Uluru Base Walk

Sat 4th – It was a rough night last night with whiz bang doors slamming, people talking until late, music and then we were woken at 4.30am. So was the rest of the campground by some locals who were drunk making a lot of noise just walking around and around. Think security eventually walked them out. And for some unknown reason heaps of people decided to pack up before 7am and started bashing, doors slamming, cars starting.

We were out of the park just after 8.30am NT time. Straight down to the rock to get a park away from the cars as we had the trailer. Quick cuppa and make lunch ready for the big walk around the base.

First up we joined the Mala walk with the ranger, as did heaps of other people. The walk and talk was quite interesting, the whole thing was maybe a bit slow for us. A lot of standing still while he chatted and often in the sun. Takes up to 2 hrs to do the ranger walk up to Kantju Gorge.

Ranger-Talk

Amazing-colours GorgeMens-BusinessRock-ArtWe then headed off on the base walk. More than half of it was in the hot sun, with very little shade. Some areas are marked as sensitive to the Aboriginal people so you aren’t allowed to take photos within those areas. They are clearly sign posted.

Base-Walk Base-Walk-1 Base-Walk-2 Cave.1

The walk is flat but seems longer than the 10.6km, especially with the detours along the way. Again there are many interesting holes, caves, honeycomb areas, lots of trees along the bottom and even some on the rock. The path moves away from the base of the rock in some areas. It’s interesting and well worth doing, start early.

Cave Honeycomb Kate-surfing-the-rock'One-big-rockUluru

Well that’s it we are stuffed, several days of big walks have taken there toll. Our feet hurt and we are pooped. Walk is a four letter word. Looking forward to a few days of rest. Ideally it would be good to spend a week in this area and do all the walks with some rest days in between. Been great though and fun.

Whoo hoo, that was better. There is a 3.5km no stopping zone on the road near Uluru, starts before the sunset designated area and ends just after it. After the crowds last night we thought we would stop just after the no stopping zone, just down from the sunset area. We had a great view point, no trees in our way and best of all we had the place to ourselves. We were able to have tea and then sit in peace and enjoy the sunset. Way to go.

Ayers-Rock Ayers-Rock-Sunset-2 Ayers-Rock-Sunset-3 Us-at-sunset

We drove the 30kms to Sandy Way Rest Area for the night. There were already a few campers in there.

20120804Uluru

Uluru

Thur 2nd – Our first stop today was straight to Uluru/Ayers Rock. We passed the Ayers Rock Resort and camping area on the left a few km’s before entering the national park. At the park entrance there is a booth to pay the $25 per person 3 day pass into the park. This gives access to Uluru and The Olgas.

Mate that is one big rock, it’s massive. Images shown on the TV and other photos do not do it justice, it’s way bigger. There are crevices, dips and bumps all over it. There is a walk that goes around the base that we will do in a few days, a Cultural Centre we will pop into sometime and of course the walk up the rock.

Climbers

There is a lot of controversy and opinions on whether to climb the rock or not. Some points have merit and others do not. I think it’s a personal decision that every one should be able to make up their own mind on. There are a lot of foreign tourists that climb and visit the rock that don’t give the decision a second thought, it’s a case of can they personally physically climb it or not. It seems a shame many foreign tourists take the opportunity to climb the rock while us Aussies miss out. The word is they will soon stop people climbing. I’ve umm and ahh about whether to say on this site whether we climbed the rock or not so not to offend either view point, but we did climb the rock and have a huge sense of achievement for doing so. I also feel a great deal more appreciation and awe for what an impressive rock Uluru is, and better understand why the Aboringals hold the place in such high esteem. Uluru is also special place and a a place of wonder for us white folk as well, it’s special to all Aussies.

Steep-Climb

Now the climb, it’s a very very difficult climb, makes Kings Canyon a peace of cake. It is also dangerous, a comment we heard from many people. So easy to slip, the path comes close to the edges at times. This is also one of the reasons the Aboringals don’t like you to climb it, as the original owners they feel responsible if someone gets hurt. This could also be the reason walking up will not be allowed in the future.

Climb-up

It starts with a quite a steep bit with no chains, and then there are chains to help you climb and keep you on your feet. This can be seen from the bottom, but what can’t be seen is how far up they go and that the end of the chain section would be less than half way. It is the most difficult part of the climb but there are also some very hairy sections, sections of climbing down on your butt and plenty of other steep bits. We saw some weird and wonderful ways people were getting up and down some bits, the most famous the reverse crab walk going down hill.

Phew-thats-one-big-rock

When you finally get to the end of the chains there is a nice flat area to rest, a lot of people call it quits there and don’t go further. From there it’s follow the dotted white lines to the top.

Follow-the-white-line

Which is a lot further than the chain sections, never seems to end. On the way it’s up and down steep dips and humps and crevices, some close to the edge. It’s not flat on the top like it looks from the bottom or in photos, amazing, so much to see, take photos in any direction. Great views of the Olgas, just amazing.

Ayers-Rock-and-the-Olgas Ayers-Rock-and-the-Olgas-1On-the-edge

Craters-on-Ayers-Rock Craters-on-Ayers-Rock-1

After lots of rests, puffing and panting we made it to the top, yeah. Everyone was high fives. Everyone we met on the walk is so encouraging. We did find it was mostly young people who did the walk. A few small children who made it look so easy.

Family-climbing-Ayers-Rock Proof

The-top

Caves-of-Ayers-RockIts-not-flatWave-of-Ayers-Rock

What goes up must come down, so down we came, much easier than going up would have say, but there was some bum sliding down some sections and I went down backward in the chain section as I found that easier. The last bit was the hardest going down, with no one seeming to know what was the best way approach it. But we made it yeah.

How-do-I-get-downWay-back-down

Don’t want to climb it again but so glad we did it this time, a once in a life time experience one I think we might feel in our muscles tomorrow morning.

Kate-on-the-rock

We are saying at the Ayers Rock camp ground for 2 nights @$41 a night. Every night they have campfire, with different things on, tonight was a guy telling us about the resort and area and singing to us.

20120802Uluru

On the way to Uluru

Wed 1st August – We had a bit of a delayed start with some of the bolts on the chassis/canopy needing some adjustment. We had some Major Mitchell Cockatoos feeding on some pine cones to keep us company.

Major-Mitchell-CockatooMajor-Mitchell-Cockatoo-1

We filled up at Curtain Springs Station, dearest petrol so far $2.27L. But they do offer free camping. We were told the Ayers Resort campground was expensive but it was $2.07.

We ended up pulling off the road about 30kms from Uluru for the night. We could walk to the top of a sand hill and see Uluru. Our first glimpse a far way out.

First-Glimpse

For the first time in weeks we didn’t have any wind.

20120801SaltCreekUluru