Uluru – arriving ~

A shorter drive today – about 460kms, or nearly 300mls.

Driving out of Alice, I was struck once again by the beauty of the place – and how accurately the aboriginal artists depict the textures of the land and vegetation.

To get to Uluru you have to drive about 260kms off the main highway. I stopped to take a shot of a truck being loaded with gravel.

Truck loading gravel

About 100kms from Uluru, we saw it in the far distance. Even that far away, you could feel its power and spiritual energy.

Uluru far away

Small hills masked the rock until I got closer, and then it revealed around a bend in the road. In the distance still, but again its power was palpable.

Uluru with road

Let me just say: I’ve been fortunate during my life to see some of the great wonders of the world – the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Giza, Angkor Wat, the Cathedral of Notre Dame –

And there’s one thing I’ve observed; that on first sighting one of these wonders, I’ve been shocked, truly shocked, at how magnificent they are.


Because I’d grown up with a familiarity to these icons. You see them constantly in travel posters, on the covers of books and magazines, in documentaries – and after a while you begin to feel blasé.

You feel a certain familiarity.

I had no real desire to see the Taj Mahal for instance. I felt I’d already seen it, because I had seen it thousands of times, although not in real life. And then while I was working in Delhi I had an opportunity to take my wife there on our thirtieth wedding anniversary.

I remember first seeing the Taj Mahal, and being electrified at how beautiful it was. It was just like all the pictures I’d seen of it, but being there in person was something else.

That’s how I felt today at Uluru.

I’ve never had any real desire to go to Uluru. Like with the Taj Mahal, I’ve seen so many images of it, the thought of actually going into Central Australia to see it for real was kind of boring. There are other better ways for me to spend my time. And really, if it wasn’t for this Consciousness Retreat tomorrow, I would never have come all the way out here.

But today, when I drove around the bend and there it was in front of me, I was stunned at just how magnificent it was. No pictures can ever fully give you that experience – a profoundly spiritual experience – of seeing Uluru at sunset.

In its own way, it is a cathedral. An important energetic nodal point. There are stories within that rock that go back millennia. It is truly a sacred place.

Here are some shots I dashed off. I tried really hard not to take any tourist shots – the kind of shots we’ve seen a thousand times – but hey, I got suckered in. It’s really hard not to take tourist shots of this magnificent beast of a rock…

Uluru ws

Uluru tourist shot Uluru Side view

Uluru - black watercourse Sun setting

Tomorrow, work schedule allowing, Jennifer and I will do a 11km walk around the base of the rock. I’ll take my camera, and try really hard not to take any tourist shots!

17 thoughts on “Uluru – arriving ~

  1. Enjoy the walk, Bill. It’s amazingly emotional, just being up close and personal. There’s a ‘pulse’ about the place 🙂


    • Thanks Britta – yes, there is certain,y a strong energy radiating out from this place. You can feel it from miles away. Also, I’m fascinated by some of the stories that lie hidden in the world oaks and the weathered etchings of the rock surface. So many hidden stories in that rock…


  2. Thank you ffor sharing your travels with us all. The photos allow us all to be there too. Don’t worry about taking “tourist shots”. We will enjoy them all. What a magnificent place! Is the sky really that blue? Beautiful!


    • Lynda, thank you for these kind words. As for the colours, yes they are very intense here at the end of the day, at this time of the year. They intensify more as winter comes on, and the sunlight becomes more oblique. The earth is truly that red too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eeerily, you’ve somehow captured in images the very feeling of awe that one has when approaching Our Lady of Chartres on a foot pilgrimage !!!

    There’s *something* of significance about these places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julian, that’s a wonderful compliment, thank you. I know what you mean about Chatres. (The cathedral) I’ve only been there once, but it’s stayed in my mind as a sacred place.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Julian
    When I arrived at Santiago, I didn’t have any special feeling until I saw the botafumeiro swing. I think that feeling of arriving is what is so special about these places.


  5. Take the tourist shots Bill. As you know it doesn’t matter how many times something is photographed every time it is different even if only in subtle ways. Besides these are YOUR tourist shots. Also climb the rock if possible. That is a great, maybe spiritual feeling knowing that the World’s largest monolith is at your feet. As you know I havd e also climbed Enchanted Rock in Texas which has a similar feel but nowhere near the power of Ularu. Great pics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks Gary. Actually my favourite shot yesterday was of the truck loading gravel. I think climbing the rock has now been banned, because of the wishes of the indigenous people. Irrespective I couldn’t climb it, just as I couldn’t scale the outside of the Notre Dame. But I think the walk around the base later today, or tomorrow, should be amazing. That’s all on Ranger tracks, and fully approved by the local landowners. Although we walked some distance on the track yesterday until Jennifer saw a six foot black snake slither across the oath in front of her!


  6. If you don’t want to take the normal tourist shots, I think Gary’s idea of climbing “the rock” would provide some excellent shots never seen before. It does look straight up and down and not for the faint of heart. Those shots would be excellent!
    Love you both


  7. Boy oh boy. Snakes. I bet Jennifer doesn’t take that walk with you! I had forgotten the talk with you about all the poisonous “everything” in Australia. I guess if I were there my shots would be the normal tourist shots from afar, safely inside something inpenetrable !


    • Hi Lynda, a pesky little snake isn’t going to stop Jennifer walking around Ukuru! She shrieked a little, because it went right in front of her, but then she kept walking!


  8. Yes, climbing ‘the rock’ has not been allowed for quite some time now and having done it, I totally understand why. Just being near, it emanates a spiritual power that I’ve never felt anywhere else. Nonetheless, when I was there the first time in 1974, there was no talk of NOT doing so, so I did. It was amazingly hard getting up the side; steeper than it looked! and when you reached ‘the top’, there was then a LONG walk across to a steele at the other end, following a dotted white line. We’d been warned not to stray from the line, as inevitably, every year, they’d lose one or more people off the side when they got too cocky and close to the edge. Not a good look (as the saying goes in Australia!). We even ‘met’ a large goanna (probably about 2 metres from nose to tip of tail!) sitting atop a large boulder that we had to pass to get on. A few tense moments before we scuttled past!! As you can imagine, the view was awe inspiring and all encompassing right to the horizon – and over to Katja Tuja (or The Olgas in the old vernacular) and looking down on the people, cars and buses at the bottom really showed how immense this ‘thing’ was, as they were like tiny, shining ants in the spinifex and red dirt 🙂 The second time I went about 6 years later, there was some talk of not climbing, although people still did, but that time I respected their wishes and went up in a small plane for my visual ‘fix’!! It really is one of the 7 wonders of the world and not to be missed 🙂
    Can’t wait, Bill, to hear how you feel after your walk around the bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pete! Very special place, this big rock. I know that you would disagree with me on this – but i would regard Uluru as the spiritual heart of Australia. You of course regard the MCG as the spiritual heart of Australia…


  9. Hi Bill – I always think that Uluru really is the beating heart of our nation. It’s an incredible place – formed by nature – you feel part of a much, much bigger picture in a universal sense when you visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bill,

    You’ve described perfectly the way I felt the first time I drove to Stonehenge… And every time since.

    Be well, see you soon,

    Patty Talbot …Mimi…

    Sent from my iPad



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