The Red Centre

Trip Start Jan 20, 2007
1
17
45
Trip End May 06, 2007

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Sunday, March 11, 2007

Had a very scenic flight from Cairns as we could see lots of island offshore and the Great Barrier Reef below so pretty spectacular. This then gradually transformed as we flew over the outback towards the Red Centre and it became dusty and deserted, an emptyness that went on for miles. A brilliant rusty red against such a perfect blue sky. As we stepped off the plane it was scorchingly hot! No such thing as a sea breeze here. We stayed at the Outback Pioneer which was a sort of campsite but with little hut lodges complete with yeehaa aircon!

We woke up at 5am on our first morning for a tour to see the sunrise on Uluru (Ayers Rock) and it was rather impressive as the colours all came to life on it as the sun crept up and it seemed to glow red. Quite funny to glance around and watch all these people staring entranced at a big rock. But it is kinda 'wow' that this massive dome of such a vibrant red is just rising up in the middle of an empty flat dusty nothing. Its 348 metres high and has a circumference of 9.4km.

We then had a guided walk around the base where there were some interesting aboriginal rock paintings and a watering hole. Also lots of cool looking formations like a giant monstermunch and a big barelling wave. Got swarmed by flies though which wasnt so pleasant. We visited a cultural centre which had many interesting aboriginal stories and crafts. According to Aboriginal legend, “The world was once a featureless place.
None of the places we know existed until creator beings, in the forms
of people, plants and animals, traveled widely across the land. Then, in
a process of creation and destruction, they formed the landscape as we
know it today.' They believe Uluru was formed from two dreamtime ancestor boys playing at the waterhole, mixing water with the surrounding earth.
They piled up the mud, higher and higher, until it was the size that
Uluru is today. Then they started playing on it. They sat on the top
and slid down the south side of their mud pile on their bellies,
dragging their fingers through the mud in long channels. The channels
have since hardened into stone and now form the many gullies on the
southern side of Uluru.

Next we made our way to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) which is lots of smaller rock domes all together (36 of them to be precise) and these were very impressive too. We walked through a sort of valley part between them and it was absolutely roasting! Apparently it can get up to 70 Celcius in there and around 10 people a year die from dehydration at that spot. Eek pass me the water bottle!

As the evening drew in we went to watch the sunset which was just as magical (possibly magnified by the fact that I had drunk lots of free wine from the tour while waiting)
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