Crossing Australia

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Crossing Australia

Preparing for Crossing

Day 1: Port Pirie

Australia is a big island, actually the biggest in the world, and it offers many different climate zones. While it was cold and nasty in the south in late May, the north around Darwin had its best season.

And because Tony is a good-weather campervan and we are good-weather campers we decided to move the Barossa Valley, Adelaide and Kangaroo Island to the second half of our Australia trip and cross that continent as quick as possible.

And as we knew that it would be a big drive of more than 3’000 km through the Australian Outback, with mostly no cell phone reception, gas stations or water, we wanted to be sure we would make it. But precisely on our way to Port Pirie, close to Adelaide, Tony shocked us.

Crossing Australia

Opal Mining & Underground

Day 2: Glendambo
Day 3: Coober Pedy

From Glendambo we only saw the roadhouse, but with an official population of zero, there is probably not much else there.

The next day we drove to Coober Pedy, a truly strange place. It is an old mining city where they are still mining for Opal. Those clear to milky stones that shine in all rainbow colors attracted quite a lot of people. But as it can get fairly hot in this city in summer, some of the places are actually built underground. There is for example a beautiful Serbian Orthodox Church which is completely built into the mountain. There are underground hotels, bars and museums and in the Umoona Opal Mine & Museum we learned a lot about the time when the dinosaurs were ruling Australia, the Opal mining and the cooperation with the Aborigines.

Crossing Australia

Red Heart of Australia

Day 4-6: Uluru & Katja-Tjuta NP

Everyone knows the Uluru. This landmark has been used so many times by Australian marketing experts that you immediately know the real thing when you see it for the first time. This first time is at a lookout called Sandy Way, about 20km before the entrance to the park.

The rock itself spreads such a noble calmness, that seeing it feels like meeting a member of the royal family. Most spectacular is its color change. Depending on the time of the day the Uluru can either be red, yellow or grey and the color change can be best observed during sunrise and sunset. You can either do an entire walk around it or if you prefer shorter walks do the Mala Walk and the Kuniya Walk. The first one can be done on a free ranger guided tour, where you learn a lot about the significance of the rock for the Aborigines, why it is where it is and why you should not climb it.

Kata Tjuta or “The Olgas” are a bit less known but not less spectacular and significant for the Aborigines. They look like Uluru had been cut in several pieces and put together again. There is a nice lookout to reach, called the Karu lookout and if you are keen to walk further you can do a circular walk. But mostly recommended is the walk into the rocks to Walpa Gorge, because there you get the real feeling for its immense dimensions.

Crossing Australia

Devils Playground

Day 7: Devils Marbles

Our highlight on the way up were the Devil’s Marbles. As their name indicates, they look like someone had played with giant marbles and then didn’t tidy up his playground afterwards. They are fun to stroll around but be aware of the flies, because they are terrible.

Crossing Australia

Warm Thermal Springs

Day 8-9: Bitter Springs

The Bitter Springs close to Mataranka are an absolute highlight on the way up. The water is crystal clear, warm and crocodile free. And because of a slight current, you can simply lie in the warm water and drift through beautiful rainforest. Unfortunately, you will not be alone, as it is a popular spot for Australians and tourists.

Crossing Australia

Crocs, waterfalls & plunge pools

Day 12-16: Kakadu NP

Crossing Australia

Relax & lots of Live-Music

Day 17-18: Darwin

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