Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) Things to Do

  • Starting Back to Valley of the Winds Trailhead
    Starting Back to Valley of the Winds...
    by AlbuqRay
  • Kuniya Walk - Trail to Hunters' Cave
    Kuniya Walk - Trail to Hunters' Cave
    by AlbuqRay
  • Valley of the Winds
    Valley of the Winds
    by Gillybob

Most Recent Things to Do in Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock)

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    Base walk 2

    by iandsmith Written Oct 7, 2014

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    I set out anticlockwise on the loop, hoping to catch some post dawn light at the far end. It was difficult early in the pre-dawn, a soft light offering little in the way of colour, but I plunged on, rounding the first of several “no photos” areas before, mercifully, the sun’s rays kissed parts of Uluru. That was also the signal for the tourist buses and five different languages to suddenly appear also. Ah well, I’d had it on my own for nearly an hour.
    After Valley of the Winds I found this more artistic than overpowering. A different type of sandstone, different weather patterns, different crowds, different walk (flat easy track at last!) and a different mindset. There’s no rush to get anywhere because you’re already there. Sacred sites come and go and I move around to where the sun almost totally omits the shadows.
    Here there is an odd type of erosion, sculpting the rock with shapes like body parts on a board at a medical university; surely I could see a brain, a kidney and a lung there? I was surprised they had no sacred significance attached to them.

    Walking along beside the road I was in the middle of the third “no photographs” section when a couple of cars rolled by with cameras clicking out the window. There are, after all, no signs on the road saying not to take pictures. I felt a tickle of discrimination.
    Just near the carpark is where the "Marla Walk" happens and I walked right into the middle of one so I got to learn a little bit as a bonus. As someone who had started out on a Marla Walk the previous day said, "The problem is you get people asking ridiculous questions and you lose interest so I walked away."
    I spent my last tired 20 minutes checking out the paintings and such and then collapsed. Overall I found Uluru more artistic than Kata Tjuta but the latter was more magnificent and, remember, that's only my opinion.

    Kantju Gorge The Ancient art Shapes of Uluru Warning, it can get crowded!
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    The base walk

    by iandsmith Written Oct 7, 2014

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    THE ICON
    The Great Barrier Reef and Uluru; ask any tourist and, apart from Sydney, this is why they come to Australia. It’s always amazed me because they are so far apart yet still they come. I don’t see the airplanes but the campervans are there in multitudes. Names like Maui, Apollo, Britz, Jucy and Wicked will flash by your eyes with monotonous regularity. Europeans have a love affair with Australia; not a day goes by without me having a conversation with Germans and I’ve run across Poles, Italians, Spanish, French, Swiss, Dutch and Belgians. The only American couple I spoke to answered my question as to why more of them don’t come here and the immediate reply was, “It’s too expensive!” He then went on to decry the fact that beer was $7 a glass and I felt duty bound to explain to him that when he got to Sydney it may be just a tad cheaper. Though America is similar in size to Australia, they don’t have isolation like we do with all its inherent problems.
    Today is my first day at the Rock itself. The climb/no climb debate is a bit of a circus. Firstly, for cultural reasons, they don’t want you to climb; then, you can’t do it at night, you can’t do it during the summer months and, from 8 a.m. it may be closed if the forecast temperature is over 36 degrees; none of which explains why it was closed every day I was there, even before 8 a.m.
    They’ve also come up with an additional eight other reasons, four of which sort of involve water; like if there is a greater than 20% chance of rain within 3 hours, a 5% chance of thunderstorms within 3 hours, when more than 20% of the rock surface is wet after rain (how this is accurately measured is not explained) or if cloud covers the summit.
    It can also be closed because of wind, rescue operations, if the temperature actually reaches 36 degrees or if the traditional owners request closure for cultural reasons. Perhaps that’s what happened when I was there, but after my Valley of the Winds affair, pardon my scepticism.
    (continued)

    Tricky early morning light on Uluru It's dull first thing Impressive with the dawn uluru morning Note streaks on the rocks
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    Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Overview

    by AlbuqRay Updated Mar 23, 2014

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    Talinguru Nyakunytjaku is the newest destination in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It was just opened in late 2009 at a cost of 21 million AUD. Talinguru Nyakunytjaku is a large viewing area located about 3 km southeast of Uluru. Although it is advertised as a sunrise viewing area, this is controversial, since Uluru is mostly in shadows from this angle in the early morning. We were there at lunchtime and the whole place was empty; however, the views were not bad at that time of day (they are mostly of Uluru but you may also see Kata Tjuta in the distance).

