Ayres Rock/Uluru and The Olga’s/Kata Tijuta
Yulara, Northern Territory
7th June 2016
We wake up to a delightful red sunrise over the desert, there are only a few clouds around. It's so nice being in these bush camps, there are a few other campers, however we have space around and are not lined up side by side like in a caravan park and no annoying street lights.
Soon after sunrise the clouds set in and the rain starts. At the Mount Connor lookout the cloud is so thick we cannot see it. (Mount Connor is a big rock that first timers think is Ayres Rock). We get to finally see Ayres rock once we are almost in Yulara as the clouds thin out. There is a sequel of excitement from the boys who get to see Ayres Rock for the first time.
The rain eases, giving us time to set up camp. However, it returns soon after. We decide to explore around the Ayres Rock Resort and town centre. In the town centre, Lachlan is able to have a quick cuddle of an 8 month old big red Kangaroo.
8th June 2016
Last night is the first night this holiday we have had the displeasure of been so close to a Britz Camper van. Britz campers are renowned for arriving late to camp, crashing and banging into the night and up incredibly early the next morning. Our neighbour lived up to the reputation. However, this meant we were up with lots of spare time for sunrise. We walked out to a lookout close to camp. We hear barking, we then see 4 wild dogs running around in the dunes around the lookout. They start growling and fighting and then run chasing each other extremely fast into the distance.
This morning we head out to the Rock, the climb is closed due to the rain overnight.
We drive onto The Olga's / Kata Tjuta. We complete the 7.4km walk through the valley of the winds and its windy today. There are waterfalls inside the valley, some of paths that follow the creek beds are running with water.
We then go onto the shorter, easier 2.6km walk into the gorge. This gorge is where the Aboriginal Women came to gather food. We would have gone hungry!
In the afternoon the boys spot a Dingo out near the playground area.
9th June 2016.
We are up very early this morning for the field of light sunrise tour. The field of light are 50,000 solar powered lights placed on the desert dunes, by Artist Bruce Munro and his team. They are only here for 12 months, they leave 31 March 2017.
The bus drops us off in the desert into total darkness, except for the torch light we have. We walk up the desert path, as we arrive at the top of the dune we see the desert lit up with what looks like giant coloured flower beds. The lights regularly change colours. As it lightens a little we can see Ayres Rock in the distance. We then walk down the dune and wonder through the maze of lights.
As the sky starts to lighten more we walk back up the top of the dune, seeing the lights dim for the day and enjoying the spectacular sunrise over Ayres Rock and The Olga's.
We don't normally go for manmade tourist attractions; however this was an amazing unique experience to remember.
This morning it is very calm, with no rain. The boys are desperate to be able to climb the Rock; Brad in particular, as he missed out last trip as every day had strong winds that meant the climb was closed. I was not as keen as I have already done it on my high school trip. The anticipation built as we drove in, was the climb open? As we get closer we see little specks on top of the rock. They have a good climb, the wind picks up becoming quite strong towards the top. Up on top there are some small waterholes that had crustations that have recently hatched with the rain. The eggs sit on top waiting for rain. I greeted the boy's part way up the rock on their return. (I'm not silly enough to do it twice, I still remember the blisters I received on the way down last time).
This afternoon we explore more around Yulara. I walk with the walking wounded, mainly Brad, his knees are ready to pack it in. We listen to an interesting talk from one of the local Aboriginals on their history and animals of the area. We are shocked, but not surprised to hear that they still eat the local native animals. Its fresh meat for them, not like the stuff they could buy in the supermarket! Highly sought after for their taste is the bush turkey, another favourite is the egg from a Goanna. We know how to cook an Echidna, an Emu and the Goanna Egg. The local Aboriginals live in the old camp ground near the rock, where Azaria disappeared from.
We head out to the sunset viewing points and enjoy the sunset over, Ayres Rock/Uluru and The Olga's/Kata Tijuta, then drive around
Ayres Rock/Uluru as it becomes dark.
The boys go to bed tonight without making a peep, they are so tired. If only we could wear them out this much every day.
10th June 2016.
We finally have a sleep in today, yea! We then head back to Uluru to do the base walk. Its 10.6kms, and we also do the 850m Mala walk. The path is flat so we let the boys take their off road scooters, they have a ball and are quite a novelty to those we walk past.
This path has also altered since we did it 13 years ago. On the northern side you used to follow the rock the whole way, now you are diverted to the main road, you can do part of the northern section on the Mala walk.
There is still a little water running off the rock into waterholes. Very few people get to see water running off Uluru. It would have been spectacular to have been here are a few days ago when it was raining, however we decided to do our three day pass when the weather forecast was better.
The Brad and the boys say they are done with walks! Little do they know on tomorrow's agenda is the Kings Canyon Rim Walk, its only 6kms but has a 500 step climb!