Sunday, October 8, 2017


Our first view from the air
From the Pro's Viewpoint
Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is nearly in the exact center or Australia. I would be surprised to find anyone who has not seen a picture of it as it is the iconic scene whenever Australia is pictured. We scheduled tours that included both sunset and sunrise views to maximize our time and hopefully the opportunity for some beautiful pictures. Unfortunately, a nearby patch fire had burned out of control and the smoke obscured our views somewhat even as it enhanced the sunset and sunrise.

On our sunset tour, we began with a stop at the Pro’s viewpoint. This is the only place that professional photographers are allowed to photograph Uluru. Amateurs are granted the right to take pictures almost anywhere but the only published pictures allowed are from this point.

After a few minutes here we rode over to Mala Walk, one of the shorter walks along the base of the rock. This took us past several interesting points including overhangs where boys, women, and old men used to hang out. The boys had places where they were able to watch the men hunt so they could learn proper techniques. Old men and women had special places where they could relax and enjoy their later years without stress. Some of these spots had rock art.
These swallow nests have been destroyed to protect the rock art.
Our hike ended at one of the waterholes that exist on the edges of the rock. These hold water for a time and still had some water from this year’s very wet spring.

We returned to our bus and continued our trip around Uluru to another stop where we again took a short hike to a different waterhole. Along this hike we had to navigate among three other tour buses. Generally, there are enough different activities around the area that this is only a minor problem other than at the official sunset site. On this hike we learned one of the Aboriginal stories and could even see evidence of the story’s battle in the rocks above.

Champagne helps the sun go down.
We then drove up to a spot to view the sunset, the same spot where we viewed sunrise in the morning. Our guide said we were here to avoid the huge crowds at the official sunset spot. We would still see a good sunset and given the smoke in the air our view would probably be better anyway even though we would not see the sun set behind Uluru. He was right. We did have a good view. I must admit however, that this may have been enhanced by the excellent sparkling wine we had along with bread and oil to supplement our experience.

The pictures below show how much the Rock changes as you walk around it and view it up close.

Sunset from town

The crowd for sunrise

The Pro's Viewpoint

As the iron rusts it actually flakes off

When it rains this is a waterfall

Cracks will lead to a small rock and eventually no rock

Our last view of Uluru

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