A Travellerspoint blog

Wyndham to Derby

We made a little detour into this town, where 5 rivers meet. We had breakfast at the lookout and had a look at the jetty and the big crocodile statue. That was pretty much all for Wyndham. On our way out, we drove to a wetland which had saltwater crocs. We saw 5+ from a pretty close distance. In the water, on the riverbank, getting in and out, one big fat crocodile (5m?) opened his mouth to show his teeth. It was spectacular! And there were brolgas, ibises, magpie gees and other birdlife. Christophe was HAPPY! We also passed by the Grotto (a small gorge)
On we went...

In Halls Creek we stopped by the China Wall - a quartz vein going through farmland.

There was not much to do or see until Fitzroy Crossing where we visited the Geikie gorge. We saw the Devonian reef and some more crocs.
We drove to Derby and saw the tide come in, had breakfast at the jetty and visited the prison boab, where they put aboriginal prisoners overnight.
large_SAM_6592.jpglarge_SAM_6593.jpglarge_SAM_6594.jpglarge_SAM_6597.jpglarge_SAM_6602.jpglarge_SAM_6604.jpglarge_SAM_6606.jpglarge_SAM_6607.jpglarge_SAM_6616.jpglarge_SAM_6622.jpglarge_SAM_6631.jpglarge_SAM_6632.jpglarge_SAM_6635.jpglarge_SAM_6653.jpglarge_SAM_6656.jpglarge_SAM_6659.jpglarge_SAM_6664.jpglarge_SAM_6669.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 00:44 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Kunanurra & lake Argyle

After crossing the border we headed to lake Argyle. We thought about doing a cruise there, but after checking more carefully the price (90$ pp - compare that to what you get for that money on a cruise in the Baltic sea) and what it includes, we thought...no. Instead we headed to Kunanurra, to a nice caravan park with a pool ( it's really freaking hot here at the moment btw).
We asked around for jobs, but Kunanurra is full of backpackers and no jobs.

Unfortunately Christophe's shaver got stolen while it was charging. So, now we have to buy a new one :(
The next day we had a swim in the lake, stocked up some supplies, applied for wheat harvest jobs and headed West.
large_SAM_6578.jpglarge_SAM_6580.jpglarge_SAM_6581.jpglarge_SAM_6587.jpglarge_SAM_6590.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 00:43 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Towards WA border

We spent the night at a bushcamp 16kms out of town. It was full of vans and people seemed to really live there, as many spots had a 'keep out' sign. The service worked out ok and after that we started driving towards Western Australia (WA) border.

The next day we made a walk in the Gregory National park. We had a nice hot shower at Timber Creek, where we met a family playing basketball.
We found a nice campsite near Victoria river where we spotted a couple of crocs from far away. However, Christophe was not satisfied. He wants to see them closer, and he wants to see saltwater crocs.

The next day we drove to Keep River national park. It was a dirt road and it was pretty horrible for our little Spacia. We wanted to go to the further campsite, but gave up when we reached the first one. The road was just too corrugated for us. It took us one hour to cover the 16 km to the first camp ...

Keep River had some nice scenery. They say it resembles the Bungle Bungles (where we cannot go either) .
In Keep River we had to finish all our fruits and veggies, because you can't bring any to WA. We got checked by a guard at the border and had to throw away garlic and one of our storage boxes. Apparently it was an old broccoli box, which you can't bring to WA either.

large_SAM_6489.jpglarge_SAM_6490.jpglarge_SAM_6493.jpglarge_SAM_6497.jpglarge_SAM_6498.jpglarge_SAM_6501.jpglarge_SAM_6505.jpglarge_SAM_6507.jpglarge_SAM_6510.jpglarge_SAM_6513.jpglarge_SAM_6515.jpglarge_SAM_6524.jpglarge_SAM_6529.jpglarge_SAM_6532.jpglarge_SAM_6539.jpglarge_SAM_6546.jpglarge_SAM_6547.jpglarge_SAM_6550.jpglarge_SAM_6554.jpglarge_SAM_6559.jpglarge_SAM_6562.jpglarge_SAM_6564.jpglarge_SAM_6565.jpglarge_SAM_6567.jpglarge_SAM_6575.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 00:40 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Litchfield National Park

