Posted by: Vallere | September 10, 2011

The Red Center, errr Centre

~~PG is today’s guest poster! He writes about his trip with his father and sister to Uluru.~~

Well, despite living in such a beautiful country and having so much yet to see, it has always been one of my father’s dreams to visit the red centre of Australia, the outback.  So when my folks were over we spent nearly two weeks making the jump over the Tasman to Australia and of course the first thing we knocked out was to visit Uluru-Kata-Tjuta national park, a place I had been to once before.  Now, the flight took nearly 6 hours from Wellington, NZ as we traveled through Sydney.  While over the desert, in the air and on the ground, things looked quite different from what I remembered.  Many of the usually dry river beds flowed with water from the heavy rains.  Apparently this desert area had gotten heavier rains over the last 18 months than it had seen in decades, and the Red Centre appeared to be quite green other than the red soil.  Flowers were blooming everywhere and wildlife was quite visable.  Now, as we only planned to spend a few days here, we had much to do, but limited time before we were to fly down to Victoria and Melbourne.  I had unfortunately assumed that the school holidays in Australia would be similar to the ones in New Zealand, but I was mistaken as we ran into quite a crowd of vacationing families.  Despite this, the weather was quite cooperative as it was quite chilly during the day and as such we attempted to make a few hikes.  The first was to the Valley of the Winds.

I figured my father could handle this one as it had only a  little climbing and it was quite cool and windy.  We really enjoyed it, but he struggled to make it around the circuit and the hike took several hours.  None the less, it was quite red and beautiful and an experience I am sure he will never forget.

After that he was beat for the next day or more and my sister and I visited the cultural centre and walked around Uluru.  We choose not to climb it out of respect of the local people as they asked you not to do so.  There is already a scar on the sacred rock from the millions that have visited and climbed it and I have always found it quite sad and disgraceful that others travel this far to climb on top of a big rock that others consider sacred.  The local people (the Aborigines) did it as a right of passage and without chains or ropes being planted into the side of the rock as now exists.

Between the hiking we all lanquished in the local cafes and took part in numerous meals including tasting some kangaroo, emu ,and other local meats over the barbie.  We made sure to be present and awake to watch the sunrises and sunsets during these several days as these can often be quite breath taking between the red sunlight and red soil everywhere.    Despite the fun hikes , the combination of peak time and the very high Australia dollar made these several days cost nearly two grand US dollars and I was quite glad to get out of there after several days as it was quite expensive for what we recieved.  I honestly would have enjoyed camping as much or more as the hotel was quite basic for the $AU425 a night price tag but did not want to do this as my father was present.  After several days it was off to Alice Springs for the morning and then onto Adelaide and finally Melbourne, where we would be staying for the coming days.



  1. You know my grandmother and grandfather lived in Alice Springs for a while and my father learned to ride a motorcycle in the Outback!! It’s cool seeing your pictures! Thanks for sharing

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