Uluru Campervan Touring Information
(440km south-west of Alice Springs)
Trip duration: Two days
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park covers an area of 132 500 ha and is one of the great national parks of the world. The park includes land marks such as Ayers Rock/Uluru and Mt Olga/ Kata Tjuta. There is a great deal to enjoy in this park, including magnificent views, photography, sunset and sunrise over Ayers Rock. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is owned by the local Aboriginal people, and is of vital cultural and religious significance to the Anangu (the traditional owners) whose ancestors are estimated to have lived in the area for more than 10,000 years. The park is currently managed for the Aboriginal people by the National Parks Wildlife Service.
Things to see: The Maruku Arts and Crafts complex, next to the Ranger Station, at the entrance to Uluru National Park, which specialises in works of more than 800 artists and craftsmen from the tribal groups in the area- Pitjantjatara, Yankunytjatjara, Matuntjara and Luritja.
Yulara, situated on the outskirts of Uluru National Park, Yulara is the location for the world-class Ayers Rock Resort. An excellent way to familiarise yourself with the region is to spend an hour or so at the Yulara Visitors Centre. Displays depict the geology, history, flora and fauna of the region. There is a spectacular collection of photographs with audiovisual shows held regularly.
Guided Tours are available from Yulara which include “Edible Desert Experience”, which shows you natural foods and medicines known to the aboriginals and The Uluru Experience Night Star walk, with nocturnal sky viewing and narration of Aboriginal and European legends relating to the night sky. The Ranges at Yulara give a series of walks and talks. There’s a ‘Living Desert’ slide show and talks on the Centre’s wildlife while ‘Feast or Famine’ covers the foods of the desert.
Situated in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, is the world-famous Ayers Rock, known to the Aborigines as Uluru, it is 3.6 km long and rises a towering 348 metres, it is believed that two thirds of the Rock is beneath the sand.
The entire area of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is of deep cultural significance to the Aborigines.
There are walking trails around the Rock and free ranger conducted walks, delving into the plants, wildlife, geology and mythology of the area. The guided walks give you an opportunity to hear the Dreamtime stories and learn about the Aboriginal culture. It can take five hours to make the 9km walk around the base of Ayers Rock looking at caves and paintings. Ayers Rock is considered to be one of the great natural wonders of the world.
Continue on 32km west to the spectacular domes of Mt Olga/Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas. They may seem overshadowed by its famous neighbour, but Mt Olga is more than 200 metres taller than Ayers Rock.
Mt Olga, at 546 metres, is higher than Ayers Rock, and there are a couple of walking trails, the main one being to the Valley of the Winds, a 6km circuit track that takes you from 2.5 hours to 4 hours to cover. There is also a short signposted track into the Olga Gorge. There’s a picnic and sunset-viewing area with toilet facilities just off the access road a few km west of the base of the Olgas.
The Olgas (Kata Tjuta)
The Olgas, are a collection of smaller, more rounded rocks, 32 km to the west of Ayers Rock. Though less well known, the Olgas are equally impressive. They are known as Kata Tjuta to the Aborigines, meaning many heads, and are of Dreamtime significance.
Between Finke and Uluru lies Watarrka National Park, its main attraction being the beautiful Kings Canyon. Waterholes, rock formations, and abundant wildlife provide excellent photographic and bushwalking oppunties.
Kings Canyon completes the trio of world-famous natural wonders that make central Australia so unforgettable. As you gaze 300 metres down to the valley you will agree that breathtaking is an understatement. Visit the “Garden of Eden”, a unique waterhole surrounded by palms and ferns.
For further information, contact:
Central Australia Tourism Industry AssociationFord Plaza Building, Todd Mall ALICE SPRINGS NT 0870 Phone: (089) 52 5199 Fax:(089) 530 295
Images courtesy of Northern Territory Tourist Commission
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