Day 1 (July 4th)
Flew up to Alice Springs, and spent afternoon getting food and sitting on in the sun and reading. Had an amazing dinner with large anti-pasti appetizers, kangaroo and apple cobbler, because it was the only was to do July 4th while with a group of Americans.
Drove five hours up to the Uluru area. Stopped at camel farm on the way and got to ride a camel! Drove and walked around Uluru (Ayer’s rock), and learned about various aboriginal stories and legends. Got to great vantage point for sunset and saw the rock go bright red, and the sky hit every color at some point, so beautiful the camera barely catches it. Slept in permanent tents (with beds!) and made dinner by the fire (kangaroo pasta and savory and dessert damper). Sang songs and enjoyed the warmth of the campfire before going to (the freezing cold) bed.
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Early rise at 5:30, then off the see the sunrise. Continued on to Kata Tjuta and the cultural center (no photos allowed). We walked around part of the boulders/rock formations, and learned their stories, had a BBQ lunch then drove to the King’s Canyon region. We had a slightly warmer evening (only 2 sweaters and a hat rather than three with hat and hood), and made curry and dampers for dinner. Another night of chatting then listening to our tour guide play guitar by the fire. And both nights the stargazing was incredible, even though the moonlight was strong enough to create shadows and apparently limit the visibility of stars.
Another very early rise and then a drive to the Kings Canyon, we had a 3.5 hour walk/hike, stopping along the way to take incredible photos, have a snack and learn about the different plants and rocks we saw. By far this was the most memorable and breathtaking place and views out of the three days in the outback. The rocks’ formation, color and vastness and the entire surrounding landscape was unbelievable. After this we drove back to Alice Springs, partially via a short cut dirt/gravel road. We all got back and finally showered, then we went a different restaurant, and with dinner we were introduced to potato wedges (different than the ‘chips’ or shoestring fries) with sour cream and sweet chili dip. Sounds a bit odd but the combination is delicious.
Got to sleep in, hung around just eating and reading, then headed to the airport and back to Sydney!
Shopping in Sydney is incredible