Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) Things to Do Tips by AlbuqRay
Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) Things to Do: 239 reviews and 525 photos
Kata Tjuta from the Southeast
Kata Tjuta, meaning "many heads," is a group of 36 conglomerate rock domes that date back 500 million years. The Lasseter Highway turns to the southwest ~4 km south of the Park toll booth at the turn to Uluru. Relative to that intersection, Kata Tjuta is located 44 km almost due west; however, to get there the highway goes further southwest, then west, and finally back north. There are some good views of the Kata Tjuta mountains along the way. There are three main areas (all on the west side of the mountains): the sunset viewing area, the Walpa Gorge trailhead, and the Valley of the Winds trailhead. See also a stitched photo and a videoclip taken from the turn to the Valley of the Winds on the Lasseter Highway.
Welcome to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Sign
Talinguru Nyakunytjaku is the newest destination in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It was just opened in late 2009 at a cost of 21 million AUD. Talinguru Nyakunytjaku is a large viewing area located about 3 km southeast of Uluru. Although it is advertised as a sunrise viewing area, this is controversial, since Uluru is mostly in shadows from this angle in the early morning. We were there at lunchtime and the whole place was empty; however, the views were not bad at that time of day (they are mostly of Uluru but you may also see Kata Tjuta in the distance).
There are two loop walks that are both wheelchair accessible. The Minymaku Walk, or Women’s Walk (1 km, 30 min return), teaches about "women’s business," such as how women collect and process bush foods and some of the games young children play. It also includes the nearest viewing platform, the Minymaku Platform. The Watiku Walk, or Men’s Walk (1.5 km, 45 min return), teaches about "men’s business," such as how to make tools and how men used fire to hunt. According to the signs and online documentation, it also includes the Minymaku Platform, but there is also a smaller "Watiku Platform" on the map.
There is a huge parking area at Talinguru Nyakunytjaku, along with running water toilets.
Minymaku Shelter and Platform
There is a covered shelter a little down the hill from the Minymaku Platform. There are also good views of Uluru from it and a few places to sit in the shade.
Trail to Minymaku Platform
The Minymaku Platform is on a small sand hill about 0.5 km from the parking lot (actually the distance depends on where you start in the long parking area). It has ramps and is wheelchair accessible. There is also a covered shelter a little down the hill from the platform (see the next tip).
Kuniya Walk - Shelter and Kuniya & Liru Display
The shelter and display are located where the Kuniya Walk and the Uluru Base Walk split next to Hunters' Cave. The display tells about the legend of a great battle between Kuniya and Liru in the Kapi Mutitjulu Canyon (see the details in a travelogue).
North Side Entrance to Hunters' Cave
The north side of Hunters' Cave is the largest. The viewing platform is actually inside the cave. Hunters' Cave was no doubt a home and gallery. It is only ~200 meters from the Kapi Mutitjulu waterhole. Parents would teach the abstract symbols in these paintings to their children. Every symbol has many different levels of meaning and they illustrate stories about the everyday lives of each generation of Anangu. However, the original purpose of a symbol was known only to the artist that painted it.
Walkway to Middle (East) Entrance to Hunters' Cave
There is also a viewing platform at the east entrance to Hunters' Cave. The rock paintings were made by Anangu who recorded events in their own lives. They often painted over older designs. Water-based colored pigments from ochre were used. It is difficult to date these kind of paintings but some are ancient.
Kuniya Walk - South Side of Hunters' Cave
Hunters' Cave is on the west side of the mouth of Kapi Mutitjulu Canyon under a pile of large boulders below the cracked cliff that is Liru's Shield. It has three entrances: south, middle and north. There is a viewing platform at the south entrance. It is not easy to see inside but there are some very interesting looking rock drawings.
Trail, Liru's Shield & Kuniya's Lines
The trail heads north from the trailhead. It is ~200 meters to the south end of Hunters' Cave, which is below Liru's Shield. The Base Walk intersects the trail before it reaches the cave. The Base Walk then splits off at Hunters' Cave and goes east toward Ikari (Smile Cave). Other Things to Do tips here describe these places. Where the Base Walk trail heads east, there is a small shelter and a display that tells the Kuniya and Liru legend (see a travelogue).
Kuniya Walk - Trailhead
The trailhead for the Kuniya Walk (1 km, 45 min return) is close to the south corner of Uluru. It has a shelter and a First Aid phone. The trail heads north toward Hunters' Cave, which is below Liru's Shield, and intersects the Base Walk before it reaches the cave. It then continues on north into Kapi Mutitjulu canyon to the waterhole. The Base Walk then splits off at Hunters' Cave and goes east toward Ikari (Smile Cave). Other Things to Do tips here describe these places. At the second intersection, there is a small shelter and a display that tells the Kuniya and Liru legend (see a travelogue). See also a videoclip taken at the trailhead.
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