Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia
"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." Gustave Flaubert
I expected Uluru to be one of those tourist sites you look at for five minutes and you’re done. As it turned out, after two days I still found a peaceful joy in staring at it. It may be a rock but the landscape and colours bring it alive in a way that’s difficult to describe.
Uluru is a sacred Aboriginal and UNESCO world heritage site. Formerly known as Ayers Rock it has reverted to its Aboriginal name in line with a growing recognition of the Aboriginal heritage and land rights in Australia. It’s a special place and fortunately the development around the park has been discreet so as not to take away from the experience.
The 208 mile journey to Uluru from Alice Springs is as much as feast for the eyes as the rock itself. No shopping malls or housing estates, just miles and miles of deep red sand and sparse green shrubs, all set against blue skies. Nature, space, clean air.
Walking around the base of Uluru is a humbling experience, at 1000 feet high and with a circumference of nearly 6 miles I felt tiny next to it. Up close the deep orange colour contrasts beautifully against the surrounding trees and shrubs. Yet another example of the dramatic colours Australia’s natural environment has to offer.
The famous colour change really is the highlight of a visit to Kata Tjuta National Park. There are several viewing areas at a suitable distance to take in the whole rock, where you can make yourself comfortable on a wooden bench surrounded by bush and alongside campers BBQing their dinner.