I now understand what all the hype is about. If you ever come to Australia, I strongly recommend going out to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. I’ve really enjoyed the drive simply because I enjoy driving but the scenery is a little deserted (haha, get it?). There are other ways to get out there so go on! It’s worth the trip!
We spent 3 days hanging around Uluru national park. You’re not allowed to sleep in the park so we stayed in a really nice campground about 15 min from the entrance. In my opinion, Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) looks like a giant croissant. It’s immense and red and has a ton of folds and cracks and holes, but also looks incredibly smooth at the same time. We went to see sunrise and sunset (both beautiful) and drove around the base since it was too hot to walk. We also stopped at the cultural center. It wasn’t too impressive but it was interesting learning about all of the stories and histories the people living there had found to explain the land.
We also spent a day at Kata Tjuta (Olga’s). It’s bigger than Uluru and only about 20 minutes away in the same park. I’m not sure why it’s not as well known except maybe because it isn’t considered as sacred? This was actually my favorite of all the places we visited because the rocks looked so artistically spread out and formed. Here, we hiked tthe Gorge Walk and the Valley of the Winds Walk. Both were super pretty because you actually walked between the rocks and got to see so much more. The whole track was worth photographing and we were pretty sure it was a very natural path; so natural, in fact, that we had to go around sometimes because a creek had formed on top to the rocks. It was great!
The last big attraction we stopped at was King’s Canyon, a couple hours away from the other two sites. We did the Kathleen Springs Walk but were immensely disappointed because everything was dead along the way… Apparently there had been a wildfire a year ago and nothing had grown back even. We could see scorch marks along the rock walls where the fire had climbed and there were only a few ugly weeds along the way. Even the spring at the end was black and mosquito infested. On the other hand, the Rim Walk was a completely different story. We climbed to the top of the canyon and the geology was so cool! The top looked like a city of mounds because of how the wind and rain had shaped the rocks and the canyon itself was so deep and green! The complete opposite of the bright red rock face. Imagine any scene you’ve seen of a bird’s eye view flying over a ravine and multiply that beauty by 100. So thrilling!
Our best night of the trip was completely unexpected. We stopped at “Australia’s UFO capital” to camp and the owner said he had a surprise for us. We went into his office and he gave both me and Marie a pillowcase containing a… Wait for it… BABY KANGAROO! A real, breathing, soft, adorable joey who we got to hold and pet and feed and look after for the next few hours. I cannot begin to express how awed and excited we were to be playing with such cute fluffy babies!! They were only a few months old and sadly their mom had been shot. Aboriginals brought the babies in. I was so happy to be with them, even when I had to chase my baby (Toby) around because he got frightened from the noisy birds overhead squawking. Also worth mentioning: Black Dog (actual name, aka Blackie). This big, black dog had apparently fallen out of a yute and also been adopted by the campground owner. He was so friendly and playful and especially took a liking to Marie. He followed her around everywhere and was even lying outside our tent when we woke up. Love him!
Now, road trip #1 is complete with both of us plus Totoro (our car) totally safe. Can’t wait for Sydney and road trip #2 to begin!
Oh and sorry ’bout the lack of pics. I didn’t take any on my phone but maybe I’ll add them later.