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The Uluru or Ayers Rock is the world’s largest monolith created over 600 million years ago. It is considered the “heart” of the Red Centre or the Southern Australian outback desert. It attained its World Heritage Site position on both cultural and geological categories, among few sites with two listings. (I have a habit of visiting World Heritage sites whenever I travel).
I was determined to visit the area because of the many stories about the place. I was so curious as to why it seems this arid desert resembles the red planet Mars. I’m fascinated with the mythical stories of the aborigines and on cosmic conspiracy theories (Uluru is cited as one of the places in the world with strongest energy fields). You see, too many stories to be immersed, too many interesting facts, myths or fictions to uncover. It’s a gold mine for stories whether cultural, historical or out of this world.
The rock is considered sacred by the Anangu (aboriginal tribe) because they believe that some of their ancients are living in the rock and some of them (during the creation) even became part of the rock. Thus, each boulder, crack or formation has a story. It has no plant growing on it unlike other rock formations. Its color changes from sunset to sunrise from luminous red to purplish maroon. These are just some of the fascinating facts to wonder! Some parts are forbidden to be photographed and out of respect, they ask tourists not to climb, litter or vandalize.
We opted for the 10.1 km full base walk with the sun on its full glory. It was hot (but windy) so bring lots of water and some food. The distances of the water stations are too far so always ensure to fill it up before proceeding. By the way, I don’t know what’s with the desert but there are too many flies! And they are very annoying.
When I first set foot on the National Park, I was already captivated but I became more enthralled as we walked nearer. I saw rock caves, small waterholes and ancient prints! We even met two Anangu ladies asking for water. Some of these tribe folks (dating back 10,000 years) are working in the Ayers Resort and you’ll meet/see them everywhere.
Some Tips for your Travels
- Don’t book via Agoda or Booking.com for your accommodation. It’s cheaper via voyages (https://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/)
- It’s much cheaper to rent a car than pay the bus $49 back and forth if you want to see / touch the rock.
- There is free hostel pick-up from the Uluru Airport. Just go outside the gates/entrance doors and the names of the hotels/hostels are printed as bus stations. Board the bus and it will take you to your new home hassle-free.
- Avail of all the free activities – painting, 3D cinema, astronomy, aboriginal dances etc. but check the schedule (date/time).
- We arrived via Jetstar from Melbourne. Book your flights early because prices can dramatically go up!
- There is a supermarket so don’t worry much living on this desert. Prices are same with other cities/places of Australia (I compared it with Port Campbell, Sydney and Melbourne).
- At the back of the Outback Pioneer Lodge (hostel) is a sunset Uluru look-out. You can see the rock at this area.
- There is free shuttle bus around the resort (does not include going near the Rock). If you want to see the Camel farm, ask the driver. Sometimes, their route does not include it.
- Touch the rock. They say, it brings good fortune because it connects you to the ancients.
Two photos must be credited to my travel companion Mary – the one with our faces and the IG shoes. haha