Trip 9 – The spiritual heart of Australia

Uluru, or Ayers Rock for the older or less politically correct Aussies.

Jules, my girls and I have been truly fortunate to travel to some amazing places across Australia, many of which are sacred to the local Aborigines, and have amazing stories and folklore associated with them.  Whenever we travel to these places, we always take time to read and attempt to understand and appreciate, always respecting, the story of the place.  Of all the places we’ve travelled in Australia, I personally have only ever really felt spiritually connected to three locations, they being the Mitchell Falls and Windjana Gorge in far North Western Australia, and Uluru (Ayers Rock).  As we continue to travel, I hope to find other places which I can truly feel connected to, however, for today Uluru is where we are at.

Uluru is big.  Very big.  It’s visible from tens of kilometres away and continues to grow and expand into your consciousness the closer you get, eventually filling your entire perception as you arrive within a few hundred metres of it.  Just looking at it feels special, touching it even more so.

Its shape seems to morph as you change your viewing angle and location.  Its colours, whilst predominately orange, are rich and varied in hue and tonality.  Watching the sun set, or rise, over the rock is one of Australia’s gifts to the people.

I understand and appreciate that the local community suggest/request that we don’t climb it, but I have and I loved it.  I didn’t climb it out of spite of the suggestion; I climbed it because I wanted to achieve it, connect with it, understand, experience and appreciate it more.  I’ve also walked around the entire 10km perimeter of it, learning and trying to appreciate its history and meaning to the local people and me.

Whilst I can’t hope to have the same depth of connection or understanding of Uluru as the local indigenous people, I do feel connected to the ‘spiritual heart of Australia’ and I hope others will have their own special experiences with it as well.  Uluru is one of a very few ‘bucket list’ Australian places I’d always recommend people travel to if they haven’t already.  You can’t really miss it; it’s in the centre of our great country, in the middle of nowhere, on the way to everywhere.

And if Uluru isn’t enough, 40kms down the road you have Kata Tjuta, The Olgas for the older or politically incorrect.  Whilst Uluru is a single big rock, Kata Tjuta is series of 36 domes of rock with a footprint more than three times the size of Uluru.  Uluru is 348mtr high at its highest point whereas the tallest peak at Kata Tjuta reaches 546mtr.   For me, for some reason Kata Tjuta, whilst technically more impressive, doesn’t have the same standup grandeur of Uluru.  The walks through Kata Tjuta are lovely and definitely well worth doing, however, give me “The Rock” any day.

The following photos simply do not do Uluru, or Kata Juta, justice but here they are as we witnessed these special locations during our brief stay, en route home to Perth.

 

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Grevillia in front of the rock

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The rock

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Ahh the peace and quiet!!  Enjoying the rock at sunset with a couple of others….  It’s a good spot though and there’s plenty of room for everyone to view and the rock and take photos etc

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Last light as the shadows approach the base

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Gary and Goldie at the rock

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The view up at the base of the climb.  Note the first big dimple to the left of the chain, just above the people near the rocky section at the base.  The following pics were taken from that spot, so just up the rock a little bit.  It’s still a long way to the top

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The view up the chain

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The view down the chain

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The view out to Kata Juta (The Olgas) from that same spot on the rock

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When it rains the rock quickly develops a series of impromptu waterfalls

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Kata Juta from the sunset platform

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The rock, probably 40kms away, from the Kata Juta sunset viewing platform

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One of the big domes of Kata Juta

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