It was once again an early start, but this time it wasn’t because I had a lot of driving to do. In fact, it was a short drive from Yulara to Uluru this morning. So I was up at 6am and off quite ealy to get the day’s main activity under way – The Uluru Base Walk.
Once I arrived at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, it was a case of paying my $25.00 for a park pass, which gave me three days of consecutive entrance to the park. There is a ticket station there and when you have a pass, you can enter fairly quickly via the boom gate entrance while the ticket remains valid.
The Uluru Base Walk is a 10.6 km circuit walk that is generally started at the Mala Walk Carpark (which is also the starting point for the Uluru climb and Mala Walk). The walk is said to take 3.5 hours, which may or may not be close to the money as it really depends on your interest level in the walk. It can take less or a lot more, depending on your enthusiam for what you’re doing. It is really quite an easy walk as it is all flat. I imagine it would be more difficult if there were higher temperatures, like in the middle of summer for instance.
The Base Walk covers the same territory as several other walks that are interested in particular features around Uluru, incorporating the Mala Walk (which I returned to do as a separate walk on day 8) which heads into Kantju Gorge, the Lungkata Walk and the Kuniya Walk, which heads to Mutitjulu Waterhole.
ABOVE: Aboriginal Rock Art at Mutitjulu Cave BELOW: Mutitjulu Waterhole
One of the things that really annoyed me early on were the tourists. Early on there probably weren’t that many, but as the morning went on more and more arrived. It wasn’t the number of tourists (though the Rock obviously draws a lot of people from not only Australia, but from around the world) it was the volume of the tourists. By volume, I mean the noise many of them created. They just couldn’t help themselves but had to be ‘yahooing’ all of the time, making as much noise as it seemed un-humanly possible to create, doing who knows what in order to create it.
ABOVE: A View of Uluru BELOW: Wildflowers
ABOVE & BELOW: Wildflowers at Uluru
ABOVE & BELOW Wildflowers at Uluru
ABOVE: A View of Uluru
I was also amazed at how many people would walk great distances around the Rock without even looking at what they were walking around, seemingly only interested in talking with one another, completing the walk to move on to their next ‘accomplishment’ and the like. Right under their noses was a world of delight, with great open wild spaces of wildflowers and wildlife of all manner of varied descriptions to behold and be amazed at. The odd person (and perhaps we were odd) shared my fascination and joy at being in such a place. One woman described to me how she was brought nearly to tears by what she was able to see and experience in this place. But I fear we were the odd exception to this mass of disinterested humanity wandering about the place.
So there I was, wandering about the place enjoying my every experience and imbibing everything that I could with the little time that I would be there. Still, as great a place as this was and is, I knew that in my own opinion Kuta Tjuta always impressed me more and that was yet to come, plus new experiences in places I had never been before at Watarrka National Park and in the West Macdonnell National Park. Still, this was a very special place and for me, every wilderness location is impressive, having its own reason for being there and its own reason for being impressive. There is always some wonder to be had at whichever place you are currently visiting, if you only take the time to listen, to smell, to see, to touch (umm… maybe not taste).
ABOVE: Always Something to Experience in the Wild
I think I was out on this walk for at least 4 hours and possibly a little longer than that. It all went by fairly quickly and every bend of the walk brought something new. The highlights of the walk were of course Uluru itself, the wildflowers, Mutitjulu Waterhole and Kantju Gorge. However, there are plenty of other sites and objects to maintain one’s interest on the walk. There are various insects, birds and sometimes other forms of wildlife, some ‘minor’ landform associated with the Rock, some feature away from the Rock – a glimpse of Kata Tjuta even. It is just an amazing place that you feel priviliged for being able to be there, let alone being able to enjoy it on more than one occasion.
ABOVE: Kantju Gorge
The distance travelled on this day was 60 km – giving me a total of 2932 km for the whole trip to this point.
Once again it was the usual ‘house keeping’ before bed – updating the daily journal, reviewing the holiday budget, checking in on social media, and editing and uploading photos. Then it was off to bed for an early start the next morning, with the goal of Kata Tjuta set for the next day.
ABOVE: The Mala Walk
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