I've been wanting to do a 'Travel Throwback Thursday' for a while now. I went on a few trips (both abroad and UK staycations) before I started this blog that I really want to share with you, so this will be a monthly series over the summer. The first Travel Throwback Thursday (TTT) is my trip to Uluru in the Northern Territory of Australia in 2008.
My family and I went there shortly before we moved back to the UK, and I was at the beginning of my relationship with my now ex boyfriend that would go on to last 3 years and span almost 9,000 miles across the world. I was seventeen years old and completely loved up, which meant I spent a week out in woopwoop (the middle of nowhere) crying because I couldn't talk to him as we had no phone signal.
We went to the Northern Territory right on the crossover between the dry and wet season, which meant we saw the rare sight of water on the roads yet bright blue skies and very hot weather. Now, just a little warning, this is going to be a very photo heavy post (these are just a few of them - I have hundreds!)...however...you will not regret sticking with me to the end! I promise! Also I still had my DSLR back then so the photos are pretty good.
We flew from Perth to Alice Springs, stayed in AS overnight, then picked up the van and set off for our first stop. Our first night there we had dinner at a random restaurant that was actually pretty good, and the next morning we stocked the van up with food from Coles beforehand.
Usually when we do roadtrips we hire a luxury car and stay in hotels, however myparents had this crazy idea to do things the proper 'Aussie' way, and rent a campervan. I think mum had this romanticized view in her head about us all driving around the Australia outback in an RV like they do in the films, but instead they regretted it after the first day.
This was our campervan ^ All four of us bunked down in this, and we've all vowed we'll never do it again. I mean, look how small it was! Below is my not impressed face when I realised I have no phone signal...
My brother and I passed the time on the long drives by listening to music and staring out of the window and spotting the local wildlife - emus running past our van and camels too.
We even saw two Aborigines just casually sat on the side of the road with their billy cans making some food! We saw so many incredible sights just by driving alone, it's such a wild and isolated part of the world, but so so beautiful.
We stopped off quite a bit at various locations. Most of them I can't remember the name of now, but they're all the ones on the 'main' NT roadtrip circuit.
Do not laugh. My mum bought us all fly-nets, so naturally we had to get a photo of us actually wearing them. Also I was super cool and wore my school leavers shirt. Anyway, as well as seeing various canyons and rocks, we also got to walk along the Tropic of Capricorn! Also can I please just point out how amazing my legs were back then!? They're like double the size now.
Naturally we stopped off at Uluru for a couple of nights, and we learnt all about the background of the name (the anglicised name is Ayers Rock, but out of respect for the Aboriginal community everyone calls it Uluru again now). We also learnt that it's frowned upon to climb Uluru. I really wanted to do this, but after learning more about it and why the rock is sacred, we decided not to.
At the campervan site (yes...I know...don't even go there...), Mum was doing the laundry and a huge giant monitor lizard got into the laundry room, she freaked out and climbed on top of the washing machine. I cried laughing when she got back to the van and told us all about it!
Then I got the below photo while Dad was speeding away to our next stop...
Next up was Kings Canyon. On the way we stopped off at a campsite where the famous Dinky the Singing Dingo would howl along to the piano. Sadly Dinky has now passed away.
Also the road in the photo below, that isn't just a random road. That's the road that goes all the way from the Northern Territory to Perth right through the middle of Australia. If we'd driven from Perth we would have taken that road. Except it's super hardcore, because there are no petrol stations along the way and it takes days to drive it and only the really big trucks tend to use it. Also it's all off-road.
Kings Canyon was pretty amazing, and I have a really hilarious story from that. The campsite we stayed at had a sign warning you about the wild Dingoes in the area (see photo below), naturally we thought 'Haha! What losers, as if there are actually dingoes here'. At night time my brother and Dad thought it would be a GREAT idea to go outside and see if they could see any. They ran out with a torch, mum and I shut the door, then all of a sudden we hear them shrieking and banging on the door to the van shouting at us to let them in. Turns out there were dingoes outside.
|No, I don't know what my mum is wearing either.|
Anyway, take a look at Kings Canyon!
|This is such an awks family photo. We're wearing such a mix match of colours.|
|My brother was a really cool 13 year old.|
At our last campsite in the morning we saw a guy packing up his tent, and an emu decided he wanted to help. The emu literally would not leave the guy alone, throughout the whole process the emu kept sticking his big pointy nose in as if he felt left out or something. Poor guy. Bloody hilarious for us though!
We dropped the van off at Alice Springs, and before we left went to the Alice Springs School of the Air. Now this was really worth seeing! If you're in AS, make sure you pay this place a visit. It was so interesting to learn all about how kids in the outback learn and attend school. After our visit to the School of the Air we headed to the airport and flew back to Perth for some R&R.
Our Northern Territory Roadtrip was definitely not easy, it had its challenges, but it was also a lot of fun! It really tested and pushed all of us, we came back with so many stories and funny memories, and it's definitely not a trip we'll forget in a hurry! It was a real adventure and took us right out of our comfort zone, and it was bloody awesome, even if we did wear the same clothes for days and sleep in a campervan for a week.
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