Top Destinations and Attractions – Northern Territory Traveler’s Panorama Guide

Planning to explore Northern Territory? Wanted to make it full and lasting holiday in this federal territory of Australia called as the country’s outback? You are in the right place to check and see what this full of desert landscapes has to offer.

This post will give some insights what places to see and visit in Northern Territory using some questions to know your travel preference.

1. Are you an Adventure Seeker?

I can truly say that people visited Northern Territory are adventurers. Why? Because most of the places to visit in this part of Australia requires physical activities like walking, trekking, climbing, swimming or combination.  It means that you cannot see the awesome places without doing an effort to see or experience it unless you wanted to see wonderful places from above through flying with helicopter which is different.  The lists below are a must-see.

Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Bush Walking, Walking, Trekking

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Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) – Trekking

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Kings Canyon – Trekking

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Litchfield National Park – Walking, Trekking, Swimming

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Nitmiluk National Park – Trekking, Swimming

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2. Are you a Scenic View Lover?

Northern Territory offers a lot of fascinating natural wonders, that sometimes even myself thinking how on earth these nature wonders ever created? The list below should not be missed.

Nitmiluk National Park

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Litchfield National Park

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Mount Conner Lookout

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Uluru / Ayers Rock Lookout

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Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

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Kings Canyon

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3. Are you a History and a Culture Buff?

Have you ever wondered that Northern Territory also offers its part of its history and culture based on the nature wonders that it offers? Yes, it is still correlated to each other and visitors like me wondered that the aboriginals that lives in this part of Australia are being proud of their own identity and community. Below list are recommended places for it.

Uluru (Ayers) Rock

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Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

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Strauss Airfield

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4. Are you a Shopaholic?

If you are still tend to buying stuff while in Northern Territory, I think the shopping experience you will have in this part of Australia will be a bit different compared when you are into buying things in the city, as most of the things you can buy around Northern Territory will reflect the culture of the Aboriginals or their local products which can be found in markets across the territory. Since both of my tour in the said territory are more on adventure tour, I do not have experience in doing shopping aside from basic needs like food and drinks. But I had visited and seen aboriginal arts stores across the territory.

5. Are you Just Chilling Out?

Do you want to travel in Northern Territory without exerting too much physical adventures just to reach amazing places in this part of Australia? And you just wanted to rest to unwind and become a bit of lazy? Here are some options for you to do that.

Alice Spring

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Darwin

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Notes :

Coming to Northern Territory for me is not a typical or ordinary travel that people usually does. Traveling in this part of Australia means, a great love for nature and willing to go beyond the comfort zone. And wanted to have an extraordinary travel or adventure. For people who are not adventurous enough and does not want to exhaust itself from lots of physical activities to reach the wonderful places in Northern Territory has a choice to do sightseeing in luxurious ways like bus tour or fly tour. And people like me who just had enough to do adventures chose to go in affordable way. I can’t afford luxury travel therefore I came in this part of Australia in most economical way that I can. I joined adventure tours where the cost was lower compared to other tour offerings, but these kind of tours has requirements, you must be up for adventures. If you are not, then, either you spend fortunes to travel in most comfortable way possible. In the end, everybody can still visit Northern Territory and enjoy it no matter how different ways it is.

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25 Reasons Why You Must Visit Northern Territory

Visiting or exploring Northern Territory in Australia is one of the best thing to do if you are in this continent country down under. The said territory offers variety of national parks with distinct characters on its own. Though I haven’t seen all of national parks such as Kakadu which I initially planned to explore but failed because of some unforeseen reason but the other parks that I got a chance to see did not fail me to amaze me and I truly admired them. There are so many reasons why people visiting Australia should try to explore this part of the country.

Below are the list of reasons which all of them I got a chance to see, visit, explore and experience while touring around Northern Territory.

1. Camel Farm (Camel Australia)

This camel farm was not too far from Alice Spring, anyone who haven’t experience camel ride adventure, on this farm everyone will get the chance the camel ride challenge of a lifetime.

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2. Erldunda

This place in Northern Territory is a homestead which is a great stopover station from a long drive either in Stuart Highway or Lasseter Highway. It offers accommodations, fuel refill and even shops in the middle of the remote desert.

