For our last few days down under we headed to the cultural and geographical center of the country to experience the authentic Australian Outback.

Unlike the cities we visited while driving down Australia’s eastern coast, the small township of Yulara has a strong indigenous vibe not easily found elsewhere in the country. Essentially an oasis in the middle of the desert, the township was built up to serve visitors to the nearby icon referred to as Ayer’s Rock, or Uluru in the indigenous Anangu language.

Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Uluru is a geological phenomenon and considered sacred by the local Aboriginal people. Taller than the Eiffel Tower, Uluru is only the tip of a huge slab of sedimentary rock that continues below the ground for over three miles!

The surrounding landscape is extremely harsh with temperatures ranging from below freezing to well over 100F degrees depending on the time of year. Both water and food are scarce, so the original inhabitants had to live a nomadic lifestyle to survive. It’s understood that Aboriginal people have lived in the area for more than 22,000 years!

There’s nothing much to do in the area besides visit the national park and we were able to do a couple tours over our two days there. After an initial visit at sunset, early the next morning we set off on a six hour trek around the entire base of the rock on a path called the Mala Walk, learning about the geology of the surrounding area, taking in ancient cave drawings, and hearing the ancient stories of the Aboriginal people. Every way you looked was a photo opportunity!

Though the entire national park covers more than 325,000 acres of Outback, Uluru is a truly unique feature rising up and visible amidst miles and miles of desert flat lands. The color of the sandstone rock changes throughout the day as a result of the filtering effect of the earth’s atmosphere on the sun’s rays…

Though we were only in Yulara two days it was actually the perfect amount of time to spend there. Besides temperatures nearing 100F degrees, there were nasty bush flies constantly swarming about dive bombing our faces! Needless to say this grew old quickly.

Along with the super scenic Great Ocean Road leading up to the amazing Twelve Apostles rock formations on the southern coast, visiting Uluru was the highlight of our three weeks in Australia. Besides being able to witness the raw beauty of Uluru and the surrounding desert, it was a special experience gaining a first hand perspective of Aboriginal life in the Outback.

If you can make it, I highly recommend visiting Uluru on your next trip to Australia. It’s a unique and memorable place you won’t soon forget.

Thanks for reading!

xo Carrie