Wow. I didn’t realise I’d forgotten to upload the last two days of these.
The next morning we were up and going early. We soon arrived in Alice Springs.
We saw the sights and had a drive around. Including Charles Darwin University:
And a place called “Anzac Hill”, a memorial to those who’d died and served in war.
At the top, I realised that I’d been up Anzac Hill before – when I went to Central Australia with school, some seven (!) years ago now.
We drove on through and around the town and found other things to see. Like the monument to four people who died during the “Inaugural Cannonball Run” in 1994. You can find out more information about the race and monument here. (It’s located to the south of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway.)
We also took a squiz at the Cultural Centre and town square. We’d had the luck to visit during NAIDOC week, so there were events going on. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of those.
Eventually, we had to travel on, aiming for Uluru.
The next morning, we awoke early. We’d spent another night “free-camping” just outside the national park (Uluru campsite itself – Yulara – was full), to take the total to three. We had set our alarms to wake us before dawn. I remembered seeing the sunset at Uluru last time and wanted to experience a sunrise with family.
So off we went.
We found a good spot in the designated viewing area (they have different ones for sunrise and sunset), then set up to take photos.
I’m so glad the climbing ban’s been placed… There are plenty of different ways to experience the place with respect.
We took photos of the distant Olgas too.
It would’ve been nice to do a ranger-guided walk around all of Uluru, as I’d done with school, but time was against us. The tour started too late and went too “long” for our purposes, due to a scheduled flight. Before I left on that plane though we went close to the Rock at Mutitjulu waterhole and did a little walk, exploring the story told there.
We visited the Uluru cultural centre and saw the displays. Including hearing a talk by a ranger and Indigenous people about various tools the Indigenous people of the area use/d. Hint: boomerang is not universal. The Pitjantjatjara people call it a kali. (For more words, see this link: Pitjantjatjara words – Tools.)
And then we were off on the road again, for the last time on the trip together…. (For context, I had made the decision to fly back to Melbourne while others continued back down the highway, because it got me back in time for placement with a couple of days to regroup.)
Before long, we arrived at the airport…and it was soon time for boarding.
As we were told at the start of the flight by the pilot, the flight took us south of Coober Pedy, near Leigh Creek (? At least, I think that was the name of it), over Lake Eyre North, south of the Flinders Ranges, above Mildura to Bendigo then over the outer suburbs to land in Melbourne. In other words, I reflected, it used a similar route to our trip. I liked the symmetry of that.
Here’s Lake Eyre North:
The flight was pretty good. Before long though – quicker than I’d expected – we were flying over the outskirts of Melbourne…
Ready for landing.
But my journey back wasn’t yet complete. I went out and had to choose between the SkyBus then train, or a PTV bus and ended up choosing the latter (cheaper and not much longer). After another hour and a half, I was back home.