Once we completed the 1.6 km guided walk with Rhea, we were given the choice to either continue on the trail for another 9 km or take a much shorter route. Either way, all of us will be seeing each other again at Mala carpark located in front of Uluru (Ayers Rock) at the end of the trail. Daphne and I chose to do the 9 km base trail, so did the rest of our group; young children and a senior citizen! 😀
Basic Safety Tips When In Central Australia
Visitors to Central Australia should be cautious of the hot and dry climate and its effect on the body. Always keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least a litre of water per hour when you are engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking.
Basically, here is the list of things that visitors should keep in mind when at the Red Centre, Australia:
- Always take a good supply of drinking water with you
- Wear sturdy and comfortable walking shoes
- Wear a wide brimmed hat
- Wear loose, cool clothing
- Wear sunscreen
- Do not leave the designated trails
- Walk in the cooler parts of the day
- Obey all safety directions, notices and warning signs
- Consider your health and fitness when choosing an activity
Breathtaking 9km Base Walk Around Uluru
With that, Rhea got onto the van, bid good bye and wished us luck! She expected to see us again after 2 and a half hour of intense walk around Uluru (Ayers Rock). Immediately after that, all of us continued our walk; exploring and discovering more of the unseen sides of Uluru as we went.
Dehydration and heat exhaustion are the common safety risks faced by visitors to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Thankfully, snake bites are rare especially if we stay on the marked trail and dingoes are nowhere to be seen. We were advised to drink plenty of water and take a break from time to time to avoid a burnout.
Emergency radio stations are placed strategically along the trail for anyone to call for help in case of an emergency. An abuse of this resource/facility will result in a hefty fine or imprisonment for the offender. For your info, Australia imposes strict rules when it comes to taking care of public facilities. Visitors are also advised to keep our environmental footprint to minimum to help protect and conserve this special place for our future generations.
- Do not disturb or take away sand, rocks, plants or anything else that belongs in Uluru (Ayers Rock)
- Do not litter, and take all our rubbish with us
- Toilets are provided at: Cultural Centre, Mala carpark, Talingguru Nyakunytjaku and Kata Tjuta sunset viewing area
Uluru (Ayers Rock) As We Have Not Seen Before; A Place Of Great Spiritual Significance
There is more to Uluru (Ayers Rock) than being a huge rock in the middle of the outback desert, for there are several sides of Uluru (Ayers Rock) that not many people know or have seen before except for the Anangu Aboriginals. Fyi, the Anangu are the traditional owners of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the surrounding land. To them, Uluru (Ayers Rock) is not just a rock, but a living place. It is a place of great spiritual significance, therefore it is a sacred place that demands utmost respect from us whether we share the same beliefs and cultural inclinations or not.
In respect of Anangu and Tjukurpa, as well as for safety and conservation reasons, we chose not to climb Uluru (Ayers Rock). Personally, I don’t condemn people who choose to climb Uluru (Ayers Rock), nor I encourage people to climb Uluru (Ayers Rock) either. What is good or bad, right or wrong is very subjective; depending on one’s judgements, beliefs, moral values, integrity and views in life. However, how one respects and treats another person of a different set of beliefs, faith, opinion, culture, custom or even religion and race will tell a lot about one’s personality and character.
Back to the story, Anangu Aboriginals carries out important ceremonies in certain places at Uluru (Ayers Rock). Because of that reason, photography and video taking is prohibited in certain areas of Uluru (Ayers Rock). Commercial activity of any type in the park requires a permit and can be obtained by contacting the permits officer. Daphne and I made sure that there was no photography prohibiting signs in the area before taking any photos of Uluru (Ayers Rock). Most of the wonders of Uluru (Ayers Rock) have to be seen with our own eyes because photographs simply could not capture the essence of being present before sacred Uluru (Ayers Rock) itself. 🙂
Interesting Landscapes, Rock Formations, Plants and The Aboriginal Tjukurpa (Dreamtime Stories)
After much exploration on the flat, barren landscape, Uluru (Ayers Rock) surprised us with a journey through lush vegetation and remarkable rock formations. From a distance, Uluru (Ayers Rock) looks smooth and featureless, but up close, wind and water erosion though time had created interesting markings on the surface of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and its surrounding land; of holes, gashes, ribs, valleys and caves.
On the other hand, the Aboriginal Tjukurpa or dreamtime stories tell the tales and actions of Kuniya (woma python woman), Liru (poisonous snake man), Mala (rufus hare –wallaby), and Lungkata (blue-tongue lizard man) that helped form those interesting markings and landscapes at Uluru (Ayers Rock). Needless to say, Daphne and I had a fun time exploring Uluru (Ayers Rock) and were greatly humbled by the experience. 🙂
A Memorable Sunset At Uluru With Sparkling Wine, Crackers & Cheese
In the end, we completed our Uluru (Ayers Rock) experience by have a little picnic; sipping sparkling wine while nibbling on crackers dipped in a variety of dips and cheese, while watching the sunset at Uluru (Ayers Rock). The iconic monolith rock is known to change colours throughout the day in accordance with the amount of sunlight reflected off its surface; from yellow to orange, ochre, red and if we are lucky, in a bizarre pinkish hue too! 😀
After sundown, we made our way back to Emu Run Tour Outback Station 1 to have a good shower and enjoyed a healthy dinner of Chinese style stir-fried noodles with meat and vegetables prepared by Rhea with orange juice. After that, we gathered around the bonfire for warmth, talked to each other and retired in our cosy swags later that night.
Sleeping under the sky full of stars, I watched the Constellations, the Milky Way and the Southern Cross laid out before me, and was even lucky enough to make a wish on a falling star too! It was not long before I fell asleep and had my own set of dreamtime stories.
Up next: A beautiful sunrise at Uluru and our first look at Kata Tjuta’s (The Olgas) extraordinary landscape (the living desert)