Uluru/Ayers Rock

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Where I stayed
Ayers Rock Resort

Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, May 28, 2007

Alex: After a false start leaving Alice Springs (the bus left early and then had to turn back after 20 minutes to pick up a package that needed to be delivered!) we got to Ayers Rock resort at lunch time just as the morning chill had disappeared. The whole resort is owned by one company and has the monopoly on Uluru accommodation so prices are seriously hiked up, so it was dorm beds for us once again, yippee. We figured out that it was a lot cheaper for us to hire a car than take the bus as we wanted to see the Kata Tjutas (aka the Olgas) as well as Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) so we had the luxury of our own wheels.

We picked up the car the following day and headed straight to Kata Tjuta, which is a number of unusual domes springing up out of the desert. We did the 7km Valley of the Winds walk, which was spectacular, winding around the domes and through tight valleys. The colours are just incredible, the dull greens of the plants, the red of the earth and the bright blue of the sky. Stunning. After our walk we stopped off at the picnic site to eat our lunch with a weird but amazing view. We actually ended up eating in the car, forced there by the very irritating flies that call this area home. Fly nets over your head are the height of fashion and practicality here!

The next stop was Uluru itself. The aborigines in this area regard Uluru as sacred and ask that people don't climb it, so we didn't. To be fair after the trek around the Kata Tjutas a climb up Uluru was not in the least bit appealing. Instead of the climb we walked the 9km around the base of Uluru. The rock itself is truly massive and surprisingly varied. There are massive valleys, caves created by overhanging rocks, cliffs, parts that have been eroded to look like honeycomb. One large area has special significance to the aborigines and, as well as other things, there are caves with walls and ceilings covered by paintings. One of the most beautiful spots for me was a watering hole fed by a gorgeous trickling silvery waterfall. It is such a tranquil spot, deep in the shadows of a crease in the rock, cool and peaceful on what had become a very hot day.

After our little walk we headed to the cultural centre to learn a little more about the people who live in the area. It was quite interesting, telling the creation story of Uluru (the Kata Tjutas creation story is a secret) as well as some of the customs and how the people manage to survive in such a dry desolate place. After that it was the perfect time to join hundreds of others in the car park to watch Uluru turn blood red as the sun set. Beautiful.
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