Upon arriving at Uluru Resort we settled in to our room and had 3 hours downtime before our first excursion. We had been warned that the famous ‘Red Centre’ wouldn’t be as red as expected and indeed it was actually very green due to the unusual amount of rainfall they had experienced over the past couple of months, ending a 9 year drought in most parts of Australia. In fact flooding has now become a big problem in some areas and I certainly wouldn’t want to be a farmer in Queensland, swinging between extensive droughts and terribly floods!
That evening we were driven into the national park, past Uluru (Ayers Rock) and onto Kata Tjuta, Uluru’s neighbour, for a walk along the base and up into the rock itself for a view of the rock formations. We then walked back down to a viewing area for champagne sunset drinks. The light was amazing and, even though it was a little overcast, the setting sun still transformed the rock to an amazing red colour.
The next morning was a very early start for a sunrise over Uluru itself. Wow! It was amazing - have a look in my landscape gallery for images of Uluru at sunrise. We then had a 4 hour guided walk around the base and ended the first part of the day with a well-deserved breakfast.
That evening we were driven out to another viewing platform, this time for Uluru at sunset. The sun just managed to break through the clouds and catch some sections of the rock with light, turning them deep red. Due to an unexpected rain shower, we also had a special treat, with a partial rainbow forming just to the left of Uluru, something that even the guides had only seen rarely.
For our last day in the Red Centre, we had just got to sleep when we had to get up again to head for the King’s Canyon, about 4 hours drive away. Distances in this country are amazing and a 4-hour drive is a walk in the park for these coach drivers.
En route to the canyon we stopped off twice, the first time to watch the sunrise and the second at a station in the middle of nowhere to have breakfast. We arrived at the canyon and set out for a round trip walk of the canyon rim - the views and rock formations were truly amazing.
We completing the walk, we continued on to Alice Springs, where we spent the night before heading down to Adelaide. Alice Springs…well, what can I say??? It’s basically a shit hole in the middle of nowhere. It was the only place we were advised not to walk around at night and it was the only place we felt less than 100% safe. Avoid it if you can (we have heard a few other unsavoury experiences of AS since and while others may have good stories to tell, it wasn’t our kind of place and there is a simmering tension not far from the surface.
For a complete set of images from this part of our journey, please visit my website Urban and Travel section at www.justinwelchphotography.com