Uluru – The Day I First Laid Eyes on Uluru (Ayers Rock)

After a 3am start to get to the airport for a 5am lift off to Uluru, we left the coastal humidity of Brisbane and flew into Australia’s heart – the Red Centre.

Peering down onto the scrubby outback and gouged channel country from 35,000 feet we flew over flooded Lake Eyre and sparkling salt pans until as the mid-day sun was reaching its zenith the soil colour changed from a bleached grey to a deep rusty red, and… a tantalising first fleeting glimpse of Uluru came into view as we circled to land.
Uluru Ayers Rock Australia“There it is! There it is!”
And with the excitement and anticipation of seeing a long lost friend – I couldn’t contain my delight. 🙂

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

There aren’t many iconic places you go to in your life, which prior to your visit you will have been bombarded with a gazillion images forming impressions and expectations.
Such places have a lot to live up to –
Could Uluru live up to my high hopes?
It was mid-day as the air-plane doors opened and the black beating tarmac of Yulara airstrip punched me in the face. Stepping out onto the glistening silver staircase into the brilliant sunshine, the dry central Australia heat engulfed me.
My impatience wanted to get straight out there, but with a body recoiling from the oven I’d just stepped into, I retreated to some air conditioned comfort for a few hours allowing the sun to loose its edge as it lowered itself towards the horizon.
About 4pm, we ventured out making our way to the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park entrance – There’s a $25 fee that is valid for 3 days.

Uluru Ayers Rock image Australia

First Distant Sighting of Uluru

Within moments of entering the Park we pulled over to get the first (of many!) photographs ~ Our first sighting from across the plains (above)

I couldn’t wait to get up closer so zoomed in to see what I could see on my 3″ camera display!

At this time of day it had a lilac’y tinge!

Uluru Ayers Rock Australia image

Uluru’s Presence

However, no image (or pre-conception) can prepare you for the experience as you approach this monolith and first feel ‘the’ Rock’s presence!

Uluru Ayers Rock Australia with wildflowers image

Uluru has so many faces

Uluru Ayers Rock Australia

…and moods

Uluru Australia…and array of colours as the atmospheric conditions and light perpetually changes.

Uluru Ayers Rock Australia

Until as the sun nears the horizon…

Uluru Ayers Rock Australia…it’s time to retreat

Image: Uluru Sunset

 …and admire from a distance

Image: Uluru Sunset

Uluru ~ and its monolithic magnificence  

Uluru Sunset

 My first Uluru sunset

Have you been to Uluru? Tell me, how did you feel?

To record your adventure –
check out my hand drawn pictorial Central Australia Map Journal here

Central Australia Map Journal Front Cover

 Then, click below for the Sun Rise, and

Did you know there are Waterholes at Uluru?


27 thoughts on “Uluru – The Day I First Laid Eyes on Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    • And of course many more to come LOL

      This is just the ‘first’ sunset sighting –
      The following day we explored the Mutitjulu Waterhole (yes! a waterhole at the base of Uluru) 🙂

      • I was with you and enjoyed every minute of the rock too. I just got home after leaving Australia and sleeping for 10 hours to catch up after about 36 hours of travel door to door. I like you have hundreds of photos to download and hopefully share the best. Love your post and agree whole heartily the mammoth presence of the rock is hard to describe and should be a destination goal if given the chance. I need time to reflect on all we experienced. Thanks for the trip planning gift you made possible. Many memories forever.

        • So pleased you sparked this spontaneous adventure 🙂

          Lots more posts and photos to share of the wonders we experienced in the Red Centre!
          It was an amazing trip …

    • I’d been busting to go for years, but finally having some International visitors come to stay pushed me into doing it NOW, on the spur of the moment!

      HAPPY 😀

  1. I already knew what ‘the Rock’ looked like, having seen so many pictures beforehand. But as we rounded the bend and had our first view of the real thing, I was (uncharacteristically) speechless with awe and wonder. There’s NOTHING like it anywhere else – and it’s gob-smackingly spectacular!!

    So great to re-live this through you – weirdly, I have many pix that are similar!!!!

    • It’s like the throbbing heart at the centre of Australia –
      No photographs can ever convey its majesty… but that doesn’t stop us all from trying 😉

  2. Hi Linda,

    Sounds and looks like you enjoyed The Rock.

    I’ve been lucky enough to visit Uluru (although it was Ayers Rock then) three times and all a long time ago. Before the resort, before the regulations. I visited in the days when climbing Uluru was allowed so I’ve made that climb three times. We camped in tents right beside Uluru – and weren’t eaten by dingos!

    We joined the Aboriginal community for songs, dancing and making those lovely stick burnings. I even went witchetty grub hunting with them and ate a live one – better cooked 😉

    I’ve not been for many years and wonder how I’d find it now.

    Thanks for sharing such a visually gorgeous post and bringing back some memories.

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  4. I just knew you’d find it amazing, well I find it hard to imagine that anyone WOULDN’T find it amazing 🙂
    It’s just such an awe inspiring destination, and it’s indescribable, the feeling you get as you approach “the rock”.
    Like you, I thought I’d seen it, because I had, in books and on TV, and then to experience it, well that was all the difference, and a life changing experience for sure.
    The textures, the spirit of the land, the sheer grandeur it’s just breathtaking.
    I truly can’t wait to return with our children again now they are a little older, as they were too small for us to do the base walks etc, but all the same I’m glad we went.
    LOVE your photos 🙂 x

    • I too am already scheming when I can get back there LOL

      Its so refreshing to go to a place and it exceeds your expectations –
      So much marketing these days is over-hype to sell, and leads to disappointment when finally experienced!

      Look forward to hearing about when you one day make it back 🙂

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  6. I loved Uluru. Obviously there is that iconic view of the long side of it, but what really got me was how many different shapes and colours it has as you explore all around the other parts of it that you never see on the “postcard” shot. Certainly somewhere that is worth visiting in real life!
    Laurence recently posted..My travel ABCsMy Profile

    • Couldn’t agree more!
      I wasn’t expecting the trees nor the waterholes around its base, and the mood changes as the sun passes overhead…
      Definitely worth getting out of the armchair 🙂

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  12. What a wonderful set of photos Linda and you clearly had a truly memorable visit. I went there in October 2012 and was so blown away by it. And finding out about the Aboriginal links added to its significance. I wrote about it here:

    Like you, I was pleased that it lived up to expectations – so many places don’t. And it is such a spiritual place too …
    Zoë Dawes recently posted..Sunrise at Uluru leaves me speechlessMy Profile

    • So happy you made it to the heart of Australia!
      Uluru really does have a presence doesn’t it that can’t be conveyed via the gazillion 2-D photos you’ve seen banded about before you arrive –
      Definitely a place that armchair travel can’t replicate 🙂

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