Murray gets to the heart of it
ULURU lures droves of tourists to the Northern Territory each year and so it did Cowboys coach Graham Murray during the off-season break.
Not long after his duties had been wrapped up for season 2006, Murray embarked on a 12-day journey to central Australia with wife Amanda and 13-year-old daughter Cara.
Sightseeing was the name of the game with the trio taking in many attractions such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Albert Namatjira’s grave, the West MacDonnell Ranges, Stanley Chasm, Simpson’s Gap and the Olgas.
However, Murray said the highlight of the trip was by far Uluru and a ‘sounds of silence’ dinner away in the surrounding wilderness.
‘‘All those little places you go to . . . they’re all great but Ayers Rock is unbelievable,’’ he recalled.
‘‘You know there’s another half of it underneath the ground. It’s an amazing piece of rock.’’
While on holiday the Murray family stumbled across a different, unexpected icon of Australian history which wasn’t included in tour brochures — Olympic gold medal-winning 400m runner Cathy Freeman doing some sightseeing of her own.
‘‘We didn’t say anything to her because she was probably trying to do the same as us and stay away from people,’’ he said.
‘‘I think I read later on that her boyfriend proposed to her there.’’
To finish off the trip, the Murrays travelled north of Alice Springs to meet up with an old friend — former Souths teammate Charlie Frith, who owns a million-acre property near the Barrow Creek Hotel.
‘‘We had a beer at the famous Barrow Creek Hotel. All up there was probably about 10 of us (in the pub) and that was counting the barmaid,’’ Murray said.
RED CENTRE . . . Graham and Amanda Murray with 13-year-old daughter Cara