Just to let you know, this is a long post with lots of amazing photos!
After leaving our free camp, we arrived at the Ayers Rock Resort a few minutes later, around 10:30am. We were able to book in straight away and start setting up on our site. As the National Park pass only lasts for three days (we didn’t want to by the yearly pass) we stayed around camp for the day.
There is a small lookout, Naninga Lookout, not too far from our site which we had a great time watching the sunset from.
While at this lookout, we were talking to some others and heard about the man who fell the day before while walking on Uluru and how the rescue crews were having a hard time getting him freed.
Off to an early start!! I’m not one for early starts, (and neither are the kids) but we made it to Uluru to watch the sun rise!
We were so early, we had to stop at the National Park gates for a short while as they were not open yet. It was so very cold and dark!
Once getting our 3 day pass, we headed for the Uluru Sunrise and Sunset viewing area. With our hot milos and quite a few layers of clothes, we parked the car and headed into the bush to the lookout area.
Though it was very cold and barely any seating, we had an awesome time watching the sun rise over Uluru (with hundreds of other people as well).
We were the last ones at the lookout, so hubby decided to have a bit of fun while the boys and I talked to Grandma on the phone.
The rising sun really started warming up the place, so we headed off to Uluru to complete some walks.
We drove past the Mala Walk and as it was full, we decided to continue on to the Kuniya Walk and come back to do the Mala Walk. When we arrived at the Kuniya Walk, there were quite a few police around and lots of people lined up at the start of the walk.
We didn’t really know what was going on, until we walked up to the line and were told the Dalai Lama was down at the end of the walk and we had to wait for him to come out before heading in.
It wasn’t long before we saw him. He said hello as he walked past. The boys were a little afraid and just stood there watching him. As he walked by, he had a joke with the guy next to us about the state of his hat. It was pretty much worn out and needed to be thrown in the bin. You can see how bad it is in the next photo.
After the crowd cleared, we were able to head down and complete the Kuniya Walk to see the Mutitjulu Waterhole.
It was then that we saw a dingo come out of the bushes and walk past the front of our car down to the end of the carpark and disappear again into more bushes. The boys couldn’t believe they were so close to a wild dingo.
The Kuniya Walk was a very easy walk and there were many interesting places to stop and see on the way.
The boys really wanted to touch Uluru, so the first chance they got and they did!
The ‘holes’ in the rock were very interesting.
Under this rock, there was lots of amazing artwork.
Next it was onto the Mala Walk. This is the area where you can climb Uluru. Due to the rescue the previous day, the Uluru Climb was closed, so we headed off on the Mala Walk.
At the start of the Mala Walk is a footprint of the Mala animal.
On returning from the Mala Walk, we found the climb open and many people climbing up Uluru. Sitting down watching the people attempting to climb was very interesting. Some made it all the way up, others only took a few steps and still more just stood at the base looking up deciding whether to attempt the climb or not. It got more interesting as people started to descend the rock. Sitting on their bottoms, sliding down seemed to be the most popular way to descend. Obviously it is very steep!
As the day heated up, we headed back to the caravan for a late lunch, before returning to Uluru for the sunset.
Overall, it was a very long day due to the early start, but we had an amazing time.
After an early bedtime, we were up again early the next morning to see the sunrise over The Olgas.
Once again, we were one of the last at the sunrise, so we had some fun with Uluru in the background.
Then it was off to do some walks around The Olgas. The first one we did was the start of the Valley of the Winds walk, up to the Karu Lookout.
Then we completed the amazing Walpa Gorge walk. Walking through the shady Gorge with an ice cold wind blowing, was an experience. We didn’t realise it would be so cold, so we left our jumpers in the car. Now we know!
After this really cold walk, we headed back to the caravan to warm up and rest before watching the sun set at The Olgas.
Since we have had two early starts and late nights in a row, we decided to sleep in the next day. Then a little schoolwork was done, before we headed back to Uluru for our last sunset before leaving.
This was a spectacular sunset, with rain falling in the distance, giving us a lovely rainbow.
And the clouds coming and going over Uluru, changing it from dark to light every few minutes.
Finally it was time to say goodbye to this wonderful place. This was an amazing experience. One we won’t forget for a long time.