Australian Travel · National Parks · Northern Territory · Reader Interaction · South Australia

our top 5 Aussie national parks

These are 5 of our top national parks from our travels so far. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Australia and most of these can be found in our national parks. We have so many favourites however here are 5 of our top spots. We love these places so much we have visited multiple times and will return again for sure.

  1. Flinders Ranges National Park, SA

What’s not to love? Stunning mountain ranges, rich Australian history, four-wheel driving and beautifully rewarding bushwalks with breath-taking visitas. Check out some of our posts on the Flinders HERE & HERE.

Our favs from the Flinders:

  • Bush camping at Rawnsley Station and dining at their Woolshed Restaurant.
  • Wilpena Pound; our favourite walks were Hills Homestead, Wangara Lookout and Mount Ohlssen Bagge. The Hills Homestead is quite a leisurely stroll while Wangara Lookout and Mount Ohlssen Bagge are more strenuous the views are well worth the effort.
  • The historical Nuccaleena Mine. The drive out is spectacular and the ruins are in fantastic condition.

2. Kakadu National Park, NT

Kakadu is amazing. It has a diverse and natural beauty which is hard to beat.  The national park is situated in close proximity to Darwin making it easily accessible for every traveler. Check out our post from Kakadu HERE.

Our favs from Kakadu:

  • cruise Yellow Water wetlands – both at sunrise and sunset
  • visit Twin Falls by four-wheel drive and boat
  • swim in the pools on top of Maguk (Barramundi) Gorge
  • view the rock art at Ubirr Rock and climb to the top for spectacular views from the lookout
  • camping at Cooinda Lodge is excellent with wonderful facilities and central location

3. Simpson Desert National Park, SA

Oh my! The Simpson is spectacular. The parallel sand-dunes go on forever and we never got sick of the beautiful red sand. Every time the Colorado would crest a sand-dune it took our breath away. It is a natural Australian wonder. Check out our post on the Simmo HERE.

What to experience in the Simmo:

  • remote travel at it’s finest
  • wildflowers, glorious wildflowers
  • slimbing to the top of Big Red
  • the wonders of Eyre Creek
  • bush camping at its absolute best
  • star gazing – the most spectacular skies we have ever seen
  • take in the view from Knoll’s Lookout
  • cross wide, stunning claypans
  • stand where QLD, SA and NT meet at Poeppel Corner
  • while technically not the Simpson National park make sure you stop in at both Purnie Bore and Dalhousie Springs both oasis’ in the desert, brimming with birdlife.

4. Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park

The region surround Alice Springs in one of favourites in the country. It’s smack bang in the Red Centre and capital of the Australia Outback. The West Macs as they are affectionately known lay to the West of Alice Springs (funny that). The stunning mountain range has numerous gorges that have been carved over millions of years. The red of the rock, the blue of the sky and the green of the vegetation is nothing short of beautiful.

Our favs from the West Macs:

  • our favourite place to camp was at Redbank Gorge
  • a refreshing dip in Ellery Creek Big Hole
  • the stunning landscape at Ormiston Gorge
  • the aboriginal culture of the Orche Pits
  • Simpsons Gap is closest to Alice with stunning gorge walls and lots of rock wallabies.
  • for history buffs like us the West Macs also home to the memorial grave of Rev John Flynn of flying doctors fame


5. Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, NT

What says Australia better than our red heart? Uluru is iconic and recognised internationally as an Australian icon. It is truly a spiritual experience to visit and explore this region. While the town Yulara has become quite touristy due to the amount of tourists that flock to the rock each year, the National Park itself is relatively untouched. Check out our past posts HERE & HERE.

Our favs from Uluru & Kata-Tjuta:

  • sunrise and sunset at Uluru and the Olgas – the colours are ever changing
  • the Valley of the Winds walk through the Olga- OMG! One of the best walks in Australia – Amazing.
  • walking the base of Ulura – 13 km of ever changing beauty
  • the shorter guided base walk is also not to be missed. Its free and so informative. We’ve done it twice now.
  • the Cultural Centre is a great place to start you Uluru Adventure
Australian Travel · Destinations · Northern Territory · Travel Photography

The Heart of our Nation

The heart of our great nation - Uluru
The heart of our great nation – Uluru
Australian Travel · Northern Territory · Travel Photography · Words of Wisdom

#wordsofwisdom

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Camping · Four Wheel Driving · National Parks · Northern Territory · Queensland · South Australia · Travel Photography

Travel Well to Welford

We love Welford!

Norris Around Australia

This is the first article for our special destination series. Enjoy

You’re standing on a steep river bank surrounded by stark white ghost gums dangling a line in the Barcoo River as it flows through Channel Country, Central Queensland. The wide blue western sky creates a natural contrasting backdrop behind the red sand hills. There is no one for miles except your family, your campsite, your 4WD and you.

Where are you?

You’re within the 124,000 hectare National Park which is known as Welford.

