Rocks & Crocs…

The Northern Territory is a vast expanse of land in Australia, famed for its outback, desert landscape and of course the iconic Uluru ( Ayers Rock), the massive sandstone monolith that is the heart of the “Red Centre” . Other places of interest in the NT are the red rock domes of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), Kakadu National Park with its serene waterfalls, breathtaking cliffs and powerful, spiritual aboriginal art and of course Darwin, the capital, and Alice Springs, the gateway town to the desert.
Our family have travelled far and wide in our wonderful world to see some amazing places but we have also explored our own country which has equally ( if not better) awesome sights. One of our best trips was when we hired a camper van for 3 weeks and drove from Darwin to Alice Springs, exploring the terrain as we went. I was initially apprehensive about the four of us spending 3 weeks in the confined space of the campervan but my fears proved fruitless; we all had the best time ever! The boys loved sitting at the little table in the back as we drove, and passed the time playing games and counting the anthills ( an endless task), shrieking with delight when seeing a decorated one; people have taken to dressing the termite mounds with everything from footy jumpers to Santa outfits!
Our first glimpse of Ayers Rock shimmering in the distance under the burning mid day sun was breathtaking and it was incredible to see it change as we drove closer and feel its hypnotic mystery cast its spell.It has so many faces and moods and displays a myriad of colours in the changing light conditions. All I can say is thank goodness for digital photography when you visit an ever changing sight like this!! We have photos that show it bright red as the sun creeps from the ground and slowly fills it with red, as if on fire; then photos depicting a rusty orange hue, and of course the magnificent multitude of pictures from a spectacular sunset with pinks and purples. This amazing rock is a photographer’s dream!
Other highlights of this trip ( and there were plenty) were the jumping crocodile cruise, (yes they really do jump out of the water), Mataranka hot springs ( soak away all your worries in this oasis) and the time we ran out of petrol in the middle of nowhere! ( anyone who has visited this area knows it really is in the middle of nowhere!)
Luckily for us we were eventually rescued by good samaritans.
If anyone is considering visiting this area in the best country in the world , I have but one thing to say – DO IT!”Our land has a big story. Sometimes we tell a little bit at a time. Come and hear our stories, see our land. A little bit might stay in your hearts. If you want more, you come  back.”
Jacob Nayinggul – Manilakarr clan.We will certainly be back Jacob!

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