    There are two loop walks that are both wheelchair accessible. The Minymaku Walk, or Women’s Walk (1 km, 30 min return), teaches about "women’s business," such as how women collect and process bush foods and some of the games young children play. It also includes the nearest viewing platform, the Minymaku Platform. The Watiku Walk, or Men’s Walk (1.5 km, 45 min return), teaches about "men’s business," such as how to make tools and how men used fire to hunt. According to the signs and online documentation, it also includes the Minymaku Platform, but there is also a smaller "Watiku Platform" on the map.

    There is a huge parking area at Talinguru Nyakunytjaku, along with running water toilets.

    Welcome to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Sign Welcome to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Sign Welcome to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Sign Part of Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Parking Area Toilet Facilities & Kata Tjuta in Background
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    is it worth it?

    by davidjo Written Jul 11, 2012

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    Ayers rock is quite a distance from Three Ways and once you pay for the accommodation and all the fees i am not sure if it is worth it. Sure it is beautiful but i think there are far more better things to see and spend your hard earned cash on.

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    Road to Kata Tjuta (Olga Mountains)

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 18, 2011

    Kata Tjuta, meaning "many heads," is a group of 36 conglomerate rock domes that date back 500 million years. The Lasseter Highway turns to the southwest ~4 km south of the Park toll booth at the turn to Uluru. Relative to that intersection, Kata Tjuta is located 44 km almost due west; however, to get there the highway goes further southwest, then west, and finally back north. There are some good views of the Kata Tjuta mountains along the way. There are three main areas (all on the west side of the mountains): the sunset viewing area, the Walpa Gorge trailhead, and the Valley of the Winds trailhead. See also a stitched photo and a videoclip taken from the turn to the Valley of the Winds on the Lasseter Highway.

    Kata Tjuta from the Southeast Kata Tjuta from the South Walpa Gorge in Kata Tjuta from the West Stitched Photo from Turn to Valley of the Winds Map of Kata Tjuta
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    Talinguru Nyakunytjaku - Minymaku Platform

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 17, 2011

    The Minymaku Platform is on a small sand hill about 0.5 km from the parking lot (actually the distance depends on where you start in the long parking area). It has ramps and is wheelchair accessible. There is also a covered shelter a little down the hill from the platform (see the next tip).

    Trail to Minymaku Platform Minymaku Platform and Shelter Ramp to Lower Level and Stairs to Upper Level View from Upper Level of Minymaku Platform Ramp to Lower Level on Minymaku Platform
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    Kuniya Walk - Shelter and Kuniya & Liru Display

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

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    The shelter and display are located where the Kuniya Walk and the Uluru Base Walk split next to Hunters' Cave. The display tells about the legend of a great battle between Kuniya and Liru in the Kapi Mutitjulu Canyon (see the details in a travelogue).

    Kuniya Walk - Shelter and Kuniya & Liru Display Display About Kuniya and Liru Legend Shelter Next to Kuniya and Liru Display
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    Kuniya Walk - North Side of Hunters' Cave

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

    The north side of Hunters' Cave is the largest. The viewing platform is actually inside the cave. Hunters' Cave was no doubt a home and gallery. It is only ~200 meters from the Kapi Mutitjulu waterhole. Parents would teach the abstract symbols in these paintings to their children. Every symbol has many different levels of meaning and they illustrate stories about the everyday lives of each generation of Anangu. However, the original purpose of a symbol was known only to the artist that painted it.

    North Side Entrance to Hunters' Cave George in North Side of Hunters' Cave Deb in North Side of Hunters' Cave Rock Art in North Side of Hunters' Cave Rock Art in North Side of Hunters' Cave
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    Kuniya Walk - Middle Part of Hunters' Cave

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

    There is also a viewing platform at the east entrance to Hunters' Cave. The rock paintings were made by Anangu who recorded events in their own lives. They often painted over older designs. Water-based colored pigments from ochre were used. It is difficult to date these kind of paintings but some are ancient.

