Monday, 7 October 2013


 After leaving Alice Springs it was a long drive, approximately 450 kilometres to Yulara.  We have driven some of the longest, straight, boring roads ever since arriving in the Northern Territory.  I didn't think I would ever say that as I can usually find something interesting.  There was no sign of any wildlife, except for dingoes and feral cats, not even any road kill.  We kept seeing road signs saying to look out for camels or kangaroos but we didn't see any.

Is that Uluru?  No.  It is Mount Connor which was created at the same time as Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and these three land marks almost line up in a straight line.

This was a spectacular salt lake opposite the Mount Connor Lookout.  It looked big but is nowhere near as big as Lake Eyre or Lake Amadeus which is just north of this lake.

Finally, Uluru in the distance - our first sight of it.
The day we arrived at Yulara it was very overcast and threatening rain and the cloud made it a little cooler so we decided to do the base walk - some 10.5 kilometres around Ulura.  It was a pleasant walk but the cloud cleared and it was very hot.  Phil made the walk but felt the after effects the next day.
The cloud did come back later and there were storms around but we didn't see it rain on the rock.  It was also very windy all day.
Sunset on a cloudy afternoon.
Of course I had to have my photo taken in front of the rock even though I was rather wind blown - at least it kept the flies at bay for awhile.
Sun setting over Kata Tjuta.

The next morning we got up early and went out to Kata Tjuta to do the walks before it got too hot.
I was not impressed with how they have the area set out.  Yulara where the hotels, caravan park and some shops are, is approximately 20 kilometres by road from Ulura and 50 kilometres, by road, from Kata Tjuta.  If the roads went directly to Ulura and Kata Tjuta instead of winding all over the countryside the distance would be half.  To see the sunset or sunrise at either place you needed to add at least a half hour to get there on time.
The Walpa Gorge Walk at Kata Tjuta.
Phil and I only walked to the first lookout on the Valley of the Winds walk at Kata Tjuta as Phil's knee was feeling the after affects of the walk the day before around Ulura and the walk to the second lookout was described as 'difficult'.
Another view of Kata Tjuta.
Ulura at midday.
We had two birthdays to celebrate while we were at Ulura - Phil's on the 1st and Gwen's on the 2nd.
So of course we had to have a bottle of champagne while we watched the sun set over Uluru.

The next morning we were up early for a scenic flight over Uluru and Kata Tjuta.  We were the only ones on the flight so it was good.  We were in a very small plane but it was a good flight.

Yulara from the air.
Uluru from the air.
Kata Tjuta from the air.
This whole area was an inland sea many million of years ago and the white ridges you can see in this photo were once coral reefs.
It is a bit hard to see but there were quite a few people climbing Uluru.  They don't encourage it any more and while we were sitting there watching for about half an hour we saw one person get into trouble and it took her friend quite some time to get her down off the rock.  We spoke to a ranger while we were there and he said they are always rescuing people who either panic or become ill while climbing.  I am surprised that they have not closed the climb.
We also celebrated the birthdays by going to the 'Sounds of Silence ' dinner. 

Here we are having champagne and nibbles on arrival.  A bus picked us up from the caravan park and took us out to the site (and returned us home).
Watching the sun set over Kata Tjuta (again).
The dining room.
The next day we left Yulara bound for Kings Canyon - another long boring drive.
I really loved Kings Canyon - it was a really pleasant place.

On the Kings Canyon creek walk.

Looking up at the sandstone cliffs.


Along the walk were these beautifully coloured sandstone.
The next morning we were up early, again.  This time to do the Kings Canyon Rim Walk which is approximately 6 kilometres long and starts off with a climb up 500 plus stone steps to the top of the Canyon.  It took us approximately 4 hours to do the walk - we went pretty slowly so that Phil didn't suffer too much with his knee.  He managed it quite well.
Me - about half way up the 500 plus steps - see I have been exercising.  That back pack I was carrying contained my extra camera and about 4.5 litres of water.
We made it to the top.
We weren't alone on this walk.  I couldn't believe the number of people doing it - I reckon there would have been at least 150 people.
Part of the walk - the scenery was quite spectacular.
Some of the honeycombed formations.  They call part of it 'the lost city'.
Yes, that is the path between those two rocks.  The path varied from steps, to flat walking, climbing, steps, bridges and of course what goes up must come down.
More scenery along the walk.
Phil waiting for me to finish taking photos - I must have ended up with over 100 photos from this walk.

There are no safety fences out here!


Some of the steps on the walk.

At the top of the gorge is a permanent waterhole.  The creek walk does not go up to it but on the Rim Walk when you reach the end of the gorge there is a bridge and you look down on the waterhole.  Very pretty.
Remember those sandstone cliffs a few photos back - this is looking across the canyon and down at them.
The stairs down - not quite as steep as the ones going up but still a lot of them.
While at the Kings Canyon National Park we even found that they have named some springs after me.
Of course we had to go and have a look.
The springs were very pretty but the walk into them, although only 1 kilometre, was very hot and dry.  The area had been devastated by a bushfire earlier this year and they had only recently re-opened this area.  There was not much vegetation.
The first (and last) pub in the Northern Territory.
It was then time to say farewell to the Northern Territory as we entered South Australia.
We are presently in Cooby Pedy.  We plan to be here until Wednesday when we leave for Port Augusta.  I haven't downloaded any photos from here yet so they will be in the next blog.








































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