Bye bye Melbourne, hello Alice Springs!

I have to become more strict to myself. Almost a month since my last post, and already 9 months since I left from Belgium! Make the 9 month/daddy joke for yourself 😉
After 7 weeks in Melbourne, I finally got out of my comfort zone and went back on the road. It was an emotional goodbye to good friends from the hostel and definitely to Jens. I’m curious where in the world we will meet again!

Last days in Melbourne

Melbourne is an amazing city to live in! This is the 3rd time I write these words down on this website. Even here in Alice Springs, I met some interesting people from Melbourne. In the proper dresscode and everything 🙂 More about that later.

If you’re looking for a introduction or an awesome Wushu-Kung Fu experience in Melbourne, go try a lesson with the Melbourne University TaiChi & Wushu club! I trained four times with these guys, and it’s lots of fun! Thanks for the lessons guys!

Like before, I’m still spending lots of time in the state library to work on my freelance projects.

Museum

My other top visits of Melbourne are definitely the Australian Center for Moving Image(ACMI) and the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Both free museums are on Federation square next to Flinders Street Station.

The ACMI is the place to be for everyone who is interested in video games, movies and photography. Probably the reason why I spent two days in this place. They present an interesting mix of the evolution of all these different media from an Australian perspective.

  • Australian video games
  • Highlights of Australian theater
  • Famous Australian directors, actors and other film crew members
  • How media technology evolved in Australia

Similar to the ACMI, the NGV expose mostly Australian artists. Art from the 19th, 20th and 21st century.
I highly recommend these places for a rainy day in Melbourne.

AFL

Another to do when you’re in Australia: watch an Australian Football game. Or footy as the locals like to call it. Even better if you can watch one at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)! I’m not going to write down all the rules, but AF is similar to rugby but has a more dynamic way of scoring and basic rules.
Together with Jens, Jarrod and Chris we went to watch the game Collingwood – Brisbane Lions. Our team, Collingwood won and we celebrated in a proper Australian way. That day ended up in the Belgian beer bar where the common intelligent discussions occurred after a couple of Belgian beers.

After seven awesome weeks living in Melbourne, I got out of my comfort zone and booked a flight to Alice Springs. First I wanted to do a roadtrip towards the north, but as a freelancer I couldn’t bind myself to anyone for a longtime in case I had lots of work.

The Outback

Already from the plane, you see a completely different environment. The interesting nothingness of what they call the red centre: The Outback. Red mountains, red sand and enormous black squares in the middle of the dessert that are due to safety wildfires.

Alice Springs

Coming from 4.5million city like Melbourne into a 25k town Alice Springs is a remarkable change! AS is situated in the center of Australia between Darwin and Adelaide. From here you can easily visit the top places Uluru, Kings Canyon etc. You can consider AS a big town for being in the Outback.

When I first walked around in AS, I was really intrigued by the aboriginals. It was the first time I saw aboriginals. Here in Alice Springs they don’t seem to be full of smiles. Most of them are hanging out around Coles or the library, sometimes shouting at each other. Also, I’ve never seen so much police in Australia as in Alice Springs. This in combination with the dry climate and the aboriginals gives Alice Springs a really unique vibe. I’m looking to do some volunteer work here in AS to get a better view on life in Alice Springs.

From Alice Springs you can book plenty of tours which will take you to the interesting places around: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon etc. These tours are rather expensive, so I’m looking to hitchhike or get a lift to one of these places.

For the moment I’m staying in Haven backpacers, a hostel mixed with longterm and travellers. It’s interesting to meet the people who are staying here longterm. Like most backpackers they fly all the way to Australia for a working holiday. And now work in the middle of nowhere in a unique and interesting place like Alice Springs. Here I met Arthur, a Belgian guy from Kortrijk who is also writing a travelblog. Go check it out! (It’s in dutch tho).

Uluru

In the hostel I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy, Leela and Letitia. Three Australians living in Melbourne visiting AS for the art exposition of Jimmy and Leela. They were planning on hiring a car and visiting Uluru for a day trip. A roadtrip with locals towards Uluru was exactly what I was looking for! Felicitas, a german girl was also looking for a similar experience. Our roadtrip team was created!

Alice Springs to Uluru is around 4.5h driving one way so we left at 6.30 am and we were back around 2am. A long day!
Jimmy, Leela and Letitia each switched driving towards and coming back. We had some really interesting conversations about the English language and artistic discussions. On the way back, we had to be really careful not to hit any wildlife on the road. I saw my first kangaroo and walibis!
A little summary of the wildlife we encountered on the road:

  • Kangaroo’s
  • Heaps of walibis
  • A wild camel (!)
  • Rabbits

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre”. The nearest large town is Alice Springs, 450km away. Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. It’s within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta (colloquially “The Olgas”) formation. – Google

After a long day, we safely arrived back at the hostel.

Go check out Jimmy’s and Leela’s work!

http://jimmylanger.com/

Next

After 9 months away from home, I can tell when you find a place you like, you should enjoy that place. But I already noticed that I can make myself at home almost anywhere. 
So far I haven’t seen many places in Australia, and I still/only have around 7 weeks before flying to New Zealand. As a result that I’ll have to skip some places from Australia. This will give me a reason to come back one day 😉

Next Saturday, I’m joining Arthur on a 4WD roadtrip towards Darwin. A small week of camping and sleeping under the stars while exploring the outback! Sounds like music to my ears!

1 Comment

  1. […] Only seeing a couple of trees and almost no hills, make this landscape appear rather boring. To discover these massive boulders in the middle of nowhere is really intriguing! Similar feeling when you see Uluru for the first time! […]

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