3. Yulara

This is an isolated town where our group had spent overnight sleeping in a swag in an open camp site. A great outback experience for the night where you can enjoy stars before sleeping tight. This is also the town where most of the expensive accommodations located in Red Centre.

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4. Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Uluru is an island mountain rock with sacred significance to Aboriginal People lives in the area. Also called Ayers Rocks is commonly uses as Australia’s Outback landmark. Try to do the base walk instead of climbing the rock as respect to aboriginals request.

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5. Uluru Sunset Viewing Area

If you are not into walking at the base of Ayers Rock, then the Uluru Sunset Viewing area is for you which offers scenic view of Uluru from a distance. It gives the visitor a chance to take photos of the whole island mountain rock stands in the middle of remote wilderness.

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6. Mount Conner Lookout (Mount Conner View With Sand Dunes and Lake Across)

Along Lasseter Highway there is Mount Conner Lookout to appreciate the scenic view of the Mount Conner itself. Then, across the lookout, there is sand dunes where anyone can play and the lake view to enjoy beside it.

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7. Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

This lookout area is positioned in a good location to see both Uluru and Kata Tjuta in different times of the day to appreciate these two natural wonders exist in Red Centre.

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8. Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Trekking “The Olgas” was one of a kind of journey that I had while at the Red Centre. Experiencing these amazing rock formations that grown like hills and mountains made me think how such things happened in this part of the world that made these rocks became wonderful on its own.

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9. George Gill Range

Coming from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and using Lasseter Highway, the George Gill is a long mountain range which said to be purely sandstone but while we were on the road this mountain range offers scenic views to anyone who passed the road. The mountain range also used by tourism for scenic flight adventure.

10. Kings Creek Station

This is the station where we stayed for an overnight before we trek Kings Canyon. Anybody who plan to adventure in the outback, this station offers accommodations, camping, even basic supplies to survive in remote wilderness, food and tours.

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11. Kings Canyon at Wattarka National Park

We had a trek within the Canyon Walk where we reached Cotterrils Lookout, crossed “Garden of Eden”, saw Rock Domes, Kings Creek and Lost City. We also experienced the Canyon Rim Walk with a breath-taking scenery to enjoy.

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12. Alice Springs

It is a town in Northern Territory located almost at the center of Australia and said to have equidistant between Darwin and Adelaide. When I got a chance be  in the city, I had few hours spent here which mostly because of my accommodation before the Red Centre adventure and before flying back to Melbourne. For me this town is an interesting one since the common job within the town are related to tourism, I am wondering how such small community able to survive in the middle of the desert

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13. Darwin and The Cav

I haven’t had a picture of tourist spot in Darwin because I only slept few hours in the city, as I was not really able to explore this city at the top end. But I will not forget the food that I tasted in “The Cav” (Cavenagh Hotel) where I stayed for an overnight before the overland adventure took place. The restaurant is famous for its steak menu and popular in Darwin which proven to be true.

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14. Strauss Airfield

Along Stuart Highway in Noonamah, Northern Territory, Strauss Airfield is situated just beside the highway. The historical airfield was built in 1942 during World War II. Only remnants can be found in the site as reminders of the airfield and its story since it was decommissioned after the war in 1945.

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15. Batchelor Town

Batcher Town is a small town to see in Batchelor Road. The town keeps and maintain the Replica of Karlstejn Castle at Havlik Park which named after Bernie Havlik whom made the huge rock into castle. Batchelor town is considered as the gateway to Litchfield National Park.

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16. Banyan Tree Caravan Park

Banyan Tree Caravan Park offers accommodations and has shop or store for a quick break or snack before doing the adventures in Litchfield National Park.

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17. Cathedral Termite (Nasutitermes Triodiae) Mounds

Everyone driving near or within Litchfield National Park will witness lots of termite mounds around the area. But two of gigantic termite mounts can be found here and called as Cathedral Termite Mounds

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18. Magnetic Termite or Compass Termite (Amitermes Meridionalis) Mounds

Another termite mound that will amaze visitors is a cemetery look-alike termite mounds called Magnetic Termite Mounds where the termites able to create a perfectly flat mound upward.

