With the cooler nights that come with autumn, the four day Easter long weekend break is the perfect opportunity to go and spend some time in the outdoors with your family. Here are five campsite locations that are close enough to Sydney that you won’t spend half your time in the car getting there, but far enough away to give you a good break. Continue reading “Five Camping Getaways Close to Sydney”
“That will be $16.50”, the cashier smiled at the German family in front of me. Looking on, I tallied up the items that were sitting on the counter; a packet of spaghetti, a pasta sauce and a tin of tomatoes, normally a cheap meal by any one’s standards, but $16.50? Perhaps I had missed something; maybe they had slipped in a block of chocolate, a packet of meat or a bottle of soft drink without me noticing. I couldn’t really be sure. Continue reading “Kings Canyon: Way Out Back”
She appeared before us, bold, rusty and regal and like humble servants, we gravitated towards her, unable to resist her magnetic pull. Given the vast nothingness that lay before and around her, she did not creep up on us slowly, like the peak of a mountain might as you commence the ascent. Rather, one moment there was nothing but red dirt and grass, then the next, there she stood, unavoidable on the otherwise flat desert scenery.
Uluru. A true chameleon. In the dry she is at her most vibrant, her red coat resplendent in the sun. In the wet and cold she sleeps quietly, surrounded by cloud. Her purple hue is softer, but she is no less formidable; a sleeping dragon, waiting for her hibernation to end.
Whilst her core may stretch over 5 km deep, it felt like her heart lay bare above us and I could almost hear it pulsing as I walked in and around her shadow, desperate to find shelter from the afternoon sun. Despite being August and the middle of winter, my pasty skin was like tinder and already beginning to glow.
We took an anti-clockwise direction around her base, against the flow of traffic but with the sun at her back whilst it was at its warmest. At first the path drew us in to see her curves and surprisingly lush greenery, but when we were almost close enough to touch her weathered scars, we were flung out again where we were to admire her once more from afar.
This was not the first time I had been to The Rock. Last time I saw her she had snow on her head and frost at her feet, a rarity in the dry, warm Australian Red Centre. My visit before had been during a different time. Whilst once it may have been irresistible to follow the well worn track over her back to catch a glimpse of the scenery from above, today the urge to climb her seemed misplaced, wrong. Today it was more than enough to admire her beauty from her base and as the sky began to deepen that evening, her beauty intensified. Someone had switched on a light inside of her. Drivers pulled over their vehicles, walkers stopped to stand still and a thousand cameras chirped like crickets in the night. Her hold was undeniable; her power difficult to ignore. More than just a rock, Uluru has spirit. A real queen of the desert.
“It looks like this is the path”. My husband stopped short and assessed the hill ahead of him. The marked path had petered out and we could just make out a winding dirt trail creep its way up the hill at an angle of about 60 degrees. Stretching out a hand, he helped me make the ascent, my feet struggling to find traction on the loose dirt. His sure footed boots reverberated behind me and helped me keep pace. My pack weighing heavily on my back, my camera posed clumsily around my neck, I was unaware that for the next couple of hours, up would be the only way to go. Continue reading “Spurred on by the High Country: Hiking in Alpine National Park”