On the third part I’ll tell you aboout our crazy idea to go see Uluru “on the way” to the East. After adventuring through the South coast Uluru was something I really wanted to see while travelling though Australia. And we were kind of close to it anyway on the Australian measures 😀 From Port Augusta it’s around 1200 kilometers one way. We were all really excited and started driving to the Outback and more towards the red center.
The Australian Outback
Quickly after leaving Port Augusta behind we realised what were are up to. The surrounding turned to desert and weather started getting hot. There is no way to hide from the sun around here. Uluru in mind we drove and drove on the straight road. Some times you pass small roadhouses but most of the way is empty. Above you can see some pictures from the views in the Outback to get a better idea what I mean.
The Outback is a special piece of nature with such a hard conditions but offering awesome scenery. We ended up visiting a local doctor clinic on the way back and had a change to speak with few local doctors about the life in the Outback. I found really interesting the stories from the flying doctor about the nature and meaning of community in remote parts of the coutnry.
Once we crossed the boarder I was suprised that Northern Territory was so green and lush. This was a welcome suprise after days of just sand and little grass. The closer we drove the greener it got which is unbelievable thinking about that we were in the middle of the Outback.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Once we started getting everyone was excited to see the national park and Uluru. The famous rock is located in the Kata-Tjuta National Park. This makes visiting easy and very organised. The loca aboriginal community is working together with others running the park and this is great way to save the knowledge and respect their culture. Clearly we hit the park on the off-season because there were very few people and we were priviliged to enjoy almost a private visit. And I can tell you that everyone in the car screamed on the first sight of Uluru!
You can find information about the park on the website and buy tickets directly from the gate. We bought ours at the gate since there was no queue. For one time visit the price was $AUD25/adult. The money is used for upkeeping the park and to support local community so I found this fair price. And you can drive in with your own car.
Once you drive in to the park I recommend to visit in the cultural center. This has huge amount of info about the park and the people that come from here. It was great opportunity to learn new and understand more about the place. There are well marked parking spots on the first side of the rock and you can find a path to walk around this. This will take few hours.
We started our tour by driving around to make a stop at the waterhole first. This little oasis if so beautiful and peaceful that you can understand why is valued as a sacred place. There are information signs to tell you more about the history. After going around there is another cool view spot bit further behind that you can see whole Uluru. This should be really cool for sunrise and the other side for sunset. Not too far from Uluru yu can continue to the Kata Tjuta and the Olgas to see more cool views.
The whole day was an amazing experience even if the image that some might have of Uluru as really touristic place. Which I’m sure on the peak season it is. We were lucky that the park was very empty that day which made it peacuful. It’s a rock you say but it’s a really cool one! This is a trip to do once in a lifetime and I’m happy we made ours on this roadtrip.
Just before the sunset the clouds started gathering and soon as we arrived back to our camp on Curtin Springs (free camping btw!) the tunder and rain started. The tents were set but there was not much else to do than hope that they keep the water out. Later I woke up in the middle of the night when mine was dripping from the roof and took a refuge in the car for bit 😀 The previous night when we arrived the sky was clear and the start were amazing again.
I absolutely loved my few days in the rural Outback and sitting on the door of my tent in the middle of the night watching stars is never leaving my mind.