Friday, 4 September 2015

Uluru Up Close

I'm visiting Uluru (the monolith formerly known as Ayers Rock) for the first time, to attend the annual convention of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.

Uluru was always the example I used when explaining how Australians often travel overseas before exploring their own country; so I'll have to find another example now. For this morning I have been up close and personal with the Rock.


Not by climbing it of course, as a) that would be disrespectful to the indigenous owners, who heavily discourage clambering across their sacred site; and b) because it's bloody dangerous (some 40 people have died attempting the climb over the years).

Instead, I joined the AAT Kings Uluru Sunrise and Sacred Sites tour. It was just the right pace for me; up at 5am, drive to the viewing platform to see Uluru as the sun rises; then a drive all the way around the Rock with visits to sights such as cave art and a waterhole. I recommend it if, like me, you prefer less strenuous travel.

Uluru is definitely impressive from a distance. But what intrigued me was the complex detail of the Rock as you get up close. Rather than being a smooth red surface, it contains ravines, caves and fissures, and small outcrops scattered with boulders. There's even a waterhole which collects the runoff from any rainfall.

The vivid colours too, are amazing. Definitely refutes the notion that a desert is a washed-out, monotonous place.

To give you an idea, here are some of my Uluru shots from the tour:







It's a fascinating place to visit. You should go. Like me, find somewhere else to top your "must get there one day" list.

Disclosure: On this trip I was hosted by Travel NTVoyages Ayers Rock Resort and AAT Kings.