Road Trip: Australia Northern Territories

Road Trip: Australia Northern Territories

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
02 Aug 2013

To get to Uluru, go back 167km to Lasseter Highway and take a right (due west). Another 136km will lead you to Yulara, the base from which to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Ayers Rock, also known by its original Aboriginal name Uluru, is the outback icon that is almost synonymous with the NT. One might find this weird, for it is neither the biggest by mass, nor the tallest ‘hill’ of them all. But there is just a certain mystical aura and grandeur about the rock (yes, it is one big monolith) that causes it to be revered by the aborigines, to whom Uluru is sacred, and explorers alike. Uluru, which means “meeting place”, may seem still and dead from afar but it is actually (and logically) a shelter for many wildlife. It has a permanent waterhole and streams cascade down as impromptu waterfalls after storms in the ‘wet’.

Maybe its many dimples and wrinkles are endearing, or the fact that it juts out, strangely, in the middle of nowhere. Or perhaps it is its distinctive color changing properties (it’s not just red, mind you, but at different times: blue, purple, grey, brown, yellow and all the different shades in between) that entrances people. Or that some find themselves inexplicably drawn to its hallmark shape. No matter what, even if Uluru does not blow minds away, its majestic solitude never fails to intrigue and entice crowds. Various walks to suit all types of interests, pursuits, time constraints and levels of fitness are available. Park entrance fees apply.

Less famous, but no less amazing, is the Kata Tjuta (Many Heads). Take the moderate Walpa Gorge Walk (1 hour return) or the difficult Valley of the Winds Walk (4 hour circuit) and you will not be disappointed.

[Territory Travel Tip Eight: The sunset viewing carpark area is usually crowded so it is advisable to go early - by 5:30pm - to secure a good spot.]

[Territory Travel Tip Nine: Flies and heat, the two banes of the outback. Prepare insect repellent sprays and buy a net hat from the supermarket and you will be all set to take on the outback.]

[Territory Travel Tip Ten: Congratulations! By the time you return to Alice Springs, you will have clocked more than 3000kms on the road! It is now time to pamper yourself. There are domestic flights run by Qantas from Alice Springs back to Darwin, from which there are international flights on Singapore Airlines, Silkair, Qantas, Jetstar and others. Alternatively, take the scenic Ghan (Alice Springs-Darwin)]

Credits: Story and Photos by Dave Wong

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