The Red Centre: A trip to Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

At the beginning of June this year, Marc, his mum Ulla and dad Jen and I went on a trip to Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park in the middle of Australia. Literally, it is directly in the middle surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of red desert before you reach the crowded coastal cities of Australia. Have a look at this map if you don’t believe me…

It’s not often that you get to be a tourist in your own country, and having heard so much about the beauty that the red centre had to offer I was absolutely thrilled to visit. We went on an organised, three day tour from Alice Springs to Uluru, Kata Tjuta and back to Alice again. Here is a little recount of our trip with a focus on the highlights.

Uluru

Uluru (or Ayers Rock) is undoubtedly the most famous attraction in outback Australia. It is what you see pictured on travel brochures as something that is a ‘must see’.

In all honesty I wasn’t sure if it was something I ever really wanted to experience for myself. In my naive headspace I used to think “what’s all the hype about a big rock in the middle of the desert?” But now that I’ve been to visit for myself, I definitely understand why people are so intrigued by its beauty.

The rock is the tallest obstacle that submerges out of the land for hundreds of miles. If it’s immense size isn’t enough by itself, it just gets better when you take into account the rich aboriginal cultural heritage it worships.

You can actually walk on the rock too, but it is extremely discouraged out of a sign of respect for the aboiriginees as the traditional custodians of the land. Instead, I would suggest doing the walk around the rock. It is an incredible 15km walk around the ridge, allowing you to fully take its vast size.

We were also treated with a glass of sparking and snacks at sunrise of the rock. What a sight!

Kata Tjuta

Uluru is the most hyped, but in my honest opinion, Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas) was a more interesting sight to see. There are 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuṯa that cover an area of almost 22 square kilometres. The highest dome is appropriately dubbed Mt Olga is over 1000m high.

The walk that you complete through Kata Tjuta is vastly more interesting that the walk around Uluru (which is basically just a flat path). Here, you are able to climb higher for better vantage points and also walk directly on the rock – which is not possible at Uluru.

Even better? They make for a really nice backdrop for your next instagram. Just take a look at mine 🙂

Kings Canyon

This next sight is exactly what its called – an extremely impressive canyon. It is further away from Uluru and Kata Tjuta but definitely worth the drive for a visit.

The first part of the track at Kings Canyon is called ‘heart-attack hill’ because the incline is intense that it probably could cause a heart attack? Maybe… I’m no expert. But once you reach the top of this intense climb it is so worth it, because now you are on the top of the canyon’s ridge, ready to look down at what’s beneath.

If you’ve seen Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Ok if you haven’t, its an eccentic Australian film. But if you haven’t you should!) Kings Canyon is iconically featured in a photoshoot scene.

Final thoughts?

If you’ve ever thought about visiting, definitely do it. I would recommend doing it with an organised tour group, because not only do you get great information at every place you visit, you also get to meet some new people and new friends!

Australia, Travel
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