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Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.

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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Uluru - Australia's Heart



Hi everyone, today I am going to take a little side-trip from my Half Lap of Australia.
and take you to the beating heart of Australia, Uluru in Central Australia. 




 We didn't visit Uluru on our recent trip to the Northern Territory but an event at Uluru last week has brought the rock into international attention. The traditional owners, the Anangu aboriginal people, who have lived here for over 10,000 years, closed the rock to climbers on Friday 25th October. Almost 34 years to the day since the Anangu were handed back the title to Uluru in 1985, their wishes that people not climb the rock will now be enforced by law. Traditional owners wanted the climb closed because of Uluru's cultural significance and concerns about safety and the environment.

About 35 people have died making the difficult climb, with many more injured. 


Over the last few months since the announcement that the climb would be closed thousands of tourists have visited the rock. On the last day, hundreds were queuing to climb.  There are mixed reactions from people about whether they should be allowed to climb Uluru.

We didn't climb Uluru when we visited in 2010. We had no intention of climbing. And I was amazed by the number of people who asked me if we had climbed, like it was expected. I believe we should respect the cultural wishes of local people wherever we travel, both here in Australia and overseas. If it is not culturally acceptable, then we should respect that. 

Anyway, I don't want my blog to be political, but instead I wish to share some images of Uluru from 2010. There is so much to explore and discover at Uluru without climbing. There is a Cultural Centre, and various walks including a 10.6 kilometre base walk around the rock, cultural tours, and of course the sunrise and sunset viewing where the rock changes through a magnificent hue of colours. 


 Your first glimpse of Uluru is as inspiring as you imagine. Rising 348 metres high, and 863 metres above sea level, Uluru is oval in shape, measuring 3.6 km long by 2.4 km wide, with a circumference of 9.4 km. About 2.5 kilometres of Uluru's depth is underground.


In the early morning people drive out to the sunrise viewing platform to see the brilliant Uluru sunrise. Unfortunately during both our stays, we didn't get the brilliant sunrise display we hoped for due to cloud cover, however it was still impressive to see the magnificence of Uluru gradually revealed.

We visited the Cultural Centre to learn more about the rock and the local people and to find out more about the walks. Along the easy (pusher and wheelchair friendly) two kilometre Mala (rufous hare-wallaby) walk to Kantju Gorge you can see the rock up close, see examples of how weathering has sculptured the rock over millions of years, and also see examples of Anangu rock art. 

Please be aware that there are some areas where photography is not allowed due to cultural reasons, so please be respectful. People taking photos for commercial reasons must purchase a permit. 


During our stay we also completed the 10.6 kilometre base walk. It is a easy walk, but it is a long way, so allow 3.5 hours. Please do wear a hat and carry water and food even in cooler weather. 


The walk meanders through acacia woodlands and grassed claypans. Various points of interest are signposted along the way, including art caves which are still used today. 



We also saw some wild camels. They were obviously used to people, but please don't approach them as they are wild and could be dangerous.

And of course, wildflowers - clockwise from top left - Grey Cassia, Desert Heath Myrtle, Desert Rose and one of the wattles.




A crested pigeon near our camp

On our last evening, Uluru dished up a brilliant sunset at the the sunset viewing spot. We thought initially it was going to be clouded out, but then Uluru lit up with the changing colours of the desert. 



Local Anangu ranger Tjiangu Thomas when commenting about closing the climb said,
"Once the focus is away from the climb, there is going to be more focus on the culture and the environment and that is what this park is world heritage-listed for."


Fast facts:
 - Uluru rises 348 metres above the surrounding plain. That’s higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Chrysler Building in New York.
- Archaeological evidence shows that Aboriginal people have inhabited Central Australia for more than 30,000 years.
- In 1873, explorer William Gosse became the first European to see Uluru.
-  In summer it can get really hot, with temperatures as high as 47°C during the day. But during winter the overnight temperature can drop to −7°C .
 - There are more than 400 different plant species growing in the park.

Uluru is 468 kilometres by road from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. You can also fly there from all Australian capitals, except Canberra. 
There is no camping in the park but there is accommodation to suit all budgets, including tents and caravans nearby at the Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara.


