In addition to well-known metropolitan cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, Australia also has many interesting natural attractions, one of which is Uluru, Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, Australia. In addition to natural attractions, this place is also a sacred place for Aborigines, the original inhabitants of Australia and included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage site.
Uluru is located in the Northern Territory, north of the Australian continent. The closest major city is Alice Springs with a distance of about 450 km. And from Sydney about 2,800 km. Besides Uluru, there are other sacred places are known as Kata Tjuta are also made of cobblestones. Uluru and Kata Tjuta are currently in the national park area of Uluru-Kata Tjuta (Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park).
Due to the place far away, isolated and remote, the easiest way to visit is using aircraft and from the airport we can use land transportation – about 15 minutes from the airport to the city center of Ayers Rock.
Do not imagine that Ayers Rock airport was large and stately like in a big city. Instead, its airport is small, sober and ride down the plane using only common household and have to walk. But it is here uniquely, we can walk through the planes landing while enjoying the scenery. Even if you are lucky, as the plane stopped and the door opened, can immediately see Uluru from a distance.
A Brief History
Based on archaeological data in 1987, the Aboriginal population is estimated to have been living in the area around Uluru more than 22 thousand years ago. Around 1873, a British national, William Christie Gosse became the first European explorers to climb Uluru. The name ‘Ayers Rock’ was taken from Sir Henry Ayers, who led South Australia. Around 1950, the tourist industry was held, with the opening of the first tour to climb Uluru.
In 1985, the Australian government handed over Ayers Rock National Park back to Aboriginal ownership. In 1994, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park earned a dual World Heritage in the field of nature and culture and have since earned the visitors and improved a lot and received great attention from the public.
One of the icons of the most widely used to describe Australia (other than the Opera House, Sydney), Uluru has its own characteristics which can change color depending on the fox-hour and time per day. Uluru has reached a height of 350 meters, approximately 860 m above sea level. Length of about 3.6 km and width reaching 1.9 km. The manufacturing process itself was estimated to occur about 600 million years ago and was once Uluru located on the seabed. Although it is now high “only” 350 meters, approximately 2.5 km of the body is in the basement.
Uluru itself is still considered sacred by the Aboriginal people who still live in the vicinity. So sacred, there are some places is totally forbidden to take photos / video, from a distance though, including when you pass by driving a vehicle. In addition to vehicles, explore Uluru, also can walk, especially for those who love nature, as long as you bring adequate equipment and follow the instructions for maintaining safety.
About 25 km from Uluru, there are other icons in Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta, also known by the name of Olga mount, which is a group of rocky mountain. The highest peak of Kata Tjuta is about 1,066 m above sea level. Same with Uluru, the place is also an Aboriginal sacred place and there are some places where taking photos and video is totally forbidden, from a distance though. Many also found the painting and writing on the stone which is a legacy of the ancestors of Aboriginal people.
Although from a distance, Kata Tjuta looks like a rock in general, in yet involves a series of multiple natural objects, such as valleys, hills, small lakes and waterfalls, which make the streets around the Kata Tjuta very interesting, just get ready to wear adequate climbing shoes, which obviously is not recommended to wear sandals.
There is something interesting about mystical things in this place, a lot of things that are not for public consumption, especially for women. According to local customs, so the womenfolk know the affairs of men, then they can get a terrible disaster, even death.
Camel Ride and Dinner Under The Sky
One appeal of Ayers Rock is the desert landscapes and the most suitable means of transportation to explore the desert is by camel ride. While riding camels, the guide will explain about the flora and fauna in Ayers Rock. Actually, there are a lot of flora and fauna, knowing, desert area, so everything is barren. Interestingly, more visible trees burned because of lightning.
One thing that must be tried, is enjoying a dinner under the sky with a view of Uluru sunset time – guaranteed an unforgettable experience. This experience can be combined with camel ride – to the location of a meal with a camel ride of about 15 minutes.
Dinner was really under the open and not in the restaurant. The dining table and the kitchen made portable and not permanent (as there should be no permanent buildings in the vicinity), the base of the desert, the roof of the sky and stars – dinner while enjoying the natural atmosphere and the sunset. Really simple, but wonderfully memorable.
After dinner is finished and it was dark, the next event is observing the stars, and are described by the tour guide on the configurations according to Aboriginal culture. The event ended with a treat of traditional dances from Aborigines.
Ayers Rock Resort – Eating Crocodile and Kangaroo Meat
The closest accommodation at Uluru Katja Tjuta National Park is Ayers Rock Resort. Do not imagine such a magnificent resort in general, luxurious, large and spacious. The resort is small, simple and far from the bustling atmosphere, be advised because of its location in the national park and to the preservation of nature and respect for the local culture.
To surround the Ayers Rock resort, you can use the free bus, or most convenient is by walking, while enjoying nature. Walking is recommended, especially when sunrise, which is important carefully and follow the instructions so as not to get lost in the desert.
In this place there is no big mall, which is just a simple shopping center in the center of the resort and goods were also items of daily necessities and local souvenirs. You should try in the resort area are eating meat of combo: crocodile, steak, kangaroos, emus and others, combined with salad all-you-can-eat style.
The Final Word
Visiting Ayers Rock is another experience, much different from visiting the metropolitan cities in Australia. Here there is a natural, quiet and a local culture that is very simple and not the frenetic life of big cities like Sydney and Melbourne. A unique experience to enjoy one of nature reserves and cultural heritage in Australia.