Australia is beautiful. I have never seen so many diverse landscapes sprinkled across a single country. Right from the Great Barrier Reef in the west, to the amazing mountainous landscapes in Tasmania; Australia will forever stay in my heart.
This particular adventure stood out as I got to see a display of nature’s finest creations. My friend and I took a trip from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, to Adelaide in Southern Australia.
There isn’t much to see in Alice Springs, it’s basically the central hub where tourists set out to see the Ulluru Kata-Tjuata national park. What stood out though, was the Aboriginal population that is missing in other Australian cities. Another thing that stood out were the one trillion flies swimming around (Note to the wise: summer isn’t the best time to visit as insects go into mating overdrive).
From here we took embarked on a tour bus to see Ayers rock, or “Ulluru” the traditional name. Boy was it spectacular. It’s basically a large rock in the middle of a very arid landscape. But in truth, it’s more than that. It encapsulates hundreds of years of culture and tradition of its people. The rock is extremely sacred for the Aborigines and their ancestors. They used to travel thousands of miles on foot in the past just to see the rock and get initiated into manhood.
The best part about Ayers rock is the mesmerizing way it turns into maroon from dull brown during sunset. It’s customary for tour guides to offer champagne around this time. This is apparently to make you “think” the rock is red. But I for one was sober and can say with certainty that the rock was, in fact, red.
A worthy mention is another rock, the Kata Tjuata. This was once more massive than Ayers rock, but due to nature’s perils it split into three stand alone entities. Just like Ayer’s Rock, this is also a place of huge cultural significance.
On the way back from Ayers rock to Alice Springs, our tour guide stopped the bus for five minutes (presumably to pee). I was fast asleep with my mouth wide open at that time, but my friend shook me awake from my slumber and said “Look at the sky”. So I disembarked from the bus and looked up.
Words aren’t enough to capture the emotions I felt while looking at the Australian sky. Living in a city (which never sleeps apparently) all my life, I have never gazed upon so many stars before. I could see our galaxy, the Milky Way, shining down proudly upon its inhabitants. I could see the Southern Cross in all its glory. For the first time I realized how vast our universe is and how small I am. Wherever you are in the world, you have to experience something this terrific at least once in your lifetime.
The Great Australian Outback
The third leg of our journey was from Alice Springs to Adelaide with a stopover in an underground town called Coober Pedy. It was a two day journey through the Australian Outback. Our tour guide suffered from a curious case of extreme enthusiasm. He was a nice guy though, once you got used to him. He also played some amazing music on the bus right from John Butler Trio to a local artist called Xavier Rudd, which enhanced the entire road-trip feel.
Being from the dessert (kind of), I wasn’t too excited to see the outback because it’s basically a huge dessert. But what I didn’t expect to see are wild horses, massive pink colored salt lakes and a gorgeous lion-king type sunrise (the tour guide literally played The Circle of Life). I have never seen a terrain like that before and doubt I ever will. For those of you interested to see of the outback, it’s filmed beautifully in this movie: Tracks. It’s about an Australian women who crossed 2,000 miles of dessert with three camels and a dog.
Well yes, that’s about it! Had an awesome time.
Source of Keychain: Culture Centre, Uluru