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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wide Open Spaces...

One of the places I have always wanted to visit is Uluru (or Ayres Rock as it is also known) in the Northern Territory.
http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/publications/uluru/pubs/visitor-guide.pdf P32
Uluru - Northern Territory

That's where I've been.

I couldn't help but take a photo of my first view of it as we left the airport to drive to Yulara  - the resort outside the National Park.
Road to Uluru
The outback is Red. Red rock. Red ground. Red dust.Red ground at Uluru
The "rock" looks like it has been painted on a background. Nearly every photo I took with family in the foreground looks like they have been superimposed - the kids keep refering to it as looking like they were standing in front of a "green screen" (that's the TV generation for you!)
Uluru afternoon
 It's true too that the colour of Uluru changes with the light of day. I've now seen it chocolate brown, dusty orange, bright orange, purple...and a mixture of all of those. These two photos are taken about 5 minutes apart.
Uluru sunset

 I knew it was big, but until I saw it I really didn't comprehend just how big.
This photo is of the 4 girls sitting only about 10 or 12 metres above the ground where I was standing!
Uluru - Lungkata walk
Just when you think that all you'll feel is 30something°C heat and all you will see is red earth and rocks, then you walk around the next bend and come to a lush area where a waterhole is located.
It hadn't rained in the area for 150 days (all the locals were counting!), but look how green and cooling it is!
Kuniya walk - Mutitjulu waterhole

In the photo below, you can see the part where tourists can climb the rock - that white trail from the middle peak down towards the tree. That's the wear from all the visitors feet over the last 50 or so years. There is a chain to hold on to but it doesn't begin till the the steep part above the tree and where the "cracked" rocks are.
The traditional owners allow climbing, but the request that you don't because of their cultural traditions. In any case it is closed if there are high winds (over 25knots), or temperatures are forecast to be over 36°C - it was actually closed the three days we were there - first day because of the wind and the next two because of the temperature - 37°C and 38°C on the following two days.

Uluru - Mala walk
Not that I would have climbed anyway out of respect of the Anangu culture...also, this is on the last page of the visitors guide :
http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/publications/uluru/pubs/visitor-guide.pdf page 36
Kata Tjuta is also immense and I didn't understand the scale till I saw it. One of the girls is in the foreground...but if you look at the line of trees, halfway along you will see the MaTH and another of the girls...the tiny speck of red and blue...that's them...as I said massive!
Kata Tjuta  - Valley of the Winds walk

Even though the two formations are in the same park, they are so very different - a bit of geology and history from here:  http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/about-uluru-katatjuta/

Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park

 The National Park has an area over 311,000 acres and comprises two main significant sites:
  • Uluru (sometimes called Ayers Rock) - is one of the largest monoliths in the world. Made of arkosic sandstone, Uluru rises 348 metres above the desert floor and has a circumference of 9.4 kilometres.
  • Kata Tjuta, known also as The Olgas. Kata Tjuta is the Aboriginal name, which means "many heads'. It is a group of more than 36 rounded red domes rising from the desert floor. The tallest is said to be around 546 metres high. Kata Tjuta is about 30 kilometres west of Uluru.
Sunset and sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta are spectacular, with the colours at both sites becoming more vibrant and even changing. Uluru and Kata Tjuta have significant meaning to Aboriginal people. They both form an important focus of their spiritual life.
Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is Aboriginal land. The park is jointly managed by its Anangu traditional owners and Parks Australia. The park is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Area for both its natural and cultural values.
There will probably be a lot more travel photos in the next few blog posts, especially because our favourite month is approaching...
<a href="http://isawyoudancing.blogspot.com.au/p/blogtoberfest-2012.html"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8451/8013933741_3f0a265aff_m.jpg">
It's happening here and you can sign up with Kat @ http://isawyoudancing.blogspot.com.au/p/blogtoberfest-2012.html
thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

5 comments:

  1. It looks just magical and I look forward to visiting there one day myself....
    Hugz

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  2. Lucky you to get to go on such a wonderful holiday. x

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  3. Thanks for the interesting info! You got some beautiful photos and you're right, it doesn't look real, just like a postcard.

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  4. That is one place I would love to see, but don't think it will happen now so thanks for sharing ....I can pretend I am there with you! Hugs x

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  5. Oh WOW what a fabulous experience for you ALL ... I'm so envious ;) So looking forward to more pics during Blogtoberfest ;) You're a busy girl as always. xo

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Nice of you to take a peek over the fence. It's lovely to meet you. Do come in, have a cuppa and a chat. I will talk back...

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