Thoughts on Location No 52
Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory
Our quick trip to Uluru was jammed packed full of excitement. We spent time bushwalking, watching the sun rise and set over Uluru and Kata Tjuta, taking way too many photos, and in between all of that, trying to stay cool.
We stayed at the Campground at Ayers Rock Resort. The resort is the only accommodation available in the area, but consists of many hotels and different types of accommodation, from five star to a basic unpowered camping site. We stayed on a powered site and all I can say is thank goodness it wasn’t busy. I’m aware that during the busy winter period, an unpowered overflow area is used.
We would not have survived without power. The heat was incredible, each day reaching 39°C or 40°C (102.2°F or 104°F) and remaining well above 30°C (86°F) until the wee hours of the morning when it would take a dip towards 23°C (73.4°F).
A few staff told us the heat was not normal for this time of year, and I did do my research. Yes it can get very hot, but under normal circumstances, the weather is rather pleasant during October. I guess we arrived amid abnormal circumstances.
For Dean and I that was (almost) soul crushing after more than six months of winter following our extended time in Tasmania and Basin View. But, and here’s the clincher: I was the one who wanted to go, making my husband drive away from his one true love – the cool blue ocean – and into the red-hot centre of our country.
It took us three days to get there (See The Long Road to Uluru), and three days to get back and although we are currently camped beside the ocean, we are nowhere near any surf. I’ll catch up with my thoughts eventually and update you on where we are now and our trip back to the shore line of South Australia.
. . .
I never imagined I would see Uluru, or spend time enjoying the beauty of the area. Heat aside, here’s a few highlights:
- Uluru appears many different shades of red.
- We watched the sunrise four out of five mornings.
- That involved getting out of bed at 4:30 am to drive to the respective sunrise viewing areas.
- You drive 25 kilometres for Uluru (15.9 miles) and 35 kilometres for Kata Tjuta (21.1 miles).
- Twice our day finished at 11 am and it was then too hot to do anything until after 6:30 pm.
- The day I did some laundry, each load was dry before the next load finished washing.
- It was so hot, sugar crystals stuck to each other.
- Fuel was available at a premium price.
- We missed out on the Outback Sky Journey due to inclement weather.
- This inclement weather allowed us to experience rain in the desert.
- The sand was as red as the rock.
- The only wildlife we saw was a Thorny Devil.
- The flies were unbelievable, in your face, eyes, ears, nose, and eventually your throat.
- We wore nets over our hats to keep the flies at bay.
- Most days it was too hot to eat.
- Watermelon and bags of ice were in high demand.
We certainly enjoyed our time at the resort and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. As promised, here are more photos to enjoy.