Breathing in the space…
The expansive space of the Australian Outback…
The last time I felt my chest breathing in the wonderful wide open expansiveness of the Australian outback, this deeply, was when working on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert.
When you watch the video below… breath…
Can you smell it?
There don’t seem to be too many places in this world (unless you go on overnight hikes) where you can really feel you’re in the middle of no where. But this section – out on the open plains of the Valley of the Winds walk – gives you a true outback experience and… you don’t even need to carry a compass 🙂
Walking Kata Tjuta’s Valley of the Winds in an anti-clockwise direction we’d left Karu Lookout (1.1km/0.7mile from the car park) and clambered up and over the lower reaches of some of the 36 domes that make up this UNESCO world heritage site until we’d ventured into what felt like a secret labyrinth where we were immersed… engulfed… on all sides by Kata Tjuta’s towering rusty red immensity.
Leaving this amphitheater of ‘many heads’ behind us (Kata Tjuta means ‘many heads’ in Pitjantjatjara) we descended the rugged path that led down from Karingana Lookout (2.7km/1.7miles from the car park) out on to an ever opening plain.
From being encapsulated by its warm embrace, the red rock faces widened – And we were set free into the broad landscape below.
Underfoot was the sound of scrunching gravel as my hiking boots came down on the stony surface.
While the breeze brushed past my ears and whistled across the plain skimming the tops of the abundant wildflowers swaying them to dance.
This central desert atmosphere is dry, oh so dry – even during the winter months when we were here, and the sun wasn’t that scorching hot, I had to drink nearly 2 litres of water to keep hydrated as the air around me managed to somehow extract and evaporate the moisture from the inside out! And how do these plants survive in their arid rocky home?
The all enveloping crystal clear blue sky leaves these flowering blooms exposed to the sun’s pounding rays all day, and then at night allows the day’s warmth to escape out to the distant icy reaches of space.
In the earlier part of the walk we’d seen Zebra finches hugging a precious pool of water; here on the open plain we encountered a Spinifex Pigeon
Who wooed us
If you want to experience the power of the outback, without getting lost – The Valley of the Winds walk will blow you away!
The Valley of the Winds walk at Kata Tjuta in one word is …
To read the first part of the Kata Tjuta Valley of the Winds walk as far a Karingana Lookout click here