NORTHERN TERRITORY TRIP in 2006 …. Ayres Rock (Uluru): Post 8

___________________________________________________________________________

Note: I would like  to share with  you  through  these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a 3 Dimensional  experience as though you were  actually there with  us. Click on any photograph and it should enlarge to a different size ….. at least half screen or size full screen. It will be clearer in detail than the photo on the post. It will be as if you were  really there looking at the actual  scene. You are an arm chair traveller with us.

If you would also like  to see the post in a larger or smaller size, I suggest you follow this procedure: If you right-handed, with your left hand, press  down continuously  on the Control Function Key  with your left hand and with your right hand, move  the   little  cursor wheel either forwards or backwards to make the text in the post larger or smaller.

____________________________________________________________________________

Uluru National Park:

Uluru National Park is the home of Ayers Rock, a huge monolith in the centre of Australia.

The park also contains the nearby Olgas (or Kata Tjuta), but, as far as Australian national parks go, it is a relatively small at only 70kms wide. The park was set up to protect the monolith, which retains the Aboriginal name of ‘Uluru’.

Uluru National Park

Alice Springs is the nearest main town to Uluru National Park, about 460kms by road from the northern entrance. The expanse sits in the southwest of the Northern Territory and is served by the Red Centre Highway (4), which first goes through the service town of Yulara, where all the accommodation and facilities for visitors to the park are best.

Uluru National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered sacred by the Aborigines, who were in the area 10,000 years ago. The land was given back the ‘Anangu’ Aborigines after being occupied white settlers, although it is now leased to the Australian government and co-managed. Although Ayers Rock is open to all (A$25 for a three-day pass) and visitors can climb the rock, the Aboriginals try to discourage this activity as they see it as disrespectful to their ancestors.

Visitors should also take note of any ‘No Photography’ signs, although the rule is generally not enforced. Parts of the park are off-limits to tourists, but they can walk right around Uluru as well as up to the summit. The climb to the steel can, which marks the top of the rock, takes about two hours return, although very fit people may make it to the top in just 20 minutes.

There are a couple of main viewing areas in Uluru National Park; one to the west of the rock (for sunset) and the other to the east (for sunrise). The Olgas are another 35kms to the west of Uluru and are also worth a look.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________

1. Sunrise & Sunset: We went by bus to look at Ayres Rock (Uluru) at sunrise (about 4 degrees in temperature). It is winter time in Australia in June.

IMG_0110

The Uluru carpark ….

 

IMG_0126 IMG_0123

Uluru initially in the predawn,  then Uluru  with the sun on  it ….. Watching the colours change over this amazing landscape is a breathtaking experience. There are two special viewing areas to see Uluru at either dawn or dusk.

IMG_0130

People who have also  come to to see the sunrise on Uluru ….

IMG_0136

Ken and Harriet Aitken in June 2006. This photograph is at sunrise (about 4 degrees in temperature).

The Olgas are thirty five kilometres away on the horizon.

IMG_0137

Uluru  after the sun has come up …..

IMG_0114

IMG_0109a

Harriet my wife, walking back to the Uluru carpark ….

See the website:  Sunrise and sunset at Uluru

________________________________________________

2. Short Walk:

Experiences at Uluru + Kata Tjuta ….

Most visitors would have seen photos featuring Uluru, but nothing prepares you for the experience of being exposed to this expansive living cultural landscape. Experience many wonderful features of this region, including Uluru or Ayers Rock, and Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas.

IMG_0112

Tank water for drinking … it very precious in  this desert area  as it has to be transported into this tank …

IMG_0115 IMG_0116 IMG_0117 IMG_0118 IMG_0119 IMG_0120 IMG_0121 IMG_0122 IMG_0123 IMG_0124 IMG_0125 IMG_0126 IMG_0127 IMG_0128 IMG_0129

Discover the amazing textures and colours of the rock, see the diverse plants and animals and experience Anangu culture first hand. …….

IMG_0130 IMG_0131 IMG_0132 IMG_0133 IMG_0134 IMG_0135

Walking  around Uluru:

IMG_0137 IMG_0138 IMG_0139 IMG_0140 IMG_0141 IMG_0142 IMG_0143 IMG_0144 IMG_0145 IMG_0146 IMG_0147 IMG_0148 IMG_0149 IMG_0150 IMG_0151

Escape the crowds and take a meandering journey through acacia woodlands and grassed claypans. Discover the diverse plants, animals and geological features of the park. From Kuniya Piti follow the snake-like grooves at the base of the rock which were left when the ancestral being Kuniya journey to Mutitjulu waterhole. Encounter bloodwoods, native grasses and many waterways and soaks. The Base Walk is the best way to fully appreciate the natural and cultural beauty of Uluru. – See more at: http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/uluru/do/bush-walking.html#sthash.NSZvfccE.dpuf

IMG_0153 IMG_0154 IMG_0155 IMG_0156 IMG_0157 IMG_0158 IMG_0159 IMG_0160

The surface is made up of valleys, ridges, caves and weird shapes that were created by erosion  …..

IMG_0161 IMG_0162 IMG_0164 IMG_0165 IMG_0167 IMG_0168 IMG_0169 IMG_0170 IMG_0171 IMG_0173 IMG_0174

See this website:  Images for uluru

________________________________________________

3. Mala Walk:

Mala walk to Kantju Gorge

Learn where the Mala (rufous hare-wallaby) people camped when they first arrived at Uluru. The Mala people are the ancestral beings of Anangu. There are examples of Anangu rock art along this walk and you can experience the sheer vertical walls and profound peacefulness of Kantju Gorge. A great sunset location in winter.