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19. Florence Falls (Karrimura)

Florence Falls is said to be a spiritual place in a sense that it is exclusive  to individual no matter you are near or far from people.

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20. Tolmer Falls

Tomer Falls is a spectacular falls within Litchfield National Park with high distant and deep plunge pool.

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21. Litchfield Cafe

Litchfield Cafe was the place where a cold buffet lunch is being offered but need to check if advance booking is a must. This restaurant is famous of their mango cheesecake desert.

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22. Wangi Falls

Wangi Falls is the most popular pool to visitors and the most accessible falls within Litchfield National Park.

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23. Edith Falls (Leliyn Falls)

Edith Falls or Leliyn Falls is a series of cascading waterfalls and pools on the Edith River in Nitmiluk National Park. With limited time in the waterfall, everyone can enjoy either in the base pool or main pool and the upper pool. For more adventurous one, a day trek to Sweetwater pool is a great one.

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24. Katherine Gorge

A quick hike to Baruwei Lookout offers stunning scenery of Nitmiluk National Park with Katherine River.

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25. Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

A site rich of aboriginal cultures which depicts in the arts found along the escarpment walls in Judbarra National Park.

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The above 25 reasons are my list and there are more reasons aside from above, to think that I haven’t visited the World Heritage Site Kakadu National Park. If I were you, I will plan to explore this part of Australia and you will not disappoint because you will enjoy the top end.

 

Top 5 National Parks of Northern Territory Visited

For the two times that I had a chance to visit Northern Territory in Australia, I got a chance to visit and experience some of its best national parks. I knew for myself that I haven’t seen all the national parks that Northern Territory has to offer but if I will have another chance to come back, I definitely plan to visit the other parks. But for now, I had visited five national parks and I described in the post my experiences as my reasons how I rate them. I truly recommend all of them to visit and other parks to be found at top end of Australia.

Top 1 – Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

My most favorite national park that I visited in Northen Territory is Watarrka National Park where Kings Canyon in Australia is located. The main reason why I like it the most is because it is a canyon. I really like canyon. And the best about this one was the chance to trek within the canyon where we took Canyon Rim Walk track. Following the track gave us the chance to reached Cotterrils Lookout, to cross Garden of Eden, to see Rock Domes, Kings Creek and Lost City where all of it can be found within Kings Canyon. I consider it wonders of our world.

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Top 2 – Uluru (Ayers Rock)Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) National Park

Uluru or Ayers Rock was the main reason I planned to join my first adventure in the outback of Australia. Uluru itself is the most popular symbol used for the outback of the country down under. And I had a chance to experience the walk for Lungkata Trail that goes around at the base of the sacred mountain rock for Anangu Aboriginal People. And we experienced rain which very seldom to happen at the Red Centre.

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Kapi Mutitjulu
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Then, the next day was another fulfilling experience where the group trekked the “Valley of the Winds” trail within “The Olgas” or Kata-Tjuta where we reached two lookouts called Karu Lookout and Karingana Lookout that gives different views of “The Olgas”.

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Top 3 – Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

I love this national park because of the trekking we did following the Nawilbinbin Trail that goes up to the base escarpment walls where we found lots of aboriginal arts drawn in the rock shelters and cliff. We had a great scenery of the valley as well while ascending and descending the trail.

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Top 4 – Nitmiluk National Park

Nitmiluk National Park consist of stunning gorges. And some of the great waterfalls can be found here because of the rivers connected to other rivers that made wonderful falls within the park. We had a chance to swim in Edith Falls (Leliyn for Aboriginals) and witness the amazing Katherine Gorge through trekking to Baruwei Lookout.

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Top 5 – Litchfield National Park

This park offers a lot of things during my day tour and I knew for a fact that what I had seen are not the only things to see and there are still more but a day was not enough to see it all. But even it was just one day, I discovered two nature wonders that involve termites. First was about Cathedral Termite Mounds and second was Magnetic Termite Mounds. Then, the park also offers wonderful waterfalls that so great to swim even sometimes park rangers caught some crocs.

