‘There's nothing like going on the back of a camel at dawn to see the sunrise in the heart of my beloved Australia - Uluṟu’
Seeing Uluṟu at sunrise was a life-changing experience for Rookie, a father-of-two and pharmaceutical sales manager from Sydney. Uluṟu’s sheer spiritual presence captivated Rookie and inspired him to see more of Australia.
“It revitalized me, recharged me, and made me forget the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle I live in,” Rookie said.
“In the outback, things are slower. I’m not sure if it’s just the hot climate or that time seems to stand still. The camel ride is exceptional and surreal, but it was Uluṟu that really moved me. You could say the trip was almost spiritual.”
Rookie and his wife, along with some of Rookie’s work colleagues, were in the Red Centre on a company incentive trip. They spent their days exploring the sacred sites with Aboriginal guides - walking around Uluṟu and through the steep, russet domes of neighbouring Kata Tjuṯa. At night they enjoyed lavish outback feasts and star-gazed beneath a brilliant desert sky, learning the Dreaming stories for different constellations.
“It made me realise that Australia has so much to offer,” said Rookie, who returned soon after to the Red Centre on a family holiday. This time, he and his wife made Alice Springs their base, so the children could experience the surrounding outback landscapes.
“We visited Palm Valley on a four-wheel drive. It’s mind boggling to see this lush vegetation amidst the barren land. Standley Chasm is another must from Alice Springs - be there at midday to see its secrets. We also saw sunrise from a hot air balloon, an experience my daughter and I will never forget,” Rookie said.
For a complete change of scenery, Rookie took the family to Tasmania for their next holiday, where Rookie said “every town has something to offer tourists.” In Launceston, the family loved exploring lush Cataract Gorge, touring Beaconsfield Mine and flying through the treetops of the Tarkine forest. Closer to Hobart, they visited Bruny Island, a Sorell fruit farm during the cherry blossom festival, and historic Port Arthur, one of Rookie’s holiday highlights.
“It is as if you are transported back in time when life was simple but harsh- no TVs, computers, mobile phones or electricity. You get to appreciate the luxuries we have right now. If you’re into the supernatural, I suggest doing the ghost tour in the evening,” Rookie said.
After their Tasmanian road-trip, Rookie planned a Christmas on the Gold Coast, where “the kids loved the theme parks.” Determined to discover more of Australia’s diverse beauty, Rookie is thinking South Australia or Western Australia for the next holiday.
“There really is nothing quite like Australia! I encourage others to go out and see our backyard, you don’t have to spend much to enjoy her,” he said.