On our adventure to Alice Springs we made a side trip to Uluru and Kata Tjuta for a couple of nights. We decided to fly over from Alice as it was going to be a six hour drive and we thought it best not to have Isla in a car for that long. Plus it meant more time for us to sight see while we were there. After landing Roy and I were so lost for words about the giant rock that we drove straight to it instead of checking in to room. Ularu really sticks out and its bloody huge. As we drove closer and closer the more surreal it became. How on earth did this thing get here?
The flight from Alice Springs was great after take off you are soon served a bottle of water before landing. So short and the landscape below was fascinating. There are some amazing salt lakes near Uluru which I am surprised have not been turned into a tourist destination also. They made some amazing patterns across the red earth.
Accommodation is at Yulara and it’s monopolized by one company even the backpackers we stayed in was ridiculously over priced. Four bunk beds for $260 with a bathroom for a night. I thought I had booked a double room – no no that is the lodge. Anyways they did have a pool which Isla took her first swim. She loves the water and it was better than the icy water we swam in at the West MacDonnell Ranges. For folks planning on staying at Yulara the campground has cheap cabins for rent, however they were booked when we were there I think they might be less than $200 a night. With accommodation prices so high also the food in the eateries matched the price. The local IGA has the best priced food if your accommodation has a kitchen to cook it in or need a few nibbles. Also take your own drinks if you can a six-pack of beer set back Roy $34. Moving on from the overpriced rant to what we saw and how breath-taking this place is.
Lily (Roy’s sister) conveniently was doing some work with the local community out there so we got to have a little insiders understanding of the place. We watched the sun go down while the rock changes colour from a washed out brown to a vibrant red. Lily told us to keep a look out for the purple wild flowers while driving around.
Isla was born on the blood moon in April earlier this year and we just so happened to be at Uluru to watch the sixth moon which was also a blood moon. It was a good way to celebrate her six months in our lives. We stood on a hill watching the moon come over the horizon then slowly slip away to then turn red and return to its former shape. How lucky were we to see it in such a spectacular place.
So spectacular even from the sky
Swimming with dad
Otherwise known as the Olga’s, Kata Tjuta looms over the landscape to the west and is equally intriguing as Uluru. We loaded Isla up in her backpack for two hikes the first at the Valley of the Winds. We decided to only go the look out due to limited time I think you need a full day at each Kata Tjuta and Uluru. As we walked up the path the the soil beneath our feet changed from a sandy like light stone to a mash-up of bigger stones which were glued together. Yet the walls of the rock seem so slick and smooth it’s hard to imagine why so many different parts. The view was stunning from the Valley of the Winds and the name serves it justice as it was howling through the gap. It was an already windy day so it was quite extreme. Our second walk was at Walpa Gorge winding our way up on similar rock with huge walls of stone on either side of us.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is a magical place our close inspection after visiting the information center was Mutitjulu waterhole. Here we walked up close and personal to the rock. Standing at the base of the rock and looking up seeing how it explodes out of the earth – honestly I am still amazed a week on from our trip. There were a few aboriginal paintings for viewing on the rocks below.
The next day we came back to Uluru to visit the other side viewing aboriginal paintings at Tjukatjapi & Warayuki. If we visited again we would hire bikes to tour around the base of the rock much easier than walking in the hot heat.
I still don’t have many words to describe Uluru so here are a few of the photos.