We spent 2 nights in Litchfield. First day we arrived quite early as people said that you might not find a campspot after lunchtime anymore. So we picked a free spot, set up the tent there and went on to do what there is to do in a national park. We started with a tin mine, which was only a very small walk to the ruins of a tin mining place. From there we went to the pools in Walker Creek, swam there for a while, saw a long brown snake lurking around the water, and came back to the campsite to have a lunner and a swim at the Wangi falls.

We had breakfast at the day use area of the Wangi falls when suddenly the sprinklers went on and made us and the breakfast stuff pretty wet. The ranger came soon after and said that they installed a new timer system, which has not really worked properly (as the sprinklers were supposed to go off at 9pm, not in the morning). The second day we did the Cascades, which was not the best place to swim as there was not too much water, but Edda swam anyway. Then we had a look at Tolmer falls, and finally walked to the Tjaetaba falls (and of course had a swim there). After lunner we still did the Wangi falls walk and had a swim there again.

The third day we visited the Tabletop Swamp (not much there) and the Buley rock hole. From Buley we walked to Florence falls and once again had a swim. Last stop was the magnetic termite mounds. Big termite mounds which have been built in South-North axis to be able to have maximum cover from the sun. In that way, there is always a point in the mound where the temperature is optimal.
large_SAM_6405.jpglarge_SAM_6406.jpglarge_SAM_6408.jpglarge_SAM_6414.jpglarge_SAM_6417.jpglarge_SAM_6422.jpglarge_SAM_6424.jpglarge_SAM_6430.jpglarge_SAM_6432.jpglarge_SAM_6434.jpglarge_SAM_6435.jpglarge_SAM_6437.jpglarge_SAM_6440.jpglarge_SAM_6443.jpglarge_SAM_6444.jpglarge_SAM_6450.jpglarge_SAM_6453.jpglarge_SAM_6463.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 04:47 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Darwin

The city was quite nice and warm. Christophe especially loved it - he wouldn’t mind living there for a couple of years. Apparently it’s really horrible during the wet season though. We spent 2 days in Darwin. The first day we walked around town, parks and beaches. We visited the parliament house and went to the city lookout, We happened to be in Parnell for their market and strolled around there too.

The next day we had brekkie at the East Point where they had lovely sports facilities; running tracks, swimming lake etc. After breakfast we explored some of the army stuff they had around East Point. Darwin was bombed more than 50 times in 1942-43, so they had a huge army presence here, and were prepared for a Japanese invasion to the mainland. But it never got that far. The USA had a base here, and Darwin was an army city, while the civil government of the state stayed in Alice Springs. Along the way there are heaps of old military airstrips.

From there we continued to the free water parks. They were full of kids, but that didn’t stop us from going up and down the slides multiple times :D After all that water fun, we did grocery shopping and got petrol. Lunch was at Howard Springs (you couldn’t even go to the water there unfortunately).
Before going to Darwin and when exiting Darwin, we stayed at a 10$ campsite which had a special section for backpackers. There was a sink (without water or drains) and a table labelled « Whizz Bangers ».
large_SAM_6375.jpglarge_SAM_6376.jpglarge_SAM_6381.jpglarge_SAM_6389.jpglarge_SAM_6390.jpglarge_SAM_6394.jpglarge_SAM_6397.jpglarge_SAM_6401.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 04:37 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Mataranka - Kathrine

We then continued our long trek to Katherine (1100 kms) passing in Tennant Creek again (and a look at the old telegraph station), then on to Newcastle water, where we spent the night, and which was packed with caravans. Somewhere along the way we checked for radio stations, and during 50 odd kms, we received radio from Bali, Korea and other weird places. Then it was over again … The Australian Bermuda triangle! The next day on again to Daly waters and Mataranka, with the famous hot springs! Well, not so hot actually. It’s warm river, and not thermal in its literal meaning, but the scenery is really nice and Edda loved it. They had the Mataranka hot springs and also the Bitter Springs, where you float with the river for about 100 m, and then swim or walk back to the start. The scenery around it is truly stunning!

