We woke up at 5.20am to watch the Uluru sunrise at 7am. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is half hour drive away from the campsite. The actual name of this place is called “Ayers Rock Campground”, next to the campground there’s another hotel called “Ayers Rock Resort” for people who enjoy staying in luxurious places. Judging from their website, it looks like a completely different world. Today’s sunrise is still a distance away from Uluru itself, Leith said only when the sun goes over the horizon then we can have breakfast.
After whole day of sitting in the car, at 4.40pm we arrived at our final resting station. We saw a massive mass in the distance that looked like Uluru. All of us got super excited and started snapping away. Leigh yelled to us saying that is Mt Conner, aka, “Fool-uru”. It may look like Uluru from one angle, but it is not. We didn’t believe him until we saw some random paintings outside the toilet walls with bald writing that says “Mt Conner”.
Apparently Coober Pedy has the best filter water system in Australia due to the high mineral contents in the water. The water actually tastes quite good, much better than Adelaide. I guess the governments rather invest in good water filter system in the area than people dying. We filled up our water tank in the van with Coober Pedy’s water and chuck in some ice to make it icy.
After dinner we went to “Josephine’s Gallery & Kangaroo Orphanage”. It is free to see the kangaroos in their backyard. We were given some fruits to feed them. Josephine explained to us that if there are any injured kangaroos or small animals that require their help, they will look after them until they are capable of surviving themselves (either by phone consultations or pick them up from rural areas). The size of area they need to look after is similar to the size of Germany.
Coober Pedy has a population of 1695 according to 2011 census from Wikipedia. It is 846km north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway. Not only it is famous for the amount of precious opals mined here, it is also famous for underground residences called “dugouts”. It helps to avoid the heat during the day and keeps the house warm at night. The name of this town is actually from the Aboriginal word “kupa-piti” which means “white man’s holes”. Leith said the underground houses used to cost only AUD$20,000, now probably need AUD$200,000.
2 hours later, we arrive at Lake Hart. It is a smaller lake in the Lake Eyre basin- a drainage basin that covers just under 1/6 of all Australia and is one of the largest in the world covering around 1.2 million square kilometers, including inland Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and part of western NSW. The actual Lake Eyre is actually not accessible by vehicles, can only been seen via helicopter. Lake Hart itself looks deep, like a real lake, where you can swim or kayak in it. However the lake is probably only 20mm deep due to the rain from 2-3 weeks ago.
Today Laura, Jack and I are off our first real Australian Adventure- the Outback. We have been planning this trips for months and promised each other that we must go visit Uluru before we move back to New Zealand. We decided to go on our glorious adventure by joining the Groovy Grape Getaway’s 6 day Rock Patrol tour which travels from Adelaide to Alice Springs. The reviews of the tour are great on Trip advisor, the price is reasonable and the destinations are all places I wanted to go.
As soon as the announcement for Les Miserables coming to Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre was made, Laura and I bought the tickets as soon as the tickets went on sale for the public. We bought the tickets 10 months before the show! Which we thought was pretty crazy. It seems like it has become a yearly thing for us to travel from Adelaide to Melbourne for a weekend to watch musicals, last year we watched King Kong. This Edition is 25 anniversary edition that premiered in London in 2010. It’s awesome how they came to Australia 4 years later.
On this particular Sunday morning, we headed off to Kangaroo Island for its monthly Farmer’s Market at Penneshaw. Kangaroo is the third largest island in Australia and is 112 kilometer south-west of Adelaide. The island is only 13 kilometer away from the mainland. It is one of the most expensive ferry in the world in relation to its distance and cost. SeaLink is the only company that carries passengers across commercially and charges AUD$98 return per person and AUD$188 return per vehicle. Even the locals don’t get much discounts.
Apparently if you are looking for the best Turkish place in Canberra, you will have to come to Turkish Halal Pide House. Situated in Yarraluma, this place was worth the drive for some authentic cuisine. The portions were certainly HUGE! And they kept coming. We were so glad that we only ordered 2 portions. Herenia even took some left over home for lunch the next day. The shop also sells some Turkish desserts in a box such as Turkish delights. I now wish I have a car in Canberra so I can come back and try their kebabs and traditional Mediterranean pastries.