We’ve all heard of it before: Australia’s vast and red-hued “Outback” that everything from kangaroos to camels to dingos call home. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring Australia’s east coast; from Cairns in the north to Melbourne in the south, but had yet to venture into the great Red Centre.
On my most recent trip to Australia, I joined G Adventure’s “The Rock, Rail and Kakadu” tour. I would begin in the south of the Red Centre in Alice Springs and travel all the way to the tropical Top End in Darwin over the course of an 8-day tour.
After a stunning flight over endless red earth, I arrived in Alice Springs to begin my grand adventure. The town is quiet and has a bit of a rustic feel, almost like something out of America’s “Wild, Wild, West.” I stocked up on bug spray, a fly-net and a traditional Akubra-style hat.
I was taken aback by the sheer massiveness of the rock as well as the beauty of the striking red colors contrasted against the green bush growing all around it. I didn’t think our time at Uluru could have been more perfect… until we drove to a beautiful vantage point for sunset.
As we waited for dusk to fall,, our guide unloaded an array of goodies for us to share. We indulged in cheeses and spreads with crackers as well as lots of champagne as we watched the sun set upon the rock in the distance.
Exploring Kata Tjuta
After a sound sleep under the stars, we began our day at sunrise and watched Uluru from another vantage point a bit farther away. Instead of the fiery orange color it took on at sunset, the rock became a mere silhouette against an incredible display of pink clouds and blue sky.
Upon arrival, I felt like I had been transported back into a prehistoric time. It came as no surprise when we were told that Kata Tjuta was formed approximately 600 million years ago! The landscape was made up of giant rock formations, not very dissimilar to Uluru. Beautiful trees and shrubs surrounded the area and hiking trails led us through some of the 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta.