b'The colourful Great Barrier Reef. Stunning colours are seen while walking through the Olgas.Australia(continued from page 53) climbing Ayers Rock has been bannedtemperature of Alice Springs reached since the fall of 2019. This was largelya hot 40 degrees while I was there.due to the religious signi cance of theThe yingdoctorbaseforthe monolith, but also because the strongNorthern Territory is located in Alice winds would take as many as 20 livesSprings.Fully equipped with the lat-each year. est in medical technology, aeroplanes Located about a 60-minute drive to y from one end of the country to an-the west of Ayers Rock, are the Olgas.other, tending to the medical needs of They are a fascinating rock formationsmall remote communities.which are actually 36 individual stonesCamelswerebroughttoAustralia rising from theat desertoor.by the early settlers because of theirAyers Rock at sunset.Idrovethe235kmLassetergreatabilitytofunctioneffectivelyin Highway, which is the main road in thethe desert.Today more than 350,000 area. Stations or ranches border thecamels roam wild throughout northern highway, and are home to cattle andand western Australia.ranchersalike.AnaveragestationAfter myll of camel riding, I ventured can consist of thousands of acres ofto the airport to continue the journey to land, and is usually left unattended bymynal destination in Eastern Australia, its owners. the wonderful city of Melbourne.MynextstopwasthetownofMelbourne has a population of just Alice Springs, which lies just south offewerthanthreemillion,makingit the Tropic of Capricorn in AustraliasAustralias second-largest urban area. Northern Territory. Gusts of wind makeAlthough it lacks the charm of SydneysMaking the lengthy and treacherous climb this desert come to life, as dust cloudsHarbour District, it does have the Yarrato the summit.swirl across theat plains of the Simp- Riverrunningthroughitscentre. The son Desert. Due to its tropical loca- city was created in 1837, and was de-tion, there are only two seasons in the Northern Territory: wet and dry. ThePlease turn to page 56These guys made it to the very top!Ayers Rock from the air.FOCUS - JULY 202255'