April 12 Alice Springs – Kings Canyon
It was so cold when we woke up…absolutely lovely! It did, however, make it a bit harder to get moving. We wanted to be at the shops for 8am when they opened as Blu now needed his clutch slave cylinder replaced, it was old and had started leaking from the pressure of the new master cylinder.
While the boys sorted Blu out Clarissa and I picked up a few bits from Coles then breakfast from Maccas. This repair was quicker than the first which was great. Now we just needed to sort out the permit for the road we were driving on to Kings Canyon.
After driving to 2 locations to sort the permit, Adrian decided he would fix a problem with Clarissa’s bike before our ride around Uluru. So 1hr later and a few trips between the 2 bike shops in town and we had a fixed bike. Now all that was left was to top up the diesel and use the bathroom and we could be on our way.
Well the pump didn’t work unless Adrian kept shaking the hose and the station had no toilet! We ducked back to the caravan park and used the toilet there. By the time we were done, it was lunch time and we had lost half our day.
With Kings Canyon being a 4hr drive away we changed our plans and decided to camp there for the night. The road was half paved for the first half and rough gravel for the second.
We arrived at Kings Canyon Resort campground at 4.30pm and checked in. We found a great grassed spot opposite the playground and set for the night. Unfortunately my forward planning and Easter shopping had gone a bit wrong. As the fridges were full ( I did a full shop in Alice before we left not knowing what would be available as we crossed the desert for the next week) the treats travelled in the car…everything got a little melted.
Zach decided to have a cool down swim but before I could think about heading over to watch him, he was walking back shivering. It was icy. Clarissa also tried for a few moments but didn’t last much longer than Zach. Warm showers were definitely in order.
Another cool evening rolled in and we all tucked in early and slept really well.
April 13 Kings Canyon – Uluru
Our plan for the day was to tackle the canyon rim walk and then drive on to Uluru. We packed up camp and the kids played for a few minutes while Adrian aired up the tyres after the previous days gravel. While playing we got a much closer look at a dingo than we had at Fraser. She walked straight past us paying us no attention at all!
The canyon was about 10mins from the resort so it wasn’t a long drive. Optimistic that we could easily do the rim walk in less than the 3-4hrs that was recommended for the 6kms, we set off. The initial climb was brutal! It had been a while since we had done a mountainous hike, so we were a bit unseasoned. Half an hour later we arrived at the top and saw the emergency defibrillator…thankfully we weren’t that unfit!
The rest of the walk was amazing and fairly easy. The views were ever changing and constantly breathtaking. The rocks were layers of different red hues and were so incredible. We all loved exploring this beauty. Adrian took a heap of photos so we stopped quite regularly to soak up the view. 2 1/2 hrs later we returned to Blu feeling energised but a little weary.
A 3hr drive saw us arrive in the tiny outback resort town of Yulara. We had seen Uluru about half an hour out of town and were excited to explore it. After grabbing a bit of milk we headed out of town to a free site called ‘Sunrise at Uluru’.
We drove in to the dunes in search of the perfect spot…we found it. On top of a red sandy hill with an uninterrupted view of Uluru. A real, red beauty! The sunset was amazing over the Olgas and Uluru.
What we weren’t prepared for was the moonrise. I have never seen anything like it. It started as a glow on the horizon which had us wondering what town might be over the hill. As it became bigger and more intensely yellow we realised it was the moon. It was incredible! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capture it on our phones, it is one of the few times on the trip we have wished for a serious camera!
April 14 Good Friday at Uluru
The alarm went off far too early but we wanted to watch the sunrise. After warming some hot cross buns and milo and setting a fire, we sat and watched as the rock changed colours while the sun rose over the hills.
We moved camp into town and were set up, enjoying morning tea by about 10am. We then filled our CamelBaks and headed off towards Uluru. The rock seemed to change as we drove closer. We geared up and headed off on our bikes to circumnavigate the giant.
What appears at a distance to be a large flat rock is actually very undulating and varied as you go around. It is so magnificent. It took us about 3hrs to do the 16km ride. It was longer than signed due to having to detour as there was a fire along the track. With weary legs we returned to the car and headed back to camp.
Adrian tried the pool this time with much the same response as the kids had had at Kings Canyon a couple of days before. With the lamb roasting in the BBQ there was time to catch up my journal. The kids enjoyed the giant chess and the playground before returning to do their journals.
Tea was a lovely Communion style meal of BBQ roasted lamb, bread and grape juice. We spent time remembering the sacrifice of our Saviour as we enjoyed the meal.
After cleaning up the camp and ourselves it was time to head out the front of the campground to catch our bus to our night exhibition.
The field of lights is a light installation by artist Bruce Munro. It has toured the world in various forms before finally arriving at the place that inspired it, Uluru. It consists of something like 50000 hand blown globes, linked by fibre optic cables, spread out over acres of undulating desert dunes. It seems almost endless as you wander through and the colours change slowly across the vast area.
It was a beautiful way to end a long but awe-filled Good Friday!