The Big Red Rock!

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
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Trip End Sep 05, 2007


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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Eventually we made it! We left Kakadu after seeing all the delights there and stopped the night in Katherine, we left the next morning and drove along the very empty Stuart Highway as the sun was rising, it was an awesome sight right there on the horizon, one minute it was cool and comfortable and a little later it was stinking hot!
We drove south all day, stopping a few times for petrol and to swap seats, looking out across barren land where you can see for literally hundreds of miles at a time.
The landscape turned red, red dust that gets everywhere! Red Rocks poked out of the land, and we would keep check on the map for the next "big" town, which on our standards is more like a village!

We came to Tennant Creek and passed the huge granite Boulders which form the Aboriginal sacred sight called in English the Devils Marbles.
We left Tennant Creek (the only town of any significance!) almost as soon as we had arrived.

We were welcomed to Alice Springs just before dark fell.
We stayed in a cosy site that night, there were a multitude of bugs and flying things, but there were also beautiful things like the stunning multicoloured parrots who sat up in the trees which shaded our site and the sky, which is lit each night by the visible milky way and the so many constellations of stars that light up the southern night sky.

We woke early again the next day and detoured into Alice Springs town for some petrol, we continued south on the highway (oh thats what they call it...but dont go thinking of the m25...its just 2 lanes..1 for each side!) eventually we came to the Lasseter Highway where we turned off and drove the last 260kms to Uluru.

Uluru is the Aboriginal name for what we call Ayers Rock, its a sacred sight, and the Aboriginal people (Anangu to be precise) own the land, the Australian government and them work together. Uluru isnt just one rock though, the national park here is called Uluru Kata Tjuta, that is in English Ayers Rock and The Olgas.
You stay in a small purpose built complex called Yulara, located about 20kms from the Rock itself. The campsite there was very expensive, but unless you are prepared to drive 45mins each time you want to visit the national park its your only choice.

I had fallen asleep when I awoke to Uluru right in front of my eyes, I shouted to Matt "Thats Ayers Rock!!" he had obviously gotten over from the "that is real in front of my eyes moment and replied "yes"!
We paid for our campground and headed straight into the national park, that afternoon was spent exploring Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), a group of ochre Reddish brown coloured rocks, that look so stunning on the deserted landscape. We walked to Walpa Gorge and back. It was beautiful....of course some of the afternoon was spent swatting the many flies!

From the Olgas we drove to the sunset viewing point at Uluru, we got there early and were fussy about where we were going to watch this once in a lifetime opportunity! We found what we thought was the perfect spot, pulled out our chairs and beers, and sat and waited for Uluru to change to the blood red colour that the guidebooks show and promise.
It was stunning, slowly as the sun went down the rock changed colour, a beautiful sight and one which we shall always cherish....Thats along with the other 30 people that got off of the tour bus which parked in the tour bus bays behind us (the only bus to stop in a kilometre long car park was right behind us!)

Up early again the next day, we drove back into the national park and visited the cultural centre which explains clearly the Aboriginal culture and traditions, then onto Uluru itself where we walked around some of the rock, saw some Aboriginal art, and marvelled at it standing there so elegantly for so many thousands of years!

We left uluru and headed back towards Alice Springs, once there we did a spot of shopping before deciding to continue another 500kms or so north to Tennnat Creek. We arrived after dark, saw a few Kangaroos on the way hopping around at the side of the road! Its very scary driving in the dark in the Australian outback, its actually quite dangerous too and wasnt something which we planned to do, its just pitch black, there is nothing lighting the road except for our headlights and the stars in the sky, any veichle that comes along you can see for kilometres ahead and it just takes forever to pass you, but we arrived safe and sound, checking into a small campground off of the highway in the town on Tennant Creek.

Hugs

Ali n Matt
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