Monday, 19 April 2010

My Northern Territory Holiday - Amazing Scenery

To help myself get back into the rhythm of my normal life, I am going to spend the next few weeks posting about various aspects of my holiday to Alice Springs and Uluru/Ayers Rock.  For today's post I thought I would share some of the many pictures we took of the amazing landscape we saw on our travels.
 
 
Malcolm with miss 2 and miss 4 at  Standley Chasm (Angkerle), just outside of Alice Springs

I would love to share all of my photos with you, but I have to admit that after a while, the various rock formations and caves all sort of blur into one if you weren't actually there when the photos were taken.
The landscape of the Northern Territory is like nothing else I've experienced before.  It is a fairly dry and barren landscape (with the exception of the day we arrived where we were treated to an unusually large downpour just as we were picking up our hire car) with predominantly red soil and marked at various places by large, and often odd-looking, rock formations, hills and mountains.

My mum walking through a rock formation on the trail to Standley Chasm

I was quite unprepared for the number of dry (or mostly dry) riverbeds, streams and creeks we saw on our travels.  After the downpour we witnessed on our arrival in Alice Springs, the locals told us about how flooded the Todd River was compared to its normal state.  For someone from Melbourne who had experienced freak storms and floods in March, the flooded Todd River didn't look particularly flooded.  However, six days after our arrival in Alice Springs, we saw just how quickly the river could dry up if there was no rainfall!

The view of Simpsons Gap from the mostly dry riverbed (and miss 4 being a bird or aeroplane down the bottom of the picture, LOL)

I was also quite unprepared for the difficulty of many of the interesting walks and trails around Alice Springs and the nearby gaps and gorges.  The trail up to the Standley Chasm was rocky to the extreme and made more difficult by the many little streams and pools of water we had to navigate.  When we visited the Emily and Jessie Gaps, we had to practically long jump over small streams to get to our destination (not fun while carrying a two or four year old).  We unfortunately had to stop when we reached large pools of water which we decided not to wade through due to a lack of swimwear and towels and the amount of non-waterproof gear we were carrying.

View of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) as the sun was setting

The 5 hour drive from Alice Springs to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park provided us with a rather flat and barren landscape, making the drive a relatively monotonous one.  The relatively flat landscape served to accentuate the size and beauty of Uluru and Kata Tjuta - it was so exciting to be able to see them in the distance while we were still on the road.  We did get fooled for a few minutes by Mount Connor - this mountain is apparently frequently confused for Uluru at first glance.  We were so excited to see Mount Connor, and really surprised to be able to see "Uluru" when we were not that close to the national park.  Once we had calmed down, we realised that we were too far away from the national park and the shape and size were not right for the real Uluru, ha ha ha.  It did give us a good laugh and broke up the monotony of the journey.

The sky over Kata Tjuta at sunset

One of the most beautiful things we saw on our trip was not actually the landscape, but the sky.  Sunset and sunrise at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park are stunningly beautiful!  We managed to view the sunset on the first night we spent at the national park, although the lateness of the sunset and the long drive back to our accomodation meant that we sat  down to a very late dinner.  We had hoped to view the sunrise over Uluru the next morning, but decided it was too much of a rush to fit into our already packed schedule (and very hard waking up early enough to view the sunrise from a decent location).

A view of Uluru (Ayers Rock) from the car

I hope you have all enjoyed the pictures I have included in this post.  I know some of them aren't brilliant and most of them really do not do justice to the fascinating sights we saw.  If you are planning to visit Alice Springs or Uluru in the near future, feel free to drop me a line and I can give you my perspective of travelling in these areas.

One of several caves one sees on the Mala walk to the Kantju Gorge at Uluru

14 comments:

  1. What an amazing holiday!! Your photos are fabulous

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to visit NT, looks so amazing!

    Gaby xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow - I've never been to the Red Centre before. I would love to go - it looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks like you had a great holiday! We went to Darwin and then Katherine and around. It was fun, a bit too hot for me though. Saw lots of crocs but as it was the end of the dry season, we were still able to swim in many of the water holes. A welcome relief from the sun! Didn't get to Uluru - my husband had already been there and so we decided to see things neither of us had been to.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, the Standley Chasm is amazing!! Great shots :) love the red rocks, it does look very dry & barren. Gorgeous sunset the stars must have been amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great photos, Deb.
    It is an amazing landscape - and boy! the sunsets!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The colours truly are beautiful, went there well over 10 years ago and still remember how blue the sky was. Glad you had a great holiday

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow these are great pics! So glad you had a good holiday. I read "A Town Like Alice" last summer so I was particularly interested!

    ReplyDelete
  9. TY for the wonderful photos. I doubt we'll take a trip there, so seeing it through your eyes and camera is a blessing. Didn't God do a good job!?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful pics, Deb. Sounds like a great adventure!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Looks great Deb. I've never been to the NT but would like to one day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amazingly beautiful... We can never do justice to God's great gifts!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Deb,

    It looks like you had a fantastic holiday!!! Gorgeous photos!! Thank you for sharing!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very fun - I've never seen much Aus. landscape. Those mountains are so different than the mountains here in Oregon. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

I love finding out what my readers think, so thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...