By the time you read this, Bob and I will be on the road, heading out to the outback of Western Australia to visit Mount Augustus. Anyone who has ever thought to visit Australia, usually hears about Uluru or Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory. As with all touristy things, it comes with a price. We’ve been told Mount Augustus is bigger and better. I’ve seen Ayers Rock from the plane window and the lookout platform at the airport on my way to Cairns when I flew from WA back in 2006, for Creative Memories Summit for unit leaders and was very impressed. It stands there, this huge rock, in the middle of nowhere. From what I hear and read, Mount Augustus blends more into the countryside as there is more growth around it. I’m really looking forward to seeing the contrast of colours, not only on the rock, but also the ground and surrounding trees. The earth will be red and the white gum trees will be just amazing. I know they will. Watch my blog next month and I’ll tell you what I think.
Mount Augustus National Park, Western Australia is located 705km north east of Geraldton, some 18 hours of driving through red dirt roads where there will be no mobile phone or internet coverage. Will I survive!!??
Notes gleaned from the Internet: Mount Augustus is home to the world’s largest monocline, known as Burringurrah by the local Wadjari Aboriginal people. The rock itself is about eight kilometres long and covers an area of 4,795 hectares within Mount Augustus National Park. The granite rock that lies beneath Mount Augustus is 1,650 million years old. This makes it twice the size of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and considerably older. It is also the biggest ‘rock’ in the world. During dawn and dusk, its colours are awe inspiring, changing from deep indigo to bright pink, orange or red and occasionally green. These contrasts make for some amazing photo opportunities. There is a 49 kilometre circuit around Mount Augustus National Park suitable for conventional two-wheel-drive vehicles. This circuit offers views of the changing faces of the rock and access to a number of key sites including rocky creek gorges, caves, Aboriginal rock engravings, picnic sites, walk trails and a variety of wildlife on the rock, plain and water courses. Aboriginal etchings can be found on short walks around the rock at Flintstone Rock, Mundee and Ooramboo. For the more energetic there are a number of longer walk trails available including a return hike to the rock’s summit. This a 12-kilometre, six-hour return walk and is suitable only for fit and experienced bushwalkers. From the summit there are extensive views over the surrounding plain, drainage basin and distant ranges.
Depending on how hot it is once we get there, we will definitely try and walk to the summit. If it’s too warm, we will not attempt it.
Since I wrote this, I came down with a bad case of the flu, so I’m thinking the climb to the summit is going to be out of the question. I’ll be content just to take in the scenery and enjoy sleeping in a camper trailer under the stars for a few nights.
Below is a map of Western Australia showing the track that we will be following, inland (east), then heading north.
PS: It’s now Friday 5th October and we are back from our Outback Safari. It was much better than I expected. The earth was red, the sky was blue and the leaves on the trees were so green, the trunks so white. Put those colours together and you have one of God’s perfect creations, Outback Australia. Watch our facebook fanpage for photos of our adventure.