I've always been intrigued by why Australians are so desperate to travel the world (myself included) when our own backyard is very much worth exploring too. "Backyard" here, is of course an interesting term because getting to Uluru as part of our honeymoon took two hours by plane and then a four hour drive. But EVERY SINGLE ONE of those 360 minutes was completely worth it because this amazing cultural and natural icon is 100% deserving of the awe it receives.
There is nothing quite like the first time you see this classic Aussie icon.
We were lucky enough to have a day and a bit at Uluru, but I'm going to focus on what we managed to pack into our FULL second day. This way, if you are ever there, you know exactly what you can fit into 24 hours at one of the most beautiful places on earth.
First, we awoke at some ridiculous hour of the morning, piled onto a bus of beautifully dressed European tourists (who were not feeling the cold us Brisbanites were) and drove to the Eastern-side of the monolith to see the sun rise upon it. For an hour we watched Uluru cycle through many different colours and watched the sun rise across the unique desert.
The sun shone so brilliantly across the desert.
After experiencing hundreds of those stunning red hues we were off on a base walk. We didn't do the whole trek as it is rather long, and due to cultural sensitivities there is large a section where you can't get close to, nor can you take photographs of the rock. Even with skipping this part we still enjoyed a couple hours of walking the base, taking in all the complexities of what I thought was just a large rock. I felt grateful we were there with a guide as he took us to water holes, Aboriginal art sites and explained all the specs of the brilliant rock we walked around that I wouldn't have know otherwise. (Note: Uluru stands taller than the Eiffel Tower!!)
I absolutely loved wandering the base of Uluru.
After our wonderful (albeit freezing) walk we headed back to the resort and got spiffied up for the next part of our amazing honeymoon day. The. Helicopter
. Ride. Now I am not someone who enjoys flying but it only took about three seconds into our trip for me to learn that helicopters rock! We flew some 400 metres off the ground until we could actually look down at Uluru. Plus we got to enjoy the view of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and its 36 domes off in the distance. This is definitely something I would recommend for all visitors because you can't understand the vastness of the desert or the where size of Uluru unless you are in the air.
Flying big over Uluru was one of the best things I have ever done!
Our day ended with champagne, a three course meal, Aboriginal dance and didgeridoo performance as well as an astrology talk, all whilst seated in the middle of the desert overlooking that spectacular Australian icon once more. This experience is called the Sounds of Silence
and is well worth it if you are in the mood for romance. Now this part of the "date" wasn't cheap, in fact when I spoke to a mate about our plans for dinner she said, word-for-word, "well sometimes you just have to spend more on dinner than you do on rent!" But it was worth every single cent.
This dinner is the perfect luxury extra to end your day at Uluru.
So there is a lot to do out there in the middle of Australia but if you only have a day to spend there, you can definitely pack in a lot!