Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Karlu Karlu

Leaving Coober Pedy we started to drive out to the desert and weirdly it was raining. This drive was quite boring with a white sky and bush growing all over. We didn’t drive all the way to Uluru but stayed overnight near the state border. Like that we had about 5 hours of driving to do. As everyone is warning you to bring enough spare water in case your car breaks down and no other car is passing by for a day or so, we kind of expected to see only very few cars on the road. This wasn’t the case at all though. The streets were better than in many places we have been before and we crossed another car at least every half hour. Anyways, on the second day, we reached a cheap camping ground close to the National Park where we spent the night.

 

 Uluru

The next morning, we finally went to Uluru. We didn’t bother to rush and be there early as we thought to spend one day would be plenty of time anyways. But as we got close to the place we were absolutely stunned by the amazing views and soon we regret that we didn’t come here for sunrise already. There is a road on which you can almost surround Uluru by car. At every stop possible, we got out and enjoyed this rock. The impressive thing when you are close to it is, that it looks completely different from every angle you’ve got. We knew that Uluru was sacred to the Aboriginal people but we also learnt that specific parts of the rock formation are more sacred than others. As far as we understood this is because the shape of certain parts of the wall tell a certain story. Those stories are often about how the world was built and are very important to the Aboriginal culture. Those very sacred parts you weren’t allowed to take pictures of. But sometimes this only meant, that you shouldn’t take a picture of everything that’s left of the sign. Everything that was on the right side was fine. To be honest, we didn’t fully understand why taking pictures was a problem, but of course we respected that wish. Nowadays you are also allowed to walk up Uluru at one certain spot. Though we were told by Australians we met in Greenock that it was still disrespectful to the Aboriginal people to go up there. Because of this and also because we didn’t feel like walking up and down a small path in a line of people, we didn’t go up there. We also enjoyed the look at Uluru from the farther viewing spots and decided to come back here for sunset. Until then, we wanted to explore Kata Tjuta.

Kata Tjuta

The rock formation just about 50 km further west of Uluru is absolutely stunning too. Though its vibe is completely different. While Uluru does spread kind of a powerful and mystical, but calm feeling, Kata Tjuta feels very vivid and full of energy. Sounds weird to talk about how a place feels like? Well, I think some places just do and that’s what makes them different from their pictures. So, as we arrived at Kata Tjuta, we wanted to take a short walk to see some more of these impressive rocks. We did a walk to the valley of winds, which deserved its name and were treated with a view reminding us of Winnetou movies. As gorgeous as the scenery was, by that time we were getting annoyed by all those flies! Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to buy one of those fly nets yet. Heading back to Uluru for the sunset, we tried to hang our mosquito net tent somewhere, so that we could sit outside to enjoy the spectacle. But unfortunately, it was too windy for that. We did discover though that flies don’t like the shadow and even don’t come inside the van with all the doors open. So, we could sit inside and be not bothered by those beasts anymore.

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Karlu Karlu

After a day full of new impressions and experiences, we wanted to head further north. But before we really started the drive we got up early to see the sun rise over Uluru. Unfortunately, I somehow mixed up the sunrise time and we were ready one hour early. After the sun was finally up we had another five hours of driving to do to get to Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles). Right at the sight, there was a free campsite where we stayed overnight. Those huge rocks really do look like marbles just thrown on the floor and it is totally understandable that they were a special place to the Aboriginal people too. You get to walk around those marbles and even to go up to one to get a view. Just a beautiful place to spend the night. If only those flies weren’t there! We honestly don’t know how people living there are dealing with them. They are not like Swiss flies who disappear as soon as you move. They stay, try to get in your nose, ears, and eyes until you almost touch them. Even blinking doesn’t bother them much. Luckily, we got some fly nets by then which helped. But no doubt, we are really happy that we don’t have these annoying flies in Switzerland.

 

By the time we were at Karlu Karlu, we also found that we had plenty of time to visit Queensland as well. So, we decided to drive east to Townsville And, that’s when the looong drive started. We drove for about 7 to 8 hours of straight roads a day. A good thing we had an audiobook to listen to during that drive, because there really is not much to see. After a while, there is not only dry grass anymore but also some bushes. A few our laters there are also termite hills and another few hours later some trees add to the scenery. At one point, there were also some hills. But that is really all there is to see no those 1660 km. But eventually, we did reach Australia’s east coast.

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