Half way to Uluru Jamie started shouting, ‘Look, look, Uluru!” Everyone excited leaned out windows pointing when we realised we were still 125kms away. I know Uluru is big, but that seems a tad excessive. Turns out it was Mt Conner, and Jamie was being a smart alec. He then spend the next 10km sniggering to himself. See what I have to live with??!!
We did finally arrive, and settled in. The kids dragged themselves off to the park, and then the pool. Which they spent all of 5 seconds in, apparently freezing cold water only feels good when it’s a barmy 35 plus day. Jamie and I took off with the boys to get a pass, and have a quick look at Uluru. The sun was setting, as we arrive, joining the 500 other people who were watching the spectacle. There were even a few groups with tables set up (with table cloths!) and bubbles. As the sun set the rock glowed red, everyone took a million pictures and we made plans to watch it – we might even rustle up a table cloth!
The next morning we stumbled out of bed at 6am, dragged the kids into puffer vests and set off to watch the sunrise. I will help out any future travellers, don’t worry about getting up early. The sunrise platform, although well made with lots of room doesn’t actually work as the sunrise doesn’t really hit the rock from that angle. Slight disappointment, especially as it was freezing but at least we got a good headstart on the day.
We headed to the cultural centre and had a read and a wander. Then took a short walk around part of the rock before heading home to feed the kids and get ready for Field of Lights. 5000 hand blown globes, with miles of fibre optic cable. The lights slowly change colour, and you can wander through the field, taking different routes. The kids, although initially quite impressed, got quickly bored. Apparently by calling it Field of Lights I had implied some sort of firework extravaganza. None of the photos do it justice, and if you are going definitely bring a tripod, even for the start of the path.
On the last day we joined a ranger walk and spent almost 3 hours wandering slowly down paths hearing creation stories and watching the kids learn how to make Kangaroo and Mala tracks in the ground. That night we packed up our table and chairs, headed down to the sunset viewing area with a couple of beers and a cruiser – no table cloth!It was well worth it. Just beautiful to watch Uluru start to glow as the sun set and then go black as the colour shifted to the sky. Zachary was less impressed. He just rolled his eyes when told where we were going and said.”Again? So boring. Is that the one that goes up or down?”
We packed up and hit the mereenie loop road for Kings Canyon. On the way Jamie spotted our first dingo, Jack was distraught that he had missed out although it turns out he really shouldn’t have worried. We got 2 nights at Kings, nice enough, the spaces are tight for powered sites but we set up next to another family with a girl Abi’s age and a boy Jack’s – perfect coincidence. That night we met the local dingos who came up to the camper as we were pottering inside and stole a sandwich one of the kids had left outside. There are a few dingos that roam the resort, one covered in mange, and slightly fearful but bold as anything when you are not looking! Sneaking food as soon as your back is turned.
We set the kids up with Bill and Ted adventure 2, of whatever it was called. The kids from next door came over rugged up and settled in for a movie night. We spent the evening chasing off dingos and trying to find a missing cable. Jamie up turned the entire camper, refusing to admit he had mislaid something!
The next morning we decided we would brave the rim walk. 6kms, the first 500 rocky steps straight up. Still got a sore and swollen ankle, but how can you come to the Canyon and not try the walk!? So Zachary cracked it before we even hit the steps, Jamie mentioned the word shoulder ride – bloody husbands! But Abi was up and away, counting steps as she jauntily bounced up them. Dad stayed with me as I hobbled carefully up. Even half way the views are amazing, makes you realised how vast the land is because there was just nothing as far as the eye can see.
We scrambled over waves of stone, navigated rocky climbs and downward slides. The kids did pretty well after the steps, enjoying searching for lizards and collecting seed pods. After the first 2 hours we stopped for lunch and to put the drone up. Got some amazing video. And then we checked the map and realised we were not nearly as far as we had imagined. We gathered up the kids and headed on. Winded our way to the Garden of Eden, clambering up and down steep steps. Saw some more lookouts – but wouldn’t let the kids anywhere near the edge, Abi managed a look, with Jamie tightly gripping her ankle.
As we headed into the last kms Jack and Zachary started to flag. I think Jamie carried Zachary for most of the last km if not more. Jack perked up as we walked together. He spotted some flowers, weird looking birds and a lizard.
Found an echo area – guess what Jack said?? KC Echo
One last drone flight and we stumbled into the car park, exhausted but happy. The kids did so well, couldn’t be more proud of them. My ankle is looking a bit puffy now, and probably will need a rest tonight but well worth the trip.
The next morning we hit the road for MacDonald Ranges and settled at Ellery Creek Campground. Dad and Jamie are most miffed, I did not pick a campground with showers. I think I was quite lady like in my response! We bunked down for the night and hit the road running first thing. We started at Omiston Gorge, then went to the Ochre Pits, Serpentine Gorge and finished up with a dip in Ellery Creek. Well Abi, Jack and Jamie did. Zachary went up his knees and declared it the wrong kind of creek for swimming. Abi was in the longest and as such almost froze, I had to wrap her in layers and put her into bed for half an hour to warm up. Playing on the iPad helped a bit!
We are heading back to Alice for a day to resupply, do some washing and buy more bits for the jayco. Then we start heading North to Gemtree and Mataranka – hot springs!!
Best Moment: The top of the Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Tip for the week: Fly nets are a must! Hate little bush flies, although think we got lucky at Uluru and Kings Canyon.
Week 3 Spend:
Kms: 966kms – think we might have missed a bit somewhere here!