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Posts Tagged ‘australian tours’

So we’re finally on the last day of my Uluru trip. Phew! I apologize for the sheer amount of photos in this post. But it had to be done. Hopefully you’ll forgive me.

So day three!

We woke up again super early, somewhere around 4.30am. The sunrise from our camp was absolutely stunning and is now proudly displayed as our header. After a quick breakfast and pack-up of the camp, we headed to do the King’s Canyon walk, which was approximately a 7km return hike (including a stop over at the “Garden of Eden”). As you’ll see from the pictures, temperatures were predicted to hit upwards of 40*C! Yikes. My 1.5L water bottle came in handy many times during the trip but by the end of this morning I was horribly tired of warm, even hot, water.

After our beautiful hike around the top of the canyon, we went and had a BBQ lunch back at King’s Creek Cattle Station and I sat by the pool for a bit. Then it was off on the road, to slowly make our way back to Alice Springs. On our way back, we cut across the land on outback road and that was about an hour’s drive. Very fun though, like a really long, slow rollercoaster, haha. After that, we stopped in to see Dinky the Singing Dingo and the Dodge truck that opened up the outback dirt roads and then home to Alice Springs.

That night in Alice Springs we all went out for dinner and I ordered a Camel & Stout Pie. And let me tell you… camel taste like, well, camel. It tasted dusty? It was very tender but not very good. I ate about half the pie before I gave up. Worth a shot. Funny how I got food poisoning not from the camel, but from my work holiday party. You’d think it would be the other way around!

In any case, here are my pictures from Day 3. Enjoy.

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This post is about my second day of the Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) tour I did with Wayoutback Tours. Again, a fantastic time!

Started the day off with a 4.30am wakeup call! So early. We had slept on the ground under a tin roof the night before. Those that decided to be a little more “cool” had slept out under the stars. They quickly moved when it began raining sometime in the night. It was actually a pretty good sleep, despite sleeping on the ground surrounded by strangers.

We headed to a sunrise lookout point where we got to take some fantastic pictures of the sunrise and have our breakfast. Shortly after that, we headed to Kata Tjuta, or the Valley of the Winds for our hike. Those that chose to do that whole hike (like me) walked about 7km in a big loop that day. We finished around 10.30am and boy, it certainly felt like it was 2 or 3pm in the afternoon thanks to the early wake up.

I had a hiking buddy with me for the second part of the hike (after the point when those that decided to take the shorter route turned around). We didn’t talk much but we both kept at the same pace. I decided that by the end of the hike, either he had the fitness level of a 23-year old or I had the fitness level of a 58-year old. I was really hoping it was the first one! Considering we were the 2nd and 3rd person back (yes, even beating those that took the shorter route), I am going to say it’s safe to assume he was in great shape.

After that, we went to the Uluru Camping Ground and hung out at the pool. There’s no words to describe how it feels to immerse yourself in a refreshing water after a long, 37 degree hike. It was amazing. After a lazy lunch, we headed to our next campground and set up. I got to take a shower in a tin shower stall (see pictures) and I think that was a pretty fantastic experience. There was no curtain or door on the shower and I got to watch the sun set in the outback as I showered away the grime and sweat from the day.

That night our tour guide, Adam, cooked us Green Curry on the open fire AND bread made with beer. I was highly impressed and it was delicious! We then settled down around the fire for a sleep under the stars. Absolutely gorgeous, lying there and gazing into the universe. I could have done without the flies or mosquitos, though! I think I woke up pretty much every hour and was covered in bites by the morning but the night-time sky and sunrise that following morning more than made up for it.

Here are some pictures from Day 2:

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On Saturday, Rachelle, Kelly and I also went on a wine tour in Hunter Valley. We went with Boutique Wine Tours, which was a great little company to take a day trip to Hunter Valley with. The guide was knowledgeable, he took us to some neat and non crowded vineyards and kept the day moving without making me feel like we were shuffled around. I really enjoyed the pace of the day – it was just right. And that’s my review of Boutique Wine Tours! I would recommend them if you’re looking about – good value for your money.

In any case, I love valleys, they are always so gorgeous and Hunter Valley did not disappoint. It was warm but not hot and the sun peaked out every now and then so that was great. I drank so much wine – we tried about 8 or 9 wines at each stop, of which there were three.

I’m not really sure why I suggested a wine tour to Kelly and Rachelle when I don’t like wine but I thought I should give it a shot. I found some I liked. Apparently, I absolutely detest red wine (seriously, I don’t understand how anyone likes the taste of oak? Is it just me?), like some desert wines (the ones that don’t taste like pure sugar) and am a huge fan of semillon.

