They say that you if you visit Australia without seeing the Outback, you really haven’t experienced Australia at all. Aside from deadly snakes and dangerously hot temperatures, the Outback is also known as the spiritual center of Australia, home to sacred sites of the Anangu people, the Australian Aboriginals of the land who have lived there for tens of thousands of years.
According to Aboriginal beliefs, all life can be traced to Spirit Ancestors of the Dreamtime, a “time before time” when the world was created. During Dreamtime, the Earth was flat, barren and in darkness. Unknown life forms were asleep below the surface of the land and one day, they broke through the crust of the earth created life as we know it.
When they arose, the Spirit Ancestors resembled creatures or plants, and were half human. They moved across the world, travelling, hunting, fighting, and in their journeys, they created people, animals, the landscape, natural elements and all celestial bodies. When their work was done, the mythical creatures sank back into the earth, changing again, this time into animals, stars, hills and other forms, signaling the end of the Dreamtime and the birth of the physical world.
The Aboriginal people believe that the Ancestor Spirits and their powers are not gone, but rather they remain in the objects into which they changed. To them, the area around Uluru and Kata Tjuta is inhabited by dozens of ancestral beings whose activities are recorded at many separate sites, each of which has a story to tell.
Today, the Anangu people share their home with visitors from around the world and teach them about their beliefs, culture and history. People from all walks of life, of all races, religions and beliefs, have come to visit the sacred sites of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. To think that this far along in our evolution, we still argue and worse even — kill each other — over our differences is a sad reality. We all have our beliefs and there is beauty in difference. We’re in this life together, as humans, as people, as brothers & sisters.
Peace & love.
Dayna’s Travel Guide to Uluru, Australia
Places to Visit:
On a tight schedule, we only stayed one night and did our own DIY-tour. After landing at around ten o’clock in the morning, we picked up our car rental and hit the open road. With just twenty-four hours to see it all, we decided to visit Uluru first, go for a camel ride at sunset and rise before dawn the following day to hike the Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta.
Uluru is situated in the Uluru National Park, Northern Territory, Australia and is believed to be about 550 million years old. Uluru rises 348 metres above ground and has a circumference of 9.4 kilometres, making it the world’s most famous monolith. It is estimated that at least two-thirds of the Rock lies beneath the surface.
Uluru and Kata Tjuta belong to the Anangu people and this sacred site allows them to educate visitors about their beliefs, culture and history. Because of its spiritual significance, it is requested that visitors not climb Uluru.
Uluru Camel Tour: Loved this tour — informative and lots of fun. The team and the camels were great. Saw Uluru and Kata Tjuta at sunset, followed by a mini-cocktail hour back at the lodge. Highly recommend.
Kata-Tjuta Valley of the Winds walk: Waking up at the crack of dawn was well worth it for this 5 kilometer excursion. In a sense, we preferred visiting Kata Tjuta over Uluru. Insider tip: Unless you enjoy big tour groups, would recommend doing this solo. You can go at your own pace, enjoy the breathtaking views and the serenity of the morning.
Where We Stayed:
We flew from Cairns to Yulara, an isolated town in the heart of the Red Center home to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. In this region, accommodation and restaurants are not hard to find; they’re all located in the Ayers’ Rock Resort offering a handful of choices and a free shuttle bus to take visitors around.
Where We Ate:
When it comes to eating in Uluru, the choice is limited to what’s available on the resort. We were most pleased with the IGA grocery store, where we picked up fruits, snacks and sandwich meals for late-night treats and early morning excursions.
Where We Had Coffee:
Unfortunately, you’ll have hold your specialty coffee cravings until your next destination.