We decided on a quick trip to Uluru to celebrate Kevin's birthday. He had never been there and I had not been since I was in Year 12 - a lifetime ago. We booked a package deal that included accommodation at Sails in the Desert, a Field of Lights tour and the Sounds of Silence dinner.
We left behind the impending rain in Canberra and arrived in Uluru via Melbourne to warmth and sunshine and our first view of the rock from the air. Collected by bus and taken to the hotel. Too early for check-in so left our bags and decided on a quick walk to the town square where we discovered a supermarket, post office, tour booking office, souvenir shops and a few eateries. All very convenient. We decided to have lunch to fill in time. We eventually checked in, had a sleep and then hired a car after tossing up the options available. Our first excursion that night was to see the Field of Lights. An incredible art installation by Bruce Munro of 50,000 stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres. The installation covers 49,000 square metres and is solar powered. It is very difficult to get a true
perspective of the size of the installation - particularly in a photo. Nonetheless it is spectacular but of course must also compete with the night sky. Look up and you can clearly see the Milky way, the southern Cross and Orion. The clear skies of the outback.
An early start the next day for our sunrise viewing of Uluru. Later than we hoped as we slept in (we were further delayed trying to find the head light switch on the hire car). After buying our 3 day National park pass we were on our way and joined the others already gathered for the spectacular sunrise. The rock goes from black to various colours as the sun rises. After a quick breakfast on the go we set off to walk around the rock. 23000 steps later we finished.
Tired and hot we headed back for a shower and a rest followed by an afternoon swim.
Another early start the following day but this time for sunrise over Katajutu (the Olgas). It is a longer drive but no less spectacular when we get there. We then drove to to complete a walk Amongst the Olgas. Many of the walks
are closed if the forecast is going to be 36 degrees. As the forecast was for 39 today we were surprised to find it still open and so set off. Firstly to the lookut which is 1.6km away. We then continued to the next spot but got to a steep incline and decided against continuing so we went back to the car. We then drove to Wilpa Gorge and did that walk. Back to the hotel and another swim before our night time activitiy of the Sounds of Silence dinner.
After being collected by bus we are taken to a viewing platform where we were served canapes ( including crocodile mousse, kangaroo and tasmanian salmon) and sparkling wine overlooking the Uluru-Kata Juta national park. As the sun sets we walk down to tables for a buffet dinner. We are then treated to a talk by the star talker who points out the Southern Cross, the zodiac signs, the Milky Way as well as other facts about the sky in a very entertaining way.
A fabulous couple of days which could not even be spoiled by the plane delay on the way home.
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