The Red Centre Rip Off
Trip Start May 18, 2005
72Trip End May 18, 2006
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Ayers Rock is, in a word, expensive. Really expensive. The whole area is owned by the indigenous aboriginals who have some say in how the park is run, but its not them who rip you off. Its the company who has a monopoly on all of the hotels and trips in and around the area (unless you come in as part of a week long backpacker tour which we didn't do) who rip you off charging outrageous prices on everything, including bringing you to the rock
But, apart from that, it really was a great thing to see. Before we came we felt as if we had to do it as part of the whole 'Do Oz' thing. We were even considering not going at all. But we were glad we did. Its actually more impressive than you could imagine and its not until you get up really close to it that you see why. There are some amazing shapes and formations on it and it is much bigger than you think. All those photos you see on the postcards are taken from about 10km away. The only annoying thing about it is that most of the best places are sacred to the Aboriginals in the area and you are not allowed to take pictures, so as impressive as the photos I took may look they are nothing compared to the stuff I couldn't photograph. But you have to respect thier culture, its kinda nice actually.
Speaking of respecting the culture the indigenous peoples in the area have posted a sign asking you not to climb the rock (although they technically own it the government still allow people to climb it as they reckon the area would lose a fortune in revenue otherwise). They give a list of alternatives, like walking around it as we did which is a better option because thats where you find the best looking sites
We watched the sunset from a distance where you can see it change colour as the sun dips below the horizon. It goes from a bright yellow to orange, red, purple the brown before going gray. Cool to watch and one for the obligatory photo album.
The sky at night is quite incredible and if you look at it for long enough to let your eyes adjust you can even see the milky way. It looks like a sparkly white cloud behind the stars. Beautiful.
As amazing as it was I don't think I'd pay the money we did to see it again. It really is taking the piss out of tourists.