From there we went on to Katherine, which has not so much to offer in itself, but the gorge is really beautiful. We walked some bits, but the best is definitely to explore it over water, which we can’t afford :(. But an idea for the future! We spent the night in the campsite there, and the next day went of towards Darwin. But we first stopped in Pine Creek, and spent the night in the real hot springs of Douglas Springs. Soaking in the nice hot water (60C) just before sunset and after sunrise is pretty amazing with birds flying all around you, especially lots of kites or falcons.
From there it went to the Arches, and then to our last camp spot before Darwin, and that’s where we are now! We aren’t welcome here to stay in our van from the local government, because other backpackers screwed up before us :(. So we’ll play hide and seek and hide-camp somewhere in the industrial area. But there is no fun in travelling in this way …

large_SAM_6319.jpglarge_SAM_6322.jpglarge_SAM_6325.jpglarge_SAM_6327.jpglarge_SAM_6329.jpglarge_SAM_6331.jpglarge_SAM_6334.jpglarge_SAM_6336.jpglarge_SAM_6339.jpglarge_SAM_6350.jpg
large_SAM_6357.jpglarge_SAM_6363.jpglarge_SAM_6370.jpglarge_SAM_6367.jpglarge_SAM_6366.jpglarge_SAM_6364.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 04:25 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Devil’s Marbels

We managed to escape Alice! It was still bloody cold at the Devil’s Marbles also. The hard wind didn’t make it any more pleasant.
We walked around and explored the marbles. They are pretty much what you’d expect based on the pictures and so. The marbles are a large volcanic rock overflow over the other surface, like a dome that was formed. This dome started to crack apart, and what’s left now is nicely shaped eroded big rocks. We strolled around the marbles and had our brekkie there.

large_SAM_6306.jpglarge_SAM_6308.jpglarge_SAM_6309.jpglarge_SAM_6311.jpglarge_SAM_6314.jpglarge_SAM_6316.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 04:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Stuck in Alice Springs

So Sunday was the day we would leave Alice Springs. We got food, water, and on our way to fuel we had a last look over Alice from Anzac hill. After going down, suddenly 4 lights popped up on the dashboard. But no mechanics were open, so we stayed the night and went to a mechanic in the morning. Result: battery is not charging because alternator is broken after oil from the leaking power steering pump screwed it up. So we had to put in a new alternator, and fix the leaking power steering pump. On Monday we sat all day at the mechanic besides the car while they were trying to find the leak. They didn’t find it, then they found a second hand alternator, put it in, didn’t work. So we had to order a new one from Brisbane that would be there the next day. As we needed the car to go to camping, we went to the campsite but they said we shouldn’t, as the battery could run empty and we would have to be towed. We still took the risk, but in putting in the old alternator, they hadn’t tightened the drive belt so that the water pump didn’t work. In driving 4 kms, the engine gauge suddenly was going up and we slowed down, being almost in the campground. There we looked at the engine, and the coolant in the reservoir was boiling. So no more coolant in the car. Not risking to drive any more the next day, we decided to tow the car the next day.

