Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Ghan Holiday Day 1-2 - Uluru and Kata-Tjuta

We have been looking forward to this trip for more than 6 months, and it was great thinking that the kids were big enough to appreciate it!  It started with wanting to catch The Ghan, which is a luxury sleeper train experience from Darwin to Adelaide crossing through the Australian red centre.  So, we decided we'd see the big rock, Uluru (also known as Ayer's Rock) , then get the Ghan to Adelaide.

Jetstar flies direct to Uluru from Sydney, so with the kids loaded up with their iPads fully charged, we set off.  My son loved the "orange and white plane" and talked about it constantly during the trip.

Now how cool is this - you could see Uluru from the plane!

You could also see Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas) as well.  These rock formations are like impressive blips in the landscape.

We got our hired car, with a booster for my son, and he felt happy being all grown up putting on the seat belt like the rest of us.  Then we set off for the Ayers Rock Resort, where all the accommodation for the area is.  Food is transported up a few times a week from Adelaide, so even the overpriced IGA foodstore had food for everyone.

The accommodation there varies from camping grounds to mid range motel/hotels to the Sails in the Desert, which was the resort.  We stayed at Sails, and it was perfectly acceptable for our needs!

We had a snack at the Walpa bar and the Pork Belly Sliders were quite tasty!  There was a kids menu as well and my daughter ordered a salad (which we said she wouldn't eat) and my son had fish and chips.

We went out after to see Uluru at sunset, but it was crowded at the viewing area close to the resort, but it was still an impressive sight.  No tripod makes for poor pics, so there are a heap of blurry photos which I am too embarrassed to share with people!

The next day we spent a full day at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park, leaving the resort at dawn to see the sunrise over Uluru.  Too much cloud to give an impressive colour, but the rock is always impressive.  There was a decent train of cars at 6am heading to the sunrise viewing area.

We stayed at the lower part, on ground level to view the rock, but there were a fair number at the elevated platform as well.

We did the Mala walk afterwards, around the base of the rock, but there were so many people and the kids couldn't understand nor be engaged with what the guide was saying so we went off on our own to explore.

After walking around sections of the Rock we went to see Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas) and walked the Walpa Gorge walk - which was plagued by flies which distressed the kids a lot.

And what kind of trip would it be if we didn't squeeze in some birdwatching!  We saw Ring necked parrots at the resort as well as yellow throated honeyeaters, white cheeked honeyeaters, spiny cheeked honey eaters.  There were a lot of zebra finches around Kata-Tjuta.

There was a lunar eclipse whilst we were in Uluru as well - how cool to have a red moon at the red rock!


  1. Looks like fun. I assume the lower contrast red was from cloud shadows. Was the size impressive? That's something hard to tell from pictures. It looks like a nice day for a hike. Cheers!

    1. It's so dark at that dawn that the rock seems to look much more impressive in full sun. It was a nice day for a good walk! And could you believe it a couple of drops of rain fell too! I was surprised.