Australia is renowned for its beautiful beaches, iconic cities, eclectic wildlife and of course a ‘dreamy’ lifestyle. What a lot of people don’t realise is that Australia also is home to some of the most incredible raw wilderness and isolated communities the world can offer.
The centre of Australia is where this true hidden beauty becomes a reality. The journey from Adelaide to Darwin would take us through nearly two thousand miles of this wondrous wild country. Civilisation really takes a back seat here, with a few sporadic hamlets appearing out of nowhere. These towns all hold their own stories and have to contest with the extreme conditions, including +50 degree centigrade heat and the lack of water. You have to be a very hard person to choose to live in some of these conditions, however they accept the challenge and successfully battle it every day.
The Australian desert is a vast barren landscape, its most imposing quality is its seemingly endless size. Stepping out of the bus for just a minute, firstly you are hit by the temperature, next the brightness of the sun, and then you get a sense of isolation. This desert is not the ‘beautiful’ sand dune Arabian type that you automatically picture when thinking about the word, but a collection of scorched orange dirt, dust and rock. The majority of people who visit don’t take the time to really appreciate what this place has to offer. It offers silence, true silence, I don’t think I have witnessed anything like it.
It also offers endless roads, dramatic sunsets, huge salt-pans, aboriginal heritage sites, hidden wildlife and clarity…
The most renowned location on this epic journey is the iconic Uluru, known to a lot of the western world as Ayres Rock. We stayed in a nearby motel, which offered the beauty of a swimming pool! Believe me you have never really experienced the beauty of a swimming pool until you’ve been in forty degree heat for a number of hours.
Uluru itself is a marvel, a sandstone formation that stands 348 m with very little else in sight. It’s such a contrast against the generally flat landscape. It is sacred to the Aboriginal people, and is said to house hundreds of spirits and be linked to the original creation. As a sacred site, the Aboriginals ask that you don’t climb the structure or take anything from the site. Although not a believer myself, I respect the teachings and word of the locals and as such respected their wishes (although many didn’t).
To fully appreciate this Australian wilderness, a night sleeping under the stars is a must. The idea of sleeping rough in swag bags wasn’t one that appealed to me originally, but being able to witness the cold come in, be at one with the wilderness and see the stars was just incredible. The sky however was one of the best I had ever seen. As darkness fell, the sky transformed into the most incredible light show I had ever seen. Millions of stars littered the sky, blue and green tints filling the gaps and the blackness surrounding it. Then the highlight 10-15 shooting stars, as clear as I have ever seen them. An incredibly magical night in an overlooked wilderness paradise.
Uluru is not the only location on this epic trip, with locations such as the Parachilna, the Flinders Range, Coober Pedy and Kings Canyon all offering amazing Wandering Memory experiences.
Take the time to see more of Australia’s hidden beauty!