THE MAJESTIC RED CENTRE
Welcome to the mystic Australian outback. An icon in its own right, a place you will not find anywhere else on earth. People come from all over the world in a once in a lifetime trip, just to see our gorgeous Australian outback and nothing delivers more than the Red Centre.
We embarked on Ayers Rock (Uluru), The Olgas ( Kuta Tjuta) and Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park) in a expedition that left us all in awe and memories we will all take to our graves.
We begin in Ayers Rock – Uluru. The most scared site of our great nation. It’s piercing presence on the horizon as you arrive looks menacing, yet so peaceful. Here we are 350kms south west of Alice Springs. The township is roughly 50km drive from both Uluru & The Olgas and it is the same between the two, in a triangle if you like.
The best time to visit Uluru is either sunrise or sunset, mind you its perfect at anytime of the day really, but the way the sun rises and shines on its majestic walls, you can hear the dingoes in the distance – is priceless. Pack a picnic, take your camp chair and be prepared to while away the hours just sitting and watching. I encourage you do to the walk around the base but please do not climb Uluru. She is very sacred and it isn’t ours to own. Her ancestral owners want her left be, so please respect their wishes and enjoy something so rare yet so accessible. The walk can take you a few hours, depending on how far you wish to go. The local guides are so fantastic and I highly recommend you take the guided tour as the information you will learn especially about the history and the sacred knowledge is unique. From different angles, different times of the day you will see an entirely different sight. When it rains the ‘rock’ is like a magnitude of waterfalls cascading down her walls. From a distance she looks smooth and perfect but up close there are many crevices and caves, it just all adds to the optical illusion that makes her so special. Remember the key word at Uluru is respect! The energy you feel when you are there is out of this world and to think that so many Australians haven’t been out here!
The township of Yulara is perfect for tourists. From 5 star luxury hotels down to the fantastic campground. The resort owners have done their best to try not to ruin the natural habitat, which ensures you feel like you are camping in the bush. The dingoes come around at dusk to sniff out what they can, it is great learning for the kids and it is awesome to see they haven’t commercialised the area.
The Olgas are another must see and a great sight to behold. The Olgas consist of about 36 steep sided monoliths, which also look very impressive at both sunrise and sunset. The local Aboriginal people still today conduct very sacred rituals here at The Olgas and there are parts of it that you are not allowed to see or go anywhere near, which only adds to the intrigue and mystery of this area. There is such an amazing sense of tranquility and an even stronger sense that this place is very powerful and strong. Once again it is highly recommended that you spend the money and book a guide, who will ensure you understand the full remarkable history that is Kata Tjuta. From the look out platforms you will gain some amazing photos.
Next stop on this journey of a lifetime is Kings Canyon which is a 4 hour drive from Yulara and then an enormous walk, but so very worth every painful step! The walls of Kings Canyon are some 300 metres high! There are two walks you can do – a 2 km return Kings Creek Walk, which goes along the bottom of the gorge. At the end of the walk there is a platform, with some great views of the massive canyon walls above you – or the 6 km return Rim Walk, which goes up the canyon wall and along the top of the canyon rim. This is the one we chose! Why come all this way and not see it all? Its a really steep climb at the beginning of the walk and is often referred to as Heartbreak Hill or Heart Attack Hill, but don’t let that put you off! That then takes you up on to the very top of Kings Canyon with honestly, the most spectacular views of the gorge and the valley below. You can see for miles up here! About half way through the trek there is a detour which goes down to the Garden of Eden which is a permanent waterhole surrounded by lush green plant life which obviously looks totally out of place in this arid land. There are parts of Kings Canyon which are scared Aboriginal sites so please obey the signs and stick to the walking tracks only.
It is such a sense of accomplishment once you have scaled the walls and walked the rim – one of the most beautiful views ever. Just remember to take proper hiking boots and plenty of water. One thing I can guarantee you, is that you will treasure this day for the rest of your life.
These photos of the Red Centre will not do it justice, even though they are great! You just have to get out there and see if for yourself.
- Ayer Rock is a sandstone formation standing 348m high, rising 863 m above sea level, with most of its bulk lying underground and has a total circumference of 9.4 km
- Archaeological findings to the east and west indicate that humans settled in the area more than 10,000 years ago
- You are not allowed to climb Ayers Rock or The Olgas.
- Admission to the park costs A$25 per person and provides a three day pass.
- Take lots of water and insect repellant
- Take plenty of camera cards & batteries!