After two nights in Alice Springs it was time to start the next part of the tour down to Adelaide with the company Groovy Grape.
We were picked up at 6:30am to start the tour starting with three days in the Red Centre. Our first stop was a camel farm for a quick, and very funny ride with some amazing facial expressions!
Then it was time to start the drive towards Kings Canyon, but not before dinner and a bus with a flat battery. Once we had all managed to push the bus to re-start it we continued the drive to the canyon for a three and a half hour hike all the way around the top. If I was to imagine Mars, this would be it.
It was then time to head to our first camp for kangaroo bolognese, a camp fire and another night sleeping under the stars, (well actually the clouds) in our swags. I woke up around 3am to find the clouds had gone and the stars had appeared. Unfortunately I was too comfy in my swag and didn’t get to spend long stargazing before I fell back to sleep!
The next day it was time to head towards an Aussie Icon; Uluru. We reached our campsite at Ayers Rock resort around midday and after making pizzas on the barbecue we headed into Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to do a 10km walk around the base of Uluru. Sadly it was a very cloudy day and we didn’t get to see the full beauty of the rock, but there was still time for that as we spent two days exploring the park.
After a very early breakfast of pancakes the next morning we headed off to grab a good spot to watch the sunrise over Uluru in our sleeping bags. This time we did get to see how beautiful it can really be!
Next up was an early morning, and pretty chilly hike through the Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjuta. Which for me was one of the highlights of the trip as I wasn’t expecting it to be so spectacular; probably because you don’t really hear people talking about Kata Tjuta as much as Uluru.
After the walk we headed back to Uluru and this time we got to see it with a blue sky background.
We spent the next couple of hours sat in a cave at the rock’s base being told aboriginal stories. While I enjoyed this it was slightly overshadowed by a knot in my stomach thinking of what was to come in the afternoon.
While the rest of the group had a couple of hours free time, two of us were driven to the airport, fastened into harnesses and flown up to 1000ft to jump out of a plane above Uluru. This was not something I had ever imagined myself doing but it was one of, if not the best, experience I have had so far in Australia. I was absolutely terrified but once the free fall stopped and I started to feel like I wasn’t going to die I began to relax and take in what was happening. It was all over way too quickly but in those few minutes I got a view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta that not many people are lucky enough to see; and it made me really appreciate the sheer size of the rock. And I also got a hilarious video to remind me just how terrified I was!
We made it just in time to watch the sunset with the rest of the group, which was the perfect end to a fantastic last day in the Red Centre.
We woke up at 4:30 the next morning ready for a long 750km (470 mile) drive out of the Northern Territory and into South Australia.
We arrived late in the afternoon in a very weird opal mining town called Coober Pedy. Most of the population live underground in bunkers, as we learnt during a tour of an old opal mine.
Before we settled down into our underground accommodation for the night we visited an aboriginal art gallery and kangaroo orphanage and ate ‘the best pizza in the outback’.
We left early the next morning for another long drive down to our final campsite. En route we stopped for kangaroo tacos, and then went for a very strange hike through Alligator Gorge. I say strange as every single one of us spent the hike singing, laughing and screeching like we were high. Turns out that’s a side effect of kangaroo thanks to all of the energy in it; apparently our guide had never seen a group so affected by kangaroo but it’s definitely something I’ll be eating again!
We spent our final evening together playing jenga, eating steak and telling jokes by the fire in the kitchen before settling down to our final night in our swags (although this time inside as it’s very cold in South Australia at this time of year).
On our last day we visited a winery in the Clare Valley where we tasted some very nice, and some not so nice wines before having our last meal together and arriving into Adelaide in the afternoon.
Again another tour came to an end and it was time to say more goodbyes as most of us went our seperate ways after a fantastic six days exploring more of this amazing country together.