Northern Territory: Uluru (Ayers Rock)

(23/8/2018 – 28/8/2018)

Uluru – (previously known as Ayers Rock) one of Australia’s most iconic symbols of the outback and is World Heritage listed.  It’s the spiritual heart of Australia and is situated in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre.

Uluru has been a very spiritual place to the Anangu people, the traditional owners, for thousands of years.    Made of arkosic sandstone, Uluru stands 348 metres high and has a circumference of 9.4 km.   It is taller than the Eiffel Tower and 2.5 times the height of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

We checked into the Campground of Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara for 8 nights.  Mum flew in from Sydney on Saturday afternoon to spend 5 nights with us.   As well as catching up with us she wanted to be here for Mitchell’s 6th Birthday which was on Tuesday 28th.

On Sunday morning we were up early to get organised and ready to climb Uluru.   Along with the Glovers, we drove out to Uluru (around 30 minutes) to climb this most famous monolith.  The weather was perfect for the hike too.    It cost $75.00 (3 adults) for a 3 day pass into the National Park.

Mum got to “Chicken Rock” (a short walk up before the chains started).   She said she couldn’t go any further (good on her for trying though, she is 76) but she did walk the 10km around the entire base of Uluru which took her a couple of hours!!!!   Great work Mum!!!!     I heard that if you struggle just to get to Chicken Rock you would probably have difficulty climbing all the way up so don’t do it!!!

I can’t believe I was here in 1992 and climbed the rock and here I am again 26 years later!!!!    Although I found it so much more challenging this time.   I was more nervous too.       Mitchell took some coaxing at first to climb up as well.    A lady offered him some lollies if he could walk up, well that worked a treat and off he went!!!   He did so well after that (the lollies must have helped!!).    It is a strenuous and physically demanding climb but all worth it when you reach the top!!   It really is quite exhilarating and such another memorable experience for us.

I understand climbing Uluru is a controversial issue and the Aboriginals do not want people climbing Uluru as it is sacred site for them and I respect that but its something we wanted to do (considering the Aboriginals will ban climbing Uluru).    The ban will begin on 26th October 2019 to coincide with the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to traditional owners.

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Photo before walking up!!

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I actually found it more difficult coming back down, even holding onto the chain I had a couple of little slips which scared me a bit, but in all it was a fantastic accomplishment for us.  We then headed back into town to have some well earned drinks at the Outback Pioneer Hotel.

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On Monday we booked into the Field of Light Sunset Tour where we were picked up by coach and transported to a remote desert dune top location with panoramic views of Uluru.   Here we had some outback canapes (kangaroo, rosella, crocodile, poached prawn and sweet potato) and champagne/beer/soft drinks (cost was $90 per adult and $60 for Mitch).     After Sunset we then did a self guided walk through the Field of Light, the colours were just stunning.     After we finished, we hopped on the coach and back to the campground.

This art installation of more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted glass spheres bloom in a variety of colours.    The artwork is made up of 300,000 individual components and over 380 kms of optical fibre is used in the installation.   The installation took over 2,000 hours to design and build in the UK and a further 3,900 hours to recreate here.   Bruce Munro is an English artist and this is his first solar powered installation.  Qantas Airways transported the 50,000 light stems from London to Uluru.   My photos aren’t very good and you can’t see the colours very well but it was an incredible light show and we thoroughly enjoyed this tour.

On Tuesday 28th was Mitchell’s 6th Birthday.    We took a drive out to visit the Cultural Centre in the morning and had lunch there.   In the afternoon we surprised him with a 30 minute helicopter flight over Uluru and Kata Tjuta which was awesome!!  Another clear and sunny day – perfect!!!!   It cost $980.00 for the 4 of us!!

Along with the Glovers, we celebrated Mitch’s birthday that night with dinner and drinks and of course chocolate cake.   Even though the days were very warm it did get cool of a night so fortunately you were allowed to have a contained campfire!!!!

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(23/8/2018 – 28/8/2018)

 

 

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