Crossing Australia – The Red Center

4. June 2019

Everyone knows the Uluru. This landmark has been used so many times by Australian marketing experts that you immediately know the real thing when you see it for the first time. This first time is at a lookout called Sandy Way, about 20km before the entrance to the park.

The rock itself spreads such a noble calmness, that seeing it feels like meeting a member of the royal family. Most spectacular is its color change. Depending on the time of the day the Uluru can either be red, yellow or grey and the color change can be best observed during sunrise and sunset. You can either do an entire walk around it or if you prefer shorter walks do the Mala Walk and the Kuniya Walk. The first one can be done on a free ranger guided tour, where you learn a lot about the significance of the rock for the Aborigines, why it is where it is and why you should not climb it.

Kata Tjuta or “The Olgas” are a bit less known but not less spectacular and significant for the Aborigines. They look like Uluru had been cut in several pieces and put together again. There is a nice lookout to reach, called the Karu lookout and if you are keen to walk further you can do a circular walk. But mostly recommended is the walk into the rocks to Walpa Gorge, because there you get the real feeling for its immense dimensions.

When we arrived on the first day it was shortly before sunset and so we drove to Pioneer Point to enjoy our first Uluru sunset. It was majestic and gave a first idea of its dimensions. The next morning we got up early to see the sunrise from sunset point. We both really don’t like getting up early, but this sunrise was so good, that we decided to repeat that endeavor at the sunset point on our last morning.

We decided against the walk around the entire Uluru and did the Mala Walk and the Kuniya Walk instead. Especially the ranger guided Mala Walk was fantastic. We learned a lot about the flora and fauna of this region, how the Aborigines lived here and that you shouldn’t climb on the Uluru because it is a sacred site for the Aborigines. And later that day we installed ourselves at the sunset point with our table, chairs and a bottle of wine and let the camera do its work in the timelapse mode. Many of the other visitors did the same, which was a slight issue for them, because when we left the park the police were checking every driver on his alcohol level.

The next day we explored the Kata Tjutas. We stopped at the dune view point and the sunset view point before we walked through the valley of the winds to the Kara lookout. This name hasn’t been given randomly but at least the wind kept the flies away. The Olgas were absolutely beautiful and Walpa Gorge probably the most impressive place in the entire national park, because while standing in between those massive rocks we felt so tiny.

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