Hey ‘mate’… let me tell you about my trip to the Land Down Under (for me as a European from France!).
Australia, also known as the land ‘down under’… is a land that is so remote that it’s worth travelling there and staying a while (my plane journey lasted 30 hours!). This is why, like many other young people, I decided to go to Australia with the Working Holiday Visa which lets you work in short term jobs so you can earn money and travel in your free time.
I began my adventure in Melbourne and worked there for some months, taking small trips once in a while to visit my surroundings. Melbourne is such a unique place, with a great cultural atmosphere, a relaxing vibe, nice beaches and a very special weather as in the same day you can see the 4 seasons go by. Life there was exciting.
My first big trip was going to the ‘Outback’. I started off travelling on the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne with extraordinary rock formations caused by the waves. It is such a pleasure to travel on its curvy roads offering you incredible views. I had my first interactions with the local wildlife there – the sleepy koalas and the one-of-a-kind kangaroos.
The Grampians followed, a very nice national park for hiking and seeing wildlife. And then I made a stop in Adelaide, a relaxing town from where you can take excursions to the beautiful Kangaroo Island. As its name indicates, you’ll find kangaroos and wallabies, as well as a great variety of wildlife like echidnas, birds, Australian sea lions, and more.
To break up my long bus ride between Adelaide and Alice Springs, I decided to stop in Coober Pedy. It is really worth stopping there for 1 or 2 days to rest from the long bus journey, visit the opal mines (and pamper yourself by buying jewellery), sleep in a cool underground accommodation, and just discover the extremely inhospitable environment where this small town is located. Then I was off again by bus, making my way to Alice Springs. It is unbelievable how as soon as you get out of the big towns, you are out in the open by yourself, on a road that seems to go in an infinite straight line. Your only wish is not to have any car issues and find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere!
Upon arrival to Alice Springs, I went to visit the town, which has a very special atmosphere due to the fact that it is located in the outback centre of Australia. It is as famous for its contemporary and traditional art as the natural wonders that surround it. I took a 3 day / 2-night tour to the ‘Red Centre’. It was awesome to travel through very flat terrains and suddenly come across spectacular rock formations that dot the landscape, all very different one from another; the famous Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and Kings Canyon. It is impressive to think of how erosion can create such impressive natural monuments. It was great to learn about the local culture there too, and understand the importance of the sacred Ayers Rock for the local aboriginals (please respect it, don’t climb on it and don’t remove any rocks from the site!).
I hold many great memories dear to my heart from this first big trip, from amazing sights to long-lasting friendships and more than anything many laughs!
Read about my trip up the East Coast next week!
Do you want to read the rest of this travel story?
Check it out here: Exploring the Land Down Under | Part 02