Murray gets to the heart of it

Townsville Bulletin - - Cowboys On Holidays -

GRA­HAM MURRAY

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

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