Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 1 - Alice Springs to Ayers Rock Campground - Northern Territory

We had the most amazing adventure in Northern Territory. I absolutely fell in love with the outback and Australia, all over again! We did so much in just 5 days and took lots of photos, so here is a recap of our holiday, day by day.
Day 1 we flew into Alice Springs. This is us on the plane. We traveled with our friends, Bruce and Claire and had a fantastic time with them. They're great fun!
This is me waiting for the boys to get our Britz van. They make road trips and camping super easy, although this time wasn't quite as relaxing as some of our previous holidays in the camper vans. We were not the only ones living in the Britz. We shared the space with mice! Yikes!
We did a huge grocery shop in Alice Springs and got enough food and drinks to get us through 5 days. There isn't a whole lot of shopping in the outback once you you hit the road and what you do find is very expensive. Gas was $2.14 a litre!
On the first day we drove about 450km from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock Resort Campground where we spent our first night. The roads are very flat and the speed limit is 130km for a lot of the drive. It was weird to legally be able to drive that fast! It made 100km an hour seem like we were crawling.
Our first pit stop found us at a road side rest stop where we got our first up close experience with the red soil. It's just so red out there!

Bruce and Claire had their van upgraded to the larger size. This is big brother van and little brother van taking a rest.
Me and Claire. We look quite good here, I must say. After 5 days and limited showers, we definitely weren't looking quite so spiffy! :)
We also stopped at this rest stop where they offered free camping, complete with showers, laundry and toilets that were labeled "Sheila's and Bloke's"...very Aussie! I was really impressed by the fact that you could just camp at most rest stops for free along the way. Very handy!
We got excited when we saw this in the distance, about 100km from Ayers Rock Campground. It's not Ayers Rock though, this is Mount Connor and is actually three times larger than Uluru. Strangely, I've never even heard of it but it is quite impressive when you see it hovering in the distance!
We saw a really pretty sunset on our first night as we got closer and closer to our destination.
You really need to watch for wildlife when driving at night. They have more animals than people living in the Northern Territory, everything from kangaroos to wild horses, camels, donkeys, rabbits, etc... We even saw wild emu by the side of the road, along with lots of hawks and other pretty birds.
It was nice to arrive at the campground, although it was packed! This time of year is their busy season and we actually had to camp our first night in their overfill space, basically a large field. We didn't care though, we unpacked a little and then kicked up our feet for some snacks and drinks. The best part of camping, if you ask me! :)

We headed to bed early, tired from a long day of driving and looking forward to an early morning and a full day at Uluru. Stay tuned for day 2 photos!


Visible Voice said...

Sofun! Love the super red dirt!

Nick and Mariana Vona said...

Looks so beautiful! Keep posting the rest of the days =)

George said...

Cool. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Didn't the red soil remind you of
P.E.I. ....looks like a cool place.

Cari said...

Joe...yes! It reminded us so much of PEI! We said that a couple of times. :)

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