So that happened, very painful, and they put in the new alternator, tested the car, everything seemed fine. We picked it up the next day, paid a big bill. They didn’t find the leak, but it might pop up if we drove a long distance, so we needed to check if at the end of the day. We got our supplies, put fuel in, and were ready for the 300 km drive north. After 140 kms, we had a toilet break and I had a quick look for a leak. And there it was of course. So we went all the way back to the mechanic (auto-electric actually). So there was a leak … The next day we went to a power steering pump shop (had some problems with vacuum pipes also because they didn’t put them together in a good way in the auto-electric place), and he told us to take it out and he would recondition it. We decided to take it out ourselves, because letting a mechanic do it would take another week (it’s very busy with broken cars). So we tried a whole day to take it out, broke some bolts, because they were so tight, and got it out in the end of the day with the help of the power steering man, after being towed there again (auch). So here we are now, waiting for the car to get fixed …
The curse of Alice Springs … :(.
In the end, we managed to get everything fixed and left on Saturday. Hooray! Off to Devil’s Marbels and Mataranka now.

Posted by cjfvdk 00:59 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The show in Alice Springs

We didn’t know we would stay here so long … . The 1st of july was the Territory day, and everybody had bought fireworks and so there was fireworks everywhere around us. It seemed very dangerous, but Christophe had never seen fireworks like this. Then we got to chat to a couple by a campfire, had some drinks, and had a good night. We were planning to leave the next day, but an elderly man came to us that evening and asked if we would like to work on the Alice Springs show that weekend. We would be selling candy, and there would be some money for us. So we agreed, and we’d stay until Sunday in Alice.

On Thursday, we went to the free aviation museum in Alice, with some history of outback flying and airlines, and some fun on a flight simulator. Both hangover from the day before though, we didn’t feel all that good. We then went to check the stand where we would work on the show, and spent the rest of the day in camp, being a bit hangover. We had an early start on Friday morning, selling candy from 9 am to 5.30. It was fun, and there were many people there, farmer families and all who came to the show. There was an entrance fee, but there were still quite a lot of people. We didn’t explore the show ourselves, because it was so busy in the shop. In the evening we had a big meal, and then went back the next day.

It was a lot calmer on Saturday, and we had time to have a look around the show. It was like a big fair as we have in Belgium, with rides and toys, with many stalls who sold stuff, with politician stands, etc etc. But then in the far end of the compound, there were horses and cattle and poultry. When I passed, kids were describing 4 bulls and which were most beautiful. One girl said that this one is the nicest as it would be nice in the kitchen, another in the bedroom, etc. Then a young fellow described them from the legs, the back, the head, leadership capabilities, etc. Interesting :). But also that day we sold candy, not that much as the day before but still. In the end of the day, we helped the couple pack up and went to their caravan and saw the fireworks of the show, which were very nice.

The couple was an elderly couple of many trades, and they now had a balloon shop, going around shows and selling balloons and candy. They were about 70 years old, but didn’t want to stop working, they said they would pass away if they would. So they kept on, had fun, met people etc. We would meet them again if we got to Adelaide!
large_SAM_6286.jpglarge_SAM_6288.jpglarge_SAM_6291.jpglarge_SAM_6292.jpglarge_SAM_6293.jpglarge_SAM_6294.jpglarge_SAM_6297.jpglarge_SAM_6301.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 00:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Eastern McDonnell ranges

We were back in Alice, but didn’t stay for long, and drove the same day still away to the Eastern McDonnell ranges. There is not so much to do as in the Western ranges, and we stopped at some places, but drove also to the end of the road, where Trephina gorge is. It a nice and relaxed place, and we could put our tent up in the middle of the dry river, which was quite magical. Hopefully it does not rain! There was another man there which who we had a fire, and he was the first person to say that Australia did indeed steal the land from the aboriginals. I was pretty amazed. We had a good night in the tent and some good walks in the morning which beautiful views of the gorge and what lay beyond. We drove back to set up camp in Alice for the last night. But … !