    Walkway to Middle (East) Entrance to Hunters' Cave Middle of Part Hunters' Cave Rock Art in Middle Part of Hunters' Cave Rock Art in Middle Part of Hunters' Cave Middle (East) Entrance to Hunters' Cave
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    Kuniya Walk - South Side of Hunters' Cave

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

    Hunters' Cave is on the west side of the mouth of Kapi Mutitjulu Canyon under a pile of large boulders below the cracked cliff that is Liru's Shield. It has three entrances: south, middle and north. There is a viewing platform at the south entrance. It is not easy to see inside but there are some very interesting looking rock drawings.

    Kuniya Walk - South Side of Hunters' Cave Looking Into South Side of Hunters' Cave Rock Drawings in South Side of Hunters' Cave
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    Kuniya Walk - Trail to Hunters' Cave

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

    The trail heads north from the trailhead. It is ~200 meters to the south end of Hunters' Cave, which is below Liru's Shield. The Base Walk intersects the trail before it reaches the cave. The Base Walk then splits off at Hunters' Cave and goes east toward Ikari (Smile Cave). Other Things to Do tips here describe these places. Where the Base Walk trail heads east, there is a small shelter and a display that tells the Kuniya and Liru legend (see a travelogue).

    Trail, Liru's Shield & Kuniya's Lines Kuniya Walk - Trail to Hunters' Cave Kuniya Walk - Trail to Hunters' Cave Kuniya Walk - Approaching Hunters' Cave Looking Back Toward Trailhead from Hunters' Cave
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    Kuniya Walk - Trailhead

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

    The trailhead for the Kuniya Walk (1 km, 45 min return) is close to the south corner of Uluru. It has a shelter and a First Aid phone. The trail heads north toward Hunters' Cave, which is below Liru's Shield, and intersects the Base Walk before it reaches the cave. It then continues on north into Kapi Mutitjulu canyon to the waterhole. The Base Walk then splits off at Hunters' Cave and goes east toward Ikari (Smile Cave). Other Things to Do tips here describe these places. At the second intersection, there is a small shelter and a display that tells the Kuniya and Liru legend (see a travelogue). See also a videoclip taken at the trailhead.

    Kuniya Walk - Trailhead Shelter at Kuniya Walk Trailhead Start of Kuniya Walk Map of Kuniya Walk Area
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    Kuniya Walk - Trail to Mutitjulu Waterhole

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

    The north side of Hunters' Cave is located on the west wall of the Kapi Mutitjulu canyon ~200 meters from the waterhole. The trail runs through a grove of trees and you can hear and see plenty of birds. On the west wall of the canyon, there is a strange shape in the rocks. I am sure that it mean something to the Anangu people. Could it be Liru?

    Kuniya Walk - Trail to Mutitjulu Waterhole Kuniya Walk - Trail to Mutitjulu Waterhole Approaching the Mutitjulu Waterhole East Wall of Kapi Mutitjulu Canyon with Liru?
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    Uluru Base Walk - Trail to Ikari (Smile Cave)

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

    The Uluru Base Walk trail to the east from Hunters' Cave cuts across the mouth of the Kapi Mutitjulu canyon and runs along the base of Uluru to Ikari (Smile Cave). The part along the base might be called Wila Apuru, but I am not sure.

    Uluru Base Walk - Trail to Ikari (Smile Cave) Base Trail By Ikari Returning from Ikari on Base Trail Returning from Ikari on Base Trail (Wila Apuru?) Approaching Kuniya Walk from East on Base Trail
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    Kuniya Walk - Kapi Mutitjulu Waterhole

    by AlbuqRay Updated Apr 16, 2011

    The Anangu respect Kapi Mutitjulu as the home of Wanampi, an ancestral water snake. Wanampi has the power to control the source of this precious water. It was also the site of a great battle between Kuniya and Liru (see a travelogue). Kapi Mutitjulu is the most reliable waterhole around Uluru. Many kinds of wildlife still depend upon it for survival, especially birds. Visitors should not swim or disturb it in any way. This site really reminded me of the El Morro waterhole in New Mexico, USA. See also a videoclip.

    Kuniya Walk - Mutitjulu Waterhole Kuniya Walk - Mutitjulu Waterhole Watershed for Mutitjulu Waterhole Mutitjulu Waterhole - Home of Wanampi 2010 VT Survivors at Mutitjulu Waterhole
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Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) Things to Do

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