TRAVEL TIP WHILE TOURING THE NORTHERN TERRITORY: Don’t run into Ellery Creek Big Hole too excitedly…(I tore my calf muscle… And yep I had to be carried out #embarrassing)
Ok, so I admit that wasn’t the best way to kick off our first ever Places We Go Signature Tour, but it was certainly a conversation starter. Especially when I had three men carry me out of the water! (and that was only day #2).
In all seriousness, I want to talk about our NT adventure tour. What a trip. What a beautiful group of people. From the moment we all landed in Alice Springs, it was an absolutely pleasure. With our tag line “It’s not just the places we go, it’s the people we meet that capture our hearts”, there are no prizes for guessing what was the theme of our trip. Spectacular places and people – and that was not just the locals we met on the trip, but the group itself.
I must say, it’s pretty amazing when you put it out there and invite people (read: strangers) to come away on a holiday with you. Because in effect that is what we did….. We followed our instinct that the kind of people that would put their hand up would be like-minded, and “get” the Places We Go philosophy… but I just never knew how right we would be.
Our group of 28 people were made up of people from all walks of life. Some we’d never met before, others were family and lifelong friends (including children).
And that is what I love about travel – it’s not about who you are or where you are from. It’s about where you are, and what you are experiencing. It’s like you get to leave your ‘life’ at home.
We took the group to some of our favourite places in the Red Centre, like Ellery Creek Big Hole for a swim, the walk around spectacular Kings Canyon, and of course Uluru (which at sunrise is really something to be experienced). As you can imagine, there are so many highlights touring the Northern Territory, they’re too many to mention.
But everyone was especially blown away by Kings Canyon, I think it’s the absolute jewel of the Red Centre and our nights around the crackling campfire at Kings Creek Station fed our soul. Great conversation, a scrumptious barbie (thanks for cooking Otto and Clint) and that massive outback starry sky.
One of my favourite memories was lying on the red dirt with my daughter Charli and my niece Emily and together we were treated to two shooting stars. “This looks like a completely different sky from the city”, my niece announced.
To cap it all off, our last night was at the renowned ‘Sounds of Silence’ dinner. We had Uluru on one side, and Kata Tjuta on the other. The sky was a deep burnt orange, and seemed to glow long after the sun disappeared. The energy was undeniable. Timeless. Breathtaking.
But what made the night so special was the group, who just a week earlier had never met but were now swapping stories, sharing what we had loved about our adventure. With a table full of genuine emotion, the overwhelming feeling was that it was an absolute privilege to spend a week travelling with such great people. People who were interested in not only touring the Northern Territory, but the people we all met along the way, and that included each other.
A big thank you to everyone who came on the trip… especially David, Amy and Kathy from Encore Journeys for your incredible work in helping us make this possible. Can’t wait for the next one.
Do you like group touring, and if so, what is it about it that you find so enjoyable?