After a final few days in Bali, in which I quite possibly managed to consume my own weight in mie goreng (fried noodles) and avocado juice, we packed our backpacks and hopped on a flight to Melbourne, Australia.
Here, after an overnight pitstop in a rather chilly Melbourne hostel, we headed straight back to Melbourne Airport to board a flight to Uluru, more commonly known as Ayers Rock.
From here on out, I’m going to refer to it as Uluru. We soon learnt that calling this natural wonder ‘Ayers Rock’ is frowned upon, due to it being a western renaming of Uluru, a site of great cultural significance to the Australian Aboriginal people who first discovered it.
Driving up to this huge structure was breathtaking. Uluru was so much more than we expected. We decided to do the Uluru ‘base walk’ to get the full picture.
One of my favourite Uluru facts is that it’s actually taller than the Eiffel Tower which is just ridiculous given how broad a base it has. Every turn brought something new in the rock’s structure and it was so interesting to be close enough to appreciate that.
You can’t take pictures of every section you pass, because some areas are ‘photo sensitive’ and documenting is regarded as culturally insensitive. We completely respected this, along with the request not to climb the rock. I was definitely surprised to see just how many people decided to walk up it, despite signs explaining why the climbing or ‘conquering’ of Uluru is extremely disrespectful to the Aboriginal people. You can see a tiny line of people snaking up the rock in the picture below.
We also visited Kata Tjuta, the lesser known rock formation of The Red Centre.
This was another incredible natural space and well worth trekking.
If you ever decide to visit the red centre yourself, my one piece of advice would be that you absolutely must buy yourself a wide-brimmed hat and a fly net to go over that. You wouldn’t believe how annoying the millions of flies around Uluru are. They relentlessly land on your face and attempt to enter your ears, mouth and nose.
In every single photo we took here, we were trying to keep smiling as flies launched themselves into our faces. I’m pretty sure I swallowed one accidentally at one point. Trust me, after a while, you will get very tired of doing the ‘Uluru fly dance’ in an attempt to keep them at bay and realise that $10 for a fly net is not an unreasonable amount to pay for such a necessary piece of kit.
Don’t let me put you off though, because other than the flies, I would definitely recommend visiting this part of Australia if you ever get the chance. Flights from Melbourne and Sydney are reasonable and we all left saying how glad we were that we made the decision to visit.