My first Uluru sunset experience. Gorgeous glowing red rock
This is the trip that started it all for me. I knew i always wanted to travel (i have recently moved from Australia to the UK), but my trip to the NT earlier this year really put things in motion for me & made me realise soo much about my self! Life is just soo short. I was waiting around for god knows what to start travelling then when i finally went to this wonderful place it really dawned on me that time waits for nothing & no one.
Firstly, i have never felt heat like here before. The Gold Coast is hot - but humid, the Northern Territory is a DRY heat. My first day....well i actually missed my plane to Cairns so had to go through Darwin instead.
this is the base of Ayers Rock where you will climb. It doesnt look very steep but looks can be decieving. the white path you can see to the top is actually only a third of the way to the top
My bags got searched for drugs...it wasnt a good start to my first trip alone! My mother was waiting for me at the airport so that was a lovely welcome for me. We layed by the pool most of the day and at night went to the local shopping centre to stock up on some food. I had an elderley aboriginal lady ask me for money. she didnt actually ask, she just stood behind me and i shook my head at her as if to say no as Mum had warned me about them asking, but she didnt move. i kept talking to my mum but this woman still stood there. i ended up paying for my goods by card, despite having cash in my wallet. this is not always the case though, i was just being overprecaucious as it was my first experience ever with an aboriginal asking me for money and there was a group waiting out the front.
This is on top of Uluru. The Olgas are in the top left corner...approx 40 kilometres away!
Dont get me wrong I am not racist but y'know you hear stories living in Australia. the next couple of days i was in Town (Alice Springs) alone and i had no hassels what soever. they are actually lovely people when you give them the time of day and push that sterotypicalness out of the way.
I never planned on climbing such a sacred rock. I wasnt going to, until I was told it was okay to do so and the only reason the Aboriginies dont want you to climb it is incase you fall off, in which case they perform their rituals and do a thing called "sorry cuts" where they cut their arms. 36 people have died on the rock & it was open approx 1965, or wait was it 1985? The climb was the most rewarding thing i have ever done.
i honestly didnt think i could do it. I met a girl on the way there from Japan so we climbed it together. Remember that it is not open in summer as it is too hot, and the climb must be done first thing in the morning (6.am) as it gets too hot. Take a big bottle of water. I had no idea what i was in for so I took 2 big bottles & i regret taking the two! Me & Seiko stopped every 5 metres whilst climbing....it really is strenuous. Mind you on my way up i saw a boy about 10 years old climbing down. That made me realise anybody can do it & made me push myself even further! I have never felt that high (& i dont meant by the height) in my entire life. SUCH AN INCREDIBLE feeling climbing to the top. Mt Everest is my next mountain/rock climbing quest.
my favourite rock in the world
i know i'll be in for it on Mt Everest!!! I was really surprised as there is water on the top, well, little puddles of it. I also did several walks around the base of Uluru with our tour guides, Tic & Pete, the day before I climbed and I was lucky enough to see water running down the side, which is quite a rare occurence. Also if it rains you cannot climb as it gets too slippery.
the way down is scarier than up. dont let the smile fool you
There was soo much more to our trip but these are just the main things. I never saw myself going there, but i will go back time and time again, and i suggest everybody do the same!
"The Olgas" in my palm, on top of Ayers Rock
The Olgas (Kata Tjuta) are approx 40 k's from Uluru. They are just amazing.
We went for a small walk in between them, but there are also much longer walks... which i will do next time. My Mum actually did one of the longer walks while I climbed Ayers Rock and she thoroughly enjoyed it. They are incredibly spiritual to the Aboriginies and you are not permitted to climb them, not that you'd want to try...they are much to steep!
I am not a religious person however i felt a strong sense of belonging in the Northern Territory, especially at Uluru & Kata Tjuta.
It made me want to meditate!
Uluru is not the shape you would think. Lots of ditches & indents, with a story for each
The Olgas are incredibly ginormous boulder/rocks...I think there are roughly 30-40 of the dome shaped boulders, some as tall as Uluru! They reminded me of giants bent over all huddled together, with no heads?!
We travelled here with the Emu Run Tours, Tic & Pete were our guides and they were just fantastic. I suggest really looking into who you tour with as it can make your trip. Emu Run certainly made my trip!!! Part of the Uluru/Kata Tjuta Tour included an all-you-can-eat champange sunset bbq at the viewing platform overlook Uluru. Anybody can attend the viewing platform, at anytime, but Emu Run Tours have an allocated table & area which they use each day.
You wouldnt think so, but it gets THAT crowded that all the tables are taken early & unless you are with a tour you will miss out. There were a few hundred people when i went there at end of summer, and in Winter months there are thousands, so I've been told. We nearly saw a fight break out actually as a woman was standing in front of a man's picture (she didnt even realise!) and the man told her really abruptly to get out the way. her husband didnt like this so he told this guy off! I thought it was on...but glad it turned out to be nothing serious. People get very touchy and serious when it comes to taking pictures.
Climbing Ayers rock...i just thought this was a cool shot
We stayed at Yalara which is the Ayers Rock Resort Town. There are shops & a small gallery/museum, and accomodation ranging from 2 stars to 5 stars!....something for everyone. the bus service around town is free, however, I was amazed at how expensive it is there, but it is in the middle of nowhere so i spose the prices are realistic.
We stayed at the Outback Pioneer Resort....and we shared a room with 2 other people. One of them woke me in the middle of the night snoring soo soo loudly that i had to throw my pillow at him! hahahaha. i felt terrible, but at least he stopped snoring! They have a big pool and there is lots of shrubbery & trees around the resort so its gorgeous and you totally know you are in the outback. Plenty of different food you can buy, there is a thing called a BBQ-Bar, which i have never seen before! It was awesome! All these barbeques, and you pay around $20 and get some steak, cook it yourself and then help yourself to the fridge which has all sorts of salads! There is also a fridge & kitchen you can cook your own meals in. very cost effective. I absolutely loved it and will stay there again. awwww just writing about all this makes me want to go back to the heat!
There are approx 36 of these rocks spread out over 20 k's. Just massive
It was the best holiday of my life......so far!!!