Travel Australia - Road trip Melbourne to Uluru

Jumping on a plane to fly up to Uluru? Everybody can do that, I decided to drive and had a fantastic time. I give you a quick overview of the trip. I drove up in a 4 WD, most of the route would be doable in an ordinary 2WD, but I wanted to drive along the Oodnadatta track. I stayed on campsites during the whole trip, and cooked my own breakfast, lunch and dinner on most days.

1,000 kilometres. Melbourne – Hahndorf – Port Germein, South Australia

Everything in Hahndorf, a small town a short ride from the capital city Adelaide is blue and white. The food is typical German, that is probably not that exciting for tourists from Germany. The waitress in a restaurant tells me that their ancestors immigrated to Australia from Prussia around 1870. She has never been to Germany, she speaks no German but she sees herself as a German. I am stunned. I did not know that sauerkraut taken over a longer period of time has such a blatant effect. Have you
visited Hahndorf in Australia? Would you like to visit to eat some proper German food?

Menu of a German restaurant

540 kilometres. Port Germein - Coober Pedy, South Australia

Coober Pedy. To be honest not much happens in this town. I visit an underground church, and while I watch the priest filling up holy water from a vintage plastic milk jug we have a chat about Australian footy teams. I visit an underground book store to buy postcards. The bookseller replies to my question "How come it is so quiet today in Cooper Pedy?" with a puzzled face "It's always so quiet here, not just today." Back on the main road, it looks as if someone has built the set for the Western "High Noon." The city, however, does not live in fear of terror, but in fear of dying from boredom. Too bad I never learned to play the blues harp. At night a giant spider crawls over the window, sheer excitement.

Green vegetation with hills in the background.

Street sign in a remote area of Australia. Welcome to Glendambo. 22,500 sheep. 2,000,000 flies. 30 humans.

A plastic canister labelled with Holy Water, next to brown chairs with a figure of a madonna and the stone walls of the church as a background

Rows of brown chairs in a dimly lit underground church.

735 kilometres. Coober Pedy, SA - Uluru, NT

On the way I stop once or twice for coffee. Even here in the middle of (and I am very close to say bloody) nowhere they still have a decent espresso machine. When I reach Uluru I set up camp and go for a hike to stretch my legs.

100 kilometres. Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Uluru, NT

The few hours hike in the Kata Tjuta guides me over hills and through dales and plains. There are innumerable parrots and budgies in the air. Why must people cage them in other places?

100 kilometres. Uluru, NT

All the walks one can do at Uluru keep me entertained. As of October 2019, visitors are no longer allowed to climb the rock (and rightly so). It feels good to respect the wish of the Anangu, the local community (whatever their reason for the wish might be). In the evening I let the "Sound of Silence" event wash over me. I got carried there with a busload of other visitors, seems they have the experience of a lifetime ... visiting Australia ... and Uluru after they had just been snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. To be honest I am not that massively into group tours on this scale. I love the the night sky and I love to be in the desert, but I never fell in love with mass tourism.

Massive red rock formations under a bright blue sky in Australia..

300 kilometres. Uluru - Kings Canyon, NT

Once I hop off the vehicle I go for a walk in the gorge. There are hundreds of budgies and zebra finches around. Yes, this is a place where the budgies are still happy.

While I cook at dusk, I see myself threatened by a dingo. What am I going to do? What if he bites me or drags me into the bush? What if he buries me or might even actually ask me to raise its young? You surely must have heard of all these stories too? My fears are unfounded and my imagination has probably played me a little prank. The cute guy turns out to be the dog of the campground and I was a coward. The coat of the dog is beige. At night all cats are grey, right?

Yellow-green budgie sitting on the bark of a tree.

324 kilometres. Kings Canyon – Hermannsburg - Alice Springs, NT

When walking along the rim of the Kings Canyon I see all kinds of rock formations, lizards and birds and enjoy splendid views. The Garden of Eden, an oasis is the best place for a picnic.

In Hermannsburg my dream of a cup of tea and scones gets smashed, everything is closed as I arrive in town. I am apparently a few minutes late. The sidewalks are already all rolled up. Not true, there are no sidewalks to roll up.

Walking along the rim of the Kings Canyon with its red rock formations and cliffs.

Red gravel road winds its way through green vegetation.

Small little cottage on unpaved red dusty square under large Eucalyptus trees under a blue sky.

454 kilometres. Alice Springs, NT – Marla, South Australia

The strangest Pizza place I have ever been to has to be in Alice, it looks more Italian than the whole of Italy will ever manage to look. I eat Pizza before I go to sleep. As soon as the sun rises I hike up the hill in the Myer Annie Olive Pink garden and watch this little gem of a town from above. All houses are neatly arranged. Until 1996 the inmates of the old gaol got abused, it gives me goosebumps really.

At the National Pioneer Woman Hall of Fame genuinely every woman who ever set a foot on this planet gets honoured, no one is neglected. All exhibits are lovingly arranged. The first Australian who has completed vocational training, the first Australian woman who has worked as a police officer, the first Australian woman who has brought a broom handle from England, the first Australian woman who has worn a suit.

A beige vacuum cleaner at a museum.

688 kilometres. Marla– Oodnadatta - William Creek, South Australia

How to best describe Marla in one word? Nothing. It is a Supermarket and petrol station on the highway. The route to Oodnadatta is not paved. Do I meet another vehicle? Rarely or to be more precise not at all. It has rained recently and I have to go through a few small river crossings. In Oodnadatta everything is pink. The Roadhouse is a temple for chips lovers. Everything is as greasy as the waiters are jolly.

Next stop William Creek. This is very lonely. I will never forget this place. I count myself lucky that I was not picked up by a UFO during the night.

A large road sign explaing the rules for the Oodnadatta track.

A pink guitar and two pink hats leaning against a wall.

An old lorry, a child on a bicycle, two women chatting on a red unpaved road.

A dirty white vehicle with a crate of wine bottles on the hood parks on a red dusty unpaved road.

850 kilometres. William Creek - Lake Eyre South – Woomera – Adelaide, South Australia

Farewell from William Creek proves to be difficult. No idea whether I ever get the chance to visit again, it is a little bit of a drive to get here ... The grief is soon forgotten Lake Eyre South carries water and the desert blooms.

The vast space of a large dried-out lake in the desert of Australia.

Melons growing in the red sand on dunes in the Australian desert.

727 kilometres. Adelaide, South Australia – Melbourne, Victoria

Adelaide. Beach walk. The sky is so blue, the sea as far as the horizon and the sand of a very white. Unbelievable. Breakfast is at a café near the beach before I make my way into the city to visit the fabulous food market and two wacky galleries ...

A white-brown church on a paved square lined with flowers. The ocean in the background.

A wooden pier into the blue-green ocean.

Was the return road trip from Melbourne to Uluru worth it?  

Absolutely. Driving is the best option if you have the time and stamina to drive long distances.

What is the longest road trip you ever made? Where is your favourite place in Australia? Looking forward to hear from you.

From Berlin with love