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page 28 “Instead of just learning ‘facts’ about the area from a neutral perspective, Haydyn shows the stories of the region passed to him by his grandfather and introduced me to family members living in the area,” explains one of Bookabee’s many satisfi ed clients. On a Bookabee tour, visitors will experience the land and life of the Adnyamathanha people through Aboriginal cave paintings, rock engravings, cresation stories and bush tucker – and will also come across abundant wildlife, such as kangaroos, emus, wedge-tailed eagles and the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby. Adnyamathanha stories tell of ancestral spirits such as the two Akurras (giant snakes) who created and shaped the specta cu lar Flinders Ranges. The local mountains, animals and birds, plants, waterholes and springs all have special signifi cance to Haydyn’s people – and he is keen to share his valuable knowledge of the history and culture of the Aboriginal people of the area. It’s this authentic interaction and education that many overseas visitors are looking for, but not all are willing to ride in the back of an old oka and swag it under the stars in order to fi nd it. The personalised touch Bookabee has responded by creating a menu of personalised tours and holidays, with hand-picked accommodation. Guests encounter the native wildlife, bush food and cave paintings, listen to Aboriginal stories and experience the stunning hills and gorges of Haydyn’s home – the Flinders Ranges. Most tours are run for small groups, but Bookabee can put together ground arrangements for couples wanting a fully personalised itinerary. The most popular tours put together by Bookabee are the three-day Flinders Ranges Experience and the four-day Flinders Ranges Outback Discovery, while one the latest additions is a three-day Flinders Gourmet Tastes Tour. The high-end accommodation pro viders now partnering with Bookabee Tours Australia include Rawnsley Park, which offers luxury eco-villas; Prairie Hotel, famous for its Australian native cuisine, such as kangaroo, emu and yabbies; and Wilpena Pound Resort’s Heyson de-luxe unit. Tour rates include accommodation, all meals, entry fees and pick-up and drop-off at all of the hotels in Adelaide’s metropolitan area. Click here for accommodation details Mawlkii Cave Dancing Brolga Haydyn Bromley making Billy Tea J u l y 2 0 0 7 w w w . S E L L I N G D O W N U N D E R . c o m 9

When travellers picture Australia’s Outback, it is usually images of the Northern Territory’s Red Centre that spring to mind. While planning a holiday in this vast expanse of the desert can seem a little daunting, countless self-drive and tour options make the icons of the Outback easily accessible to everybody. The Red Centre Way tourism drive links the spectacular icons of this region and is an excellent route for planning a journey. The route starts in Alice Springs, a bustling desert town that is full of characters and boasts plenty of attractions and adventures. Visitors can ride a camel to dinner, take a hot air balloon to breakfast or charter a helicopter to explore the landscape from the air. Moving into the West MacDonnell Ranges, the drive is one big highlight, beginning with the picturesque Simpson’s Gap and striking Standley Chasm. Travellers can swim at Ellery Creek Big Hole, an internationally signifi cant geological site, or take the three-kilometre Dolomite walk, which explores the area’s remarkable formations. Colourful ochre pits, 110 kilometres west of Alice, have been used for generations by the local Aboriginal people. The rock walls of the creek bed are an earthhued rainbow, and steeped in millennias of tradition. Ormiston Gorge boasts a large waterhole surrounded by towering red walls. There are plenty of bushwalking options, including the seven-kilometre Ormiston Pound Walk, and the 20-minute Ghost Gum Look-out. At the look-out to Mt Sonder visitors experience fi rst hand the mystic of the instantly recognisable Namatjira landscape, and Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve is a ‘must-see’ for lovers of all things astral – the massive crater was formed by a comet over 130 million years ago. Kings Canyon’s 300-metre sheer cliff faces and palm fringed swimming hole are best experienced through the Rim Walk. This three-hour journey passes hardy trees eking out an existence on the rock faces, and hidden surprises including The Lost City and the Garden of Eden. An adventurous side trip is the Boggy Hole four-wheel-drive track. Start at Hermannsburg and 80 kilometres later fi nish on the Ernest Giles Track. This route requires technical four-wheeldrive skills and takes at least 10 hours to complete. Travellers can self-drive or join one of the four-wheel drive tours. The track follows the bed of the Finke River through varied scenery of towering, red rock walls, muddy waterholes, old cattle yards and a salt pan. The grand fi nale is Ayers Rock/ Uluru, where you can watch the sunrise before completing the base walk, then drive to the Olgas/Kata Tjuta to complete the Valley of the Winds Walk that mean ders through the massive rock domes. Wild budgerigars are just one highlight of this expe rience. For more information on the Red Centre Way, click here. Discovering the Red Centre Larapinta Trail, Ormiston Gorge Kings Canyon w w w . S E L L I N G D O W N U N D E R . c o m J u l y 2 0 0 7