Travel

ULURU, The Red Centre, Australia

August 27, 2018

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Uluru, previously known as Ayers Rock, The Red Centre of Australia. I have forever wanted to go to Uluru. Since I was a tiny tot I was obsessed! I learnt about the dream time in school and any project I could do, I did on the Outback. Always been on my bucket list, but I guess I’ve always had that mentality that Australia will always be here, let’s go overseas to somewhere unknown. It also use to be hella expensive to go to Uluru but in the last few years, that’s changed, making it an awesome destination for families and adventure lovers.  This year after coming back from China, Hong Kong and USA, I decided I needed another adventure, ULURU baby!

I pretty much decided in two weeks that I was going, jumped on a plane and as they say the rest was history!

We have all see Uluru in tourism ads, books, photos etc but honestly you have to see the place to believe the size, feel and just see her for all her glory. One of the most spiritual places I have ever been to. Maybe it was my connection to it from when I was young, but I honestly can’t describe to you the energy out there.

My start to my Red Centre, an evening that starts at sunset at a lookout gazing at Uluru and Kata Tjuta. That Golden Hour, that magic moment. It’s a spectacture start to the evening.  Twilight drinks and Canapés then lead down a path to the dining area, Sound of silence, the dining experience under the stars begins.
3 course meal that incorporates bush ingredients that impress your tastebubs. As the night goes on you hear from a star talker and learn about the stunning constellation above your head. The sky was clear and the stars shone bright.

Followed by the most epic light installation ever, Field of Lights.

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Words can’t describe how amazing Uluru really is. Her beauty is forever changing. The way the sun hits her all day, different hours create different tones, shape, shadow and colour.
I’m a sucker for an epic sunrise or sunset as it is, so you can imagine my delight in the middle of Australia!

As darkness falls and Uluru is thrown into silhouette, Field of Light illuminates. As far as the eye can see gentle rhythms of colour light up the desert.

The critically acclaimed Field of Light Uluru by the internationally celebrated artist Bruce Munro has now been extended until 31 December 2020.

The exhibition, aptly named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in local Pitjantjatjara is Munro’s largest work to date. Overwhelming in size, covering more than seven football fields, it invites immersion in its fantasy garden of 50,000 spindles of light, the stems breathing and swaying through a sympathetic desert spectrum of ochre, deep violet, blue and gentle white.

IMG_6108-1Super dark to get a fantastic photo of it. But its a crazy amazing piece of art!

Next up:
I need a sunrise! So what better way to do it then on a Camel!

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A magical experience and I have forever wanted to do it! Ticked that off the bucket list. Camels are so beautiful and gentle creatures. I fell in love with these guys!
Oh and so did my folks. That’s my mum on the camel with me! Family fun!

When I was in Uluru everyone was forever asked me what else did you do out there…
There are so many things. Depends on your travel budget.

Helicopter tours, Food Experiences – bush tucker, Cultural experiences, Art Classes, Segway around Uluru, Bikes – petal or Harley motorcycles, hiking, 4wd adventures… endless possibilities.

Next up, I did an art class with marukuarts, I learnt from an elder, Valerie Brumby. Sitting next to her as we made art together was a pure joy. I learnt so much about the symbols used in artworks and the mutitjulu community.
Her pieces are amazing! Which I actually purchase one a few days later at Uluru.

This is her work she did while we painted at the table together.

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Then our pieces together, I think I did ok! It’s about travel, love and the lands.

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There are so many amazing tracks to go walk-about even around the hotel/town! You can literally leave your doorstep and be in the open planes of the red centre.

Where to stay? Ayers Rock Hotel is pretty much the only option out near Uluru. It’s a series of 5 different properties in one town/village called Yulara, Owned by Voyages. The options are 5-star Sails in the Desert Hotel or other options that cater for a wide variety of budgets. Desert Garden Hotel, Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge or where I stayed at the Emu Walk Apartments. Oh, they also have a camping ground! The centre of the small town has all your needs, bank, post office, IGA, cafes, art galleries and restaurants.

Best time to Visit, Autumn (March-May) and early Spring (September –November), It’ not too hot or too cold.

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And where ever you are you can always find/see her in all her glory!
The Red Centre is definitely the Heart of Australia. I only spent 4nights in Yulara, that’s the town where all the hotels are and shops. 4days is a quick but do-able adventure. Yes, jam-packed but you can really see and do a lot in a short time.

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I do highly recommend hiring a car for at least a day!

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, not only is it Uluru but includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta (colloquially “The Olgas”) formation.
In a day, I did both with a sunset near Uluru!

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Kata Tjuta.
Kata Tjuta simply translated means ‘heads many’ for its 36 steep-sided domes. This incredible formation of rock domes extends six kilometres into the ground and is the remains of erosion that began more than 500 million years ago. The area is sacred under Anangu men’s law and under this law, details of many stories of Kata Tjuta are not known except to initiated men.

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Walpa Gorge, a gentle but rocky track that leads you into a world of rare plant species and lush evergreen shrubs known as Spearwood. Due to high winds, we only did the quick trek in and missed the spectacular Valley of the Winds. This walk can be a little challenging, but well worth it. It takes you down into a timeless haven within the domes through trickling creek beds. At times of extreme heat the walk may not be available. It’s still on my list for next time.

ULURU.

Made of Arkosic Sandstone, Uluru stands tall at 348metres high and is taller than the Eiffel Tower and 2.8times the height of Sydney Harbour Bridge! That’s just mind-blowing, and when you actually stand next to her you see just how epic she really is.

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Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre”. The nearest large town is Alice Springs, 450km away. Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. Uluru is notable for appearing to change colour as the different light strikes it at different times of the day and year, with sunset a particularly remarkable sight.
Let’s talk about climbing, I’m not for it personally out of respect. Yes, it’s still legal to climb it but the traditional owners request people don’t as it’s a sacred site.
The 800-metre steep climb is dangerous and people die. When you see how steep it really is in person you wonder why people would even do it? I beg that you please respect the Anangu people and not climb it.

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You may laugh at these guys but the flies are bloody annoying!! They are the smart ones!!
Uluru Base Walk… the loop walk is 10.6km around the whole base of the rock and takes approx. 4hrs. Give or take how long you stop for photos and the speed of walking. The walk is completely flat with one short sandy section. Remember you’re in the Outback so best to start your day and activities at first light, that heat is killer, even in winter, if there is no wind she’s dry and hot out there! Park opens at 5am daily. Water, snacks, wide-brimmed hat and short breaks are ideal if you are doing the whole base walk. Don’t forget to slip slop slap!

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She’s majestic! all her shapes, curves and beauty.

Mutitjulu Waterhole, situated at the foot of Uluru, I discovered ancient Aboriginal rock art dating back to thousands of years. The meaning behind the symbols and shapes, recounting Anangu folklore stories that have been shared for generations.

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Uluru, you exceeded all expectations! I can’t wait to go back again.
Until next time,
KB xx

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