"Hot, rugged, dry, flies, rough, red, deserted, breathtaking, and stunning" are just a few words to describe my trip to the outback. This question was on our feedback form to be filled out at the end of our trip. Picking the hottest month of the year to go into the Northern Territory, was crazy; even locals don't travel to this region of Australia at this time. I spent 6 days traveling from Adelaide (Southern Australia) to Alice Springs (Northern Australia) visiting the Fliders Ranges, Cooper City, Uluru, Kata Kjuta, and Kings Canyon. Now to tell a little bit about my outback adventure...
The first day was a lot of traveling and we managed to get a full group consisting of 24 people from all parts of the world and then there was "Bones," our impatient, crude tour guide. We first visited the Kanyaka Homestead, which was the oldest colonial house in Australia made entirely out of stone. Then we did a little bush walk up to the Yourambulla Cave where we saw Aboriginal Paitings dating back 44,000 years ago. The paintings represented pictures of animals tracks made with maganese, charcoal, and red and white ochre. Parachilna was our sleeping
spot and we were able to get a tour of the 2 roads, 2 houses, and 1 pub of the town with a population of 8 people. If there was anywhere that remeinded me of a ghost town, this was the place! In Parachilla we had an outback BBQ trying Emu burgers, Kanagroo steak, and camel sausages...they didn't taste too bad!! As we watched the sunset on the train tracks, the sky became pitch black with a stunning view of the stars and milky way.
For day 2 we headed to the south Flinders Ranges to climb the top of Mount Ohlssen. The track was rated difficult and after climbing for 3 hours covering 6.4 Kilometers, I would have rated it the same!! We then preceeded to travel to a sheep station for the night Once we arrived I went for a quick rest but it turned into a 3 hour sleep. As I awoke, I was a bit disoriented and decided to go to the shop for some caffiene. I had asked the shop manager, "Where am I?" He looked at me confused, "Do you mean in relation to Adelaide or the Outback?" I really wanted to know
it all because already the second day into my trip and I couldn't figure out where in Australia I was...he helped me out by showing me on the map. Later on we enjoyed a campfire and celebrated one of the English girl's birthday.
My favorite day was ahead of me and that was seeing Cooper Pedy!! Before Cooper we stopped off at Port Augusta and Lake Hart. Lake Hart is the 3rd largest lake in Australia and with it being a salt lake, we were able to walk out onto the surface without falling in. We finally made it to Cooper Pedy, the strangest place in all of Australia. This is the place for opals and where more than half of the city lives underground to stay cool. We toured the opal mines, an underground house, and underground church. Now it was time to search for the perfect opal. I ended up at this one opal shop by mistake at 9pm after wondering through all the other shops. It turned out that the guy had the infamous desert opal, which everyone wants to get their hands on. He took us to the back to show us the opal process
and ended up givng us a polished opal that we had picked out. I also bought my most prised purchase, an opal ring!!
Uluru or Ayers Rock was finally revealed to us and it looked almost fake from afar with its redish orange color. To tell you a bit about the rock; it is 9.4 Kiolometers around, 348 meters high, 2/3 of the rock is below the ground, and it repesents sacred ground of the Aboriginals. Uluru was taken away from the Aboriginals being turned into a National Park, but now the Australia government and the Aboriginals work together to maintain the park known as "Tjunguringkula Waakaripai." We walked around this massive rock in 113F wheather and then cooled off with a champagne sunset. The rock changes color frequently, so I made sure I took pictures every 5 minutes. After a tiring day we slept under the stars in swags, which is basically just a mat and a sleeping bag.
The next day we visited Kata Kjuta, Olgas, which was another rock formation close to Uluru. After walking through the Olgas we headed to our campsite in Kings Canyon. Bones decided we needed to go on a bush
walk to collect some firewood for our cooking and as we set off, there was a herd of wild horses that crossed in front of us; it was such an amazing site.
Moving on to the last day we woke up at 4AM-are you crazy, Bones?? We were climbing Kings Canyon in the dark, no light anywhere! It was worth it in the end because we got to view the sunrise on the canyon and it made the whole climb cooler. During our Kings Canyon climb we laid on our stomachs to get a view from inside the canyon and then hiked down into the Garden of Eden with its luscious greenery and waterholes. Because we awoke early, we ended up having a BBQ lunch at 9:00AM near the pool of Kings Canyon Resort. We made it to Alice Springs after a hot 5 hour ride without air condition and ended our trip with a farewell party.
I made it out alive and decided that 6 days was enough to be in the outback, though what I saw and experienced on these 6 days can't even be explained into words let alone 1 word!
...my pics are coming
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