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Trekking Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

At camping area in the nearby village Yulara not far from Uluru / Ayers Rock where we chose to sleep for the first night of our camping tour, we helped our tour guide in dinner preparation. To be honest, I was not really good in kitchen and food stuff but still I tried my best to be useful, like helping the group in washing the dishes. After dinner, our tour guide announced that our wake-up call was 6am the next morning.

I washed-up myself before I get in the swag. When I was inside the swag, I got a chance to enjoy the sky at night and tried to listen to my surroundings. While I was in that moment, I was also checking my other group mates and found some were snoozing, some still talking and some were just quiet like me.

Overnight in an open space and sleeping in swag was one of the first unique experience I had in the Outback. Yes, as mountaineers, I usually sleep in sleeping bag inside the tent but it was first in swag which quite different. Swag is like a self contain sleeping bag, I never felt cold over night which was really surprising but good as well. Before I totally passed out for day, I was with a thought of happiness and satisfaction with my first day with Uluru / Ayers Rock specifically the base walk experience. That night, I felt excited again and I was looking forward for the next adventure.

Second day at the outback, I woke-up early in the morning. I organised my swag, I tried to roll it to be like it was before I used it, but it’s kind of difficult to roll, so I just fixed it as much I can.  I joined my group in preparing our breakfast. Since I had shower the night before, I was ready for the day’s event. It was still dark when we left the camping area, I felt like it was still early in the morning. As we were catching the sunrise we drove back again to Lasseter Highway from Yulara and visited a lookout area called Kata Tjuta Viewing Area (or Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing). We waited a little, in few minutes we witnessed the sunrise while watching  Kata Tjuta from a far. While observing The Olgas , from a distance at our right side while facing The Olgas, Uluru / Ayers Rock was also visible, the sun was actually behind it. It was a spectacular moment for me. We watched how great sceneries that Kata Tjuta shows because it is a rock dome ranges, it was called t that moment with the sun rising, I felt really alive, I felt really good. It was a moment that I was content and loved my life. It was one of the effect of the Outback to me. Sometimes I can’t explain why, because to other people maybe it’s just a places of rocks with probably no meaning to them, but for me it was a world of amazing things and serenity.

— Uluru / Ayers Rock at dawn and early in the morning from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

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— On our way to Kata Tjuta

After, the sunrise, we went back to the bus and we drove towards The Olgas. We returned to Lassetter Highway and I knew that time, that the second day was the day to get up close and personal with Kata Tjuta. We arrived at the parking area where the “Valley of the Winds” trekking trail starts.

— Up close and personal with Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

— The trekking trail

— The first glimpse of Valley of the Winds from Karu Lookout

We jumped-off the bus and started our walk towards the base of The Olgas. At firs,t I thought that The Olgas are small hills until we were really close to it and realized how huge the rock formations and was like Uluru / Ayers Rock. Kata Tjuta is a unique kind of natural rock formation. I was reckoning, in such desert plain like Red Centre, that there such kind of rock formations like Uluru  / Ayers Rock and The Olgas existed. I was amazed how these were created and become what they are today. If we are living in a magical world like from a fantasy story, we can think of that someone may put Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the middle of desert plain and the most surprising, they are located in the almost center of Australia. I was still contemplating how these kind of rock formations evolved in the middle of the desert until I thought that it was some amazing geological miracle. The first part of the trail was Karu Lookout where we first witness the “Valley of the Winds”.

— The trekking trail

— The Olgas

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— Featuring the highest dome called Mount Olga

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We followed the trail inside The Olgas. I enjoyed the trek around the area. We passed a small water streams that looks like a natural canal or a petite river. Trekking in a natural environment such as The Olgas are one of the activities that I really enjoyed. Then, along the trail we saw the water falls which seems the source of the water stream that we just passed by. The same trail where the water fall is, we have to combine walking and hiking in an inclined part of one of the huge rock formation and there’s nothing to hold on. Honestly, that kind of trail made me felt really unsure to myself. I tried my best and we successfully passed the part of the trail until we reach the top area where the water falls came from.

