Day 1 - As with all tours (so it seems) I was picked up at the early time of 6:45am by our guide (Steve) who was far to energetic for that time of the morning! There were only 6 of us on tour for the first few days to Coober Pedy so was a nice small group to start the trip.
The first stop of the day was in Quorn - which is famous (!!) as the suroundings were used to film Wolf Creek.
We then drove on to do a walk up to a couple of Aboriginal sites in the Flinders Ranges where we saw some cave paintings and some amazing views.
Tonight we stayed in a 2 bedroomed cabin in the middle of the Flinders Ranges surrounded by mountains and not much else.
Day 2 - Today was mostly driving. We made a few stops on the way to tonights camp - the first being at Talc Alf's who was a crazy sculpur who lives in the middle of the desert and preaches about the meanings of different letters - was actually quite interesting and his sculptures were really good!
The next stop was in a town (actually it used to be a town but not anymore) called Farina. Most of the buildings had partly fallen down but there was a fair bit of information about what the town used to be like which was quite interesting!
The next stop was Marhee which is an old railway town - not much here really and I got eaten alive by bugs!
The final proper stop of the day was at Lake Eyre which was completely empty and not as salt crusted as you see in the pictures so was slightly disappointing.
We then stopped to get some firewood and Steve managed to get the bus stuck in the sand - thankfully we got it out after digging the sand from under the tyres and then pushing the trailor.
Camp for the night was at William Creek (population 7) where I got to sleep in a swag for the first time which was really cool!
Day 3 - Today we drove directly to Coober Pedy which is the Opal mining capital of the World. We also picked up 12 more people, including Kuan who was on my Tasmania trip!
Most of Coober Pedy is underground and so like most of the population we are staying underground tonight in a cave (didn't feel any different really).
After lunch we went on a tour to find out about opal mining and saw one of the old underground homes as well as one of the old opal mines which was really interesting. IN the early evening we drove out to the Breakaways which was just amazing. This is also quite famous with several films being set out there including Pitch Black and Red Planet.
Day 4 - Today we got up early and spent the whole day driving to reach Uluru. When I saw Uluru for the first time it was amazing. So many people have said to me that although you see it in pictures all the time nothing prepares you for actuallt seeing it for the first time, and they were right. Once we had dropped things off at camp we drove out to see sunset over Uluru but it was really cloudy so there wasn't really much of a sunset.
Day 5 - Today we got up at 5:15am (no-one should ever get up this early!) We went to have breakfast at sunrise but as with sunset it was quite disappointing. After sunrise we went to the base of Uluru and Steve took us on a short walk around the base of the rock telling us some of the aboriginal stories. We then had time to complete the 10km walk around the base of the rock which was really interesting as the rock is so different all the way around and you don't see this in the pictures as photo's can only be taken from one side of the rock as the rest is sacred ground.
In the afternoon we went to the Cultural Centre which was a bit confusing as it is run by the Federal Government and hence they don't tell you the complete story which confuses things slightly.
We then drove to a secret spot to watch sunset which again was disappointing but the area Steve took us to was amazing scenery which made up for it!
Day 6 - Another early start (5:30am) for another attempt at sunrise. Thankfully this one was worth it. Although technically not over Uluru it was a pretty spectacular sunrise.
We then drove to Kata Tjuta and did a difficult 9km walk through the Valley of the Winds. The scenery was just amazing, we were surrounded by massive domes of rocks in various colour and then there was nothing but desert surrounding the rocks.
After the walk we drove to Kings Creek Cattle Station where we stayed the night. As this was the last offical night on tour the guys decided to cook the girls dinner (there were only 4 guys including the tour guide). When we were allowed back in the kitchen we were greated by candle light and one of the guys playing guitar with the others singing - was very nice!
Day 7 - lay in today (5:45am!!). We drove up to Kings Canyon in the morning and did another tough 9km walk around the rim with a detour to The Garden of Eden which was amazing. The Garden of Eden was a waterhole down in the middle of the Canyon surrounded by greenery that seemed out of place in the desert environment.
After the walk we drove to Alice Springs arriving about 5pm. We then went to a look out before going to our accomodation.
We then got picked up again at 8pm and went together for dinner and a few drinks which was a really nice end to the trip.