Will & Bear x Ottway do Outback Australia
It all started with the mutual love for all things vintage (and it’s perfectly brown colour palette) when we met Manu & Neri of Ottway The Label, some 5 years ago. Now we call them family because not only do we all share the same thirst for adventure and spontaneity but they have become such a pivotal part of the Will & Bear brand too. And if we’re not frothing over historical artifacts and earthy tones, you’ll find us 4 exploring random, last-minute locations at the drop of a hat, like flying to the middle of Aus in search of the big red rock, Uluru!
After Marty (our van) broke down and needed some full-time care we decided to book last minute flights to Alice Springs because, why not? We were so stoked to be meeting up with Manu and Neri that our entire flight was spent excitedly planning our next 4 days with places we’ve always wanted to go!
Once we landed, we all explored the town of Alice before hitting the road in search of the big rock! Suddenly, we’d finally arrived at (what we thought was) Uluru only to realise we’d been fooled by the common error shared amongst travellers… mistaking Mount Conner for Uluru.
Standing tall at nearly 300m, 5km long and 4m wide, Mount Conner is a distinctive flat-topped sandstone capped mountain made up of sand and rock. Known for its distinctive horseshoe shape this impressive formation is one of the greatest in the region and is more often than not mistaken by keen travellers for the ever famous, Uluru.
Day two was fast approaching as the early hours of the morning saw us dragging ourselves out of a well-earned slumber to catch a glimpse of Uluru at first light. Watching the sunrise glaze itself over the red earth was one of those incredibly surreal, bucket-list-ticking moments as if it were something from a movie!
But after feasting on visual delights, our rumbling tummies were ready for a food feast and if it’s one thing we’ve become really good at whilst being on the road, it’s how to pack an epic picnic no matter the adventure.
So, there we were, the 4 of us piling back into the car with plenty of supplies, in search of the Olgas! Originally known as Kata Tjuta, the Olgas are located approximately 40km west of Uluru and are made up of 36 domes, all boasting different shapes and sizes.
Mount Olga is the tallest of them all, standing at 1,006m. We felt so incredibly lucky to spend the arvo wandering around the national park, setting up our picnic and watching the sunset over Kata Tjuta with good friends by our side to share the view with.
If the early bird gets the worm then we had buckets full! Day 3 and yet another early morning wiping away the nights rest from our eyes ready to get back on the road to eventually land at and explore Kings Canyon. Only 3 hours from Uluru, Kings Canyon is a breathtaking destination featuring 100m high sandstone walls, palm-filled crevices, and stretches of desert that make for the perfect view.
It was no wonder this beautiful place had seen 60,000 visitors by 1990! This was by far one of our favourite spots because if the landscape wasn’t beautiful enough, we spotted a few wild dingos and camels surrounding our campsite and got to experience a camp out in rad little safari tents under the stars… we we’re seriously pinching ourselves.
As day 4 rolled around we were ready for a sleep in, but we quickly learned that sunrise hikes don’t warrant sleep-ins, so another early rise was in order. Let’s just say we became experts at angling our cameras toward the scenery instead of our tired faces by the end of this trip! A few hours spent hiking King Canyon, taking in all the scenery felt like we had been teleported to the surreal visions of Utah.
It was absolutely breathtaking and made the minimal sleep totally worth it! But with only one night left of our short-lived getaway, we decided to pile into the car and head towards West MacDonell National Park to swim in the gorge and watch our final sunset over the fiery red earth. We made some new friends along the way too… a wild horse kept a steady pace with our moving car for a solid 5km, keeping us all company and in awe!
We could’ve explored for days, weeks and even months on end but it was time to head home to be reunited with Marty and catch up on some serious sleep. It’s never a dull moment when the 4 of us get together for an outback adventure, making memories that will never be forgotten!