— Trekking Trail

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— Getting inside The Olgas

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— The poop (captured this photo while our tour guide is telling something about the poop)

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— The water falls we passed by along the trail

— The top most area where the water falls came from

— Trekking trail

— Between The Olgas

We arrived at the top most area that we can reach in the trail and walk towards Karingana Lookout. There, I saw the “Valley of the Winds” again. At Karingana Lookout, “Valley of the Winds” was an amazing and a picturesque view. At the time of trekking, I was quite tired after taking steps upward to the area, though tired a bit, I felt it was worth to climb. At the lookout, I realized how lucky I was to witness such sceneries and such views  that cannot be appreciated down below.

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— Trail to Karingana Lookout for “Valley of the Winds” view

— Between The Olgas

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Valley of the Winds at Karingana Lookout

— Couple of shots on the way back to the parking area.

— Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

After spending sometime and after enjoying photo snapshots at Karingana lookout for the “Valley of the Winds”, we started to go back. We used the same trail going up to descend The Olgas. We passed the same water falls and slippery trail. After returning to the parking area, I thought that the adventure in The Olgas was finished until we drove back to Lasseter Highway and stopped at The Olgas Viewing Area.

Before we completely ended our adventure that day, after finishing Kata Tjuta trek, we returned to Uluru Sunset Viewing area because our tour guide considered that we experienced rain during the first camping day tour, it was good to go back for such wonderful day. And we spent few minutes to take photos and snapshots until we leave the premise.

— Kata Tjuta

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— Uluru / Ayers Rock (during our second day)

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Mount Conner

On our way to Kings Creek station, which was the designated place for our upgraded accommodation arrangement. Upgraded because from swag, we were about to sleep in Tent with two beds, which means one thing, a more comfortable bed are waiting for our group. Passing Lasseter Highway, we stopped at Mount Conner lookout area, where we saw how magnificent Mount Conner. I was amazed because the rock formation that Mount Conner has which stands around the area of Red Centre is another piece of huge rock formation in the middle of the desert and its  distinguished shape still notable compared to Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

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— Our Tour Guide

— Lasseter Highway

After enjoying Mount Conner from a distance, we crossed Lasseter Highway to enjoy the nearby desert with perfect sand dunes, we walked around the area and played the sands, we saw the lake as well and discovered a unique species in the outback desert called Ngiyari or Thorny Devil.

— Lake

— Desert sand dunes

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— Ngiyari (Thorny Devil)

The rest of the afternoon spent in the road while we were on our way to Kings Creek station for our third and last day adventure in Kings Canyon. It was another worth experience I had in the outback of Australia. And though I was quite sad that the adventure will be over soon, I was still excited for the next adventure.

Until then.

Uluru / Ayers Rock – An Island Mountain Rock With Sacred Significance And Australia’s Outback Landmark

The top on my list of places that I dreamed to visit when I was in Australia are places they usually called “Outback”.  When I heard this word in relation to places I tried to understand what it mean. One case is, it is a place with nature which far from civilizations, another definition I think is, it is like a safari places similar to a natural zoo and a remote jungle or forest in the mountain ranges.

For me “Outback” is a place where you feel you’re one of the few person exist in earth because you will feel isolated from metropolis. It is a place where you don’t need mobile phone and you will experience to be disconnected to the world. It is a place where you can enjoy bonfire at night while talking to someone with you or while your mind are wondering somewhere. It is a place where you can sleep in tent or swag while enjoying stars at night or while listening to cricket sound. It’s a place where you can listen to your  breathing and heart beat which in rhythm to your own pace while drifting around. It’s also a place that gives inspiration to anyone and reminds oneself that it is worth to live in our world again.

There was a long weekend in Australia during the time I scheduled my “Outback Adventure” because it was coincided with the Holy week being celebrated worldwide and the whole country of Australia has two public holidays for it (Friday and Monday) which I put together with the weekend with the additional one day vacation leave to have a chance in a lifetime to experience the outback adventure. This was happened between March 29 to April 02, year 2013.

I booked my flight from Melbourne to Alice Spring through Qantas domestic flight. Because the available flight to Alice Spring from Melbourne were just few times in a day and I need at least four hours air travel to reach the town, I already allotted the first day of my holiday for my travel from Melbourne to Alice Spring. And because I was on a tight budget, I chose a flight with layover in Adelaide for few hours on the way to Alice Spring.