SAM_6260

SAM_6260

SAM_6262

SAM_6262

SAM_6265

SAM_6265

large_SAM_6273.jpglarge_SAM_6275.jpglarge_SAM_6280.jpglarge_SAM_6281.jpglarge_SAM_6282.jpglarge_SAM_6283.jpglarge_SAM_6284.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 00:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

King’s Canyon

It was a long long drive to King’s Canyon, about 300+ kms, And we had to get a full tank at 2 dollars a litres, so we should consider getting a solution which gives us spare fuel. We’ll investigate that in Alice Springs. At the gorge, we went to the Kathleen Springs walk, which was pretty short and went to a waterhole with big aboriginal significance. But here (in Watarrka national park), they are not allowed to tell anything of the dreamtime stories, which is really a pity. The walk was nice, but not spectacular.

We then went on to the campsite/resort, which is really expensive. Because all we need is a toilet, and we’d pay 15 dollars for that. Here it was 40 dollars, so we used all we could (2 showers, gas, electricity, …) to get our money’s worth. But that’s what it is. We didn’t use the swimming pool though. We put up our tent for the night (Christophe thinks it’s warmer in the tent than in the car), which Edda didn’t like so much at first. But the night was fine, very warm in the tent, so Edda was happy.

After taking breakfast and our 2nd shower, we got on our way to the Canyon. The walk around it is 6km and starts with 500 steps at 20% slope, so pretty tough. The views are amazing, the Canyon is very spectacular, which domes and really sharp cliffs and overhangs. Christophe wanted to stop and go everywhere, so the walk took us almost 4 hours, but well worth the time. After that we still had 460 kms to go to Alice Springs, so we stayed somewhere overnight, and now we’re back in Alice!
large_SAM_6133.jpglarge_SAM_6143.jpglarge_SAM_6152.jpgSAM_6165

SAM_6165

SAM_6167

SAM_6167

large_SAM_6168.jpglarge_SAM_6172.jpglarge_SAM_6180.jpglarge_SAM_6185.jpgSAM_6189

SAM_6189

large_SAM_6199.jpglarge_SAM_6207.jpglarge_SAM_6218.jpgSAM_6220

SAM_6220

large_SAM_6227.jpglarge_SAM_6228.jpgSAM_6235

SAM_6235

large_SAM_6245.jpgSAM_6250

SAM_6250

Posted by cjfvdk 20:44 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Kata Tjuta (meaning: many heads) is about 50kms from Uluru. It’s different from Uluru, as it is many rocks instead of one and also it’s a conglomerate (consisting of many types of rocks) whereas Uluru is made of sandstone. It’s like the glasshouse mountains, in a sense that it is a gigantic mass of rock which was under the ground, but now that all the ground around it is eroding away, these ‘rocks’ become visible as they are harder than the other soil, and don’t erode. This is for Mt Connor, Kata Tjuta and Uluru, although they have different geological stories. So Uluru is sandstone lifted 90 degrees vs the ground and Kata Tjuta conglomerate lifted 10 to 20 degrees vs the ground. But both are remains of layers of soil deposited by the old Australian inland sea Amadeus.

After breakfast we did the Kata Tjuta loop walk and Walpa gorge walk. Kata Tjuta was impressive, but it seems to be more impressive from far away than when you are standing right next to it. It also has less significance to the aboriginal people than Uluru. And the stories around it are not shared as in Uluru.

We drove back to Uluru to have dinner and see the sunset again, now from a different place much closer to the rock. It was a private place near a waterhole and there was even a bench to sit and admire the changing colors.

We had access to the national park for 3 days, so of course we had to take advantage of the whole 3 days. Therefore we went to the park once more the next morning to see our third sunrise. Now we picked the spot. It was also by the road where we could see the sun rays really hit the rock. This time the sunrise was a bit more impressive :)

We had breakfast near Uluru and visited the cultural centre once more before heading towards King’s Canyon.