The Park is 991km west of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane and lays between Jundah and Quilpie. Formerly known as Walton Downs, the park was a grazing property belonging to Richard Welford, hence the current name. The National Park was established in 1992 to protect the various ecosystems of mulga woodlands, Mitchell grass and channel Country. All roads into Welford are unsealed and the smallest amount of rain can close…

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Australian Travel · Camping · Four Wheel Driving · Northern Territory · Queensland · South Australia · Travel Photography

Deserts & Corners

Friday night watching a DVD on the Simpson. Thought I’d share a post about one of our past visits.

Norris Around Australia

So yes we have been a bit slack with the blog. First excuse, no service and second excuse too busy having way too much fun.

After our nice relaxing time in the Channel Country including Windorah, Quilpie and Welford National Park. We headed out west into the desert. We took the Birdsville Developmental Road after stopping at J.C Ruins.

We reached Haddon’s Corner, where South Australia and Queensland meet. Mum and Dad had to unhitch the caravan at the turn off as there were a few sand dune crossings.

From Haddon’s Corner we free camped on the outskirts of Cordillo Downs, home of the largest stone shearing shed in the Southern Hemisphere. Shaun crossed into South Australia for the very first time.

After camping in the middle of nowhere we woke up refreshed and headed to Cordillo Downs, the sheep shearing shed.

From Cordillo Downs we continued crossing the Sturt…

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Australian Travel · National Parks · Northern Territory · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Travel Photography

200th BLOG POST: To Climb or not to Climb……….

A very contentious issue still plays out every day in the heart of Australia. Should the Uluru climb be closed to the public, should it remain a choice or it should it be continue as is?

My personal opinion is a firm and whole-hearted we shouldn’t climb it.

Even if you are pro-climb please hear (read) me out. It’s not about taking something away from the public or locking something up. It should of never been allowed in the first place. Respect for culture is a major player in the debate. However, we also need to look at this issue environmentally, the impact we are having on this sacred and wonderful place.  

Travellers need to change their mind-set when planning their life-changing trip to Uluru. Instead of seeing it as something to conquer like climbing Mt Kosciusko or the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it needs to be  seen as the natural and cultural wonder that it is. It needs to been something that is seen and felt.

Uluru has international attention as a holiday destination with the major sales point being to climb the world’s largest “ROCK”.  It should be promoted world-wide as the magnificent wonder. Something to admire for its utter beauty. I’ve visited three times now and it still takes my breath away. I’ve seen people shed a tear when they see it for the first time. As a natural and cultural place it is amazing in itself. It doesn’t require a sales hook or to offer something for the thrill seekers.  Not only is it of great cultural significance to Indigenious Australians but also to Australian’s as a whole. It really is the heart of this vast brown land and can still be a major draw card for tourists without the climb. Viewing these wonders, walking through and around Uluru and Kata-Tjuta is awe-inspiring. There are many other tourist attractions like the Sounds of Silence Dinner, camel treks and walking tours which are low impact on the environment and that are culturally appreciative.

The draw-card to Uluru is Uluru itself not the view of the surrounding area (as beautiful as it is). There are many tourist flight operators who can provide a birds-eye view. There is no point in climbing it other than the achievement of completing the climb. We should be impacting on the Rock as little as possible. I was disgusted to hear when speaking with a Park Ranger that the worst part of their job was removing rubbish from the top of the climb. Litter is bad but defecation and toilet paper is the majority of rubbish found! What is wrong with the general public? People have no respect and unfortunately this ruins it for others that are trying to do the right thing.

On a more somber note, to date 37 lives have been lost attempting to climb Uluru. This has led to the Coroner putting restrictions on when the climb can be opened. For example, if high winds or high temperatures are predicted for that day the climb is closed at 7am. This should only have a little impact on closing the climb. Yes, it is very sad but while it should contribute to the decision it should not be the major player. To preserve Uluru both culturally and environmentally is PARAMOUNT.

On a final note, I believe that a stronger promotion and education of Uluru has a natural and cultural wonder is key. If it is promoted in this light and tourists are educated they will make come to the decision themselves. So while I believe we shouldn’t climb it and wouldn’t support those who would go ahead and climb. I support the Park and the community with closing the climb. It all comes down to education prior to action.

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Australian Travel · Northern Territory · South Australia · Western Australia · Working on the Road

A State of Extremes

A hop, skip and a jump…..

We’ve traveled down the West Coast, across the Nullabor and up the Centre in a very short space of time. Travelling this quick is not recommended unless you are pushed for time (if this is the case pick a shorter route than the whole country) otherwise you can miss so much. We are lucky because most of the places we are passing through on our return to Queensland are places we have been before.

It really has been a time of extremes we have covered three states (and territories) in the past few weeks and the temperatures have been extreme. At the moment we are cooking with gas in the Centre, with days pushing 39 degrees. While only a few days ago in Adelaide we had to purchase beanies, jumpers and gloves because of the chilly mornings and nights.

Our country never fails to surprise and amaze.