27th September 2012

Yesterday, I returned from leading an 11 day Northern Territory Safari with 29 Year 10 & 11 Strathcona students and three other staff. We flew to Darwin, bused to Ularu via Kakadu, Katherine & Alice Springs then flew back to Melbourne.

This site features text from the private blog we used to communicate with friends and family as well as non-identifiable images of students.

Day 1

We woke up early to meet at school, everyone was so excited but half asleep! On the plane we all watched movies for the 4 hour flight and enjoyed a great QANTAS breakfast. We were shocked by the heat in Darwin! The first dramas of the trip were Cara’s camera being lost and Echo’s fork setting off security alarms!

We met our great coach driver Aaron and cook Di- and they played us some very….groovy tunes in the bus. By the third time hearing the Australiana song ‘Happy When You Sing’ by Chris Callaghan, it wasn’t so groovy anymore :/.

We enjoyed a lunch at the local shopping centre then went to our luxurious campsite. We set up out tents, which ended up being much easier than expected. Sticky and sweaty from the heat we had time for a quick swim before heading to the Mindil Beach Market. The market was really diverse and we got a taste on indigenous culture as well as many others.

We had heaps of choice for dinner- Italian, Sri lankan, hong kong, Mexican, salads and heaps more! Most of us enjoyed our dinner on the beach where we watched a beautiful red sunset.

Exhausted from the massive day and the early start we all headed to bed early.

We’re off now, very excited for a day at Litchfield park!

Love, Maddie and Anna

Crowds at Midil Beach Market in Darwin

Sunset at the Mindil Breach Market in Darwin

Day 2

So up nice and early at 6:30am for a 7:00 breakfast of cereal, toast and some coffee and tea. We left at 8:00 to travel to Litchfield National Park which took about 2 hours to get to, and we caught up on some sleep on the bus 🙂

When we got to Litchfield National Park the first place we went to was Florence Falls which were so beautiful and picturesque. We got to have a quick swim and saw a snake! It was yellow and creepy.

We then travelled to Tolmer Falls where we had a lovely short walk and enjoyed the scenery. Our last stop was at Wangi Falls where we had some lunch, and then time again for swimming! It was apparently crocodile infested :/ but the crocs don’t come until October so we were safe! There were lovely waterfalls and some rocks you could jump into the water from and some rocks to sunbathe on 🙂 Not too many people got burnt so that was good!

We also saw these Termite mounds which were cool, but looked a bit like tombstones and made it looks a bit like a giant graveyard. It was interesting.

All in all a great day!!

Katie and Gaby


Day 3

Looking over Arnhem Land from Ubirr Rock (Kakadu)

Day 4

What another exciting day at Kakadu!

Today we visited the visitors’ centre which was quite educational and interesting. We learnt about the aboriginal art and the Aussie culture. After the centre we got ice cream and headed to camp for a lovely swim and a tan. Whilst learning about our culture, two girls, Emily L and Amber, got to experience a picturesque scenery on a scenic flight over Kakadu. They loved it!!!!! (especially because Emily was offered to be co-pilot :P)

After the flight, centre and tanning we all hopped onto a boat and saw some freshwater crocs during the Yellow Water Cruise. It was quite funny to see Anna (who hasn’t even got her learners yet) driving the boat… Oh well, we all made it back to camp safety… Thank gosh. Once again it was a brilliant experience and I’m sure we will never forget this trip.

Bryony, Kathryn, Emily L, Dana and Anna


Day 5

G’day family and friends,
Dana, Sophie, Annie, Samara, Cara and Katie here.

