Experiences: Uluru Desert Awakenings Part 2 (Ayers Rock)

You may already have spotted that there is a Part 1 to this post – it’s worth having a quick flick through that – it’s a lot of pictures!

Here is the promised picture of our Tour Bus for the day – an All Terrain yoke on stilts.


When daylight hits, it hits with both heat and brightness, so we were straight on the road to base camp at Uluru from our sand dune with breakfast facilities and snake alarms by the dozen.

Uluru, as you know, is a stratified sandstone rock that plunges underground to a depth of 5km, like a mammoth red-stone iceberg.


The stone takes on different characters depending where you are around the base of the rock.  I’ve included some pictures of it here.  However, certain parts of the rock may not be photographed (a phenomenon I came across throughout the Outback).  Aboriginal peoples typically have ‘men’s business’ and ‘women’s business’ and this includes geographical locations which are for men only or women only and the other gender may not even look (let alone walk through) an area designated as for men or women.  This is the case at Uluru and we were not permitted to photograph one whole side of Uluru (despite that side being desperately photogenic and in the sunshine!). Respect is important.


From October 2019, nobody will be permitted to climb Uluru.  It’s been discouraged for many years as it is a holy site for the local Aboriginal people and very disrespectful.  The picture below is at the start of the trail that people use to climb the rock – you can see the white trail which leads to a chain rope used to get up the tougher parts.  This will be removed in October.


The number of people who get into difficulty and actually DIE on Uluru is shocking and the damage caused by everyone else is unbelievable.  Not only plastics and trash left behind, but it takes 3-4 hours to climb (there’s another ‘height’ above what you see in the picture below) and where do people go to the toilet?  That’s right – where they are on the trail and this runs down rock. When it rains, the pools from which birds (and humans traditionally) drink are full of waste products and are poisonous to health.


People take their BABIES up here and throw nappies around.  Okay, rant over.  I did not climb it and wouldn’t encourage it.


The striations in the rock are obvious as the bus took us around the base of the rock.


We were on our way to a place where Aboriginal art could still be found.


So beautiful – those colours!


This may need to be represented in a quilt at some stage!


Aboriginal stories identify faces and animal movements in the shape of the rock. Doesn’t the picture below show a face looking left and maybe about to sneeze?


This was our guide, who was excellent and well-versed in all things artistic and Uluru (after 3 years only doing this tour, then I suppose you would be!).

For this particular Aboriginal people, the circle within circle motif (middle left below) indicates a place of significance.  If you then draw a line from this motif to another similar motif, you are depicting the journey between significant places and thus this art creates narratives about journeys, where is considered significant and who is involved.


There are a lot of Isuzu trucks (and utes) in the Outback.


I did beg for the picture postcard location!


This is the picture of Uluru that I wanted to have.  I know the day was starting to cloud over but it’s beautiful from here.


Time for a final geology lesson!


So blessed to have seen this in my lifetime.


Mother Nature cooperated with a little blue in the sky!


To end, I thought I’d share some out-takes of me trying to keep flies off my face long enough to take a selfie! And some other random pictures (not annotated).




No irons available…






Those colours!


Flies everywhere!