May I just share how wonderful the Northern Territory is?? I absolutely love it. 🙂
Today I get to cross off my bucket list item of seeing the famous Uluru (or Ayres Rock). I’ve always wanted to see it and today this has happened. So surreal you know?
I decided the best way for me to do this from Alice Springs was to join a tour. Now I’m normally not a tour person, but the one I did was great! It was a small group of us (probably because it was low tourist season) and our guides were fantastic! Really knowledgeable! Especially about the Aboriginal culture. We even learned some Outback survival tips (like if you need water, find the larger white trees and dig under them, you’ll soon find water!) 🙂
I did the Emu Run day tour which leaves Alice Springs at 6am and will either drop you off at Yulara around 7pm or back at Alice Springs around midnight (we were back at about 12:30am).
The drive down to Uluru is long but pretty. The desert landscape is something to marvel at. And you get to see gorgeous sand dune after sand dune. It’s quite magical if you’ve always dreamed of seeing the Outback as I have.
You make a quick stop for breakfast and see some emus and then one other stop to see Mount Connor. I couldn’t get over how red the sand was. It almost didn’t look real. I guess this is why they call it the Red Centre? 😉
We arrived in Yulara just before noon. We were given lunch and then headed out to Kata Tjuta. Kata Tjuta is actually larger than Uluru though it’s lesser known. But it’s absolutely beautiful! We were given about an hour and half to take the hike through it. It’s magical. With its large cliff walls on either side of you, you realize just how small you really are. And for a moment you realize how peaceful the world is. It’s beautiful in here. Though it was beastly hot! And the bush flies are no joke. I didn’t have a fly net like some, but I soon realized I probably should have ;).
After the hike, we were taken to the Aboriginal Cultural Center. It was a lovely place with lots of information. No photos are allowed but there are books and such you can buy if you’d like more information on their beautiful culture.
I really respect the Aboriginals. They have a beautiful way of sharing. And it’s interesting that when someone in their family dies, if someone living shares the same name, they must change it so the spirit passing won’t get confused and try to come back to earth. They’re really beautiful people! And Uluru means so much to them. It really is a sacred place.
We next visit Uluru. It’s even more grand in person. Our guide told us the story of the Bluetongue Lizard Man (who’s markings are on the side of the mountain). And the snake who tried to save her eggs. Each side of the mountain has a different important story relating to their teachings. It’s quite magical.
We did two hikes here. Both were beautiful! Both were quite warm ;). But it was just so amazing to walk amongst this beautiful rock. I even placed my hand on it at one point just to say I touched the sacred Uluru. 🙂 Now you can climb it though the Aboriginal people kindly ask that you please don’t and respect their culture. Their reasoning is that they don’t want to have to mourn your death if you perish. They would feel responsible. There is a chain if you decide you do want to climb it. It looks quite intense though, and in all honestly I’d probably want to respect the Aboriginal people and not attempt it. But up to you.
The second hike we did was to one of the watering holes in Uluru. This hike was very much welcomed as it was mostly in the shade ;). It was so beautiful. The way the sun hit the rock and the trees. Truly a stunning sight. We learned about Aboriginal hunting techniques and that they are the only ones allowed to hunt kangaroo. (Which I’m happy about! I love the kangaroos!).
This was such an amazing way to end the day. I talked with some fellow travelers (some were urging me to do a safari in Tanzania next- don’t have to ask me twice) ;). Met a lovely couple from just outside Birmingham, England, and even tasted kangaroo! Yes, I know dear readers, I felt really bad, especially since I just held a kangaroo the previous day, but I’m also always one to try anything once. Well within reason, murder isn’t on that list ;). I will say the kangaroo wasn’t bad. It had a different consistency, but honestly I think I just couldn’t get around the fact that I was eating kangaroo. But try it if you like. It doesn’t taste bad at all.
The sunset was absolutely breathtaking. I’ve seen some amazing sunsets in my time, but this one was definitely up there as one of the best! Uluru literally changes colors right before your eyes. It almost looks as if it’s glowing. Truly a sight to see.
Uluru has been nothing short of amazing. It lived up to my expectations and I hope everyone has a chance to see it. You’ll go wanting to see a beautiful rock, but leave with the understanding of just how sacred and magical this place really is. It’s definitely a sight everyone should say they’ve seen. You won’t be disappointed :).
Keep exploring loves and happy traveling! 🙂