On Uluru, probably Australia’s most iconic and most sacred sites, Bill Bryson had to say this: “I’m suggesting nothing here, but I will say that if you were an intergalactic traveler who had broken down in our solar system, the obvious directions to rescuers would be: “Go to the third planet and fly around till you see the big red rock. You can’t miss it.”

If ever on earth they dig up a 150,000-year-old rocket ship from the galaxy Zog, this is where it will be. I’m not saying I expect it to happen; not saying that at all. I’m just observing that if I were looking for an ancient starship this is where I would start digging.”

And Central Australia is very much like that. It’s otherworldly, at times alien. It’s big and sparse and dramatic and it’ll make you feel tiny in the best way possible. All you’ve got to do is stand on the edge of a gorge or walk the Kata Tjuta National Park. Your best to do that with an Indigenous guide though, because this is big time spirit land and you’ll want to soak it up alongside someone who can share it with you.

Pay attention, pay respect and be prepared to be bloody well amazed. You’ve never seen anything like the red centre. We know that we hadn’t.

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