The area of Uluru and Kata Tjuta (not Mt Connor) is national park since the 70s (I think). In 1985, the land was handed back by the federal government to the Anangu people, and recognised them as traditional owners of the land custodians. They then leased it back to Australian national parks for 99 years. The management of the park consists of 12 ppl: 4 Anangu men, 4 Anangu women and 4 whitefellas (government and tourism). The main attraction of Uluru in the past was to climb Uluru. It’s sort of printed in Australian peoples heads that they have to climb Uluru, because it’s their goddamn right to do so (a bit as the French would feel about the Eiffeltower I think). But the Anangu people don’t want you to climb, because it’s a sacred place, it’s not the meaning of the place, it’s not what you are supposed to be doing. You should understand the power of the rock, admire it in silence and show respect. There are also environmental reasons and safety reasons not to do the climb. But many Australians seem to have a problem with this, because they feel it’s their birthright to climb. To me (Christophe), this feels really like a lack of respect to the people who they « stole » the land from (Australians won’t like that I write this). They also get angry when you call it Uluru, because it’s supposed to be called Ayers rock, as the great pioneers and first settlers called it. Quite frustrating and sad that they can’t acknowledge the traditional owners of the land. We haven’t seen many aborigines around Uluru, they live in communities, which seem a bit inaccessible. It would be interesting to learn more, because we think Aboriginal culture is more interesting than the one of the European settlers. Anyway, about the climb: They are working towards closing the climb in 2020, but it needs to go slow so that tour operators can come up with new ideas for Uluru (like cycling around it), otherwise the tourism sector thinks that people won’t come to Uluru anymore (or even Australia) if the climb is closed. A bit shortsighted I think, and some Suisse people we met told us that Australians tend to be shortsighted. We think they are also, sucking the land empty from its resources for money, but not caring about the environmental effects …

SAM_6034

SAM_6034

large_SAM_6057.jpglarge_SAM_6050.jpgSAM_6040

SAM_6040

SAM_6034

SAM_6034

SAM_6025

SAM_6025

SAM_6021

SAM_6021

SAM_6014

SAM_6014

SAM_6008

SAM_6008

large_SAM_6007.jpgSAM_6005

SAM_6005

Posted by cjfvdk 20:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The Uluru experience

Uluru is still about 500km away from Alice Springs, so we didn’t drive there in one day. The first night, we slept at a free campsite by the road. There were some other people next to us who had the cutest dog called Mango :).

The next day we went to the Henbury meteorite crater, going over 15 ks of badly corrugated road, shaking the whole car. Then we got extra petrol, and stopped at Mt Connor lookout. Apparently a lot of tourists confuse it to be Uluru :D. It is one of the three large formations, together with Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the regions, but Mt Connor is on private land, so you can only go there if you pay 100s of dollars. Australian whitefellas making money on the back of aboriginal culture, it feels like that. From the lookout you could also see a dried salty lake. Pretty cool! We drove to Curtin Springs camping and chilled the rest of the evening.

The next morning we woke up before 6am when it was still pitch dark and started driving towards Uluru to be there as early as possible. We drove super nervous, staring to the road like maniacs and driving in the middle of the road to have a better safety marginal if a kangaroo or camel happened to jump from the bush. We made it there allright and even got to see the sunrise (although not from the best viewing spot - from the sunset spot :P).
We spent the coldest hours of the day at the culture centre where they had a lot of info about Uluru and the aboriginals, but no adequate heating. After breakfast we joined the ranger guided 2h walk. The walk was very interesting and we had a very knowledgeable ranger who told a lot of interesting facts. Uluru was an important location for aboriginal people, because it has a couple of permanent waterholes (very useful in the desert) and some shelter caves in it. The waterholes are important not only for the people themselves, but also because animals will come and drink there, so that makes for a food resource. The local aboriginal people of Uluru are the Anangu people. They lived in the area around Uluru, moving from place to place, not to stress one spot by taking too much of its resources.

