Anita Reid Guest Blogger writes about Outback Australia
Some women seek adventure on their holidays to have an amazing experience that pushes them as much it enriches them. It’s the philosophy I take with me when I travel. What is the point of going somewhere new and spending your time buried underneath luxury service, manicured gardens and marble-top bars. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy a 1000 thread-count made-up mattress on which to lay my weary head after a day of exploring, it’s just that I make it my aim to get out and have an adventure on at least 50% of the days of my holiday.
Australia is one of those places that has the best of both worlds, well, really, all worlds. It has white sandy beaches, sprawling bushlands, breath-taking gorges and rocky-tipped peaks and stretching rust-drenched deserts. A place that has as much beauty as mystery. It is a dichotomy of unbelievable natural sights mixed with urbanised city centres. In the outback, however there is only nature and really that’s all you need.
Ayres Rock – Uluru
I went to Ayres Rock, or as the locals know it ‘Uluru’ with Virgin Australia who had some great deals going. Uluru is an Aboriginal icon which is a burnt orange pinnacle of dirt that is smattered across leaflets and brochures for Australia. Standing in front of such a monolithic rock reminds you of how small we are compared with the mighty forces of nature.
Steeped in Aboriginal history and Dreamtime significance Ayres Rock is on the World Heritage List for its natural and cultural values.
Ayres Rock Adventure
I spent time traipsing through the glorious Kata Tjuta National Park taking in the lush landscape and native plants. By venturing there from late afternoon I was able to take photographs of the rock as each part hour passed in order to capture its beauty in changing light. It was amazing to see the difference. To complement my afternoon in the great outdoors I decided to participate in the Table 131 degrees dinner tour which takes the indoors, outdoors with their perfect marriage of local meats with native tastes. It was a perfect end to the day enjoying an inspiring meal set in the haunting beauty of Ayres Rock.
Climbing Ayres Rock
One thing to note is the controversy surrounding climbing Uluru. There are two sides to the coin at present with conservationists believing the practice places undue pressure on the environment. Likewise some local Aboriginal elders feel that it impinges on their cultural and religious boundaries. For a fee you can climb, but it is up to you.
One thing is certain; however, that if you decide to climb you will be met with the most extraordinary views.
The area surrounding Ayres Rock is called Yulara. It is quiet and traditional – limited shopping available. The area focuses on the tourist trade and offers minimal big city amenities. There are numerous ways to spend your time and travelling dollars.
I enjoy adventure so I chose to do more of the physical day tours:
- Kings Canyon, part of the Watarrka National Park. I took a day tour here on my multiday tour of the region. The climb to the top from the boulder-strewn floor did take me nearly three hours, but the stunning views from the top made it worthwhile.
- Kings Creek Station A quad bike tour to take in the scenery of the outskirts of the Kata Tjuta National Park. It was a mad but amazing adventure ride.
- The Olgas To take in The Olgas and experience the expanse of the National Park I took the Valley of the Winds walk which is a three-hour trek across the stunning landscape of The Olgas, Kata Tjuta National Park and Ayres Rock.
There are ways to experience the Australian Outback without having to compromise your comfort or invest in heavy-duty walking shoes:
- The Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing area is accessible by vehicles limiting the need for walking. It overlooks the park and The Olgas and is best seen at peaceful and beautiful sunrise.
- Take an Ayers Rock Helicopter scenic flight to experience the magnificence of Uluru. The pilots are knowledgeable tour guides who can also capture the magic moment on film for you to cherish.
The Australian Outback, or red centre, gave me not only an adventure but a valuable reminder of how interlinked we are to nature. It was an unforgettable experience full of history, culture and natural splendour that I am sure would appeal to a woman with any type of personality.