Uluru

Australia

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Uluru

Uluru, formerly known as Ayer's Rock, is one of Australia's most famous attractions. The world's largest monolith, it is also a scared site for the Anangu (the  local Aboriginal people). Every cave, gorge, nook and crany has a tale in local legends. The most sacred areas around the base are clearly marked, and visitors are asked not to trespass in these areas and to refrain from taking photographs of these areas.

Tourists can stay at the resort area at nearby Yulara, where accomodations range from camping to a posh resort. A variety of tour operators cover this area. Sahara Outback Tours offers 3 and 5 day camping/hiking trips. Note that most peak tourist season is during Australia's winter or spring, over the summer temperatures are usually above 100 degrees farenheit during the day.

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Tourists by the busload come to the west face to drink a little wine, eat a few snacks, and watch Uluru change colors with the setting sun. A little too touristy, but worth seeing.
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Archaeological evidence suggests that people have lived in the region for 22,000 years, with initial settlements much earlier.
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To climb or not to climb:
The climb up Uluru is a steep 1.6km. It is closed on when conditions are windy or wet. The Anangu would prefer that visitors not climb partly because of the role Uluru played in their heritage. Another reason is that they feel responsible when a tourist falls or becomes ill while climbing. A number of tourists have plummeted to their deaths or had heart attacks while climbing.

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The base walk provides an upclose view of the entire site. It is roughly 9km. Our trek around began at the crack of dawn (and I thought I was on holiday) on a cloudy day. Mark the Sadistic Tour Guide enjoyed getting us  up at 4:20 am--Ouch!

The red color makes a nice contrast with the vegetation, clouds, and early morning clouds. Geologically, Uluru and Kata-Tjuta are the result of millions of years of geologic events, sediments, weathering, and erosion. Between 900-600 million years ago, this area below sea level, forming the Amadeus Basin.  In the Cambrian Period, part of the basin was raised above sea level and rocks were crumpled and buckled into folds that fractured along fault lines.

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Uluru-Kata-Tjuta is another of the World Heritage Sites. It is considered such for both natural and cultural heritage. Not far from the monolith, you will find a great cultural center with an informative exhibit and shops. You can purchase local arts and crafts.

Kata Tjuta

Kings Creek Camel Station Camp

Kings Creek Camel Station Camp page 2

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon page 2

Kings Canyon page 3

Kings Canyon page 4

Kings Canyon to Alice Springs

Alice Springs: Post trek dinner

Globehopper's Travel Log Contents