Thursday, 25 July 2013

Oz, Epicness along the way

Along our three months of trip in Australia, we've got the chance to walk, sleep and live in strange and sometimes exceptional places. As our spendings for accommodation show, we spend most of our nights out in the tent and this resulted in visiting un-habitual spots. Our walks brought us to see breathtaking landscapes that are otherwise not accessible by car.




In this post, I'll try to summarize some of the most epic moments we've lived.


On hikes


Some of the places we've been to where just extraordinary. We walked about 917km to discover Australia and we've tried both car and hikes. Even though things are easy by car, there is a second truth to it ... you become lazy and you definitely don't see as much.

Among the best hikes we've done, here are the ones that will stay in out heads for a long long time:

  • 7 miles beach - NSW: 30 km in two days
  • Wine Glass Bay - Tasmania: 10 km
  • Lorne - Great Ocean Road - VIC: 25 km
  • Port Augusta - South Australia: 60 km in 4 days
  • Uluru - NT: 19 km
  • Kata Tjuta - NT: 14 km
  • King's Canyon - NT: 14 km
  • West MacDonnell Ranges: 56 km in 3 days (Larapinta Trail)
  • Katherine Gorge - NT: 33 km in 2 days



Lanscapes


Then there are landscapes. Australia is all about landscapes and not matter if you travel by bus, train or car there are landscapes for every tastes. We will especially remember:

  • Caves and Scotland alike landscapes of Tasmania
  • The 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
  • The l'Outback gateway with the Flinders Ranges and it's red sand (Port Augusta)
  • Cook and thé Nullabor Plain (flat, no trees, no water) and the longest straight train tracks in the world - 478 km long.
  • The South of Perth with it's turquoise water beaches and giant tree forests
  • The pinnacles, a scientific mystery
  • Uluru, Kata Tjuta and King's Canyon - the "must do" of Australia
  • West MacDonnel Ranges that were once as bug as the Himalayas - millions of years ago.
  • The giant thermite mouds of the Litchfield National Park
  • The many tropical forests, gorges and mountains all around Cairns that makes the place look like Taiwan
  • The Great Barrier Reef with tropical fishes and shells



Camping with a tent in Oz



With about 60 or so nights spent in the tent, it happen several times that we pitched it in some strange and fun places. This is clearly what made the adventure.
Early in the trip, we used to camp a lot on soccer fields (called ovals here). Ideally located, these field of fresh cut grass where ideal ... even though it happened that we needed to wait for the training to finish before setting up camp.

Then there was the parks. Australia invests huge amounts of money into their parks. Not just national parks but also city parks, botanical gardens etc. For example, the city of Adelaide is completely surround by parks.
Aside of Alice springs, where it is not "recommended" to sleep out in town, most of the city parks are safe to camp. We've pitched the tent for example directly in the Melbourne CBD - and one day we've been waken up by a strange noise ... the launch of balloons. Trust me, it's even more fun when you didn't noticed the launch pad on the evening!

Third there are the beaches. Being an Island, Australia is surrounded by water and there is a lot of beaches where you can camp without bothering anybody. We practiced camping on beaches in Tasmania, south of pert, Darwin and also Cairns. If you do this, make sure to check how high the ties comes in before getting to sleep!

Finally, the Outback. In the middle of nowhere with no living human kilometers around, the outback camping is a great experience. Sleeping in rocky mountains, forests, near lakes or within national parks - we kinda tried all of the possibilities. Be prepared to heard wild animal noises. Hoping kangaroos, howling dingos, possums and much more ...