Northern Territory

The Big Hole just a couple of kilometers west of Alice Springs. We're quite surprised by the amount of water, but even more by it's temperature. It is freezing cold!

Wonderful colours in Ormiston Gorge.

Black footed rock wallaby in the Ormiston Gorge.

Standing here in the heat, surrounded by millions of flies, it's hard to believe that these rocks once formed the shore of an ocean.

There are many rocks with ripple marks.

Wild donkeys along the Larapinta Drive.

Even in the worst drought, there's water in Palm Valley. It forms a depression in a sandstone stratum that holds water like a giant sponge. This guarantees luxuriant vegetation and wildlife. The Red Cabbage Palms or the only members of there species within a radius of many hundred kilometers.

Bremach Mereenie Loop

Outback road signs sometimes differ from those seen in big cities.

Kings Canyon is one of the highlights of the red centre that can be reached on the bitumen. After a few quiet days, we meet a lot of tourists here.

Left: not a broken stem of a shrub, that's an animal! Unfortunately it's missing a front leg. Right: Spinifex Pigeon.

Bremach Uluru

Two obligatory pictures the Uluru in the evening ...

... and the eastern side the next morning. Strange somehow, nobody shows a picture of the several hundred other cars on both sides of the road. Of course we keep to this rule. Despite the crowds a stunning view. 

The Olgas approximately 40 kilometers west of Ayers Rock, have their name from the Queen of Wuerttemberg. Kata Tjuta is their real name though, which means "many heads".

The Valley of the Winds walk leads through the big heads. It is closed if the temperature exceeds 36C, because the rocks are emitting additional heat and provide a real oven climate.

Golden shimmering spinifex grass. Although it's only a stone's throw from Ayers Rock, there are far less tourists here. There must be plenty of people doing "Australia in three days".

Bremach on Great Central Road

Near the Olgas, we are leaving the bitumen heading to West Australia. We a decent vehicle, you can travel 1250km on the Great Central Road to Leonora. The more adventurous can travel on the legendary Gunbarrel Highway, built by Len Beadell and his men in the fifties to Wiluna in WA. That's what we're up to now.

Harold Lasseter is one of the legends of the outback. He claimed to have a found a giant golden ridge while riding on a horse through the Gibson Desert in the year 1900. It took him 30 years to convince investors to finance an expedition to search his mountain. It was ill fated. His companions started to mistrust him and absconded. He continued his search, but had more bad luck, as he lost his camels.  In the heat of January 1931, he took shelter in this cave. With the help of an aboriginal family, but already close to dehydration and starving, he tried to get through to the Olgas, where he expected a rescue team to wait for him. He died half way. In his very vague notes, he claimed he had found his golden mountain again. Ever since then, many people are dreaming of the incredible riches that are only waiting for someone to pick them up, somewhere in the endless red desert westwards from here.