Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Visit to the Red Centre of Australia

One of the most interesting and adventure-packed places I've ever visited is the famous Red Centre of Australia. Perhaps best known for being the home of Ayer's Rock – aka Uluru – the Red Centre is a fascinating mix of culture, history, and exploration. This is the true Outback, rugged, untamed, and with miles upon miles of open space. It is a place that every traveler should see, with landscapes that are humbling and awe inspiring at the same time.

Recently, my friend Richard Bangs visited the Red Centre and shared his experiences in a wonderful article published at the Huffington Post. Richard went to this remote region of Australia to take in all of the amazing sites for himself, and to go on a few adventures along the way as well. His travels took him on a camel trek into the Outback, hiking along some of the local trails, and into Alice Springs, the main outpost in this very wild part of the world.

Of course, many people come to the Red Centre simply to visit Uluru and climb to its summit. When the lands surrounding that iconic rock were returned to the Anangu Aboriginal tribe back in 1985, it was a stipulation in that they continue to allow visitors to climb to the top. But for the Anangu, Uluru is scared ground, and while they don't prohibit anyone from climbing it, they do go to great lengths to discourage it. On his visit, Richard – who has just returned from a climb up Cotopaxi in Ecuador – decided to respect the wishes of the Aboriginal and stay off the Rock.

In his article, and the video below, he shares a wealth of things to do while you are there that don't involve climbing Uluru. Trust me, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied. For instance, I'd recommend hiking the Larapinta Trail, a 223 km (138.5 mile) long path that passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the region. While you're there, also take a dip in the Finke River, widely considered the oldest in the world at 350-400 million years. Spend a few nights camping under the stars as well, as you'll rarely find a better night sky than in the Outback.

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