 And a video I found on YouTube


More information about Uluru at:

To learn more about the culture of Uluru - Parks Australia - Discover Culture
ABC NEWS: Uluru climb closed 
Uluru - Parks Australia 


 Thank you so much for visiting today. I hope you have enjoyed this small look at Uluru. Have you ever been to Uluru? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments.

You might also like:
Free camping, Great Central Road, Australia

 Please note: None of my images are to be used commercially.

 I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

24 comments:

  1. Wow - spectacular shots! And I agree with you about respecting the cultural wishes of the people who live in a place.

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  2. Hello, The views of the Uluru are just beautiful. I believe that the wishes of the local people should be respected. I would love to see this beautiful place, even from a distance. Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great week ahead.

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  3. How amazing! You took some really wonderful photos and I hope people will respect the desire they have to close it to climbers. We would all get along better in this world if we would respect others. Love your wildflowers and of course those wild camels! Thanks for doing the research and sharing it with us! Hugs, Diane

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  4. Jill - I don't think it's political for native peoples to make a decision to protect such a tradition-filled site, or for you to talk about it. In my mind, it's raising awareness. As the world gets "smaller" and more people have the resources to visit sites such as this, someone has to take the role to preserve them, or soon no-one will be able to enjoy them. I can see why the sunrise and sunset times are so popular - I am mesmerized by the photos! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday! (And no, I have not been to Uluru!)

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  5. WOW! Astounding photography! I believe the wishes of the local people should be respected.

    Happy Weds, Jill!

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  6. I can never quite make up my mind whether Uluru or the Sydney Opera House are the most iconic images of Australia. They are both impressive in different ways of course.

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    1. Uluru is natural whereas the Sydney Opera House is manmade. I know which affected me more when I visited.

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    2. I agree with you. I have seen the opera house, but have never had the good fortune to penetrate the arid interior of Australia. Uluru would stir emotions a structure of any kind never could.

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  7. Beautiful photos, reminds me of our memorable visit. We didn't climb to respect the wishes of the local people. It was a good lesson at the time to our children as they watched others climb!
    Wren x

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    1. I am so glad you showed your children by example this valuable lesson

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  8. What a stunning place to visit and photograph!

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  9. This is such a fabulous place with so much natural beauty. Thanks for sharing your photos and information about it. The sunset on the Rock is pretty awesome!

    I'm so glad to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

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  10. Yes it’s totally beautiful walking around it, and when it rains it is amazing

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  11. so true! You have such a great respect for people and culture. If only more people were like you

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  12. Interesting information as well as your photos.

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  13. I agree with you that tourists should respect the native culture when visiting any place - it is a beautiful place and very photogenic!

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  14. Absolutely breathtaking beauty Jill. I have seen Uluru so often in movies, documentaries, etc, but have never known anyone that I recall who actually got to visit it. How impressive it is too.
    I take it that part of your meaning of not taking certain images would also mean of the Australian Aboriginal people. They are such an amazing people that have not changed much at all over the many centuries they have lived there.
    Oh I love the Grey Cassia, my garden colours ;)
    Sending hugs my friend~

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    1. There are still pockets of traditional aboriginal groups, but most have been influenced by the white man, and not always in a good way. They are a very proud people who, generally, hold onto their traditions.

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  15. Absolutely incredible, and your photographs are outstanding. I very much agree with you about respecting the cultural wishes of the people who live there. I know in my area (Joshua Tree National Park) many areas have been closed to climbers to protect cultural resources (mostly pictographs and petroglyphs).

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    1. thank you for visiting. It was great to meet you over on your blog today.

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  16. Believe it or not, with all of our travels around Australia we have not been to Uluru. I guess because it is kind of hard to get to and I think the other reason is that it's such a big tourist attraction and I generally steer away from these. Your photos have captured it beautifully and I do agree that you don't need to climb it to appreciate the magnitude of the massive monolith. I think the climbing restriction is long overdue.

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    1. I hope you make a plan to visit there soon Kathy. I think now the tourist rush before the closing of the climb has died down, it won't be so overrun with tourists. It is not a difficult, though long drive, up through the centre from South Australia.

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  17. Fascinating images.
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/10/sunrise-over-my-happy-place.html

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I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.