Sadly, I'm about to share my last Australia post with you. Before you start worrying, I haven't depressingly named this blog 'The Sunset Post' as the sun sets on my time in Oz, there was just a heck of a lot of sunset viewings. Even though this is my last post, ironically this post actually contains my first days in the outback. Why have I chosen this backwards method of posting? Well let me tell you, friend. The first two sites I visited, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, are incredibly sacred to the aboriginal people and consequently, photos for journalism must be approved by the National Park. I now have an approved selection to share with you and I'm so excited to finally let you into this very special part of the outback.
First off, an essential stop. Tourist photo opportunity with Uluru. The rock itself is incredible. The shape is so different from the rock formations of Europe. We'll chat more about Uluru later though.
For now, I want to show you my "holding Uluru" picture. Epic failure, isn't it?
After my failed attempts we headed to the base of Uluru to walk around the perimeter.
There are so many stories told about Uluru by the Aboriginal people that explain why rivets and dips in the rock exist. The rock seems so smooth, its as if it has been sculpted softly by giant hands. The shapes make the Aboriginal stories of creation come to life.
Strangely, up close it almost looks volcanic.
Whilst the rock seems an orange red colour from a distance, up close it is stained in many different colours making the rock faces seem dramatic and quite staggering as you look up.
There are some simply breath-taking angles.
Uluru is a strange and almost roaming like formation. It seems to spill across the ground in a smooth, frozen avalanche of rock. Incredibly, two thirds of this formation is still actually underground. So the whole thing is huge.
If you ever get the chance to visit I highly recommend you walk the entire base. There are shorter walking options but the base route is only 8km and that is 2 hours very well spent! For more information on visiting, click here.
I selfied with Uluru. Shadow me with camera next to the huge orange rock on blue sky. I know it's kinda weird, but I like it.
After we finished the base walk we headed out to one of Uluru's best viewing points and popped open the bubbly. It was a crazy, crazy experience and amazing first taste of the outback.
Watching the sun set over Uluru was incredible. Whilst the rock is awesome the open outback sky is also so, so beautiful.
I wanted to try and give you an idea of how Uluru changes as the sun sets. The rock changes colour throughout the day.
It is a pretty beautiful sight, so even if you try and grab a spot you will probably have to share in the end.
I took about 150 photos of Uluru in about half an hour and I managed to whittle down my favourite to one. No pressure photo, be wonderful.
New friends look at ancient and wonderful sites. Mind boggling life, hey?
After an evening together listening to everyone's stories and how they came to be in the outback we grabbed a little sleep under the stars and headed out at the crack of dawn to catch Uluru in a different light.
Sunrise was quiet, moving and very special. Whilst photographers, tourists and those drinking in the view jostled alike, the sun crept up and began to light up the sky.
It was fantastic, if not a little (very) cold.
Behind me is Kata Tjuta and I'm sad to tell you that this is the only photo I can share with you on LLK. Kata Tjuta is a very sacred place and consequently I can't share any more of my photos of my day there with you. I can only urge you to visit to share in its beauty and its magnificent splendor.
After an incredible day hiking through Kata Tjuta we spent the evening at King's Creek camp. We managed to catch the sunset. As you can see, Thomas secured the best view.
More champagne by sunset. STA Travel do backpacking tours in style!
Sharing such incredible and sacred places together draws people together. By day two, I saw friends in each I traveled with.
More incredibly landscapes. Australia is so good at beautiful landscapes.
We headed back to camp to feast on marshmallows and a bread made simply of beer and flour and cooked in the fire, called damper. Great with nutella, but Aussies insist on vegemite...
We also had a little kangaroo tail. Yeah, tail. Thrown into the fire to burn off the hair and brown the meat and then cleaved into chunks. Tastes a little bit like lamb shanks.
We sat around the fire with mugs of wine or beer and enjoyed the view of the Milky Way.
Bellies full of all sorts of outback fare we settled down into our swags. I am so excited to finally share with you what I was sleeping in during my time in the outback. Canvas bedrolls on the floor in the light of the fire.
It was an unexpected crazy amount of fun. Wrapping up against the cold and hunkering down gazing up at the black sky peppered with thousands of stars. That night I saw shooting star after shooting star. It was one of my favourite moments of the trip. Magic.
And with that, sadly, I have come to the end of this post.
Australia it's been bloody incredible.
Appropriate to peace out with a sunset sky.