Australian Icons...

Trip Start Jun 28, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We were able to take an unsealed loop road from the Ranges to bypass the boring highway in order to get to King's Canyon National Park. Oh my, this place was fantastic! The main trek led up a steep track to the rim of the canyon and then snaked through orange rocky mounfs, through a wetland oasis, over bridges and to several lookout points with really impressive views. I didn't know rocks, gorges and canyons would really interest me that much but the more you think about how they are formed and how scenic they can make a place it definitely interests me now!

The walk was quite difficult in parts but definitely worth the effort for the photo opportunities and to take in this beautiful area. I definitely think King's Canyon is the hidden gem of Central Australia and maybe gets overlooked because of it's nearby companion - Uluru (Ayers Rock) - which was our next stop on the agenda. Uluru is quite possibly the most recognisable natural landmark in Australia and it doesn't matter how many photos you see of it, they don't justify how huge it is and also how different it is from each angle. Seeing Ayers Rock for the first time as we drove towards the National Park was surreal because after seeing all the pictures it seemed odd to actually see it in reality!

Once we had set up camp, we had time to do the easy, flat 10km base walk of Uluru which allowed us to view this mammoth formation from every pssible perspective. We saw various areas where Aboriginal rock paintings were still visible and learnt just how culturally important and sacred Uluru is to the local Indigenous communities. The actual walk got quite repetitive at some points but was still worth doing in order to get an idea of what it looked like from different sides. The visitor centre had a brilliant art gallery that has made me want to choose some lovely Aboriginal art to take home with me.

The following morning we were early birds and after breakfast in the camp kitchen along with the mice who were doing acrobatics in the toasters and behind the fridges (eek!) ... we drove to the lookout point of Uluru to view the Rock at sunrise. It was absolutely perishing that day so we were really willing for the sun to peep up over the horizon. Once the sun made its gradual appearance, the colour of Ayers Rock transformed from a silhouette at dusk to deep purple and then finally it's classic terracotta tones. My photos haven't really captured this brilliantly but it was a great thing to watch!

It was certainly an iconic place to almost end our travels in Australia before we headed back to Ceduna to earn more money. It took us two more days to get back to Ceduna - the main stop in between being Coober Pedy. This was a peculiar old town where opal-mining is the thing to do and where a lot of buildings, homes and churces are actually underground because of the extreme heat the town experiences in Summer.
It was then the dusty road back to Ceduna, driving past places without names and names without places, where our old jobs awaited us...Now it's time to plan a whole new phase to our trip - magical and mystical INDIA!!!
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Joy Wallace on

Hi Leanne
Have read every one of your entries and want to thank you for sharing your incredible journey with us, it has brightened my day at work whenever I have seen a new email with more news and pictures from you.
Also want to tell you - and it is all your fault - that Jess leaves for Hong Kong in two weeks time to work for Chatteris! I hope she will be as good at keeping in touch as you have been.
Looking forward to learning as much about India as I now know about Australia thanks to you.
Take care x

leannemarie on

Aw Joy! That is so lovely to read. You were the one you said I should do a blog! I am so glad I have done one now! It's really good to look back on already! I hope you're not to worried about Jessica! She will be absolutely fine and will really enjoy it! Miss you lots! xxx

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