The next day, we woke up as early as 5am in the morning to get ready and made our way to Kata Tjuta dune viewing boardwalk to watch the sunrise over Uluru (Ayers Rock). The journey took us about 30 – 40 minute.
A Spectacular Sunrise Over Uluru (Ayers Rock)
From the parking area, we walked on the designated trail towards the boardwalk / designated viewing platform to watch the sunrise over Uluru (Ayers Rock). There was a huge crowd of people gathering at the viewing platform when we arrived, all eager to witness the sunrise.
Everyone tried to get a good spot on the viewing platform to watch and enjoy the sunset in peace. Thanks to my petite build, I managed to slip through the crowd standing at the front, sat on the edge of the platform and waited patiently for the sun to rise over Uluru (Ayers Rock).
In sheer darkness, I could see the outline of Uluru (Ayers Rock) before me. Minutes later, the sun rose over the megalith structure, creating a spectacular sight for all to witness and be in awe of. Watching the sunrise over Uluru (Ayers Rock) was one of the highlights of my backpacking Uluru (Ayers Rock) trip. Read about the other highlights here.
Our First Look At Kata Tjuta’s Extraordinary Landscape (The Living Desert)
On the same platform, we had our very first look at Kata Tjuta’s extraordinary landscape and its surroundings. The name Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) means ‘many heads’ in Anangu language. They believe that Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) was made by their ancestors in the Tjukurpa (creation time).
The land that surrounds Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) is truly remarkable. Despite poor rainfall and poor soils, a great diversity of life has adapted to survive the harsh desert conditions. The vegetation here supports many different plants and animals.
In general, Kata Tjuta’s extraordinary landscape is divided into several important geological terrains:
- Pila – the pila (sand plain) is dominated by kurkara (desert oak) and tjapi (spinefex)
- Puti – puti (scrubland) grows in the foothills and surrounds Kata Tjuta. It is dominated by wanari (mulga)
- Puli – rocky areas have their own particular habitat supporting many specialised species such as kanyala (hill kangaroo) and mingkulpa (native tobacco) that is found only in shady areas after the rain
- Karu – karu (creek beds) are found within puli supporting species that require more water than other desert plants such as large eucalypts
Up next: A breathtaking 5.5 km Karingana Lookout Walk At Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) through the Valley of the Winds