Monday, January 23, 2012

Uluru in the Rain

Well, since my computer's still not working, I'll start the Uluru posts I've been saving for awhile. This one has been in draft form for awhile, so maybe it'll upload and hold you over until I get things up and running again. I know you've all been missing my posts terribly-hahaha! 

After my parents and brother and sister-in-law left in mid-November, my sister Morgan stayed an extra week in Australia. We took a short trip to Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, which is a huge sandstone formation in the middle of the Outback. It's over 1000 feet high and two miles long, and it's pretty darn famous.

No, Uluru does not usually have a big cloud over it!
Anyway, we checked the weather report before leaving, and it said there would be rain showers. Now, you have to understand, this rock is in the middle of the desert. Yulara (the "city" that Uluru is in) regularly reaches temperatures near 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) during the day at this time of year. So we packed mostly shorts and tank tops, threw a pair of pants and a raincoat in our suitcases for the rain shower we expected would pass through quickly to cool us off, and called it good. Little did we know we would be wearing the same thing for three days straight and that the rain would never really stop.

Morgan says, "What is up with the rain in the desert?"
We got there on November 20. As we were landing, the thing that struck me was the bright red color of the dirt. I'd say it is even redder than Moab, Utah, and that's pretty red! Also, I was surprised at all of the plants, bushes, and short trees that covered the land. I thought it would be more barren.

The walking "trail" around the rock.
Morgan and I got our rental car and headed out in the rain. Yes, rain. Lots of it. Never-ending (seriously). And it was kind of chilly. But we were in the middle of nowhere, and darn it, we were still going to walk around the rock. So we did the six mile hike in the pouring rain. At some points, we literally had to wade through knee-deep water. But it was worth it. There were hundreds of waterfalls pouring down Uluru, and it was amazing. Apparently only 3% of people get to see Uluru in the rain, so we were lucky. Over the next few days, we didn't always feel that way, but I'll admit it was pretty incredible. And from some searches I've done, some of the pictures we were able to get are pretty rare. My good camera actually got so wet it stopped working for awhile (yikes!), so some of these are actually phone pictures or taken with Morgan's little point and shoot camera.
If you happened upon my blog somehow and want to steal some pictures, please don't. :)
The Aboriginal people still own and live on this land. We actually saw a couple of Aboriginal kids playing around the rock, running barefoot down the path and under a fence (they can go wherever they want!). The visitor's centre had all sorts of interesting information about the history of the land, the food and tools of the Aboriginal people, and their beliefs about Uluru. This is a picture of some rock engravings we found while on our walk.

Green trees in the Outback-who knew?
After our walk, we set up camp in the back of our car (thank goodness we got an upgrade to an SUV!), since the campground at Ayers Rock Resort was flooded. We cooked up some chili and tried to stay dry. Ayers Rock Resort is really the only manmade thing that you can find in the vicinity of Uluru. It's a complex with a campground, cabins, fancier accommodation options, a few touristy stores, a post office, gas station, medical centre, grocery store, a couple of restaurants, etc. The campground was $36 a night (ripoff), but at least we could warm up in the showers and dry a load of soaking wet clothes.

It rained all night, but we slept decently well in the back of the SUV. In the morning, we put on the same pants and raincoats and headed out for our next adventure. Stay tuned for more!


  1. i think my shoes still have a funk...

  2. Rain rain go away...
    Morgan and Aubree wanted to go out and play.

    Though it looked very wet..I am glad you continued on exploring.

  3. Since you were debating if you should climb Uluru or not, a higher power helped.

  4. Hi Aubree,
    Just had a quick look through some more of your posts---very enjoyable. You had a similar Uluru experience to us, about three weeks after we were there: Christie