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Uluru is more than a big rock

I knew nothing but the most superficial things about Uluru. A big red rock in the Central Desert is all it meant to me.

So what is the big deal about this red rock?

Well, first of all, big doesn’t adequately describe Uluru’s size. Three hundred forty eight metres high with a circumference of 9.4 km. And, that’s just what is showing; it’s not generally known that most of Uluru”s bulk lies underground. 

Rifling through my thesaurus, I came up with some words befitting this magnificent monolith: majestic and mighty.

Recently, on our camping trip around Australia, I had a chance to visit Uluru. Unfortunately, my introduction to Uluru occurred in a miserable rain. At first there was nothing. And then, suddenly, a misty-shrouded Uluru.

As we closed the distance to the base of Uluru, we could see tiny and large waterfalls spouting everywhere.
This is apparently a rare phenomenon, hence not unfortunate at all.

I couldn’t get it out of my head that this big rock was crying in the rain–crying cleansing tears that might wash away any tourist transgressions. People still climb Uluru, even though indigenous people have asked us not to. They haven’t forbidden it, that would be too rigid. It’s a request, but one that is not respected by all.

Our main concession to being tourists was to see the art installation in the desert called Field of Lights. Small lights on stems like flowers spread through the night desert with colours changing as you watched. We walked the bush tracks and observed the daytime desert flora transfigured into a nighttime light show. Somehow though, after Uluru, any sort of man-made art pales.

Kata Tjutka

I’d heard for years that I should visit Kata Tjuta, a range near to Uluru and so I did. Formerly The Olgas, Kata Tjuta is comprised of ancient, gigantic rocks. These big rocks are completely accessible to hikers who don’t mind some steep and rugged climbs. And so we hiked through her gorges and mini forests and river beds–up close and personal.

Words are inadequate to describe Uluru and Kata Tjuta. These iconic formations need to be felt, and hung out  in, in a receptive frame of body and mind.

Uluru is still with me. Perhaps you can get a little taste of our experience from this recording: