Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Travel Blog: Australia

12/9/13 - Alice Springs, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

So today is my birthday!! And to celebrate, I flew to Alice Springs to explore the outback. Rik decided he didn't want to go, but I've been fascinated by Uluru since childhood.  As our departure date from Aus hurdled towards us, I decided I wasn't leaving until I went to the Northern Territory.
So I planned a Girl's Roadtrip of course!! And it was an amazing adventure.

We booked our Uluru 3 day camping tour with Mulgas, and I can't recommend them enough.  Our guide was fun but also very knowledgeable of the area.  As with all these tours, there is a lot of driving involved but they try everything to keep you entertained; from trivia quizzes to drawing on the windows.  And trust me, the early get-ups are always worth it!
Not long after we set off, we pulled up to our first activity - camel riding!
Then I picked up this sexy necessity:

Then it was off to the famous monolith, Uluru.  It is a place that is really hard to describe - you just have to go and experience it yourself, to understand why people believe it to be spiritual.  It is so calm and still.  We spent lots of time here, walking around the base, watching the sunset, camping in the national park and then watching the sunrise over the rock.

The camping was surprisingly one of the most exciting parts of the tour.  Camping in the outback means no tents - just swags! The main benefit of this is the ability to stare at the Outback night sky.  I remember distinctly one night, (after a few glasses of goon and moonshine by the campfire) I fell asleep rather quickly without appreciating the stars.  Then, during the night I woke up, and literally couldn't stop myself saying "WOW" out loud.  It is everything you imagine it to be and more.  Really trying not to sound cheesy, but it made me excited to be alive.
 Our swags around the fire
getting tucked up for bed!

The food was also amazing - barbecues with sooooo much local meat. I like my meat! I tried camel, kangaroo and buffalo and loved it.  Chomping on a real kangaroo tail though...not so much! 

 After Uluru, the next day we drove to Kings Canyon, which I didn't know much about.  After a three hour hike, I'd fell in love.

The whole tour was an eye opener. Born and bred a city girl, I'd never seen anything as vast as the Australian Outback.  I'm not sure I could live there, (far too many flies) but I definitely could have spent a bit more time in that amazing place. 

I've figured out that I really like going to places that make me feel completely insignificant.  Especially when it's forces of nature, like Uluru and Kings Canyon, that cause the effect.