Uluru was thus a good place to come from time to time, but also a very important place for doing their Inma or ceremonies. Aboriginal stories about the land they belong to are the creation stories called dreamtime or tjukurpa. This tells how the world was created as we know it. They also allow aboriginal people to travel the land, as the stories include landmarks which are connected to the dreamtime, and most of them have moral lessons in them. Usually these dreamtime stories cannot be told to outsiders, but here they seem to make an exception, and we got the very very basic (child level) story. The stories work so that when an aboriginal boy reaches puberty (matures), he gets the stories thought by his grandfathers (not father) and girls from their grandmothers. They then learn the very simple playful story. Then they start to learn more and more, as the story gets more and more layers, deeper meanings, and interpretations of the world and about aboriginal law and society (also in tjukurpa). Once they are ready to become men, they become custodians of the part of the story that they have learned.

Some stories travel 1000 of kms across Australia, but within every group of aborigines, the custodians only know their part of the story very well. I wrote earlier that aboriginal society was prehistoric (didn’t have writing, or knives or the wheel or domesticated animals), but if you look at it from another point of view, they were much more advanced than we are today. We use the resources of the earth without considering it’s impact (mining, food, …) while they were very considerate about this. They had a good system for education, had developed everything they needed from the bush and land, were completely happy and didn’t need more. They didn’t even have a word for thank you, because you are supposed to give. Makes me think who is prehistoric sometimes.

But so around Uluru, there is a couple of stories connected to its creation and its cultural legacy (which I am not allowed to share here, you need to make the trip yourself ;)), which makes it a very amazing place to visit. And then there is just the fact that it’s an amazing, beautiful piece of rock nature left to us, which looks different from every point you see it and you see something new every time you look at it. It is a very magical and « deep » place.
After the walk with the ranger, we did the base walk around the rock and had lunch/dinner at the picnic area. We ended up watching the sunset on top of our car - by the road, to avoid the crowds. It was pretty magical!

The next morning we woke up at 6am again to get to the sunrise viewing area on time. We were way early (and so were many other people). The sunrise from there was quite disappointing. It was on the shadow side of the rock, so you couldn’t really see the colors change. After the Uluru sunrise, we headed to Kata Tjuta.

SAM_6034

SAM_6034

SAM_5956

SAM_5956

SAM_5948

SAM_5948

SAM_5907

SAM_5907

SAM_5901

SAM_5901

SAM_5899

SAM_5899

SAM_6084

SAM_6084

SAM_6081

SAM_6081

SAM_6074

SAM_6074

SAM_6071

SAM_6071

large_SAM_6063.jpglarge_SAM_6059.jpgSAM_6039

SAM_6039

SAM_5986

SAM_5986

large_SAM_5972.jpglarge_SAM_5964.jpglarge_SAM_5941.jpgSAM_5938

SAM_5938

large_SAM_5922.jpgSAM_5917

SAM_5917

large_SAM_5913.jpglarge_SAM_5912.jpgSAM_5910

SAM_5910

SAM_5908

SAM_5908

SAM_5895

SAM_5895

SAM_5890

SAM_5890

SAM_5888

SAM_5888

SAM_5886

SAM_5886

SAM_5874

SAM_5874

SAM_5871

SAM_5871

SAM_5865

SAM_5865

Posted by cjfvdk 20:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

West MacDonnell ranges

Days 3, 4 & 5

The next day we wanted to go to the Mt Sonder lookout, which was supposed to be a 2,5h return walk. We were there after 45min and decided, we should go all the way to the summit of Mt Sonder (1380m). We only took about 2h to reach the summit. The scenery was so beautiful and the walk was definitely worth it, although we were pretty dead once we arrived back to the car.

We decided to stay another night at the same campsite as it was so nice. This time we arrived earlier, but once again the campsite was full quite fast. We found some firewood that other campers had left and dragged it to our fire pit. We made a nice fire to keep us warm in the evening. Edda made spicy soup again, a bit too spicy for Christophe.

