After leisurely making our way up the entire East Coast over the course of a month, the last few weeks were a sudden blur of flights, trains, with a rushed visit to Uluru squeezed in between. When planning a trip around Australia, that big red rock seems to sit there like the proverbial elephant. You kind of know you can’t not visit Uluru, but it’s not really new anything. Except Alice Springs, it’s near Alice Springs, right? Wrong! The famous national park is, in fact, 450 kms from the nearest town, where we arrived by train, rented a car and drove the 900 km round trip in 3 days… to see a rock. In Australian terms, once you’re that close, you might as well go the extra mile, like a good tourist, and tick that one off the To Do list.
And Uluru did not disappoint. No matter how many pictures you’ve seen, encountering the sheer red face of the impressive monolith is a whole different matter. The fact that the park is co-managed by the traditional owners means the stories of the dreamtime songlines that intersect here are explained very vividly. Those who are willing to listen will come to understand why the indigenous population implores visitors not to climb their sacred rock, but sadly there’s plenty who won’t let that stop them. Another culture clash, another minefield…
Other stories I have written about Uluru:
Bestn Australian Bush Camps: Longitude 131°, Northern Territory