27th Jul 2015 - 2nd Aug 2015 - Caravan Holiday 2015
Shorts and Tee-shirts
Had a pleasant and easy drive (no headwind) to Erldunda. Crossed the border into the NT after lunch and immediately found shorts and tee shirt weather. Overnighted at the Desert Oaks Van Park, Erldunda and headed off in anticipation next morning for Yalara, Ayers Rock and the Olgas or more commonly now referred to as Uluru and Kata Tjuta since being handed back to the Anangu (traditional landowners) in 1985. The Anangu manage the park in conjunction with the Federal Government under a 99 year lease agreement
The Lasseter Highway passing through Mt Ebenezer and Curtin Springs is an easy 240klm drive on bitumen road through desert and sand dune country. Was surprised to come across Mt Conner, near Curtin Springs, which could easily be mistaken for Uluru. But nothing prepares you for the first sighting of Uluru as approaching Yalara. It suddenly appears on the horizon and the familiar shape is instantly recognisable. After settling into the Ayers Rock Tourist Resort and familiarising ourselves with Yulara, we joined the other residents in the ritual of watching the sun sego on the Rock. Wednesday we paid our National Park fees and gained the first of 3 days access to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. We spent the morning at the Cultural Centre and as requested by the traditional owners elected not to climb Uluru as it is of 'great spiritual' significance. We did however do the Mala Walk to Kantju Gorge. After lunch we did the Kuniya walk to the Mutitjulu Waterhole. At 6:20pm we attended the customary sunset viewing.On Thursday we drove the 45klm to Kata Tjuta meaning "many heads' and had a great day exploring the dunes, gorges and domes of this area. The full circuit walk of 7.4klm was rated as Grade 4 - difficult but we completed it in just over 4 hours taking in the Valley of the Winds, Karu lookout and Karingana lookout. After lunch we tackled the Walpa Gorge walk - Grade 3, a moderate 2.6klm walk. All in all a really enjoyable worthwhile day. No sunset viewing today. Friday morning, up early and off to the Rock for sunrise. It was good but not as spectacular as the sunset. After breakfast back to the rock for the 10.6klm Uluru base walk. This was enjoyable but not as challenging or exciting as the Olga's experience. Last night at Yulara so we participated in the sunset viewing ritual and captured some more photos and memories. in summary Uluru was a spiritual experience and Kata Tjuta was just spectacular and splendid.
Saturday we ventured up the Luritja Road to the Watarrka National Park, about 310klm from Yulara staying at the Kings Canyon Resort where we camped next to Paul and Kerry, a couple we first met at Cobber Pedy, then saw at Erldunda and spent a little time with at Yulara. The challenge here was the Kings Canyon Rim walk, a 6klm loop with a very steep climb from the canyon floor to the canyon top. It was a difficult climb but really worth it. We were rewarded with incredible and beautiful views, a maze of weathered sandstone domes, dramatic gorges, clifftops, a garden of Eden and all in all a lot of fun, colour and sights. After lunch and a nap we completed the trifecta by doing the Kathleen Springs Walk and the Kings Creek Walk. A big but very rewarding day. Tomorrow we head for Alice Springs.
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