Thursday, 21 March 2013

Flashback...Uluru Sunrise Tour

All photos copyright Robert May

Written 17th March 2011

Uluru as the sun came up
(Kata Tjuta in the distance)

Today was a very early start, and I set 5 alarms just to make sure that we did get up at 4.30am.  All was fine and we sprang out of bed and were at the front of the hotel for our pickup at 5.30.  We headed out in the 4WD minibus towards the sunrise viewpoint and were the first group there. Rob managed to get a great spot and we watched the colours changing on the huge rock as the sun came up – really very beautiful, and we were lucky with clear skies after rain for the last couple of days.  

The same view a short time after -
Amazing how the colours change

The tour took us to a number of other stops with different views, including the point where you can climb the rock, although it is strongly suggested that you don’t do this any more for a number of reasons - the aboriginal owners ask you to respect their culture and prefer you not to climb, but also the weather conditions and the fact that it is a strenuous climb make it risky.  It looked too steep and scary to me anyway.  The tour guide told us some great stories and bits of information as we went round, and we saw some artwork on the walls and also a beautiful watering hole.  We also spent a little time in the cultural centre and saw some of the artwork made by the local people and got to know more about the culture and community.

For more information about Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, please see the website here.

Beautiful Aboriginal rock art
These used to be used for telling stories and teaching

Spot the heart in the rock

Because of the early start, we were back at the hotel by 11am, although by that point it felt more like 5pm. Rob went for another dip in the pool, whilst I sat in the shade watching the dragonflies and butterflies darting around the gardens. Then we had some poolside drinks and a bite to eat – thank you to Sarah King for our rather delicious refreshments!
Back to the room for an afternoon nap for me and some photo processing for Rob, followed by dinner at Gecko’s cafe again.  Now we are just packing (well, Rob is packing while I play with his iPad) as we head to Melbourne tomorrow!

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