Australia 2011 (Part IV: Uluru and King’s Canyon)

Hello all, I’m back after a bit of an absence. Life tends to get in the way, but enough excuses. Onward and upward!

Today we come to Uluru, which is the aboriginal (and official) name for Ayer’s Rock, located in SW Northern Territory. It surprised me to find that getting to Uluru by road is a bit of a slog, necessitating a 7 hour (one way) detour from the main Stuart Highway and even further from Alice Springs, the closest appreciable city.

But I assure you that the extra mileage was worth it. Uluru is one of those places on Earth that must be seen with one’s own eyes to be believed, and even then it’s hard to fully encompass its beauty. Australia is Topsy-Turvy land anyway, but walking around Uluru makes you feel like you’re on another world. The only other place, at least in my experience, whose grandeur even approaches it is the Grand Canyon.

My girlfriend, being Taiwanese, couldn’t say ‘Uluru’ properly, so instead she used the Chinese name for it, ‘世界的肚臍’, which translates as ‘the bellybutton of the world’. I found that name oddly appropriate.

On to the photos!

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After a few weeks in SA, this was a welcome sight.

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First glimpse of Uluru.

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Detail of the base of Uluru. I liked it because it reminded me of a human skull.

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Balancing rock at the base of Uluru.

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Aboriginal petroglyphs (dated at approximately 10,000 years old), base of Uluru.

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And it changes color at sunset!

Our next stop, located about halfway between Uluru and the Stuart Highway, was King’s Canyon (or Watarrka in the local Aboriginal language). This is Aus’s answer to America’s Grand Canyon, and while it doesn’t come anywhere near the Grand Canyon’s colossal scale, it has a peculiarly Australian charm and beauty of its own.

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View from the Rim Walk

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Detail of King’s Canyon wall.

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The classic photo of Uluru at sunset.

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A bit more of any arty photo incorporating some local flora.

That’s it for this edition. Next up is Alice Springs and the road to Kakadu. I’ll try to have it up by the weekend. See you then!