First time travelling with the baby – exciting times… will she be ok flying, can we really take the cot for free, what clothes should we take, how will she sleep? All these questions were whizzing through my head before we left for our 6 day trip to the Red Centre where our baby would turn 3 months old.
All these questions were not the ones to worry about in the end. Qantas does not allow checked or carry-on luggage for the kid (which we also did not need) but you can take 3 baby items (child seat, pram, cot) for free – even though it’s oversized. We only took the cot as our little one does not like prams and we had decided to rent the baby capsule because we were afraid we would not be able to install ours in the car. In the package we booked, the car seat was ridiculously expensive – 107 AUD (Hertz via Sunny Cars) and it turned out that we still needed to install the rented car seat ourselves.
The flight was perfect as well. Madam slept through take-off and landing and was happily looking around on our laps the rest of the time. Regarding luggage, we had way too much stuff for her. We had one bag for us and one for her. She needed maybe half of that. And as for the sleep, she was happy in her cot, fed in the night as she knew from home. After the first day, she was exhausted from the new experiences and slept 2 nights 10 hours in one go.
The problem we had not thought of was driving. The first day we headed towards the West MacDonnel Range and the baby was crying, screaming, in hysterics. She hated sitting in the car seat. That was very bad considering we had around 1500 km to drive as we had planned to go to Kings Canyon and Uluru. We decided to cancel Kings Canyon but we had to do Uluru – no way that we came all this way and then wouldn’t see the Red Rock. (I had seen them 6 years earlier when I had travelled with my parents from Adelaide with the Ghan to Alice and then to Kings Canyon and Uluru – but Michael hadn’t).
After 3 days in Alice, we started our drive to Uluru with a sleeping baby which made it to Erlunda – half of the way. After Erlunda the baby had even more sleep and we made it to the Olgas with only a short crying time. We skipped the walk there because of the flies and went to Uluru to find a good spot for the sunset. There we watched the rock slowly changing shades of red. The sunset alone is worth the trip.
We stayed in the Outback Pioneer YHA – no bathroom, family room for 187 AUD! Dinner was the usual – couscous and noodles… easy to cook with the kettle they always provide for coffee and tea.
The trip went almost as smooth with just a short period of crying. We didn’t spend that much time with the Olgas and Uluru as we might have been otherwise but we had enjoyed their view.
It is different to travel with a baby. There is one more person to consider. This time it was driving by car. Let’s see what it will be next time – when we go to Vanuatu in July. But we proofed to us that we can do it… have a child and keep traveling.