We went to Iron Gate Estates, which was my favourite stop because the owner came in and told us stories about each wine he created. You could see he was very passionate. We also got a tour of his production area, which was neat to see up close. Second stop was at Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard which had the most beautiful scenery out of all the places and some tasty wines. Third stop was at Ernest Hill Wines and that had some really tasty wines.

In between the second and third stop, we got to spend lunch near the Hunter Valley Garden and that was very nice. We had a lovely stroll to the Gardens but upon realizing you had to pay to get in (and us with 15 minutes left until we had to go back) decided not to. However, I snuck down neat the exit and took a picture of the Garden through the fence. You’ll see it below. Hehe. All in all, it was a good day!

Here are some pictures of our trip:

And just because, here is a 360 degree panorama view of Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard:

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Hey everyone.

So I’ve been a mixture of busy and lazy lately since New Year’s and so this blog has been a little neglected! I’ve come to rectify that with picutres. Here are some from just Day 1 of my trip out to Alice Springs and Uluru.

Almost all the photos have corresponding stories or comments to them, so I don’t think I need to repeat it here.

Next up: Uluru at sunrise, the 7km hike in the Valley of Winds and our second, awesome campground.

Edited to Add: Oh, and because so many people asked: our header at the top of the site was taken by ME because I am amazing. It will be featured in the 3rd day of the tour, never you fear!

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A quick video because looking at over 340+ pictures is making my head hurt. But they will be up soon, I promise, with recount of my trip. I had a lot of fun and it was amazing.

My excitement SHINES through in this video, can’t you tell? Aha.

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The tour guide is explaining about how they constructed the “sails” using concrete ribs.

Well, I finally did the Sydney Opera House tour today. I bought the tickets online for $27.50 and saved myself some percentage. However, I misjudged how long it would take me to get from my house to the Opera House and ended up running from Circular Quay to the Opera House in 33 degree heat. Arriving a sweaty mess, I got lost figuring how to get inside. Definitely missed the tour but I managed to change my ticket for an 11.30am tour so all was well.

It was a good tour – our guide was a little less engaging than I would have liked but he was a good speaker and kept us moving along quickly with little delay. I expected to see a little more, I guess, but I did enjoy what I saw. We got to sit in one of the smaller venues (of which there are three), and sit in both of the bigger venues. The first big room we went into where the symphony plays was breathtaking.

They have some kind of electrical organ (I’m sorry, I forget the actual name of it) that was massive at the end of the room. It took the entire length and width of one side of the room. Our tour guide explained that it was the biggest in the world and had taken the creator TEN YEARS to make it. And that we only saw 150 (or some small number) of the pipes in the front but that in behind the wall there were 10,000 more pipes that stretched back 80 meters and was 3 stories high. He said that once the creator finished making the organ, it took him 2 years to tune it. That was definitely impressive.

We also learned about the making of the Opera House and how the final design picked was initially rejected. Learned all about the rocky relationship Jørn Utzon, the architect of the Opera House, had with Sydney and how he had never saw his final design in person. That was very interesting to me. The plan was initially supposed to take 3 years to complete and cost $7 million but ended up taking 13 years and $105 million.

Anyway, it was a good tour and I would recommend it. And now, some pictures!

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Posted By: Emma

Hi folks! I have a game for you! It’s called… can you guess what I’m doing on my Christmas vacation? I’ll give you a hint, ok? OK!

WTR099

If you guessed Ayers Rock or Uluru, you win 5 points and my undying love! To collect your prize… uh. Good luck?

So yes, I will be flying out of Sydney (solo) Dec 20 to Alice Springs where I will spend a night in a hostel there, then I will be picked up at 6am the next morning to go on a THREE DAY FOUR WHEEL DRIVE AYERS ROCK TOUR, eeee. I will then be dropped off back in Alice Springs Dec 23, stay a night there then the next morning will be flying out to Melbourne where I will meet up with Kelly. Her cousin, his wife and baby are in Melbourne and we’ll be spending Christmas day with them. Then, on Dec 30, we’ll fly back into Sydney. Finally, on the 31st, Rachelle will be flying in to Sydney to meet up with us. The trio will be reunited once again.

I am REALLY excited for this. It may be ridiculously hot at Ayers Rock at that point but I’m sure it’s a trip I will not forget. I’ve booked my trip with Wayoutback Tours. On this tour we’ll be doing Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Watarrka (Kings Canyon). So yippee!

After I return, I’ll only have 2.5 weeks of work left. That’s crazy! And then it will be off to NZ, Thailand and the Gold Coast, not to mention Fiji and San Fransisco on the way home. My, how time is flying!

If you want to tell me how jealous you are of me, now would be a good time. 😀

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