6-7 August: Uluru National Park

Author: Mr A

Location: Yulara & Uluru National Park

Monday: Riding The Rock!

Catherine had heard that you could now cycle around the rock – one of the many changes since climbing it has been finally banned.

We lost no time after setting up camp to throw the bikes on the back of the car and head into Uluru National Park. It’s only 20km away by road, but we wanted to avoid the testosterone fuelled drivers who are often behind the wheel of a big four wheel drive for the first time after a rental from Alice. Combine those folk with the foreign tourists who have forgotten which side of the road we drive on here (as we encountered driving into the park just as one was driving the wrong way down the park check-in road!)…No…a few minutes loading the bikes was worth it.We left for our ride from the Cultural Centre and followed our noses as there were no signs for a cycling path, but there was this rather large rock to head for.We joined the pain path around the rock and checked the signage, it only showed walkers, but there were bike hire companies around and plenty of tyre marks, so off we went.Riding a bike always brings a grin to our faces wherever we are, but to be riding along under this brilliant blue sky, dwarfed by this towering red rock…breathtaking. We just couldn’t stop ogling this magnificent scenery. Neither of us are in any way spiritual, but we both felt this to be the closest we could get, just sitting quietly looking up at this massive granite monolith towering over us.

Miss Tassie also enjoyed the awesomeness of the Red Centre on an explore of the dunes near where we camped. When was the last time you saw a Burmese cat in front to Uluru, eh?

Tuesday: Visiting Kata Tjuta

A 45km drive in the morning, minus the caravan, took us to Kata Tjuta, which European explorers renamed The Olgas. This area contains an unusual geological formation of a series of large domed granite rocks, which in this crystal clear desert air, looks so spectacular against the almost perennially deep blue sky.The short walk we did here was one of the most enjoyable we have done from a scenic perspective for ages. It’s called the Valley of the Winds walk, and takes you up through the domes and in a 7km circuit.(Below, a friendly Grey Shrike-Thrush which accompanied us on our walk)We could easily have spent a few more days here, but we are now on a bit of deadline, given we have lost a couple of weeks from our itinerary. So soon it was time to pack up and move on.

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