We started our day nice and early at 5:00 am so we could watch the sunrise over Ayres Rock. It was super cold outside and my toes were going a little numb while we waited for the sun to come up.
Once the sun was up we drove a couple minutes to the rock itself and did the 10.5 km base walk. It is amazing how much presence Ayres Rock has, it has the ability of making you feel so small. What I thought was interesting is that the rock is actually a grey color and the red is from the dirt being blown over it for thousands of years. walking around the base you could see aboriginal artwork on the walls as well as various niches and caves where they lived. There were sections of the rock that you couldn’t take pictures of because they were “sacred sites” and to show respect for whatever important role that area played you could not photograph.
We finished our walk in 2 hours and got back on the bus to check out the cultural center about the Ananu people who were the ones that inhabited Uluru. It was a very small building with signs about their culture and different stories they believed. There was also a room with a video playing giving the background of the people and interviews with the Ananu people today.
Once everyone walked through we went back for a quick lunch and then 6 of us got picked up for a 30 minute helicopter ride around Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Because the skydivi g was canceled, I used the money i budgeted for that to go on the helicopter.It was so amazing seeing the rocks from that perspective. You could see the patterns in the Uluru and how massive it is. I really enjoyed flying over Kata Tjuta because we got to see the side thats not visible to the public since the road only runs on the south side of the formation. It was also interesting how far all the rocks were spaced out becausr when you see it from the ground it looks so dense. At first I was hesitant about spending all that money to go on a helicopter (which I had done multiple times before) but it was such a unique view and experience that I’m so happy I did it.
Once we landed we were dropped off at the campsite where we immediately got back on the bus and headed to Kata Tjuta to do the hike in the valley. I was surprised how much vegetation was found between the 2 rocks. It was a nice quick walk because we wanted to see the aboriginal dance that was happening at the cemter of town. It worked out for me because I was starting to feel really tired and worn out and because I saw the entire thing from the helicopter I wasn’t bummed at all that we didnt do the hike to the top of one of the rocks.
We then headed to the town center where we saw some traditional aboriginal dances and artwork. All the dances they showed us were imitating animals in the outback.
Once the show was over we all headed back to where we started to see the sunset. We all had a plastic cup filled with champagne and some cheese and crackers while we waited. Damien told us to take pictures every 5 minutes after 5:20 pm because Uluru changes colors as the sun sets and you can see it better on your computer the gradual change from red to purple. I did that with my SLR camera so I’ll let you know how it came out.