Camping in the Outback
Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
7Trip End Jun 15, 2007
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The first thing I should point out is that we were driving through the middle of an Australian desert, which is currently in its dry season and what did it do for about an hour? IT RAINED!! Luckily this had stopped by the time we reached Kings Canyon but it was still pretty cloudy and the sky looked a bit threatening! (More about the bloody rain later)
Our 3 hour hike at Kings Canyon started with a climb up 'heart attack hill' - it was pretty steep but the views were awesome and we found a lizard on the way up! After that it was easier, we walked through what's known as the amphitheatre and the lost city, because the domed rock formations resemble a city!
We climbed down into the canyon into the Garden of Eden where we had a swim in a water hole - just what we needed cos it was still really hot, despite the clouds! Then we carried on round the canyon, where we had more amazing views both of the canyon and the desert all around! It was beautiful!
Then it was back on the bus for the drive to our bush camp................unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas and as the sky turned blacker and blacker it was clear we hadn't seen the last of the rain and it hammered down!! So that meant reverting to plan B - we stayed at the Curtain Springs campsite and slept under a shelter instead of under the stars! But, typically, after we'd arrived and had dinner the rain stopped! The ground was too wet for us to go out into the bush so we settled for having a campfire just outside the campsite and drinking some beer to make ourselves feel better!
Day 2 and another early morning - 6am for the sunrise over Uluru. We crawled out of our swags and packed up, still half asleep! We jumped in the bus and made it to our destination in time to watch the sunrise and Uluru change colour - it was pretty impressive and you can't really get a better backdrop for breakfast!
Then we went to our campsite for the following evening to have showers and make ourselves feel vaguely human before heading to Kata Tjuta for another walk. Kata Tjuta is a sacred site for the aboriginals and is like an isolated mountain range in the middle of the desert. It's pretty spectacular, we walked between two of the mountains and had more amazing views!
We had lunch at the cultural centre where there's an exhibition about the aboriginal way of life and their beliefs, all very interesting. Then Ash took us for a drive around Uluru (otherwise known as Ayres Rock). It's huge! Hard to really comprehend the scale until you're there! We got out and did a short walk known as the Mala walk, which took us past some of the aboriginals sacred sites, before getting back in the bus and driving to the lookout point to watch the sunset over Uluru. It was lovely although a bit busy - so many people and coaches in one place! Then it was back to the campsite for dinner, a campfire and some more beers!!
We didn't have any more rain so we got to sleep under the stars!!! It was really good but another early morning followed 5.30 this time, to get up and watch the sunrise at Uluru from a different position! The sunrise was amazing, the sky just turned so many beautiful colours with the rock silhouted, it just looked fantastic!
We had to drop Andy and Jo at the airport and then the rest of us carried on in the bus for the journey back to Alice Springs. We stopped on the way to take a picture of a mountain which looks a lot like Uluru - but isn't and also poked around in the bush looking for widgety grubs - despite our best efforts we didn't find any! I did find a really cool grasshopper though! Our last stop before Alice Springs was a camel farm where we got to ride a camel! Very bumpy but really good fun!
Before leaving the next day we visited the baby kangaroo rescue centre which was nextdoor to our hostel and all got to hold the little joeys! They were very cute and the small ones were so uncoordinated when they had a run round - it was really sweet!
Where I stayed
Curtain Springs Campsite