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australia. bridges

Australia, Travel

The Outback with Mulgas Adventure Tours

December 1, 2014

One of the most iconic symbols of Australia is that big ol’ rock they have in the centre, Uluru. I was desperate to visit Uluru during our time in Australia because I felt that by visiting the Aussie Outback, I would be experiencing the ‘real’ Australia. So last month we finally made it to the Red Centre and took part in a 3 day tour with Mulgas Adventure Tours.

The tour picks you up from your accommodation in Alice Springs at 6am on Day 1. Alice Springs is the nearest city to Uluru and it’s still about a six hour drive away which just goes to show how big Australia is. Aside from a few stops at random roadhouses, the first morning is spent in a coach. Your coach driver is also your tour guide so you do get a bit of information as you’re travelling. This journey will make you realise just how little there is in the middle of Australia. It’s amazing how little the terrain changes over hundreds of kilometres.

You arrive at camp in time for lunch. Your coach driver/tour guide now adds the role of Chef to their job title. Our guide was called Lockie and he was very good at his job with a good balance of informative and fun. Our group also helped prepare the meals and I think this is standard across every tour. After lunch, it’s finally time to head to Uluru! We’d had our first glimpse of the rock from a distance but nothing prepares you for how big it is.

The Mulgas tour gives you time to walk around the base of Uluru which is about 10.5km. I just couldn’t believe how long it took us to walk around it, every time you thought you were near the end, you would turn a corner and realise there was still a lot more to see. Lockie told us some of the Aboriginal dreamtime stories about Uluru which are really interesting and it’s good to find out what makes Uluru so sacred to the Aboriginal people.

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Once the base walk is completed, you head to the sunset viewing area to watch how the colours of the rock change as  the sun goes down. The change is quite subtle so it’s best to take a picture of Uluru every 5 minutes and look back on your photographs afterwards. If I’m honest, I didn’t think it was that impressive. I think this feeling comes from seeing photos of Uluru at sunset which were clearly taken by professional photographers.

This trip gave me one of my favourite travel memories to date, sleeping under the stars in the Australian Outback in a swag. A swag is like a big canvas sleeping bag and looks like this.

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With next to no artificial light at the campsite, the stars look truly amazing.

Day 2 involves a beautiful early morning wake-up call of 4am. However it is totally worth it to go and see the sunrise at Uluru. Next up is another big walk of about 8km around Kata Tjuta which is another rock formation near to Uluru. In my opinion it’s actually more impressive than Uluru and the walk is a lot more interesting as there is more to see.

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Day 3 involves more walking, only the 6.5km today! The final landmark of the trip is Kings Canyon and your guide will take you on the rim walk. This walk starts with a steep climb up the ‘Stairway of Death’ but the rest of the track is relatively easy. As this is the final day, once the walk is completed, it’s time for lunch and then the long drive back to Alice Springs.

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I really enjoyed this trip, especially all the walking, it felt good to be doing that much exercise! I’m glad we made the effort to go and see some more of Australia and I would highly recommend Mulgas Adventure Tours. This trip cost $355 each and was definitely worth it.

Australia, Travel

The Harbour Bridge Climb, Sydney.

September 21, 2014

Wow.

This was such an unforgettable experience. I actually climbed over one of the most iconic bridges in the world! Those of you who have visited Sydney will know that this is one of the most expensive tourist attractions in the city and that definitely puts a lot of people off but believe me when I say that it is one of those things worth paying for. You will be completely awestruck as you are ascending the bridge and walking over the famous arch is a surreal moment. Your tour guide takes the walk nice and slow so you have time to take in all your surroundings whilst listening to the history of the Harbour Bridge and surrounding area. The guides really do know their stuff!

The one downside to the climb is that you aren’t allowed to take any belongings with you due to safety reasons. This obviously includes cameras. Yes, you are going to climb the Harbour Bridge and not be able to put a selfie taken at the top on Facebook afterwards. Gutted. However, your tour guide does have a camera and they will take lots of photos which are available to purchase at the end, sneaky.