As soon as in a whilst, I seriously get to reminiscing about my 1st backpacking trip. In 2013, immediately after spending a year teaching English and saving funds in South Korea, Tim and I flew 1st to Southeast Asia prior to heading towards Australia and New Zealand.
As a bit of background, when I was in university, I had a slight obsession with the thought of moving to Darwin in Australia’s Best Finish. That image of the rugged sun-scorched landscape seriously appealed to me. As significantly as I wanted it to come about, my savings account and basic worry of the planet did a wonderful job of holding me back.
When I ultimately produced it to Darwin, and the Northern Territory in basic, this incredible issue occurred — it totally blew my expectations away. This is one particular area of the planet exactly where I seriously let my daydreams loose, and somehow that didn’t negatively effect my true-life expertise in the slightest. These memories are nevertheless some of my favourite, and most adventurous, occasions to appear back on — even now 4 years later.
For now, I’ll let the rambling nostalgia finish and get on with this post — some of my highlights from Australia’s Northern Territory.
Ubirr Rock Art and Landscapes, Kakadu National Park
Dating to 40,000 BCE, the sequences of Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr and other web sites in Arnhem Land stand as becoming the longest-continuing series of artistic expression in the planet. The galleries are in sheltered regions, protected from the sunshine and rain by overhanging rock. They depict animals, as properly as inform stories of the Aboriginal Dreamtime.
Of course, the stories and history of the rock art in this region are adequate to make it a highlight in its personal appropriate, but climbing Ubirr and taking in the surrounding landscape can be a spiritual expertise in itself.
Wildlife and Waterfalls
In an work to preserve this post short, I’ll lump collectively the wallabies close to waterfalls, saltwater crocs in billabongs, and the several impressive avian species (we saw a Jabiru, Darter Heron, Comb-Crested Jacana, Whistling Kite, White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Wandering Whistling-Ducks, and extra inside the span of a one particular-hour tour of the Corroboree Billabong).
This trip also comprised itself of some of the most impressive swimming areas I’ve observed in true life — like Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole in Litchfield National Park, as properly as Jim Jim Falls and Barramundi Gorge in Kakadu National Park).
From Bangkok to Darwin — as my 1st cease in Australia, Darwin holds a unique spot in my travel memories (if I didn’t make that apparent in the intro). Sunset lounging in the Bicentennial Park, the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Mindil Beach Markets, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and biking to Charles Darwin National Park had been highlights of my time in the city. Study extra right here.
Alice Springs is extra than a jumping-off point to get to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park — it is totally worth hanging about for a couple of added days.
The aboriginal culture is everywhere right here (The Arrernte Aboriginal people today have referred to as Alice Springs and the surrounding region household for 30,000 years, and have several original stories to describe the area’s landscape). as properly as the deep sense of desert living. This is a accurate outback town, in spite of the vacationers on their way into the park. Verify out the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Kangaroo Sanctuary, Todd Mall Market place, purchase some genuine aboriginal art, and take in the West MacDonnell Ranges prior to heading west.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
This is why several come to Australia in the 1st spot — to get up close and individual with that 600-million-plus-year-old monolith we know as Uluru (properly, some of us far better know as Ayers Rock — but we say Uluru right here).
This is possibly one particular of the most touristy areas you can uncover in the entire nation, but that does not diminish the awe that is standing beneath it or taking in the sunset views with sparkling wine in hand.
As significantly as Uluru is impressive, subsequent door is the equally awe-inducing Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). The Valley of the Winds Stroll via Kata Tjuta following a brisk sunrise is a thing unique.
Camping in the Outback
I’ve got to add a separate point for this, simply because gathering firewood, cooking bread in pots by the fire, taking in the starry skies, sleeping on the ground in a swag, and waking to the brutal cold at four AM to hike up “Heart Attack Hill” and catch the sunrise more than Kings Canyon is a thing else.