We woke early to the sound of “Give me a home Among the a gum Trees” our alarm for the next two mornings. A song for me which would become the theme song for the trip and Central Australia for me.
“Give me a home among the gum trees, with lots of plum trees. A kangaroo, a sheep or two and clothes line out the back. A verandah out the front and an old rocking chair”
A rather chilly rise and shine at 5:30am to make sunrise over Uluru. So after a quick breakfast by the fire we took off to the look off, which was thankfully only a short brisk walk from the campsite. We were the first group up there which was great as we could stand where we wished without the worry of blocking views. Cameras at the ready, scarfs, hats and jumpers on, we stood and took in the morning sun and watched as Uluru changed to its daylight shade of orange.
We had quite the schedule to keep and loads of ground to cover so we hopped back on the bus after a run back down the hill and headed to the next view point to see the Olga mountains. They were named after Queen Olga of Wüttemberg in 1872 by he explorer Ernest Giles. This area is also called the valley of the winds and would be our hike for the day. There are two different routes which lead to the look off between two of the round dome like mountains. We chose the longer route which takes you down and into the valley and then back up to the Karingana Lookout. Its a stunning walk and we got a geography and a small botany lesson included. The rocks in this area are conglomerate rocks a mixture of granite, basalt and the deep red sandstone. And like Uluru they seem to appear out of nowhere in the middle of the dessert.
This took the rest of the morning so we were pretty hungry by the end of it. Jodie told us our lunch break would be at the Uluru Camel Farm for a self catered BBQ. Lunches, dinners and breakfasts were all catered for on the trip and minus dinners we all were the chefs and cleaners as well which was nice as everyone pitched in. Hamburgers and hotdogs with pasta salad after a 4hr hike was perfect. At the ranch if you wanted to you could go for a camel ride. We just looked on, although I did take the time to take a camel selfie who decided afterwards he rather liked the look of my camera strap and had a nibble. It took three of us to figure out how to tell him to drop it. Not quite the same as a dog. There is a small museum there as well detailing the history of the camel in the outback. The first camels was brought to the outback in 1860 for an exploration of the outback and between 1860 and 1907 between 10-12,000 were imported into Australia to act as “working”camels, carrying goods across the desert.
From there we had to reach our campsite for the night which was at Kings Creek Station. This is a lovely ranch where you get can get gas, sit and have a nice lunch or use their wifi. I discovered their brownie! It was delicious and made by a Japanese lady who ran the station. Well worth the visit if solely for a brownie. The campsite as well is lovely. Large open space, clean facilities and well sectioned off so you feel like you are still in the middle of nowhere. By the time we arrived, set up camp, made dinner, celebrated a 21st with surprise birthday cake and a couple’s 100th day together complete with a little cake, the stars had come out and our heads were drooping. It didn’t take long for us to curl up in our swags like old pros and settle down for our night time slumber. Our last night in the Australian Outback.