THE RED CENTRE

Community Highlights Oceania THE RED CENTRE

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As we crossed the border into the Northern Territory we were looking forward to some great experiences at Uluru and some magnificent photos, the photo featured here was taken on our last day at Uluru.

Jumping back now to after crossing the border, we travelled further west and noticed the paddocks gradually changed from grasslands to red dirt and spinifex. We reached the Stuart Highway and turned south toward Alice Springs and Uluru. By sundown we found ourselves an old quarry site to camp for the night.

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MATT'S QUARRY

The next morning we were off and travelling early. Alice Springs was not far down the track and after a visit to the Information Centre and supermarket to stock up on supplies we were off again heading for Uluru which was about 500kms south.

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DESERT OAKS REST AREA

We stopped for the night at Desert Oaks Rest Area, a lovely spot with a nice breeze whispering through the desert oaks.

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After another full day of travel we reached a small rest spot 50 kms from Uluru. We climbed a sandhill and watched the sun set over the distant Uluru {Ayers Rock} and Kata Tjuta (TheOlga's).
Early in the morning before sunrise we set off for Uluru. We drove through into the National Park to the base of Uluru. It was great to be up close and to see how big and red it was. The wind was quite strong around the rock and the Climb to the top was closed until further notice. Zak really hoped he would get the opportunity to climb the rock. As much as I would have loved to do it too, I knew it was beyond my capabilities.

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ULURU OVERFLOW CAMPGROUND

We spent the next few hours setting up at the campground at Yalara. We weren't able to get a powered site due to it being school holidays and a very busy time at the Caravan Park. Each day we were there the daytime temperature was 36 degrees most days and between 27 and 22 degrees at night. We used all the old methods of cooling down before we got spoilt with air conditioners. Fortunately we were in an area where we were allowed to use our generator, so one particularly hot afternoon, after a very strenuous day we put on the generator closed up the van and slept for several hours under the cool of the air con.....bliss.

About 4pm on the first day we made our way back to the 'Big Rock'. As we drove into the car park we could see people in various stages of their climb going up the rock. Zak's chance had come.

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THE BEGINNING OF THE CLIMB

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ZAK SECOND ONE FROM BOTTOM OF PICTURE

Zak was out of the car like a shot and with his trusty stick making his way up the rock. I was able to watch from below until he reached the stage where I could see him no more. It was about a 3 hour return trip for Zak and he enjoyed himself immensely. By the sound of it, coming to the aid of a couple of people along the way.

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AT THE TOP

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SUMMIT MARKER

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The magnificent light from the afternoon sun made the rock glow and he was able to capture it on his phone.

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ALONG WAY DOWN.

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SUN SETTING BEHIND THE OLGA'S

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ON HIS WAY DOWN

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THE LAST STAGES, SEEING THE CARS BELOW.

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THE BASE OF ULURU

While waiting for Zak, I took a walk at the base of Uluru, The glow in the sun was amazing.

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A BEAUTIFUL GOLDEN GLOW

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ARRIVING BACK JUST IN TIME.

It was almost dark by the time Zak and the other stragglers got back down.
I must say I was very relieved to see him down safely. Ayers rock has a bad reputation for people not making it safely down but as I have learnt over our last six years together he is very capable of pacing himself and staying safe.

A DAY OF CYCLING

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We set out early on our bikes one morning, prepared for a long ride. Leaving Yalara where our caravan was parked we cycled almost 20 kms before we reached Ayers Rock.

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We cycled around the rock stopping off to have a closer look in some places. Many people were walking and looking very hot and bothered.

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A COOL CAVE WAS A VERY GOOD PLACE TO GET OUT OF THE SUN FOR A FEW MINUTES.

It was 10 kms around the rock. By now it was noon so we stopped off at the Cultural Centre for lunch. The ride home was extremely hot and exhausting. We were so grateful that the batteries on our bikes hung on for the distance, having used the battery as sparingly as we could.
It was such a relief to get back and have a rest with a real sense of accomplishment for having travelled 62 kilometres.

THE OLGAS

KATA TJUTA

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THE OLGAS IN THE DISTANCE

Another day we decided to take a trip out to the Olga's and explore the walks there.

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KARU LOOKOUT WALK

Our first walk was to Karu Lookout, along the way negotiating loose rocks. On arriving we met with beautiful views expanding out through the domes of the Olgas. Zak ventured on to the next lookout which took him down to the valley below and creek beds. It was a more challenging walk with many steep steps and steep spots. I turned around and went back to near the beginning of the walk where there was a large open shelter where there was a lovely refreshing breeze to wait for Zak to return.

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ALONG THE KARINGANA LOOKOUT TRACK

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AT THE KARINGANA LOOKOUT

Once Zak returned from his walk we moved on to the next one several kilometres down the road.

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WALPA GORGE WALK

The Walpa Gorge walk was lovely the huge walls of the gorge guard the plants and animals from the hot desert sun.

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WALPA GORGE

A peep out from under the fly net meant the 'Great Aussie Salute' had to be performed at a rapid pace.

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VIEW THROUGH THE GORGE

After our walks we travelled back to Yalara to ready ourselves for our last night at Uluru and our chance to get one last sunset shot of Uluru.

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SUNSET OVER THE OLGAS

As we drove back through Uluru/ Kuta Tjuta National Park the sun was giving us a beautiful colourful sight as it went down over the Olgas.

The next morning we rose early to beat the heat for our pack up. The most beautiful colourful sky surrounded us as we hitched up ready for our next adventure.

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SUNRISE AT YALARA

This featured blog entry was written by Zak and Jenny from the blog Roaming Our Sunburnt Country.
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By Zak and Jenny

Posted Thu, Jun 06, 2019 | Australia | Comments