We took a 3 hour flight from Brisbane to Alice Springs where we stayed one night in a small backpackers. We thought the town was a bit run down. There were many tourist type shops but they were all empty. Since you can now flight direct to Uluru, we wondered if the number of visitors to Alice Springs has now dwindled. Buying wine and beer was very expensive, but we later found that it was even more expensive in Uluru.
We picked up a 4×4 vehicle the next morning that was fully equipped with a 6 man tent and all other camping gear. It was an uneventful 450KM drive on good road to Uluru. We made a couple of rest stops and arrived in Uluru Camp site in the early evening. We managed to get the tent up and were settled for our first evening.
The next 3 days were spent exploring the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in our 4×4. Once 11 o’clock came, the sun was scorching hot and many of the walks were not recommended after 11am. We would retreat back to our tent and spend the afternoon in the shade or in the pool. We spent one evening on a Sounds of Silence tour, where they take you to a sundowner spot with views of Ayres Rock and you are treated to pre-dinner canapés and unlimited sparkling wine, followed by an Australian BBQ under the stars. It was well worth it, although these tours are expensive. We then did an early morning camel ride up a sand dune to view the sunrise over Ayres rock. Our camel was called Trigger and he is the fastest camel in town winning the annual Uluru races for the last 3 years ! Lucky for us, he kept a slow pace with us on top ! We also did a spectacular helicopter ride at sunset with great views Ayres rock and the Olgas. We spent a couple of hours exploring the “Field of light’ expedition which comprises of 50,000 light bulb stems covering area of over 49,000 square metres equivalent to nearly seven football fields. Its hard for a photo to do it justice.
We didn’t see any wild kangaroos, but we did see wild camels at the roadside. Apparently there are about 750,000 wild camels out in the bush and they are now considered a pest as they eat all the vegetation that is needed for the indigenous wildlife of Australia. Camels were imported into Australia back in the 1800’s to transport stuff for building the Ghan railway. Once this was finished, the camels were just released out into the outback to run wild and now their population has increased dramatically.
We spent the rest of our time on photography and shooting loads of video which I hope to edit into a short video of the whole of our 3 months in Oz.