Uluru and Kata-Tjuta National Park

Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 31, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our flight out of Sydney was delayed by an hour and a half but eventually we got off the ground and flew to Ayers Rock airport on the outskirts of Uluru. We found the right bus and checked into our hotel in the town of Yulara which is a resort town for Uluru and not much else. The nearest town is Alice Springs which is 450km away. We spent the afternoon walking around the resort and to say it was hot is an understatement. It was 39 degrees when we landed and 11% humidity, so dry that when you sweat it evaporates almost immediately without the cooling benefit. We found a view point to watch the sunset but overcast skies failed to produce the spectacular red colour Uluru is famous for. For supper we ate at the resort where they had a grill your own meat buffet. You order the kinds of meat that you want and grill them on a bunch of barbecues that they had with all you could eat salad bar and desserts included. Gina wasn't very hungry but I took full advantage to grill me up some beef sausage, buffalo sausage, crocodile and kangaroo skewers. The kangaroo was the best of them all.

The next morning we slept in and went for lunch before being picked up for our 4x4 outback safari. The truck is a smaller version of the overland truck we rode around Africa on a few years ago and there are 13 of us traveling on it for the next three days. After meeting the rest of the group we headed into the national park to do a walk around Uluru. We stopped at the cultural centre for a bit of history before heading out on our walk. The skies were clear which made for some great photos on the walk. The walk around the whole rock is about 9km and takes about 2 hours. It wasn't as hot as the previous day which made it quite enjoyable. After the walk we watched the sunset, it was clear this time so Uluru became redder as the sun set. Our guide had sparkling wine and snacks for us. In the evening we camped at a group camp on the resort property. Our guide prepared green chicken curry over an open fire which was really good. We slept under the stars in a swag which is essentially a canvas sleeping bag that has a small mattress and your sleeping bag in it. It was very cozy until the wind shifted partway through the night and it got cold. Need more clothing tonight.

This morning we woke up very early and packed up camp. We headed to a nearby view point on top of a sand dune to watch the sunrise over Uluru. On the way we saw a dingo on the side of the road. Again the colours of Uluru were a little disappointing at sunrise, possibly due to all the dust in the air. After sunrise we drove to Kata-Tjuta for a morning walk. Kata-Tjuta is 36 domes from an ancient mountain range and is much bigger than Uluru, it loses out because it is not a single rock but to me it is much more impressive. We hiked an 8k loop through the Valley of the Winds which is named rather appropriately. It was very windy which helped keep the temperature very pleasant. The highlight was climbing up between two of the domes to a viewpoint with a spectacular view. On the walk we saw a kangaroo, Gina's first in the wild this trip as she didn't see any at Jenolan. We finished the hike shortly before lunch and returned to Yulara for lunch at the campsite. After lunch we got back on the truck and after a stop in town for supplies we are off again into the outback heading to a salt pan and Kings Canyon.
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frostyrunner on

Wonderful pictures. Love the growning old sign!!

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