What a mouthful. I first really understood the grandness of Australia, when I embarked on a domestic flight from Cairns on the east coast to Alice Springs in the center of Australia… 3 hours later, I arrived!
Alice Springs is the 2nd biggest city in the Northern Territory of Australia. With a population of 26.000 souls. From there it was a mere 500 km to Ayers Rock. Which is considered relatively close… After all, Darwin, the closest CITY to Alice is 1500 km. away. Same distance as from Copenhagen to Rome. So a mere 500 km. is close.
Anyway I had booked a trip with Intrepid Travel and it stated “basic accomodation” – partial camping…And they were completely right. What the 3000DKK I paid for the trip was for is still a mystery, as the costs must have been at a bare minimum: We slept in sleeping bags in a so called swag (a sleeping bag made of canvas; as a mini tent for one person) – directly under the stars…
The breakfast was cereals and toast. Lunch was toast with sliced meat / salad and dinner was prepared over an open bonfire (rice + emu, and pasta + kangaroo).
However, aside from the price, the trip was GREAT… To wake up at 3 am and look at the milky way and millions of stars directly over your head is a special experience – and the wast size of the outback and darkness makes it very special. I have only had that experience in the desert in Egypt.
Ayers Rock is… a big monolith in the middle of nowhere in the center of Australia. The energy on the spot is very calm and the fct that the rock changes color depending on the sourroundings is very special. A walk around the base was very interesting. And long. The trip is total 15 km.
Next day we visited another highlight: The Olgas – og Kaja Tjuta (many heads) as the natives call it. Wonderful mountains and canyons; In my opinion much more beautifull than Ayers Rock… We got the full experience by walking between some of the towering gigantic peaks for a leasurely 7 km. walk…
On the third and last day we went to Kings Canyon. A canyon area o 168000 sq.km – four times the size of Denmark! Beautiful site, phenomenal diversity and many interesting lookouts on the 7 km. walk. Amongst these a small valley called “Garden of Eden” because there was water and many plants – and the fact that the canyon protected it.