Almost two years on since I visited – perfect time to write up a blog about it eh? With the help of my calendar and wiki camps, lets see what I can remember…
It wouldn’t be a trip through the red centre without taking the detour west to the famous Uluru-Kata Tjuta National park – also known as Ayers Rock and The Olgas. To get there, after spending the morning in town, we headed out of Cooper Pedy and spent the best part of the day driving, crossing the border from SA to NT and turning off towards Yulara.
We camped up at a local roadhouse called Mt Ebenezer, and were lucky enough to be arriving into NT on Territory day (1st July), so had an evening by our tent enjoying the fireworks being set off in the distance. Interestingly, its illegal in NT to set off fireworks any other day of the year – so I’m very glad we made it across the border on time – even if only just.
The next morning, it was time to go check out the scenery. Packing up our car and tent, we drove into Uluru and headed straight to the cultural centre for more information. After heading along to Uluru and deciding we wanted to hire bikes, but not having the foresight to have booked in advance, we instead opted to visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) on the first day. We spent the day checking out the spectacular viewpoints and exploring along the Walpa Gorge walk and Valley of the Winds walk. I remember the name ringing true – it was incredibly windy up there.
Uluru is spectacular at any time of day – but particularly beautiful at sunrise and sunset. So, before taking up camp for the night, we pulled up and watched with hundreds of other tourists the light shift and shadows change as the sun set over Uluru.
Being cheap backpackers, we just spent the night camping in sand dunes not far outside the national park area – it was listed on Wiki Camps, but was just a spot at the side of the road, which means no luxuries, not even a drop toilet. Fortunately though, it was close enough that it still offered a great view of Uluru, so the next morning we got to watch the sunrise before setting about our day.
Heading back into the park, we hired bikes and cycled round the base track. It’s not until you are up close, you appreciate just how huge Uluru is. In saying that, its still an easy cycle as its flat all the way around, and you can stop wherever you like to take in the view. Many of the areas are considered sacred though, and they ask you don’t take pictures of these spots. It was beautiful all around, and plenty of areas to stop and explore further and read about the history and culture.
After returning our bikes and heading back to the car, we drove to lookout point to have our lunch – the same spot we watched the sunset the night before – before then heading on to Curtin Springs roadhouse to camp up for the evening.
To finish off our trip to this part of the country, we headed up to Kings Canyon. This is an absolutely spectacular walk around the rim of the canyon, and I honestly enjoyed this most out of our three days in the area. Maybe because it was more underrated, so I had no expectations going in – but the view was absolutely stunning the whole way around and I’d recommend anyone in the area to make sure they go do this walk!