"Welcome to Aboriginal Land" Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) by 850prc

Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) Travel Guide: 460 reviews and 1,271 photos

The Anangu, owners of Uluru & Kata Tjuta

Note: Photo is scanned from Australian government and Anangu Peoples' visitor guide for Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Uluru is the original aborigine name for Ayers Rock, the famous giant red monolith in the Red Center of Outback Australia. Kata Tjuta is the original aborigine name for the mystically round peaks of a mountain range referred to by Australia's colonists as the Olgas. From a location standpoint, Uluru and Kata Tjuta point out the vastness of Australia. While both landmarks are considered and associated as being "in the vicinity of Alice Springs", they are, in fact, some 460 km away from the Alice. Therefore, one doesn't simply "pop" out for a quick visit to the area. It's generally an overnight or two night adventure that's well worth the time and effort. There's nowhere on earth that you can be both totally alone and yet part of it all. It's a very strange feeling, and that's the best way I can sum it all up. The place clearly has some sort of harmonic energy, and this is coming from about the most logical guy you'd want to meet. : ) The different shades of pink and red exhibited by Uluru with the passing moments of a day's sunlight are the very soul that drives an artistic spirit.

Returning temporarily to science, some used to speculate that Uluru was a meteorite. However it's actually sedimentary rock, formed and thrust upward from an inland sea of some 700 million years ago. Uluru has a circumference of some 10 km and is 350 meters high.

The Olgas (Kata Tjuta) are sister monoliths, some 50 km west of Uluru. Although far less famous, Kata Tjuta are much higher (600 meter), and are infinitely more important in aboriginal culture.

Since 1985, both Uluru and Kata Tjuta have been the property of the original owners, having been "handed back" by the government of Australia. And, speaking of the "original owners", ....

The Anangu, consisting of the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara peoples, are the traditional owners of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Their culture states that the land was created by the Tjukuritja (creation ancestors). In their travels, the ancestors left marks in the land and made laws to be followed. The Anangu hope that, during your visit to Uluru and Kata Tjuta, that you will learn of their culture of of their creation ancestors. They invite you to open your hearts and minds so that you can appreciate this wonderful and unique gift that is Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

The lands in and around Uluru & Kata Tjuta are owned by the Anangu, and are jointly managed by the Anangu and the Australian Director of National Parks. The entire area is recognized as a World Heritage site for both natural and cultural values.

"Nganana malikitja tjutaku mukuringanyi nganampa ngura nintiringkunytjaku manu Anangu kulintjaku. "

We want all of our visitors to learn about our place and listen to us Anangu
-Kanmanu, traditional Anangu owner of Uluru and Kata Tjuta lands

An artistic and imaginative history

Turtle Dreaming
There are three basic symbols in the center of this drawing. The one that looks like an upside-down "U" (I'm sorry, but I can't put the symbols into this VT text....) represents woman and the symbol that looks like a long, straight line represents man. The symbol in the center, looking like a rising sun at the bottom of the curved line, represents Emu which is, in turn, a representation of Mother Earth. In this drawing, the artist wants us to see people walking in a Dreaming Track, which is considered to be a pathway along which the earth's energies are the strongest. In the view of Dreamland elders, and as is also the case in ancient Japanese astronomy, the Turtle is represented by the same stars that in the western zodiac are attributed to Scorpio. In the Turtle Dreaming legend, tradition says that whilst there was no clear case of right and wrong or good and evil, the Turtle and Emu were always at loggerheads. (I don't suppose that was meant to be a turtle joke....) At a point that Emu, representing Mother Earth and the good of nature, was forced to go into hiding, she drew a map of her hiding place on the Turtle's back. She chose this location so that her friends would be able to see it, whilst her adversary Turtle could not. And according the Dreamtime legend, this is how the Turtle got the distinctive markings on his shell.

An out-of-the-way crossroads of the world

By any measuring stick, Uluru is a long way from just about everywhere. And yet, it's a melting pot, a world crossroads. Within our small little camping group, we had visitors from Denmark, Korea, France, Australia, NZ and the USA. Our evening around the campfire led to much tomfoolery, and we even learned the Danish word for "marshmallow".

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:THIS is a reason you've traveled thousands of miles. The culture and the natural beauty are astounding.
  • Cons:Isolation can be an issue at times
  • In a nutshell:It's a magical, mysterious cornucopia of Anangu culture not to be missed.
  • Last visit to Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock): Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated Feb 16, 2007
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Reviews (12)

Comments (6)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    Sounds like you had an excellent time. Good warnings & danger tips!

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2009 at 9:54 AM

    Excellent Uluru National Park page with lovely photographs! The Valley of the Winds looks amazing! Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2008 at 9:19 AM

    You got it in two - "magical" "mysterious" sums Uluru up perfectly. leyle

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2007 at 9:46 AM

    You've added to my regret that we didn't make it here when in Oz ;( But great excuse to go back, eh? Love the photos especially - magic moon over the Olgas, sunrise etc

  • Maria250's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2007 at 9:54 AM

    Pete, This time it's going to be an early "Happy Birthday & best wishes" as I won't be around until July (on vacation stateside). Australia was a big pleasure at the World Cup.

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2007 at 7:24 PM

    i am 2nd person to visit these pages haha. i would like to wish you a very happy birthday in advance from this excellent destination :-) very nice pictures and as usual extremely well written tips.

850prc

“Proud visitor to all seven continents! Presently giving thought to the eternal question.... where to next? ”

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