Travel Notes: The Red Centre

 I’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit ticking off those typical touristy destinations; climbing the Eiffel Tower, gondolas in Venice, New York’s Times Square and the mighty Niagara Falls to name a few. And for that reason I always expect the best experiences outside of the country I live in. This year that changed for me. For no other reason than my husband seeing some beautiful photography on Instagram, we decided to visit Uluru in the Northern Territory, Australia. I knew nothing about it, other than Ayers Rock was there and heaps of people from Japan visit it. And so we went, no expectations.

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The first spectacular thing that happens to you, is the scenery as the plane touches down. Everything is red. The desolate desert that I expected was full of shrubs, trees and shifting red sand. Then you see Ayers Rock, the magnificent, overwhelmingly large 20km rock. And its colour, changed with every passing hour from yellow to the deepest red/purples. We were mesmerized by it. For the next few days, we seriously could not take our eyes off it. Our room overlooked it, so we were lucky enough to stare at it as we woke and slept. And I can’t explain to you in words why that’s not a boring thing.

Secondly there’s the learning that happens even without your participation. Ayers Rock is actually called Uluru, the Aboriginal name for it. The people who live here, and have done so for thousands of years are the Anangu. It’s a protected national park. The desert is thriving with life of flora and fauna. There is water in this place even though you don’t see it. The longer you stay the more you learn.

But the thing that most affected my heart, so much so that Uluru has become my most beloved destination, is its spirit. It exists there. It’s the reason why we couldn’t stop looking at Uluru itself. The Anangu are the most spiritual people and you can feel it. They are in tune with their environment, they protect it and love it. Uluru is sacred to them and as you tour it, you can see their paintings, their stories and how their spiritual culture was developed. It’s easy to understand as it’s about balance and love. We can learn so much from their culture.
Please do go if you ever get an opportunity, it really will become some of your most treasured memories.