We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.
– Australian Aboriginal Proverb
There are about 750,000 roaming wild in the outback and they cause a host of problems. Camels were imported to Australia in the 19th century from Arabia, India and Afghanistan for transport and heavy work in the outback.
Alice Springs is a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory, situated some 1,500km from the nearest major city. It’s a popular gateway for exploring the Red Centre, the country’s interior desert region.
Australia is the home of the largest living thing on earth, the Great Barrier Reef, and of the largest monolith, Ayers Rock (or Uluru to use its now-official, more respectful Aboriginal name). It has more things that will kill you than anywhere else. Of the world’s ten most poisonous snakes, all are Australian. Five of its creatures – the funnel web spider, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, paralysis tick, and stonefish – are the most lethal of their type in the world. This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip, where seashells will not just sting you but actually sometimes go for you. … If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistible currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking outback. It’s a tough place.
– Bill Bryson
Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s Red Centre desert, 450km from the nearest large town, Alice Springs. It’s sacred to indigenous Australians and believed to be about 700 million years old. It’s within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also encompasses the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta, colloquially known as “The Olgas” formation.
Kings Canyon is part of the Watarrka National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia. Sitting at the western end of the George Gill Range, it is 323 km southwest of Alice Springs. We hiked it on a rainy day, which afforded us the opportunity to experience the spontaneous rushing rivers and waterfalls activated by the natural drainage system handling the rainfall.