Uluru, Australia – A Landmark of Culture and Awe

Uluru, Australia – A Landmark of Culture and Awe

Landing in the red desert of australia and seeing Uluru with my own eyes for the first time is something I shall not forget in a hurry I tell you.  I had heard that photos do not do it justice and yes it is very very true.

uluru rock

Where is it?

Uluru is unmistakable, a huge majestic sandstone rock rising up 348 m (1,142 ft) out of the flat desert in central Australia. it is remote and to give that some perspective, the nearest town is 208 miles away, Alice Springs.

After a long load of flights from UK to Sydney. You get a sense of how far in the middle of Australia it is, as well as how big Sustralia is itself. The flight from Sydney to Uluru would be 3 hours and 30 minutes alone.

An area that is in the middle of Australia, in the Northern Territory, often called the ‘Red Centre’. As you look at the landscape it is difficult not to see why.

red desert australia

Human history at Uluru

Aboriginal peoples have been around in Australia for many many centuries before the Europeans came and started to colonise in the 18th century. In fact Australia was a land of 500 nations of Indigenous people with 100s of dialects and separate languages.

In the Uluru region it was the Anangu people, and they have been around over 60,000 years. Archeologists have gained proof of humans being here at least 10,000 years.

trees at uluru

To the Anangu people, Uluru is very sacred. The rock is a living being and represents more than just a sandstone rock. Many of the fissures and caves you find whilst walking the circumference have been used for centuries galore in their rituals and customs. Thankfully, since my visit there, climbing up the rock has been made forbidden. I wanted to respect the local peoples beliefs and customs and did not climb it myself.

ancient stone
sacred markings on Uluru

A local tribesman gave us a tour of part of the rock and showed us some sacred caves that have been used too far back to remember for things like teaching and meetings etc.

ancient sandstone

Aboriginal Art

During the afternoon we were lucky to be honoured to watch some local Aboriginal art and craft being made right beneath Uluru itself. this art again goes back to times we will never know, it is so far back.

aboriginal artist

A lot of the art centres on the Dreamtime stories and the creation of the rock. Stories that have been passed down for hundreds and hundreds of generations.

Snakes feature from the beginning as the rock was said to be formed by a fight between carpet snakes and venomous snakes. Virtually every rock, every pebbles and every hole or mark in the rock has an ancient story attached to it and how it came to be. These stories have been passed down thousands of generations. You can start to get a picture of how sacred the place is and why we should not mess with the rock in form or use, just in the name of tourism.

Anangu art

Helicopter over Uluru at sunset

The sun was starting to set and it was time to board a helicopter for a truly memorable experience. A trip up to see the rock of Uluru in a whole new way, from above in the sky.

Uluru from above

From up here you get a real sense of how this red stone stands all alone, rising out of the flat ground around. An epic sight that just leaves you in awe. I actually did not take too many photos because quite simply I wanted to take it all in for every minute we were up there.

Uluru from a helicopter

As far as experiences go it had been an epic day already, but sunset, overlooking Uluru at sunset is a time I will never forget.

Uluru sunset

Thank yous

I also want to specifically thank the Anangu people, for sharing their home, their sacred home with me for a short while. But also for teaching me so much about the area and what it means to them. A place I would return to again that is for sure.

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24 Comments

  1. Hentie Tomkinson says:

    Awesome…had the privilege to sleep on top of Uluru years ago when it was still allowed:) we had many trips to Australia and that was one of the highlights. Travelled from Darwin down to Sydney in a black London Cab…through the Northen territory and Red centre..an amazing experience

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Sounds a great way to travel 😀

  2. Ahhhhh! What an amazing place! I’m off to Australia in September and will be doing some travelling, this is definitely on my ‘places to see’ list! Simply beautiful.

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Hi jenny, ty.. hope it is a great time for you 🙂

  3. You are right I will never forget seeing sunset at Uluru. Sorry we missed going to the dinner under the stars. Maybe on our next trib to down under.

  4. Totally agree Paul, one of the most magical places I’ve been to. Amazing to see it close up and the detail in it which you don’t appreciate from further away.

    Would love to go back there one day.

  5. These pictures are amazing! I’ve always wanted to see Uluru. Hopefully I’ll get there on day soon!

  6. Uluru is an amazing place. I love your photos of the Anangu women creating their art. Wonderful.

  7. Patrick Fitz-Gibbon says:

    As an aussie I thinks it great to see so many people enjoying one of the natural wonders of this country and also the countryside in that area. Its makes you think because I have not ever been there myself but I have been overseas many times. Perhaps it may be time to enjoy what I have in my backyard.

  8. Jojo Paul says:

    A different Natures Wonder………

  9. Paul,

    I’ll never forget my visit to Uluru. The “red rocks” are simply spectacular and you have captured their majesty so well. The helicopter vantage points are some that I’ve never seen before. They bring the breath-taking sites of Uluru to another level.

    Thank you and many blessings,
    Stan (aka @muz4now)

  10. Great blog. Brought back memories of when I was there a couple of years ago. I couldn't get over the scale of it either and the sunsets where just amazing. A trully wonderful place.

  11. i love photo sir and i love to join you thanks

  12. Dream Travel Vacation says:

    The first time I saw Uluru was on a TV show. I knew at that time I must visit it one day soon. The view from your pictures is breathtaking. Thank you for sharing!

  13. I've been living in Australia for almost five years now but haven't been to Uluru! And it's my first to see photos of this monolith in these perspectives! So unique! I LOVE IT!

  14. Beautiful place, but seems hot. Though its really nice to watch these rocks, and having the feelings of hiking. Amazing

  15. Hi Paul, I agree with you: words and photos do no do justice to Uluru! It's an amazing feeling being there to treasure in your memories! I was there end of March this year for the second time and could think of going back a third time! 🙂 Every time it's always a unique and timeless experience!

  16. Amie Davidson says:

    Paul I love the way you post such large sized pictures on your site! They're just incredible! I'm from Aus but am yet to venture into the red centre. After seeing these shots though….wow! I'll have to get there soon!

  17. I love the views from the helicopter, and the color of the rock… looks really magical, and respectable… I can only imagine the emotions of being there!!!

  18. Paul Steele says:

    Thank you, yes, It is hard to describe this experience. Photos do not do it justice and words neither. Being there is unbelievable.

  19. These are fantastic photos. Did you find it to be a spiritual moment when you were there? Many say it can be and I agree.

  20. Cindy Vriend says:

    This is so amazing…. Stunning colors and such awesome views! Must be a wonderful experience and leave memories to never forget. Enjoy the rest of the trip 🙂

  21. Wonderful, bringing back amazing memories. Thank you

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