Not a particularly fair title as we had a whole week of fun, but I’m referring to those activities with less scenic intentions!! Of course quad biking fits squarely in that category, and good fun it was! Nikki had never ridden one, and though I have ridden a quad bike for utility purposes on the farm at Maleny, this was another ball game altogether! Nicole wasn’t too keen on the adrenaline rush and decided to sit this one out.
We went on a range of different trails; from dirt roads, to open country tracks amongst the spinifex, to roaring up sandy dry creek beds with banks either side, and a lot of singletrack! Yep, I don’t know if it is actually called singletrack in the world of quad biking, but it was just like singletrack riding on the mountain bike – very narrow, tight and real twisty. I was surprised by the speed and which we could push these bikes through the tight bends, winding our way through dense mulga scrub.
What it reminded me of most is downhill mountain biking, which of course is my favourite sport! Like downhill rather than XC because it was at similar speeds, and no need to pedal!
We stopped at a number of places and our guides (2 on 2 ratio!) explained a number of things about Kings Creek Station (where we were) and the area and its history. It’s a cattle station, but they also catch and sell wild camels. The last lot of 120 camels cost them $44k to road freight to Caboolture! Long trip; there wasn’t much profit left in that lot….
There is a fair bit of aboriginal history on the station also (which is owned by one). We saw a grinding stone, temporary cave shelters, discarded sharpened stone tips (for spears etc) and an area containing a fair bit of rock engravings.
How is this for a toilet? True bush setting with a view, lol. The bloke and his wife lived under a shack with only two walls and a roof for some time… well, that was the upgrade from the tarp between two trees! They did eventually end up with a 4 walled house! For water, he collected it in two 44 gallon drums from a spring 40km’s away!
Oh, and did you know that you can only see the top 1/3rd of the desert oak tree (quite a nice looking tree by the way); 2/3rds of it is underground!
We got a good deal due to a booking mix-up – they weren’t expecting us till the following day. The usual guide was about to head off showing another guide the longer tracks, so we got an extra 45mins or so out there (over the standard 1hr)! You’ve no doubt gathered that I enjoyed it, as did Nikki, and we were told multiple times that we both certainly knew how to ride quad bikes well 🙂 (and no it wasn’t him just being polite!!)
That night I’d pre-organised for Nicole to go out to a fancy dinner, ‘Under a Desert Moon’, which is an ‘….exclusive five course degustation menu by the warmth of a crackling fire…..’. Nikki had heard good reports on this and was keen, and assured me that a degustation menu is different from a disgusting one….
They had a lovely time I’m told. No kids allowed at this meal, so the kids all got another beautiful camp stove dinner of quality lamb cutlets and sausages cooked by me. I’m sure it must have been better than what Nicole and Nikki had – Ava reckoned the lamb was delicious!!!
Going back to Uluru, and camels, that is what we rode Sat night (marathon day)! Yes even Nikki dragged her weary body out for a sunset camel tour. Though expensive, I must say it was one of the most professionally run tours I’ve ever been on. The guides knew everything about camels, and spent a huge amount of time talking and explaining whatever you wanted to know as we plodded along to view the sunset.
Daniel and I were on a camel named Murphy, who has actually done a crossing from the most western point of Australia, to the most eastern point (over 4,000km’s) with one of the tour guides! Nicole and Jonathan were on a camel named Jimbo. Ava’s camel was named Nullarbor, which I can remember because of the Nullarbor Plains and because Ava obviously hadn’t heard of them and had to keep asking! No idea who Nikki and Scarlett were on! We learnt about them and their adaptation to harsh desert conditions. They are a pretty amazing animal and played a large part in the exploration/opening up of Australia. Being camel lovers they didn’t mention that they are now a feral pest causing problems in the outback due to there numbers. They have no need to breed them, they just catch them! Oh, and by the way, camels can’t spit, but Alpaca’s and Illama’s can…. The kids enjoyed feeding a couple of young ones.
Here is a short vid from the ride:
I’m not sure that running a marathon comes under the ‘fun’ category, but here’s a pic of Nikki preparing to run.
She was very appreciative of having our support during the event. The boys and I went around to various road crossing, with the help of the motorhome, to cheer Nikki and the other competitors on. Nicole and the girls were at the start/finish/half way line. Jonathan and Daniel were good water boys for her! I got to run the last 10km’s with Nikki, and give her some encouragement – started at the 32km mark when she was really beginning to feel it physically and mentally. 42km’s is a long tough slog in any conditions, let alone a sandy surface, so just as well the views are nice!!! So I can kinda say I ran in the Outback Marathon! I even got given a nice Outback Marathon cap for my efforts – thanks Nikki!! Well done – you did great, and it was awesome we could be there to share it with you. 🙂
This is the final post on our time in the Uluru area (which started here)! Some long posts recently so hope you didn’t mind, but this blog is also my journal and provides us with a good record of our holiday to look back on in the future! We had a great time in the area, thanks to both the lovely scenery and good friends.
Edited 5/8 – extra photos and vid