Uluru

Yesterday we arrived in Yulara, this is the resort centre setup to service Uluru and Kata Tjuta or in the old language Ayers Rock and the Olgas. The resort village has several hotels, apartments and a campground and is just outside the National Park. On 26 October 1985, the Australian government returned ownership of Uluru to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines, with one of the conditions being that it would leased back to the National Parks and Wildlife agency for 99 years and that it would be jointly managed. There is no accommodation in the park and entry is by permit valid for 3 days. The community here is dry and you can only purchase alcohol here if you are a guest at the village.

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Ayers Rock at sunset from campground

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River Gums growing in the dunes near campground

We managed a few photographs from a lookout in the campground just at sunset. You are allowed in the park before sunrise and after sunset to view the changing colours of the rock but only from certain carparks. Tour buses have other locations allocated to them for the same purpose and you can also have dinner under the stars. We didn’t go into the park until today and did a circuit of the Rock. You can still climb the Rock but the traditional owners try to discourage it by saying it is a spiritual place and also pointing out the dangers of the climb. 35 people have died while attempting the climb and it is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Ayres Rock early afternoon

Ayers Rock early afternoon

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Some of formation at ground level

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Climbers acceding the Rock

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Sliver of rock coming away from the side of the Rock

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The Rock another view

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The Olgas just appear on the horizon

We didn’t attempt the climb but we did find a place on the other side of the Rock that lead in to a waterhole. The little valley was lined with river gums and the undersides of some of the rock formations were adorned with aboriginal paintings. The pool at the base of the rock valley was crystal clear and fed a little stream flowing gently away from the Rock. It is very easy to understand how it could be of spiritual significance.

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Track into the Water Hole

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Track into the Water Hole

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Aboriginal rock painting

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River gums in the valley.

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Waterhole

Leaving Uluru, we drove to the Olgas which is a short 50km drive. The Olgas are a group of large domed rock formations or bornhardts. They are also visible from our campground. They form a spectacular profile on the horizon but are more spectacular as you approach them. They are thought to be part of the same formation as the Rock and Mount Conner 80km to the east. Erosion over time has carved great gorges through them. Tomorrow we mat attempt to walk into one of the gorges.

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Yesterday we were almost fooled by Mount Conner. Driving to Yulara about 80 odd kms out we saw this formation in the distance. It had a shape not unlike Ayers Rock being it stuck up out of the plain, had a colour similar to Ayres Rock but it had a vertical rim around it top. It certainly looked the part and we were impressed and it wasn’t till we came to a sign declaring it was Mount Conner that we were sure it wasn’t Ayers Rock in disguise.

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Mount Conner

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That’s not a bugger hanging out of my nose,it is one of the native flying a nuisances that inhabit the area.

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