Day 12 - The Red Centre - Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Published: May 30th 2017
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Xavier and his birdsXavier and his birdsXavier and his birds

Even though we were trying to pack Xavier's birds still came for food and this time contact was made.
Hi all, well we finally reached Uluru. When we started to plan this trip Uluru was to be the final destination of our trip. To date we hav found that this rock has become part of our journey and not the ultimate standout. Mind you it still sparkles. Ok now let me start you on this very interesting day. The first couple of hours was consumed by breakfast and the loading of our cars. It is harder to re load your cars against the clock than it is to just quietly load your car at home. Anyhow we had every scrap of useless piece of camping equipment loaded onto the car and off we went. Now given we had a 450 km trip you would think we would head straight out. No that wasn't going to happen. It was decided that a visit to McDonalds was in order and no it wasn't my wife suggestion, although she was not complaining. We filled the cars up with diesel, got our coffee fix and off we went. We had not gone more than 5 km and we found the Truck Museum ( we had heard it was worth a visit). It was 9.30am. From the outside it was just a shed, well we were surprised to say the least. I lost count how many trucks of all shapes and sizes were on display. We were there for at least an hour. This would have to be the biggest display of trucks in Australia. Anyhow we left Expecting to reach Uluru at around 3pm. The road was reasonably hilly with lots of vegetation including a whole section riddled with Sheok gum trees. Our first stop was at the Erldunda Roadhouse. This roadhouse was 200km away from Alice Springs. We still had 250km to go after this lunch stop. The rest of the way was reasonably of low impact until we saw what we thought was "the Rock". It was enormous and impressive particularly given we still had 135km to go. Tracey and Xavier had announced they had seen it first given they were in the lead car. Well we stopped at a viewing point and low and behold the sign told us we had we had stopped at the Mount Conner lookout point. We all looked at each other and laughed at the fact that we had mistook this large monolithic structure for the real Uluru. We had a good laugh and promised each other would would not utter a word to anyone else. What they forgot is this blog. I googled Mount Conner at the end of today and found that we are not the only ones that have made this mistake. Anyhow another 100km later and still 50km away from Uluru and it showed itself. And this time it was the real thing. It was even shaped like the Uluru we have seen in pictures ever since we were children. To see this structure from such a distance made us feel so small in the scheme of things. As we slowly snaked our way towards Uluru it started to show its might getting bigger and bigger as time passed. We were silently getting excited to see this important monolith. We finally arrived at the town called Yulara (population just over 800), we checked in to our cabins (yes we booked cabins cause Tracey wanted luxury). The luxury consisted of shared cabin with my wife and I and with no toilet or shower. Haha. Tracey was not happy. We dropped our stuff off and headed off to Uluru. The town is approximately 16km from the rock. Uluru is located within a National Park and is a Unesco World Heritage site. Well we paid our entrance fee into the National Park and took the road to the rock base. We reached the base in about five minutes and left our cars with mouths agape. OMG we could not believe the size of this rock. It sent a shiver up my spine and I could feel the importance this site has for the local aborigines going back thousands of years. What was disappointing was to see people climbing to the top. The local Aboriginal tribe allow people to climb the structure but strongly advise you to respect their beliefs and ask you not to climb. They also warn that 35 have died climbing this rock and untold number had been injured. Still people were traversing this challenging climb. We took some photos and proceeded to walk around the base of the rock. Uluru has a circumference of over 9km so we didnt try to do the full round trip knowing that Xavier will do his hamstring if we tried (haha).. After spending time at the Uluru Information centre we headed off to the car park designated to allow viewing of the rock during sunset. Sunset came and went. The rock changed colours a number of times from a red to a dark brown. No mouth opening moments here so we left a few minutes early to beat the crowd to the restaurant precinct. We were lucky to get in without a booking and just before the crowds. The food was great and we headed back to our "luxury" accomodation and to share this cabin with Tracey and Xavier.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


Mount ConnerMount Conner
Mount Conner

Doesn't it just look like Uluru

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