Currently blogging from Subway in Alice Springs… Doesn’t sound so outbacky.
But that aside, it really has been as close to a bush tucker trial as it could be!
I’ve really enjoyed my time out here, it has been such an incredible experience!
Not just the driving along deserted roads and seeing no cars for miles and nothing but tumbleweed and dead kangaroos.. It has been such a challenge for me camping for the first time and really throwing myself in at the deep end.
It all started with Coober Pedy the underground mining town where they dig for opals. This was an experience in itself.. Ever seen the movie ‘The Hills Have Eyes’? Well need I say anymore…
We didn’t spend long in Coober but then again we really didn’t need to. The place is very quiet and it seems the locals are so desperate for business from the by-passers that they just sit around waiting for people to pop into their place. We wandered around the town for a short while before deciding it was best to head straight for the campsite and away from the smashed up cars and deserted stores.. Never seen anything like this place but an experience I won’t forget any time soon.
Since it was St Patrick’s day, funnily enough our campsite were celebrating in their pizzeria with happy hour so we headed here for a few glasses of wine and beers and to join all the fellow campers who had the same idea.
We then headed for the main reason we were in the outback… Uluru, commonly also known as Ayers Rock.
A short way outside of the national park in which Uluru and Katja Nuta are located is the Ayers Rock Resort. This place features luxury hotels, motels and a campground. We set up in the campground and this was definitely the most challenging campground for me of the 6 I’ve stayed in so far.
This place really was a taste of the outback for me. Open to all elements and creatures of the night, I even struggled to go in the toilets. The first campground I’ve come across to have an open roof so the whole place was riddled with spiders > my biggest fear! I thought I could overcome it but there is something not quite right about a giant huntsman spider sat watching you sat on the toilet.
Luckily I discovered the not-so-‘private resort’ next door in which I would sneak off to during the day to go to the toilet and even on the last day I figured I’d relax at their swimming pool.. Why not!
Uluru was really a sight to see, the largest rock in the world and the strangest thing I’ve ever travelled 1000s of kilometres to see. I caught the 8am Ranger tour of the rock in which I learnt all about aboriginal history and why the rock came about. They also taught us reasons why tourists should not climb the rock. The rock is open to the public to climb but at your own risk. They are currently in the process of trying to get the climb closed permanently but luckily for them currently figures show that only 20% of visitors actually climb the rock, the rest read the signs displayed and respect the land.
On from Uluru we headed for Katja Nuta which is part of the same national park. I’d never seen or heard of this place and quickly found that on first arrival, to look at it was even more impressive than Uluru. You can do a few different walks into the rocks also however the later you leave it the more dangerous it becomes because of the temperature so we decided to do a short trail then leave it at that. Still got to admire the beauty of it despite an endless battle with the flies that feel it’s okay to land on your eyeballs, lips and climb inside your ears.
That’s the thing about the flies here in the outback, when they say there are 10 billion of them… There really are 10 billion of them! I was never expecting it to be so frustrating! So my recommendation for heading to Uluru.. Definitely get yourself a flynet because it will be the best thing you ever invest in.
I spent 3 nights at Uluru Ayers Rock Resort and really enjoyed my time in the outback. I think camping was the best way of experiencing it because staying in a luxury resort would not have allowed you to feel the frustration of ants biting your feet and climbing literally up your legs and into your pants. Charging your phone whilst cockroaches crawl around the plug sockets and beetles scarper around your feet. Constant moths flying in your face, giant millipedes, lizards, rabbits everything you ever expected the outback to be…and more.
I feel that I will watch ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ with a whole different outlook from now on..
Although it’s not all creepy crawlies. We did allow ourself a bit of luxury by going for dinner at the Desert Gardens Hotel. A nice treat for one of our final days travelling together and a short break from the outback noodle diet.
Finally we hit up Kings Canyon on the way to Alice Springs. Personally I’d never heard of the place but I was recommended it by a fair few people. It was nothing but a disappointment really, not sure what we were meant to be looking at.. But nevertheless we ticked another ‘must-see’ off of our list.
And that brings me to Alice Springs.. The final stop on my outback adventure. The campsite here is nice, clean, safe and secure and home to the cutest little rabbit wandering about.. I like it here. As for the town itself, it’s got a lot more home comforts here, bars, hotels and typical fast food chains. Still very different from city life in Sydney and Melbourne though. I definitely prefer the quieter cities though, much more of a local feel and not overrun with British tourists.
No longer feel like I’m in the outback but I am still pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Tomorrow we head for Darwin! Won’t quite make it all the way up there in one day but will definitely be a long drive either way.
Choosing to travel Australia straight away rather than working was a great decision. Not only that but choosing to try something new and really out of my comfort zone has opened me up to a brand new experience and I feel that it’s opened my eyes into being more open to what I will try and won’t try. Not only that but I got really lucky with choosing a travel buddy similar to myself and it’s been a blast being able to travel with someone for the first time rather than going it alone like I normally do!
All new experiences for me and now the only looking back I’ll do will be when I’m telling my stories to anyone who wants to hear them 🙂
I’ve now been in Australia for almost a month and I’m excited to see what the next month brings!