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  • Writer's pictureNondiarist

So, what would you NOT expect to find in the Outback?

Uluru, Australia
Photo by author. Uluru, Australia

A three day excursion in the Red Centre of Australia has its obvious highlights. Uluru. King’s Canyon. The Olgas (Kata Tjuta). Alice Springs.

Uluru is described on Google as “Rock in Australia”. Well, yeah. It IS a rock. A big rock. It’s a 9km walk around the base. It’s utterly spectacular and is just as red in the sunset as all the travel brochures boast.

Then there’s King’s Canyon with its wild and dramatic scenery and its unbelievable rock formations, made even more famous in the wonderful movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I swam through a natural pool and sat on a rock shelf overlooking the canyon and thought, “This is Australia”.

King’s Canyon, Northern Territory.
King’s Canyon, Northern Territory. Photos and compilation by author.

The Olgas, or Kata Tjuta, which are other-worldly formations of conglomerate rock. It’s one of those places you wish you could watch actually forming in time-lapse photography, if only you could turn back the clock. (Hey — a roll back clock… now that’s one Christmas list item no-one’s ever produced for me.)

And then there’s Alice Springs — the town Nevil Shute did NOT write about — through which runs the Todd River. When I say “river”, I mean a dry, sandy river bed, but this doesn’t stop the residents of Alice from holding an annual regatta and boat race, appropriately named “Henley-on-Todd”. I understand that the event is cancelled if there’s a wet season and (inconveniently) there’s actually water in the river bed. #lovetheaustralians.

Alice Springs gateway, Australia
Welcome to Alice Springs. Photo by author.

So with all this so-Australian magnificence, what else is out there? More wide open space than you could dream of and monster road trains. And an outback roadhouse in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by kangaroos and camels, that serves….. wait for it…. cream teas.

We shared a table with a German couple, who told us that they’d always wanted to sample a traditional English cream tea. Forget Devon, Cornwall and the New Forest. The Outback is where they got a superb sample, every bit as good as anything you’d get in England and for half the price.

Anyone for tea? Photos and compilation by author.

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