— Adelaide Airport (waiting for my connecting flight to Alice Springs)

I left Melbourne early in the morning as my flight was around 7AM to Adelaide. Then, I arrived in Adelaide past 8AM (Melbourne is ahead of 30 minutes) and I reached Alice Spring after 12PM in the afternoon. Because it was my first Outback travel in Australia and it’s happening in Red Centre, I felt deep excitement within myself.

From the airport I took the available  shuttle bus service (which I booked in advance to secure a seat) to my hotel which served by Alice Wanderer. Going around a few streets in the town proper of Alice Springs from the airport, I observed that it is a small town and along the roads we passed, we saw some Aboriginals (the race group of first people in Australia). The shuttle driver care to comment that there’s organisation who cares to train them to live properly with community but still it’s not easy, so they built home centers in the town for their needs. After few more minutes in the road when lunch time was almost over, I arrived in Chifley Alice Springs Resort where I spent my first night in Outback.

Because I still have vacant time in the afternoon in Alice Spring, at the hotel I tried to call few tour companies to inquire if there were still half day tour or evening tour that were available around Alice Spring and nearby area, but unfortunately my inquiries were not successful because there was no available tour and if there was one, I verified that the tour meeting time was over. I was a bit disappointed because I spent my afternoon time  in the hotel without discovering anything just the simple interior of the hotel room  and doing nothing. The only thing I did was dinner in the hotel.

I rested early in the evening that night as the next day was start of my exciting adventure. I booked three-days tour camp in ntstandby.com.au  website and selected an Emu Run Tours with a package of “Alice Springs to Uluru, Olgas, Kings Canyon – 3 Day Camping Tour – All Inclusive” in Red Centre and the major itineraries were: Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (Olgas) and Kings Canyon.

Day 1 – Uluru / Ayers Rock

I woke-up early in the morning, most of my stuff in my backpack were still intact because I never pulled out most of my things since I only spent overnight in the hotel. I left my room and I was checking out the hotel when the mini tour bus arrived at the front of the lobby. The tour guide was looking for me and I mentioned I was only processing my  check out in the hotel. Then, after completing my check out I jumped in to the bus and sat comfortably. Inside the bus there were other tourists aside from me. We picked-up the other tourist until the bus got full. We stopped in an open market that morning to buy few stuff like water and food. Next thing happened, we were leaving the town. While leaving the town, I tried to checked in my phone’s GPS the location we were which I usually does most of the time of my travel.

— Some shots early in the morning along Stuart Highway just after leaving Alice Springs town.

Not farm from town, while we were in Stuart Highway I saw Macdonell Ranges, the first mountain ranges I saw in the outback and one of its end is just beside Alice Spring.

— Snapshots along the Stuart Highway before reaching Camel Farm

After leaving the town, we took four hours or more to reach Uluru / Ayers Rock. And we were 17 in the group including our driver tour guide.

In between that travel, we stopped at Camel Farm (Camels Australia) which located near in Alice Springs and beside Stuart Highway around Hugh area, a place where we experienced a camel ride. At first, I was hesitated to try it, but after I saw my group in the tour enjoying the camel ride, I decided to try it as well. There were two camels available for the ride in the farm at the time we arrived, having two camels was an advantage for me because it reduce my nervousness because of the idea of having someone together in the riding adventure. We queued and waited few minutes before our turn. And my apprehension grew as I saw other riders screamed and surprised during the entire adventure rides.

When it was our turn, I felt nervous. We approached our camels which already in sitting position where it’s  four knees bended and its stomach bottom laid in the ground. I climbed on its right side, seated on its back, just after the highest tip of its curve on its back. While sitting on camel’s back I immediately noticed the difference between the horse’ back and camel’s back, the seat location is higher and incline for the first one while its lower and straight for the latter one.

— The camels

The camel guide started to direct our camels and we strode a few distance. Then, in the middle of the track our camels run a bit faster which was the most exciting experience we had during the ride. In few minutes our camel slows down to walking mode until we reached the point where we started. When I tried to get off to the ground the first time, my camel moved surprisingly, I sat back again and waited until my camel settles down. Overall it was a great experience not to forget.

