Today I thought we could look back on my trip and what I thought was good, what I didn’t like and what I would do differently. This will probably be the last major post on the trip.
This trip was not the longest I’ve ever been on, but it felt epic. It was by far the most expensive trip I have done. New Zealand was just over $2K, this was over $4K and for less time. No wonder Aussies travel overseas rather than visiting their own country. It is cheaper.
It was my idea to drive there. I don’t regret the decision as I think you really get to see the countryside that you wouldn’t otherwise. However, it is a lot of driving. I really struggled with it.
I know Suzzanna loved it and she didn’t mind driving, but I found being stuck in the car for that long really hard. I find it hard to sit still at any time, so being in a car was just exhausting. I didn’t really understand it as I drive to my mum’s all the time and while it is only 4 to 5 hours I’ve never had a problem.
In Suzzanna’s car, I just kept wanting to sleep. I was so tired all the time. It was confusing. Thank you to Suzzanna for doing most of the driving. We have agreed if we ever did it again she would do all the driving.
I think it would have been better to have spread the driving out a lot more and spent more days getting there.
The place at Yulara was nice, but it was basic and I think we were both disappointed with the Lost Camel. I found it noisy and very light at night. I like to sleep in the dark. At home, the room I sleep in is almost completely black. I love it.
In Alice Springs the photos that were used to advertise on the website were made up just for that. Believe you me the rooms we stayed in did not look anything like the photos. They were outdated and really needed a lot of work. If you are going to Alice I would give the Diplomat Hotel a miss. Find somewhere else.
The only good thing about the Diplomat was its location to everything. We were right in the heart of Alice Springs and close to galleries for looking at the artwork.
It is funny that the places we stayed in on the way up and the way back, in many ways were much better. All four of them were good, basically. No complaints from me.
Uluru and the Kata Tjuta
It has to be said that the whole point of going on this trip was to see Uluru. I think it is one of those things that nearly most Australians would love to see at least once in their lifetime.
I grew up calling it Ayers Rock and seeing photos of it in a book that I had called Beautiful Australia. It definitely was worth seeing. It is so much bigger than you think it will be.
While there were a lot of people there, and I think we were there at peak season or close to it, there never seemed to be masses of people. When I remember back to that morning when we were in Wanaka at the tree there and how horrible it was. Here is a link to the blog post if you want to read about it, click here. There always seemed to be enough space.
I think the only time I found it hard was the Field of Lights and that was more because people don’t know how to use their phone cameras and flashes kept going off. It always amazes me how people use their flash for landscape photography. It really doesn’t do anything unless what you are photographing is up close. Suzzanna did help one woman with her phone.
So overall it was great to see the rock and photograph it.
Growing up this was called The Olgas. I had no idea how close to Uluru it was. I really only went to it once and I wish I could have explored it more.
There are more regrets about this place. The day we had planned to go again I wasn’t well. Not much I could do about that, but it would have been good to visit it a few times.
The biggest regrets
At Yulara, I wish we had stayed at least one to two more nights there. Plus stayed at a much better hotel.
The other thing that I regret was not knowing more about the place and what a tourist trap it was. I mean there is nothing we can do about that, but if we had known, perhaps we would have been more prepared for it. We could have saved more money for the trip knowing it was going to cost us a lot.
I also wish we had done more research about the time. I would have loved to be able to photograph the Milky Way out there, but we were closer to the full moon than new moon. That was a huge disappointment.
I think what we did around Alice was perfect. I know there are places that Suzzanna would like to have done but didn’t because of her ankle. Twisting her ankle a couple of weeks before we went wasn’t good and it meant there were things she couldn’t do. Though having said that she really surprised me with lots of the things she did do.
The time we spent there was long enough. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. For a place that has a population of 25000 people, I think I was thinking that it would be more like the cities we have in Victoria, but it was more like a big country town. That surprised me.
I did the things I wanted to do so I am happy about that. I think the only thing I regret is the accommodation.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S II
What a great camera. I wasn’t sure about this one. I knew I wanted to try it and I’m glad I did.
It wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be and overall was easy to use. It was fun taking it out. I don’t regret taking it with me. I probably didn’t use it as much as I could have, but I think I got a good feel for it.
I think the place it really wins is the processing. I love processing the photos from it. There is so much information in those files. I also think it gave you a really good representation of what you were actually seeing. I am definitely going to miss it when it comes to sunrises and sunsets.
The two lenses I had were the 35-70mm and the 100-200mm. I mainly used the first one as it seemed like wide angle was the way to go most times. I did use the other one, but only once.
Other Fujifilm gear
The only other thing I borrowed from Fujifilm was the 100-400mm for my X-T3. It was a great lens to have at the Adelaide zoo.
Carrying it around was hard because it is a very heavy lens, but I really appreciated having it for the pandas.
The Wacom Cintiq Pro 16
When I first contacted Wacom here in Australia I was really after the Mobile StudioPro, as that is what I have used on trips in the past. I was told that they would be discontinuing them, so I thought it might be a good opportunity to try a Cintiq.
I have been curious about these for a long time. My husband and I thought about me getting one a few years ago, but then we saw the price. So needless to say I never got one.
I’m not going to review it, as I have already done a post on that and you can find that post by clicking here.
For travelling, I didn’t find it as convenient as I had hoped it would be. It is a very large unit and heavy. It was fine if we were staying somewhere for a few days that had a desk where you could set it up. It wasn’t as easy to just get it out and pop it on your lap.
Now that I have done it, I would travel with one like it again. I liked the idea of the tablet for working on images, but I think I would want something smaller and easier to move around. Something lighter really. I have the Huion Kamvas Pro 13 (2.5k) so I think that would be perfect for me the next time I go away.
The bigger tablets are fantastic for home, and I loved using it here. It was better when you could just set it up and leave it like that.
It was a fantastic trip. I got to see things that I thought I might never see.
There are also the parts that were wonderfully surprising, like Coober Pedy. I had no idea that I would fall in love with it. I do wish we had spent maybe one more day there.
Now that we have done it I think if we were doing it again we would do it differently. More days in Yulara I think. I also suspect we would try to find somewhere that had some sort of kitchen so we could cook our own meals. Part of the reason it was so expensive was we had to eat out for every meal. You never feel healthy after that.
I would break up the driving a lot more.
I have to admit after seeing lots of blogs with people travelling in vans I wouldn’t mind trying it. Not sure I ever will, but I like the idea.
The trip was great, I am so glad I went. I am not sure I would ever go back. It was a very expensive trip and that is something I didn’t really like.
Another thing I realised is that I don’t think I like being away from home for that long. I don’t know if it was the pandemic or what, but I hated being away. I couldn’t wait to get home again. I might plan smaller trips now. No longer than a week I think.
I have some of those planned for next year, but I have gone on enough now, so I will end it here. If you are still reading, thank you.