to see, they supplied the meals, accommodation was included, and we didn’t have to do any driving.
Katherine Gorge is part of the
and was a
hot, humid and lush destination. We paid $25/person to go on a short cruise of
the gorge and then swim in a waterfall. About 20 minutes into the ride, our
cruise driver pulled aside to let those of us off who wanted to go swimming. We
were given no directions other than his finger pointing in a general direction,
and “follow the blue arrows”. We hoped off and traversed over the boulders of a
dry river until we found the oasis. Now they do have crocodiles that roam the
gorge so many of us were a little hesitant to be the first to jump in. We let a
kid be the first… he seemed fine and then we all joined in. What an amazing
experience! We swam directly under the powerful falls and Jeff climbed the
walls to do a canon ball. The water was a perfect temperature and we really
didn’t want to leave. Nitmiluk
As we drove on we saw less and less trees and more and more red earth. We were surprised however at how much vegetation we saw overall.
Two explorers arrived at the vast landscape of Devils Marbles many years ago and said:
Explorer 1 “What in the devil are those?!”
Explorer 2 “They look like marbles”
And so they were named. True story.
Half way through our journey we stayed in
Alice Springs. This is
another one of those stop over stays. Not a place worth staying too long.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) was our next destination and we were very excited to see this major attraction of the Outback. At a distance it is quite spectacular, but once we got right up close to it we were drawn by the details you can’t see from afar. We enjoyed an Uluru sunset with champagne, and a sunrise and base walk the next day. It was really worth the early wakeup call.
Some interesting facts that you might want to know:
- Aboriginals didn’t become citizens of
the ‘70s Australia
- Much of the Aboriginal land was not returned to them until 2012
- Aboriginals do not want you to climb Uluru. This is a sacred sight and surprisingly they do have a trail open for tourists. Why would you want to climb on the only thing you can see for miles?
Another amazing destination was our short climb of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). A brilliant red formation, but unfortunately Uluru takes all the attention of tourists. We found it to be nicer looking from a distance, where as Uluru is best seen up close.
One problem once the sun came out was the pesky flies – I received a head net from a friendly stranger in our hostel one night. She said I would need it, and she was done her trip so I could have it. Thank you kind stranger!
Jeff didn't need one, he had his beard.
The other nights of our tour were spent sleeping in tents on beds. They were pretty hot and so the swag offered much needed fresh and open air flow.
On our last day we were up again at 5:00am and off to hike
. It was a 6km trek and due to
extreme temperatures we needed to be done by 9:00am. It was a steep start, but
otherwise easy to navigate. Jeff was most interested in this day and neither of
us was disappointed Kings Canyon
A picture to scare the mom's
We made it to the Red Centre!