The next day we visited Glen Helen gorge. It was nice, but not so impressive. From there we went to Ormiston Gorge to do the 8km walk (which apparently has been rated as the best walk in Australia). It has some pretty scenery; valleys, riverbanks, gorge, mountains… But I’m not so convinced that it deserve the title of the best walk in Australia.

We had late lunch/dinner in the Ochre Pits, and stayed there until it was time to go to sleep. We drove to the free camp at a lookout 5km away to spend the night. In the morning we drove back to the Ochre pits to have breakfast. Christophe did a walk to a small gorge and Edda wrote the blog. After this we are heading back to Alice to stock up some supplies and get ready for Uluru.

Lots of people have asked us so far what the most beautiful place is in Australia that we had seen so far. We never really knew what to say, but now we know: The West McDonnell ranges are amazing. Really beautiful !

large_SAM_5739.jpglarge_SAM_5745.jpglarge_SAM_5746.jpglarge_SAM_5751.jpglarge_SAM_5753.jpglarge_SAM_5759.jpglarge_SAM_5760.jpglarge_SAM_5766.jpglarge_SAM_5770.jpglarge_SAM_5778.jpglarge_SAM_5782.jpglarge_SAM_5787.jpglarge_SAM_5799.jpglarge_SAM_5807.jpglarge_SAM_5810.jpglarge_SAM_5819.jpglarge_SAM_5825.jpglarge_SAM_5838.jpglarge_SAM_5841.jpglarge_SAM_5847.jpglarge_SAM_5854.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 00:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

West MacDonnell ranges

Days 1 & 2

After the festival, we were finally on our way to the MacDonnell ranges. First stop was Simpsons Gap where we had late lunch and walked into the gap a bit. It was getting late and we had quite a bit to drive still, but luckily we found a nice campsite a bit closer, in Ellery Creek. We met some older people there and stayed by the fire (the night was once again very cold). They started making damper, so we also helped and learned how to make it.
The people who were older than us were of course super glampers (glamping = glamour camping), towing caravans, traveling with a truck (with everything inside) or just carrying all sorts of stuff that you’d never even think of carrying with you. There were 3 younger people in the group as well. They were travelling with a shitty 4WD, had a broken mattress and 2 guys didn’t even have a sleeping bag. I really wonder, how they survived the cold night.

The next morning we did the Ellery Creek walk, the Serpentine Gorge walk and stopped at the lookout to have lunch. We met the older people from yesterday a couple more times on our stops. After lunch we drove to the end of the bitumen road, to Tyler’s Lookout, which has a nice view over a meteorite crater, which hit earth about 140 million years ago, and was 20km wide. It has eroded away now and is only 5 kilometres in diameter anymore, but it still looks very very impressive. With a 4WD you can even drive to it. Also the aborigines had a very good story for it, which was very close to what a meteorite is.

After the crater we still walked to the Redbank Gorge and got one of the last spots at the Redwoods campsite. This time we put up a tent, as the ground was flat and good and the night didn’t seem to be as cold. The campsite even had free gas, so we made some spicy vegetable soup for dinner :) Yummie!

large_SAM_5670.jpglarge_SAM_5671.jpglarge_SAM_5674.jpglarge_SAM_5676.jpglarge_SAM_5677.jpglarge_SAM_5680.jpglarge_SAM_5686.jpglarge_SAM_5687.jpglarge_SAM_5691.jpglarge_SAM_5693.jpglarge_SAM_5700.jpglarge_SAM_5701.jpglarge_SAM_5703.jpglarge_SAM_5708.jpglarge_SAM_5714.jpglarge_SAM_5718.jpglarge_SAM_5720.jpglarge_SAM_5724.jpglarge_SAM_5729.jpglarge_SAM_5733.jpglarge_SAM_5738.jpg

Posted by cjfvdk 23:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

(Entries 76 - 90 of 191) « Page 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 .. »