See more at: http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/uluru/do/bush-walking.html#sthash.NSZvfccE.dpuf

IMG_0175

The Mala Walk sign …. A bit  hard to read off the website post  here but it a better read

if you place your cursor over the photo and you go to ‘View Image’ …..

IMG_0176

Aboriginal Uluru Dreamtime Story

For the Aboriginal people of Australia, Dreamtime represents the essence of their society, culture, traditions and spirituality. It is a time when ancestors, gods and living mortals come together to learn about the heritage and customs of the Aboriginal people. Dreamtime is the core of everything, and of the many sacred sites in Australia, few are as important as Uluru.

Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is believed to have been created at the beginning of time by 10 ancestors, or spirit people, of the Aboriginal people. Tours of Ayers Rock emphasise this connection with the beginnings of the local Anangu Aboriginal people while also highlighting the natural power of the sandstone monolith.

Uluru Dreamtime

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0178

IMG_0177

IMG_0180

IMG_0181

Ayers Rock tours incorporate the amazing rock paintings of the Anangu, the local Aborigine tribe who inhabited this area.  The rock paintings are seen as a record of the very period of dreamtime. The rock’s caves, cliffs and fissures contain countless petroglyphs that tell the story of the ancestors. Certain rock outcroppings represent ancestral spirits, and the Anangu believe that by simply touching the rocks they can communicate with dreamtime and receive blessings from their ancestors …….

IMG_0182 IMG_0183 IMG_0184

Uluru remains sacred to a number of Aboriginal tribes in the region who still perform rituals in the caves and make new rock paintings. It is worth signing up for a quality tour at Ayers Rock that can show you some of the more unique and special paintings. Each side of Uluru has a different creation story associated with it, and with an experienced local guide you can hear all of the incredible colourful tales that form the basis of Aboriginal culture in this important part of Australia.

Symbols: These are some of the symbols you may see in our rock art and their meanings. They have been passed down generation to generation for thousands of years. We still use these symbols in our modern artwork today.

IMG_0185 IMG_0186 IMG_0187 IMG_0189 IMG_0190 IMG_0191

IMG_0192

A very precious waterhole at the  base of Uluru  ……. A bigger pool which we didn’t see is the Mutitjulu waterhole. See this from this website.

From the Kuniya carpark, visitors can walk the short track to Mutitjulu waterhole, home of a wanampi, an ancestral watersnake. In the special times of rain, experience the magical waterfalls, while in the warmer months watch for noisy finches and nankeen kestrels soaring on the thermal winds. For the keen bird watcher, you may spot nesting black-breasted buzzards or tawny frogmouths.
Here you can learn how Kuniya and Liru (the woma python woman and poisonous snake man) helped create Uluru. This is a living cultural landscape. Kuniya is still here. Her spirit is here. The art caves are still used by Anangu today. This is a special place. –
See these websites:

_________________________________________

4. 4. Seats & Structures:

IMG_0121 IMG_0122 IMG_0179 IMG_0193

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Uluru Facts

Uluru is probably Australia’s best-known natural landmark. The ancient monolith is pretty impressive close up and boasts intriguing statistics. Here are some facts on Uluru:

  • FACT: Uluru is better known as Ayers Rock; it named by William Gosse in 1873 after Sir Henry Ayers. Uluru is the Aboriginal and official name.
  • FACT: The rock was created over some 600 million years, and the Aborigines have been in the area for the last 10,000 years. It originally sat at the bottom of a sea, but today stands 348m above ground. One of the most startling Uluru facts however, is that some 2.5kms of its bulk is underground.
  • FACT: Uluru lies west of the Simpson Desert, not far from the ‘Red Centre’ of Australia, about 335kms southwest of Alice Springs (as the crow flies) and 463kms by road. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the biggest monolith in the world; Mount Augustus in Western Australia holds that title

More Uluru Facts

  • FACT: Other Uluru Facts: the rock is about 3.6kms long and 1.9kms wide, with a circumference of 9.4kms. The climb to the top is 1.6kms, much of which is at a steep angle, while the summit is generally flat. The surface is made up of valleys, ridges, caves and weird shapes that were created through erosion over millions of years. Surface oxidation of its iron content gives the would-be grey Uluru a striking orange-red hue.
  • FACT:  The nearby Kata Tjuta (or Olgas) are said to originate from a similar time. They are thought to have originally been one massive monolith, as opposed to the 36 separate domes they are today – one of the lesser known Uluru facts. They are a part of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which was founded in 1950 as ‘Ayers Rock-Mount Olga National Park’, changing to its current title in 1995. The Aboriginals own the land, although the Australian government currently holds a 99-year lease.

How big is Uluru?

Uluru…

  • is 348 metres (1141 feet) high
  • rises 863 metres (2,831 ft) above sea level
  • is 3.6 km long (2.2 miles)
  • is 1.9 km wide (1.2 miles)
  • is 9.4 km or 5.8 miles around the base
  • covers 3.33 km2 (1.29 miles2)
  • extends about several km/miles into the ground (no-one knows exactly how far)

How long does it take to walk around Uluru?

The Uluru Base Walk is a 10km walk on a flat marked dirt path, and can be completed in around 3.5 hours. Read more about the various walks around Uluru.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Seethe next post: 2006: NORTHERN TERRITORY TRIP …. In Central Australia: Kings Canyon …. Post 9