Famous for its ancient landscape, rich red soils, indigenous culture and iconic rock formations, the Red Centre is one destination worth visiting in your lifetime.
We spent a long weekend in Uluru, flying from Sydney with Virgin Australia which took about 3hr 40mins. We opted for mid-range accommodation, staying at the Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge. The best way to get around and discover the beauty of this unique region is by car, so we hired a Rav-4 from the airport to give us the freedom of exploring Uluru and Kata Tjuta at our own pace.
There are so many impressive experiences on offer in this desert landscape, although we were only visiting for a weekend so we had to choose a select few, and save the rest for our next visit.
We dined under the stars at the Sounds of Silence dinner and stargazing experience, and rode camels through the ochre coloured desert at sunset. We spotted a wild dingo, tasted crocodile delicacies with fine Australian wine, and watched traditional Aboriginal performances in the gardens. There was even a geo-cache that we attempted to locate, except the heat soon got to us and we had to retreat to the refreshing water of the hotel pool.
We drove out to Uluru before dawn, and were treated with one of the most spectacular sunrises I’ve ever seen in my life. The entire sky lit up with oranges, pinks and purples while the rock began glowing in golds.
After the breathtaking sunrise, we stayed in the area to see if the rock was going to open for climbers. While it is possible to climb Uluru, the traditional owners of the land choose not to because of its great spiritual significance, and in respect of their culture ask that others do not climb it either. We took it as a sign when we saw it was closed, and chose to walk around the rock instead. This was such a stunning experience, with so many vibrant colours, rock formations and waterfalls to be discovered. We could see where bushfires had once raged, and the new growth returning to the region.
There are a number of information boards along the track which give you an insight into the history of the traditional custodians of Uluru, the Anangu. We learnt about bush tucker, traditional medicines and the fascinating Aboriginal artwork painted on the rock and in caves. There are a number of highly sacred caves on the rock, where women once used to go to give birth – and read about other ancient traditions and stories from the Dreamtime.
We also drove out to the 500 million year old Kata Tjuta rock formations – just as mysterious as Uluru, with much fewer tourists.
Here are some of the photos we captured on our weekend in the Red Centre. We hope it inspires you to discover this incredibly spiritual and sacred region.
If we had one piece of advice, it would be to make the effort and get up to watch the sunrises and be there for the sunsets – as the sky lights up with a majestic array of colours.
This was our second time visiting this iconic part of Australia, although it felt like we had discovered it all over again. We’re already looking forward to returning to this ancient landscape for our third visit.