Monday 1st July
Yesterday after saying goodbye to Diana and Grant, we got a taste of the Australian Maritime Mu-sea-um in Sydney, by exploring their free exhibits. This included some Aboriginal History, history of the first Australian woman (Kay Cottee) to explore the world by sea on her own, and info on the first journeys to Australia. We both really enjoyed it so got here early this morning to explore the other bits on offer!
We went round quite a few boats; a patrol boat called the HMAS Advance, a destroyer called the HMAS Vampire, the tall ship HMB Endeavour, and a submarine called HMAS Onslow. It was a really interesting day.
We grabbed some food at Sydney Hard Rock Cafe (really good nachos) before planning to head to the Luna Park. A little bit of research whilst we were waiting for our food showed that the park shuts at 4pm on Monday’s… finding this out at 3:30pm was a bit of a downer but we’ll be heading back to Sydney at some point so will find time to visit then!
Tuesday 2nd July
Today was a chill day. Tomorrow we’re off on the start of our Outback Adventures so we had to pack and clean in preparation!
The Outback Adventure Starts NOW!
Wednesday 3rd July
After a bit of an early start, we got to Sydney airport, ready for our flight to Alice Springs! It was a 3-ish hour flight, and flying with Qantas, this meant we had my favourite thing… films! I managed to finish “Fighting with my family” (highly recommend if you enjoy wrestling) and start some Modern Family before the travel sickness tablets kicked in and I turned into a zombie.
We picked up our lovely camper in Alice Springs and began our journey to Curtin Springs. This was our overnight stop for Uluru!
Due to said travel sickness tablets, I slept in the back for the majority of this drive, although we all had a go at driving to get used to what felt like a huge van!
Curtin Springs was a very basic campsite, however if you could find a space in the unpowered area it was free, so we weren’t complaining!
The beds in the van were well hidden during the day – there was a bed against the back wall which came down onto the benches, and one in the roof which pulled out. Holly had the joy of clambering over the sink to get into bed every night haha!
Thursday 4th July
An even earlier start this morning meant for driving in the dark, following the tail-lights towards the spectre which was Uluru. It was absolutely freezing (I thought Australia was meant to be hot?) but a really pretty view. The Rock changes from a dark, cloudy orange/brown, to a bright, almost glowing orange when the sun hits it – it’s quite something!
After a short walk round a bit of the base, we grabbed breakfast, with Uluru in the background!
We then spent some time in the Ayers Rock Resort before making our way to a field at the back of the town….
We had something super exciting planned…
It was helicopter time!!
Holly was up first, doing an air tour of Uluru before heading back to us, and then it was our turn. Tom and I got in the back of the helicopter, and shared our ride with a lovely family of 4 (it was a shame about their youngest who cried the entire time because he didn’t like the ear protectors but never mind). I’d never been in a helicopter before and it was awesome! Tom loves planes and helicopters so really enjoyed it too!
We flew from the field and went over to Uluru. Beneath us was mostly desert with a few trees, and cars the size of ants!
Some Uluru facts:
- It’s 348 metres tall
- It formed roughly 600 million years ago
- It tilted 90 degrees so the layers of sandstone almost stand vertically
Once we’d seen Uluru, we flew approx 40km to Kata Tjuta, a rock formation made up of 36 domes, the tallest being Mount Olga at 546m high.
Some Kata Tjuta facts:
- The domes are spread over 20km
- They were formed over 500 million years ago
- It is collectively known as “The Olgas”
After our flight, we headed to the sunset viewing point and set-up to wait. The day closed by seeing the sun go down and Uluru fade back to its darker orange, losing its bright glow! We couldn’t quite leave yet, however, so jumped in the camper and drove closer to the rock. Here we walked closer so that we could touch a small fraction of the giant landmark. This really put into perspective how huge it is!
Friday 5th July
We left Curtin Springs and headed back to Alice Springs. The desert roads and landscape were very bare, however we saw a few dead kangaroos and 4 eagles getting meals at the side of the road. That was very surreal to see them chilling so close to the road!
Our campsite for the night was lovely – we had power, wifi and good showers (unlike the dribble in Curtin Springs!)
Today marked 2 days in the camper and we were already bored with pasta and sauce, and severely missing vegetables, so it called for a dinner of stir fry!
Saturday 6th July
The journey today was Alice Springs to Tennant Creek, via Wycliffe Well and Karlu Karlu. Wycliffe Well was a bit disappointing, so it was a brief stop. This claims to be the UFO capital of Australia, with lots of conspiracies and newspaper articles inside the roadhouse. To be honest I could have spent a lot of money in there buying alien merchandise haha!
Karlu Karlu, a.k.a the Devils Marbles, are numerous boulders which have cracked and eroded over time. It’s a very religious site for aboriginals and it was awesome to look at!
After travelling through the desert, we started to notice the landscape become more populated by shrubs and a large number of termite mounds! And of course, there’s always the excitement of the passing road trains!
Each night in the camper so far has been freezing cold, so today was the day I finally purchased some jogging bottoms to keep warm!
Sunday 7th July
Tennant Creek to Daly Waters – today was meant to be a mammoth 7 hour trip to Katherine, however we realised this was going to be unachievable with all the stops we wanted to make so a new plan was formed.
A straight drive by Holly got us there in no time and we were able to relax outside with a drink at the famous Daly Waters Pub.
Our entertainment with dinner came in the form of Lou Bradley and Phil, a couple of country singers who were very amusing and sounded great!
The week was done but we were only halfway through our Outback Adventure!
Next time… Week 3!
Our Outback Adventure Comes to an End!