My Great Big Aussie Adventure
What an incredible experience it has been to drive through the continent of Australia over the past week. Following the Explorer’s Way, the 3000 km journey through the heart of Australia is one of the nations greatest drives. It follows the route of John Mcdouall Stuart, one of the early explorers who was the first to traverse the continent. It takes in most of the outback icons and is a classic Australian experience.
The journey got off to a relaxing start in Darwin staying with Liz and her lovely family. Cosmopolitan and tropical, Darwin in the dry season is a delightful experience with so much going on. The sunset market at Mindil Beach was a definite highlight. I would love to have spent more time there, but the open road to Litchfield National Park beckoned. Litchfield is a stunning park in the Northern Territory. Deep rock pools sit in steep sided gorges and there are a number of breathtaking waterfalls to visit.
As well as other unique attractions such as these incredible Termite Mounds.
Overnighting in Katherine, the third largest town in the Northern Territory, we didn’t have time to visit the Katherine Gorge, which is located in the Nitmiluk National Park.
However we did manage a stop-over at the Cutta Cutta Caves, which are home to large populations of unique bat species.
We stopped briefly at the small settlement of Daly Waters, en route to our overnight stay at Tennant Creek, the site of Australia’s last gold rush in the 1930s. I really enjoyed the various pitstops at some of the quirky roadhouses in the outback.
Driving through the red centre is amazing. Just look at this stunning landscape.
Next up, Alice Springs. I loved the surrounding countryside here.
We stayed overnight stay at a traditional rustic homestead style cabin at the Ross River Resort.
Next day we made our way to the majestic Uluru (Ayers Rock), just in time to see the sunset.
I never dreamed I would be here at this spiritually significant site, but here I am in front of this iconic, soaring, magnificent rock.
Next day we headed for the Opal Capital of the world. Coober Pedy is a unique desert settlement built on a long tradition of opal mining that has attracted settlers from all over the world. Due to the extreme temperatures most people live underground in houses known as burrows, dug into the desert soils. We stayed in an underground motel, and visited underground museums and art galleries and I bought some gorgeous solid opal earrings and a pendant, which I will treasure as a beautiful memento of this trip.
As I write this, I am sipping a cup of tea and looking out on a magical sunrise over Coober Pedy.
There are still another 800+ km to go before we arrive back in Adelaide and normal routines resume again, but until then, greetings to you all from the road.