The center of Australia is mainly overlooked when contemplating a short trip to Australia and for good reason. It’s vast, it’s barren, it’s void of civilisation and it’s home to some of the countries most extreme temperatures.
However within this vast wilderness there is an extremely popular draw, the iconic rock of Uluru (better known as Ayres Rock). You’d be surprised that it is over 200 miles from the nearest largest town which is Alice Springs, and nearly a three hour flight from Sydney. It is ta true defination of the Australian outback.
Uluru is a sandstone rock formation situated in the middle of the Australian desert. It’s an incredible site to witness as it stands alone at 348m simply surrounded by miles of scorched red earth. In the far distance you may glimpse a few other formations, but none as stunning as this. It’s perplexing how this formation has come to pass since there is so little that surrounds it.
Uluru is a known sacred site to the Aboriginal people, and in that culture is said to be home to hundreds of spirits and the site itself is even linked to the story of creation. As such, it is an extremely significant and sacred site to the local Aboriginal people. These same locals ask (not enforce) that tourists don’t climb the structure or take anything from the site. As a true traveler you should always measure the experience against the cultural significance. This is a scared site to the locals and no matter what your beliefs, you should respect that and abide by their wishes.
It’s a shame that people openly do on a daily basis…
Uluru is a wonder and exploring the site is a real treat. The sandstone monument that appears so rectangular from a distance actually is home to many crevices, caves, water holes and walls. It feels like an optical illusion the closer you get to the natural marvel.
The site is also home to an essential Australian experience, a night sleeping under the stars. The idea of sleeping rough in swag bags wasn’t one that appealed to me originally, but being able to witness the cold come in, be at one with the wilderness and see the stars was just incredible. The sky however was one of the best I had ever seen. As darkness fell, the sky transformed into the most incredible light show I had ever seen. Millions of stars littered the sky, blue and green tints filling the gaps and the blackness surrounding it. Then the highlight, a montarge of shooting stars, as clear as I have ever seen them.
An incredibly magical night in an overlooked wilderness paradise.
We will be posting more detailed posts of Essential Australia locations and experiences in the coming weeks so stay tuned to A Wandering Memory.
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