Did you know there are Waterholes at Uluru?

Kuniya Walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole, Uluru

Privy to a glorious sunset over ‘the’ Rock on the first day I set eyes on Uluru, we were up early the next morning to see the sunrise from the other side.

We left our beds with the stars still twinkling in the black sky overhead and joining a weaving convey of vehicle headlights we snaked our way across the landscape on our pilgrimage to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku, where viewing platforms and paths meander through bush food laden scrub.

Uluru sunriseThe night sky faded as the eastern horizon turned orange with the rising of the Day Star.

Uluru Sunrise

There’s a precious dawn moment of twilight tranquillity

…filled with anticipation of what the day may bring.

Uluru sunrise

And with the Olgas taunting us with tantalising glimpses on the horizon…

Olgas sunrise

my expectations welled as the Rock radiated red.

Uluru Sunrise

But as the sun gains it strength rising higher in the sky the richness of the full colour spectrum seems to subside…

Uluru sunrise

  and the light becomes brasher as the sun’s heat harshly pulsates,

even at this early hour.

Uluru Sunrise

But my attention is drawn to the dark shadow, close to the western end of Uluru, where Mutitjulu Waterhole purportedly lies.

It seems laughable…

a waterhole – an oasis – in this arid outback?

Uluru Australia Ayers Rock

From a distance, the landscape appears to be vegetated by miles of low lying scrub, but closer in to the base of the Rock are River Red Gums.

Uluru River Red Gum Trees

The Kuniya Path is well worn by visitors, but there’s a strong sense of intimacy ~

Uluru Australia Ayers Rock

A feeling one is exploring hitherto undiscovered delights amongst the Rock’s soft folds and crevices.

Uluru Australia Ayers Rock So when the path opens up to us and a pool of liquid gold reveals itself…

Uluru Australia Ayers Rock

…it feels like Paradise.

Uluru Australia Ayers Rock Kapi Mutitjulu

Uluru Australia Ayers Rock “After Minyma Kuniya defeated Wati Liru, her spirit combined with her nephew’s and together became Wanampi (water snake). Wanampi lives here today and has the power to control the source of this precious water”

 

Upon leaving this haven, we pass a cave like overhang…

Uluru Cave art by Anangu

And on the ceiling are markings by the traditional owners – Anangu (prounounced: arn-ung-oo).

Uluru Rock Art

Tjukurpa (pronounced: chook-orr-pa) is the foundation of Anangu culture, having many deep and complex meanings. The knowledge never changes – It refers to the past, when ancestral beings created the world, through to the present, caring for the land that supports humanity.

 

Uluru Australia Ayers Rock

Even with a person in this photograph, the scale and magnificence of Uluru is incomprehensible in 2-D.

Journey Jottings Australia map Uluru sunrise

So I need to finish this post with a photo of me in front of that magical Uluru spot!

Even pinching myself its hard to believe…

Yes, I was HERE :)

 Have you been to Mutitjulu Waterhole?

 

We then went to Kata Tjuta

 

Uluru Australia Ayers Rock

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27 thoughts on “Did you know there are Waterholes at Uluru?

  1. Yes I was there too, and the waterhole is an amazing oasis in a hot desert landscape. To think what a God-send to every living creature it has supported for eons. No wonder this natural wonder seems like the Gods planned it. The Olgas seen in the faint distance about 50 kilometers away as I recall, rival Ayers Rock for their own majectic beauty. What a trip to vist both and spend as long as possible soaking up everything they have to offer. Bring your hiking shoes, a water bottle and you won’t be disapointed.

    • It truly is amazing that unlike many places where people say ‘You’ll love it’, and when you get there you can’t quite see their perspective, that here, everyone does love it…

      It does not disappoint ;)

  2. I wish I had made the trek in to the waterhole! It is a gift to have photo documentation of such a magical place in time. Lovely description that captures the essence very well. In Uluru, I see influences on form in art and architecture that are so timeless. I don’t think I’m imagining this, but it is a perfect place for imagining. Do visit and take time to sketch, meditate or quietly observe.

    • You are so right Robin ~
      Uluru is such a timeless place –

      The aboriginal dreaming stories make such sense when you visit one of their places and feel its pulse.
      So as you say, stopping to ‘sketch, meditate or quietly observe’ and drink it all in should be factored in time-wise during one’s visit -

      I can feel a second trip brewing ;)

      • Yes, you better let us know when you’re coming so we can make sure we’re here and we spoil you.

        We have swags ready and lots of secret places to show you! And lots more rock art.

          • She makes it sound tempting, doesn’t she Fred?!!
            Amanda (anthropologist with the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority) and Gary (district ranger of West MacDonnell National Park) have an excellent website that even has a section on Oodnadatta, which could in your case come in handy ;)

          • Linda, thank you for the links to Amanda’s different sites. Can you imagine how much I’m looking forward to our trip when I’m sitting here in the UK with a cold NW wind ,rain and temperatures down to about 4c.
            I think once I get there I shall just want to go “native” and never leave.
            Nothing makes me homesick and that is Nothing!

          • I can imagine (a little) having just seen photos of the first falls of snow in the UK!
            The expansiveness of Australia is verrrry alluring ~
            Would love to hear more of your trip as and when… :)

  3. This is still on my “To Do” list and now you have opened up a whole new side to this spot. I never knew about the water or the the caves. Thanks for all the lovely photos. I loved seeing the difference as the sun changed angles.

    • I have to confess it had been on my ‘one day’ list for a loooong time, but having finally made it I can’t believe I left it so long -

      Its so worth the effort and distance -
      Do it! ;)

  4. Wow! Just sitting here in the UK dreaming of next April when I will be making the trip, with my mate. I was already so looking forward to visiting “The Rock” and after seeing your beautiful photos April can not come round soon enough.
    I can already smell the bush and it’s time for my soul to return home!

    • April will be a gorgeous time of year to visit -
      The smell of the bush, and the sound of the wind through the spinifex and desert oaks…

      Have you been away for long?

      • Hi Linda,
        Yes I,ve been away far too long, 1979, have been back a few times though. I brought my grandson over last time and we went from Perth up to Exmouth, gave me a chance to show him some “real” Australia. This time I ‘m bringing my pal who has never been to Australia, Uluru and The Alice via the Onadatta Track are the planned destinations.
        I can not wait, I still feel the rythm of the land in my blood.

        • Wow ~ The Alice via Oodnadatta sounds like a bold and fun trip!
          Outback trips are wonderful -
          You’re so right about country staying in your blood ~
          Your mate will be lucky to have an Ozzie who knows the ropes of the bush with them -
          It’s an unforgiving land when it comes to survival, but sooooo giving with its bountiful beauty and space –
          Something you would particularly relish having been domicile in the UK for such a lengthy period ;)

  5. The whole of Central OZ is just so gob-smackingly awesome – colour, landscape, history, wildlife … EVERYTHING! I’ve been to waterholes at the Rock, certainly a surprise – but the real surprise was the waves, textures and colour of the Rock up close! So different to how it appears from afar!
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..The 3-Car, 2-Beach, One Fine Day!My Profile

    • You’re so right -
      There are so many photos of the Rock taken from a distance…
      Its the getting up close and personal that brings Uluru truly to life :)

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