Do the Red Centre - discoveraustralia.com

Discover Adventure with Heather

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Heather McIntyre has lived in Central Australia for four decades and works at Araluen Arts Centre. During her time in the heart of Australia, Heather has covered almost every patch of the Red Centre through 4WDing, bush walking, camel riding, horse riding, gliding, ballooning and many more. Heather spent two weeks solo trekking the Larapinta Trail in 2014 and hopes to complete the full 223km in the near future. She’s a mother to three adult children and considers Amelia Earhart as one of her heroes - for her pioneering spirit and supporter of women’s rights.

 

View some of Heather’s experiences in this short 30 second television commercial airing on Imparja, GO and GEM.

Get to know Heather in this extended 2 minute web version and learn about her adventure experiences in the Red Centre featuring motorcycling and bike riding.

 

Heather's Top Adventure Experiences in the Red Centre

My very first visit to Alice Springs was a short stay in February 1974. The river was still trickling after huge floods which had broken the long drought. As I made my way to town from the airport, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape. I was hooked and mesmerized by the mystique of the MacDonnell Ranges. I knew I had to return to Alice Springs. And later that year I did.

I love this land, it’s ancient and beautiful – it’s our wilderness. This region is my home and has offered me a life filled with adventure – whether it’s the Larapinta Trail, Uluru, Redbank Gorge or Kings Canyon. The wisdom that I’ve gained over the years is that Adventuring is a ‘state of mind’, not an age bracket.

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Motorcycling at Uluru

My Harley Davidson motorcycle experience was fantastic! I was picked up from the front of my hotel and we rode through the Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park. It was fabulous fun! Being in the elements and with the wind in my face – it was such a different experience to what I expected. There were no barriers between myself and the landscape, no windscreens, just fresh air and a sense of freedom. I was in the capable hands of driver Roger from Uluru Motorcycle Tours who knew all the great viewing spots to view Uluru and Kata-Tjuta. The occasional surge in speed was an absolute thrill!

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Cycling at Uluru

I only recently discovered that you can now cycle around the base of Uluru with Outback Cycling. It wnn.jpgas a new challenge for me as I’ve never owned a bicycle before. Coaxed by friends, we packed a small day pack, and took to the bicycles. The initial start of the track was riding through shrubbery and bushlands. You then emerge from this section to face the enormity and amazing presence of the Rock itself. This bicycle track is along the base of the monolith. When you’re riding, you’re so close that you could almost reach out and touch it. Along the track, you can stop to do the short Kuniya Walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole. It had rained the day before and I felt so privileged to sit by the beautiful and crystal clear waterhole, filled with water. I’m told that only 1% of visitors get to see rain on the Rock and I am now one of those lucky few. Overall, the cycling experience was relaxing, easy, great fun and much quicker than walking around the base. The experience has inspired me to buy a bike!

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Trekking the Larapinta Trail

During my time in Central Australia, I've spent many hours as a runner training cross country. Every Sunday we would run through the hills, along dirt tracks and gullies. I’m not much of a runner now but I wanted to be immersed in the landscape again, so in 2014 I challenged myself to walk the Larapinta Trail. I fell in love all over again - the landscape was magnificent! So pristine, ancient and untouched. The old adage – ‘It's not the destination, but the journey that counts’ is an absolute truth. The experience was definitely not a walk in the park, as it can be tough but that’s part of the challenge. The solo walk was life changing and incredibly rewarding. The experience affirmed to me that I can do anything.

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Redbank Gorge

Redbank Gorge is a wonderful place and is incredibly beautiful. I’ve been to this gorge many times over the years but this one particular trip has stayed with me. I had four kids in tow and we were prepared for water adventures with tyre tubes and other fun floating devices. The kids led the way as we were swimming through the waterhole to the entrance that we called ‘Aladdin’s Cave’. During the swim through the gorge, the sun was striking the water resulting in reflections on the walls of the gorge. The reflections were gold and red, shimmering with the ripples in the water. The colours and all the reflections made the chasm come alive and the water was filled with beautiful jewels!

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Kings Canyon

I visited Kings Canyon in my early years of living in the Red Centre and we camped there every Easter for a long time. Back then, there was only a small bracken bridge that you could cross to get to the other side of the ridge. A lot has changed at Kings Canyon since the early days but there are some things that will always remain the same – the spectacular views, amazing sunrises and the beautiful ‘oasis in the desert’ The Garden of Eden.

My Next Adventure… Skydiving at Uluru

My next ‘experience of a lifetime’ will be skydiving in the Red Centre with Skydive Uluru. The experience of jumping out of an aeroplane with a view of Uluru symbolizes that I’ve reached a milestone in age and that I could free fall into succeeding years of my life by reaching new heights and having more incredible adventure experiences in the Red Centre.