— Camel Ride Adventure

My partner in camel ride and I walked back to the farm station where we paid the camel ride ticket, we both looked around to see if we can buy something. Then in few more minutes, our guide announced that we were leaving the camel farm.

— Snapshots capture along Stuart Highway after coming from Camel Farm

— Passing Hugh River along Stuart Highway

— Looking towards Titjikala

— Captured while traveling along Stuart Highway

We were back in the road. It was a longer trip compared from what we had before reaching the camel farm. We sojourn the huge desert plain. It was the first time I experienced traveling in an outback desert. The desert we traveled upon was dry, red sandy dunes with combination of dry grassland desert. It was not a desert similar to Middle East or Africa which majority of it are perfect sand dunes. During the road trip, we either slept or ate to make the time passed by. During that time, I felt we traveled so long. But it was surprising that only two hours had passed. I reminisce my travel time back home which I used to do, I commuted two hours or more to work but I never felt it was so long, I just thought that maybe because in the desert there is really nothing to see aside from few highlands from afar and a vast empty plain. I was not really bored during the trip, it’s just the feeling that the travel felt too long to bear.

We did stopped over in one of the store to be found along Stuart Highway. It was a store where we can buy drinks, food and some souvenirs. Our tour guide prepared something for our lunch and he gave it to each one of us. We took sometime for our lunch and after spending time at the store we returned to our tour bus and traveled the road again.

We did another stopped in Erldunda, a small town to passed by before turning right to Lasseter Highway  coming from Alice Springs where we refilled our tank. I can imagine passing gas station without refilling and traveling in a remote desert where the nearest town that can immediately  get help is very far and more if no mobile signal available. While we were waiting to refill our tank, there were two huge interesting animal figure display around Erldunda, a huge echidna and frill neck lizard. While taking Lasseter Highway, along the road I saw a table mountain from a distance wherein later I learned it was Mount Conner.

— Mount Conner from a distance

As we were getting closer to the place where we intended to be, I noticed between the road we were driving are  red and sandy ground which become orange or red-orange. When I  witnessed it, I realized that it made sense to me why the place is called Red Centre, it’s not only because of Uluru / Ayers Rock which become red, orange or purple depends on the time of sun rays struck on it but also, because of the color of the land itself. We continued our trip and I felt excited when I saw Uluru / Ayers Rock from a far. Seeing it, felt like realizing one of my greatest travel dream. It’s the reality of being in the Red Centre – The Outback of Australia.

–Some snapshots around the Red Centre where the land color is red-orange

As I laid my eyes to Uluru / Ayers Rock, heavy rain fell which was surprisingly happened in such kind of place. Based from our tour guide, raining is seldom to happen in the area but that day it happened, it’s not just drizzle, its heavy rain where you need to wear raincoat and umbrella. For me it was an extraordinary experience raining in a desert place. Before we went straight to Uluru / Ayers Rock, we drove around the nearby town named Yulara to choose our sleeping area because part of our camping tour for our first night was sleeping in an open space with our swag. While checking out places, we saw low-rise hotels which emphasized by our tour guide that a two storey house unit in the town cost too much like a luxury home in the desert. Few more minutes passed, we found a camping area and our tour guide made an arrangement. We found a vacant lot with kitchen where we can cook something for our dinner and breakfast the next morning.

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— One of the accommodation to be found around the nearby town in Uluru  / Ayers Rock

We drove back to Uluru / Ayers Rock and we were back to Lassetter Highway as we were getting closer, I realized it is a huge island mountain rock with more than 800+ masl (meters above sea level). It was amazing that in the middle of the desert, there is such kind of natural landmark like Uluru / Ayers Rock.

Since it still raining, from the nearby town, we bought rain coat as most of the group planned to walked around Uluru / Ayers Rock and I was one of them. First, we visited the park museum called Anangu Cultural Centre to look for some of the Anangu aboriginal material display as information about Uluru / Ayers Rock and their community. Initially, there were tourist in our group wanted to climb the summit of the mountain rock but because it rained that day, the climb was prohibited for safety precautions.