Friday, July 1, 2011

Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Well we have had an amazing couple of days exploring some incredible parts of this country. Yesterday morning, after a fantastic sleep we headed into Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. It was $25 dollars an adult, free for children under 16 and that gives you three days access to the park. We visited the cultural centre first which was pretty eye opening. It told the story of the Anangu people, who have been the owners and guardians of this area for tens of thousands of years. There were displays and lots of information to take it. One of the most interesting displays was a 'Sorry Book'. This contained hundreds of letters from people apologising for either taking a piece of Uluru home with them, or taking photos of areas that you're not supposed to. Reading through some of them was really fascinating (all the identifying details were crossed out).
After some lunch we drove to the base of the rock. Cooper actually asked Imogen to pinch him cos he couldn't believe he was actually there! Having learnt a bit about Uluru at kinder last year, Cooper was really interested in everything about it. After reading a lot of information at the cultural centre about how the people wish no one would climb Uluru anymore, and the deaths of nearly 40 people who have attempted the climb, I was amazed to see so many people already on their way up or down. We didn't climb, but had a walk around the base of Uluru (not the full walk which was over 10 k!). We saw some beautiful and special sights as we went along. It was certainly something I won't forget and hopefully the kids will look back on it as something to remember.

Today we took a packed lunch and headed towards Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). It looked pretty amazing on approach and certainly didn't disappoint once we got there. From the car park to the first viewing platform it was only about a 20 minute walk so that's where we ended up. We've decided that the kids are probably a bit too young to be able to get the most out of this trip. Cooper was happy to keep walking and exploring, but little Miss nearly 4's legs were sore and tired after about a kilometre (of fairly rocky and steep paths to be fair!). So, although we would have loved to do the 'Valley of the Winds' walk, we turned around and went back. 

Tonight we got to see some fireworks for Territory Day! (Good time to be up here!) We are really enjoying this caravan park. Although slightly pricey ($50 a night) it's got a great layout, amenities etc. Kids give the playground a tick, which is most important. The only downside is the price of everything! And considering you're in the middle of nowhere, you don't have much of an option! For example, tonight Leon paid a ridiculous $38 for a 6 pack of Carlton Cold! So, a warning to anyone else headed this way - stock up!! On everything, but especially beer!

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