Had a great day cruising down the Katherine gorges the environment is beautiful and serene. Being private school girls we all feel a bit boy deprived from time to time, however, although the view was beautiful some of gals (e.g. Penny cara cheyenne and kirsten FW) were chatting up the assistant skipper instead of admiring the view. We are currently in a caravan park in woop woop, about to embark on a 9hr bus ride!!! Speak soon Xx

Day 6

Coming out of our sleeping bag cocoons and facing the rising sun, realization dawned on all of us that we had just slept on a bus! Our necks ached and our backs cracked as we arrived at camp for breakfast. After finishing our toast and cereal we all climbed back onto the coach and drove to the Alice Springs Desert Park. Once we arrived we were able to wonder around the park and poke around the nocturnal house before hiking to the Amphitheater to view a spectacular birds of prey show. After the Park it was back on the bus for lunch back at our caravan park and also to unpack our suitcases and settle into our comparatively luxurious cabins.

After about an hour of relaxing or swimming and a 15 minute bus drive into town, we were able to visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service base here in Alice Springs and we all made our contributions to the worthy cause in the form of voluntary donations or swear jar payments. This was followed by an exciting reptile show from Sexy Rexy and an incredibly unique opportunity to handle various lizards and an olive python! A beautiful sunset seen from ANZAC Hill capped off an exhausting day follow by a delicious dinner. We can’t wait for Day 7!

By Amber and Kate

Day 7

After breakfast we departed for the day and drove along the Western Macdonnell Ranges. We arrived at the Ormiston Gorge to first eat lunch. As it was a 39 degree day, we were all excited to cool off with a swim. But as we all walked in, the excitement disappeared as soon as we felt the bone chilling water. Therefore, it became a day dedicated to tanning. We then went on a half hour walk to the Standley Chasm. Which were beautiful red rocks broken down over thousands of years by flooding water to form a picturesque alleyway.
As we arrived back to camp we all had free time to relax after a hot day. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Ms.Burns who has finally joined us on this magnificent trip!
A few of us sat down to watch the Hawthorn vs. Adelaide game, including Mr.Kemp, a very dedicated supporter. Although a close game, the hawks pulled through and if you tune into the Day 6 summary video, you’ll be able to see how excited some of us were..
We then went to the Sounds of Starlight Theatre to experience a musical journey of Australia’s outback! Our very own Annie Biggins and Dana Clarke were selected to join in to play the drums for the final story. I’m sure all of us left the theatre wishing we could play the didgeridoo! It was yet another exciting day up here in the Northern Territory!
Kathryn 😛


Day 8

We finally got our sleep in today as we didn’t have to pack up any tents (even if it was only an hour extra). As it was Ms.Woods last day, she made awards for each girl. Such as, the most burnt, the Leighton Hewitt backwards cap, the most swearing and the most inappropriate top. After this we departed Alice Springs with a en-route stop for a camel ride! We also got the chance to get up close and feed a baby camel!
Arriving at Kings Canyon Frontier Caravan Park, we set up our tents and had lunch. Soon after we left on the coach for a short trip to Kings Canyon where we were to walk to the rim of the canyon. Proving itself a very hot, hard, steep and long walk we only lost two people 🙂 A great effort by all the girls!
We ended the night early as we were to be up tomorrow at 5am.. Only 3 more days now!
Kathryn 😛


Day 9

An early start today to pack up everything and head to Yulara and Uluru. On the way, we made a few stops. First to pick up firewood for our fire tonight, secondly to lookout at Mount Connor which most of us thought was Uluru and lastly at a shopping centre to buy food and souvenirs. Finally arriving at our last camp site for the trip, Ayers Rock Resort Campground, we set up our tents for the last time. After lunch and some free time spent by the pool, the girls headed out to the Olga’s for a 7.4km, two hour walk. Afterwards we took a short bus ride to Uluru to view the sunset, we watched on as the rock changed Colour every few minutes it was a moment none of us will forget.

Kathryn and Caroline 😛

Day 10

Our final full day together featured the 10km Uluru base walk which involved circumnavigating the rock. We woke to the threat of rain which never eventuated but did ease the previously high temperatures for our big walk around the big rock.


In the afternoon, 14 lucky students took a flight over Uluru and witnessed this wonder of the world from the air.


Our final night was extenuated by a camp fire and marshmallows.

Day 11

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