My friend was very sure of herself when she said, “It’s just a rock, why visit Ayers Rock?” I really couldn’t answer this until I took a flight to the middle of Australia to figure out why. I’d seen photos of this giant red monolith planted in the heart of Australia’s Outback. After a few days, it became evident that Ayers Rock is more than “a rock”, and that the pulse of this country “down under” was born here.
History of Ayers Rock!
Pukulpa pitjama Ananguku ngurakutu, means Welcome to Anangu Land. The Anangus welcome visitors to their land and invite everyone to look around and learn in order to understand their culture is stong and alive. Tjukurpa is the foundation of the Anangu people’s culture and has many deep, complex meanings. According to the Australian Government Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park’s Visitor’s Guide: “Tjukurpa refers to the creation period when ancestral beings created the world. From this came our religious heritage, explaining our existence and guiding our daily life. Like religions anywhere in the world, Tjukurpa provides answers to important questions, the rules for behaviour and for living together. It is the law for caring for one another and for the land that supports us. Tjukurpa tells of the relationships between people, plants, animals and the physical features of the land. It refers to the time when ancestral beings created the world as we know it. Knowledge of how these relationships came to be, what they mean and how they must be carried on is explained in Tjukurpa. Tjukurpa refers to the past, the present and the future at the same time. This knowledge never changes, it always stays the same.”
Ayers Rock (Uluru is the Aboriginal name) is one of the largest monoliths in the world and rises approx. 1,000 feet and is 5.8 miles wide. It’s believed this rock extends another 2,000 feet below the desert floor. The Olgas are just as impressive -Kata Tjuta is its Aborginal name meaning ‘many heads’. These National Parks are sacred under Tjukurpa and Anangu men’s law, and offer a unique visual experience as the colors of the rocks change from the early morning to sunset.
If you’re curious to learn why Ayers is more than a rock, see our “Top 10” ways listed below to experience the natural beauty and power of the Anangu land and its people…be sure to listen to nature and your surroundings since this is where you’ll discover the essence of the Outback!
Top Ten Reasons to visit Ayers Rock in Australia
1. Stay at Sails in the Desert:
Rooms are being remodeled and will be updated for a 2012 stay at Ayers Rock Resort’s premium hotel. The interior focuses on Aboriginal heritage and culture featuring artworks throughout the resort. Sails in the Desert provides deluxe accomodation in the heart of Australia.
2. Book Tours with AAT Kings:
There are several options to visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a World Heritage list for its spectacular geological formations, its rare plants and animals and its exceptional natural beauty.
With 65+tours, local activities and attractions at Ayers Rock and AAT Kings will provide you a guided tour, contact and they will customize an itinerary for you
3. Take a Helicopter flight with Ayers Rock Helicopters
For spectacular aerial views of Ayers Rock (Uluru) and The Olgas (Kata Tjuta): Kym Fullerton provides professional service and safe flights, email email@example.com to book your reservation.
4. Experience the Sounds of Silence Dinner
Experience the award winning 3-course dining experience under the desert sky, while a storyteller shares tales told from the stars.
5. Walk the Valley of the Winds at The Olgas
This was a highlight of the trip and was interesting at every turn of the 4 mile hike.
6. Visit the Maruku Arts Gallery and the Mulgara Gallery
To see the variety of Aboriginal Handcrafts and Art from the Central and Western Desert visiting the Maruku Arts Gallery is a must. For there site information click here: Maruku Arts Gallery and ask for Yuko at firstname.lastname@example.org. At Mulgara Gallery, ask for Peter Morris, the Gallery Manager, since he’s an expert in Utopia Region Aboriginal Artwork and can share dozens of biographies from Aboriginal Artists email@example.com, including well-known artists such as Raymond Walters Japanangka, Gloria Petyarre, Minnie Pwerle and Barbara Weir.
7. Desert Awakenings:
Awake before the sun and travel by 4WD into the Outback and enjoy breakfast as the sun rises over Uluru followed by a base walk of Uluru while your private guide interprets Anangu creation stories.
8. Uluru Base Walk:
Follow the 9.8 km path around the base of Uluru, taking in its geology, shapes and vegetation. See all the different angles and perspectives of this rock at your own pace. Experience Uluru by watching how the light changes its color.
9. Sunrise or Sunset Camel Tour:
One of our favorites from our top things to visit Ayers Rock–Ride a camel across the red sand dunes while watching the sun rise or set over Uluru.
10. Get pampered at the Red Ochre Spa:
Luxury in the middle of the desert with the Red Ochre Spa! Sign up for some Outback pampering with Agnieszka and you’ll have renewed energy for another hike.