When I started planning my trip to Australia it never came to my mind to travel through the desert during the summer season. I’ve decided to add the three weeks of extreme experience to my itinerary when the company I work for offered me a big discount for the trip. That’s how I ended up on a 19-day Topdeck trip starting in Melbourne, passing through Adelaide, Alice Springs and finishing up in Darwin. Of course it also included a wide Outback experience.
A day before the trip the temperature in Melbourne reached 42 degrees which made it very difficult for a tourist like me to do any form of sightseeing. I was very happy to stay in air-conditioned rooms that day. The next day temperature dropped to 20 degrees and the first day of the tour welcomed us with rain and cold wind. Ohhh, this Victorian weather!
From Melbourne to Adelaide we drove along the Great Ocean Road and we got to see a lot of beautiful spots (a lot of rocks, beautiful coast and MacKenzie Fall). We even spotted a koala bear sitting on a tree! How damn cute are they!! We finished the day watching the sunset at the “Twelve Apostles” in very extreme weather conditions (rain and strong wind) but it was still beautiful.
After leaving Adelaide we felt like the guys from ‘Priscilla queen of the desert’ movie and were looking forward to all the adventures ahead. In Clare Valley we visited a winery and got to try some local wine (at 10am) so the followed lunch was very jolly haha. We spent our Christmas day in Quorn – don’t even ask where it is and why. It was a very different experience to have a warm Christmas. Usually when I walk in shorts and flip-flops people don’t wish me Merry Christmas but eventually I accepted the new environment and put my Santa hat on.
We made our way to Coober Pedy which is an underground city. Around 80% of the population lives inside rocks or underground which is quite exciting as we got to stay in an underground hostel too. We also visited a kangaroo orphanage where we saw baby roos being fed. And we even pet them which was very exciting.
On my birthday we made it to Alice Springs where we had a nice relaxing afternoon and could have a few birthday drinks and shots. I don’t know if that was the heat but my head was spinning around a little. In the next two days we got to see the famous Uluru rock which is situated in Central Australia and which is a sacred place to the Aboriginal people. Our tour guide took us around the rock and explained us a lot about the culture and show us different paintings that could have been up to 4000 years old. So when you say that Australia is a young country – think about Aboriginal people who have lived here for almost 40000 years!
Now, a very important information for anyone who is planning to go to the Outback – buy yourself a face net to protect you from the most annoying flies on the planet. They will come into your ears, nose and mouth if you open it in a wrong moment. That was a massive turn off for me but I tried to take it as a part of the experience.
The next few days involved a lot of hiking around the local areas. We made it to the top of the King’s Canyon which provided us with the most amazing views you can get in the Outback – at least in my opinion. And the drag queens from the ‘Priscilla’ movie made it there to the top too which was fun to follow their steps. In the last two days we visited Kakadu National Park where we swam in water holes surrounded by beautiful waterfalls and we did river cruise where we spotted a few crocodiles.
The tour ended in Darwin where I had to say goodbye to my travel companions. We had a very diverse and fun group. I will definitely miss everyone and hopefully our paths will cross again one day in the future.
Australian Outback was definitely an interesting experience and I’m happy I’ve done it. I saw a lot and managed to learn a lot about the Aboriginal culture. I also ate a kangaroo steak, camel burger and countless Aussie BBQs. Not sure if I ever go back there but you never know what might happen in the future. Anyway, quoting my amazing tour guide: “See ya. Bye”.