Thursday, 5 July 2012

The return trip

There wasn't anything eventful on the return trip to Sydney. The scariest thing we did was a night drive from Coober Pedy to Broken Hill. All you see is black and whatever the lights manage to illuminate. I had a close call almost running over what appears to be a dingo.

I did manage to take a wonderful shot of the Breakaways. The previous shot was in the mid-morning sun. This one was right on sunset! It truly is amazing how the light changes a whole landscape.

The Breakaways at sunset
Compare the shot to the mid-morning take

Monday, 2 July 2012

Our last sunset at Uluru (Day 4)

Our exceptional day ended with a sunset at Uluru. As we excited the park, all three of us reflected back on our amazing journey. This video is the last time lapse I did of the rock. Enjoy!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Uluru Base Walk (Day 4)

This was our final day at Uluru. All of us were tired from all the walking, fatter because of all the eating and closer because of all the road trip conversations. Our last day was spent on the base walk. This walk is about approximately 10.4 km and is a loop circuit around the base of Uluru. You get right up and personal with the rock and it sure does make you feel small, tiny and insignificant.

Around the base there are a few areas that are sacred to the first Australians and you are not allowed to take photos. The walk has two areas where the Mala people did rock paintings. I was glad that we did the walk, it was a good end to an excellent trip.

Map of the base walk with locations I photographed below
Photo location 1, Mala rock painting

Photo location 3, rock art. The swirls represent water

Photo location 2, Mutitjulu waterhole. The most reliable source of water at Uluru
Photo location 3, rock art

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sunrise at Uluru (Day 4)

You may have noticed that I have taken a fascination over time lapse photography. The previous one was my first attempt at this form of photography. This was the second attempt which was of Uluru at reverse angle.

This was a reverse sunset, which is in a location the tour buses avoid at this time. You see the change in sky colour followed by the golden sun on the clouds and then the grass!


Friday, 22 June 2012

We are small (Day 3)

Uluru and Kata Tjuta are the only landmarks on an otherwise flat featureless desert. To appreciated this we hired a helicopter for a aerial tour of the national park. I hope the readers enjoy these photos, which show just how small we are and the vastness of nature.

Me with three birds
The red center is a semi-arid environment

Uluru in its semi-arid environment
In this photo is the Lesseter Highway which is the main road into Uluru. On the left is smoke from a back burning operation and on the right is Ayers Rock Resort
Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
Ripples of life

Some humans are stupid (Day 3)

I was raised to respect other cultures. Since the hand over of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to the Anangu people the first Australians hold the rock as sacred. They will not forbid you from climbing Uluru, but expect you to show some respect by not climbing. At the base of the walk there is a sign in 6 different languages expressing the wishes of the traditional owners of the land.

We witnessed the amount of disrespect some people had for these wishes ourselves. Tour bus after tour bus unloaded more people. These people are so excited to climb the rock, they run to the base and start the climb.

We don't climb so why the bloody hell do you climb!
It was amusing to watch people climb Uluru. No less than 35 people have died on this endeavour. If you just round the corner, there are 8 plaques which commemorate the passing of individuals claimed by the very difficult and dangerous climb. You see people start and chicken off. Ones that just stop on the incline petrified with fear. Others bumming it down or the ones that grab tightly to the chain. I even saw a stupid individual jog down to help his partner crying on the incline! One slip and many people will die or get hurt.

You read about how people think it is okay to climb, because they paid park entry fees. How just because Uluru is sacred to the first Australians it isn't relevant to them so they climb. Well how about this climbers! What about the environmental reasons to stop you damaging Uluru!

The site is a source that sustains life; the climbers damage this ecosystem and will spoil it for countless generations of humans and destroy the wildlife Uluru supports. If you want to know more see this link  or ask the rangers about the contaminated waterholes at the base of Uluru.

You can see the white path climbers have eroded on the rock

Mala Walk (Day 3)

People pay the tour operators hundreds of dollars for a bus ride and tour around Uluru. At times the information given is inaccurate. Ask yourself this, do the tour operators know and work with the first Australians? Do they respect the culture and significance of the site? I bet, most of your answers would be 'NO'.

You may not know this, but the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks offer a free guided tour at the base of Uluru. This tour is called the 'Mala Walk' and is highly educational. The ranger takes us through the history and culture of the Anangu first Australians. They work with the Anangu community to ensure that Uluru is preserved for all.

This tour is a must  and I highly recommend people to take the walk, learn and embrace the experience. The tour ended at the Kantju Gorge. You really get to see Uluru up close and it was a fabulous experience. 

Uluru natural colour is a light grey with an iron composition. The red you see is the result of iron oxidation (otherwise known as rust). You can really see the colours in this shot. The oxidised section of the rock flake off and can be a hazard to tourist as they drop from the top
Us at Kantju Gorge, which is one of the many waterholes at the base of Uluru
Something you may not know is that Uluru is a major source of water for the area. The rock stores and releases water and basically supports the life around it. You can see how the vegetation changes for each of the waterholes that make up Uluru.That is why this place is sacred to the first Australians.

Sky, rock, trees