If there was one place I had to show my family during their time in Australia, it was the Northern Territory.
The Top End defines Australia in so many ways; its red dirt, isolation and cultural history are otherworldly. After our time in Sydney - and a flight halfway to Ayers Rock that returned to Sydney because of technical issues - we eventually made it to the Red Centre.
Of course a return to Uluru - where I enjoyed such a magical experience in 2011 - was on the agenda.
Along with my mother, father, sister and Hayley, I again climbed 'The Rock', but did so this time more as the sherpa and tour guide, rather than the first-timer. I re-lived my 2011 ascent but seemed to appreciate the magnitude of the occurrence more the second time since I was with my family.
Back in the community of Yulara, I attended a boomerang and spear throwing class, and also met with an Aboriginal gentleman who taught my father and me about native tools, weapons and hunting and gathering techniques used by his ancestors. The Aboriginal culture is so fascinating.
Sunrises and sunsets over Uluru were again in the itinerary, and again did not disappoint. The dark horse - slight pun intended - was that the Yulara Camel Cup was taking place during our stay. The Camel Auction, held at the local pub, saw camels being sold literally inside the pub. The Cup, which took place the next day, featured camels racing around a red dirt, U-shaped track. With tourists and Aboriginal community members present for the annual event, it was quite the festival.
It would be hard to duplicate these experiences anywhere else…in the world.