An Odyssey Down Under: Australia and New Zealand Day 27

Tuesday, March 3

Our day started with a visit to Kata Tjuta or also called the Olgas. It is a group of large rock formations that look like domes. This formation isn’t far from Uluru. Kata Tjuta also is sacred to the local Aboriginal Anangu people who lived here form over 22,000 years.

Kata Tjuta in the distance
A portion of Kata Tjuta

We walked along the Dune path. It’s an easy walk to the lookout of the grassy hills and valleys that surround Kata Tjuta’s domes.

We also did the Walpa Gorge walk. It was a rocky track that rises to a small track. It is a natural creek that carves between the two tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. You walk through the rugged walls of the gorge. The scenery was breathtaking.

After our morning at Kata Tjuta, our motorcoach took us to the Ayers Rock Airport for our flight to Cairns!

Our flight from Uluru to Cairns.

An Odyssey Down Under: Australia and New Zealand Day 26

Monday, March 2

This morning we have a long motorcoach ride to Uluru! It was a great opportunity to really get a grasp for how vast and unpopulated the Red Centre of the Northern Territory or Outback as it’s commonly called.

Mid-morning we had a stop at a typical Outback roadhouse which means it is a roadside service station. You can purchase food, drinks, use the restroom, and/or purchase gasoline.

Roadhouse Stop

Our lunch stop was at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Culture Centre. We had time to visit the galleries but no photos were allowed. They are Aboriginal owned and operated. The profits from these galleries are used back in the local community. They focus on selling traditional wooden carvings, paintings, and jewelry.

Uluru was our next stop. We toured Uluru by motorcoach and had a walking tour. It is a sacred Aboriginal site so there were places around the rock where tourists and photos were not allowed. Our guide explained the significance of the rock to the Aboriginal people. These natives inhabited this area centuries before the Europeans invaded in the 1800s. The local tribe is the Anangu. They believe that the landscape was formed during the “Dreaming”. The “Dreaming” refers to when the land and the people were created by the ancestor spirits. Ceremonies are still held in some of Uluru’s sacred caves around its base.

We checked into our hotel and later this evening we traveled to Uluru for the sunset over the rock. Unfortunately for us, it was cloudy so the rock did not “glow” or change colors as they say from a vibrant orange to a deep red. We still enjoyed just sitting and viewing the monolith! We also had champagne and snacks. Unfortunately you had to dodge the many black flies.