by Vic and Tara
Ever since we set foot in Australia a few months ago we have been dreaming of exploring this mystical aboriginal site... and long before actually. So we were very excited when the day finally arrived to visit the Nation’s biggest icon: Uluru aka Ayers Rock. Our expectations were sky-high, which can be a bit dangerous when visiting legendary places - sometimes they turn out to be very touristy, crowded and over-commercialised, so we tried to refrain from too much jumping up and down, and keep our cool in order to avoid disappointment.
Turns out, you can daydream all you want about Uluru, this giant monolith will still catch your breath the moment you spot its famous silhouette emerging from the infinite red horizon. No matter how much you have read about it or seen pictures of this magnificent mountain, you will still be blown away when you actually get to Uluru and you’re totally immersed in its monumental surroundings. It’s impossible to describe all the sounds, smells, colours and other sensations that will hit you at that moment… but one thing we can say for sure: it is totally worth a visit!
As we drove closer, the walls of the monolith just kept on rising and rising, and it’s only until you’re hiking the tracks close to Uluru that you understand just how big and steep the sides of this 348m high sandstone rock actually are. The Mala walk, which runs right along the rock and into the Kantju Gorge, is one of the best walks to explore this rock from up close. Along the way you can admire sheer vertical walls, wave-like rock formations and beautiful Anangu rock art.
It is possible to get on top of the giant monolith by taking the Uluru Climb. However, as Uluru is a sacred place to the local Aboriginal people they ask to respect the site and not climb the rock. Nevertheless many adventurers still take on this challenging 1 to 4 hour track, depending on your level of fitness. It is a very steep climb, and often the wind and scorching heat can make it even more dangerous. Because of these harsh conditions the track is closed off for almost half of the year, especially when temperatures rise above 36°C before 11am. A better way to enjoy the amazing Uluru scenery is to find a good vantage point somewhere in the park and watch a dramatic sunrise or sunset over this massive natural monument.
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