Sunset in the bush


Uluru is the aboriginal name for Ayers Rock. Over a decade ago, the Australian government gave back ownership of this area (and many square kilometers around) to the tribes that still live in the bush around it. The aborigines permit tourists to visit and (although they strongly prefer that they don't) to climb the rock.

Alice Springs

We flew from Cairns to Alice Springs, a small town in the middle of the outback. Although this is the closest real town to Uluru, it still takes 5 hours to drive there (450 km). There are several towns shown on the map, but they are actually individual ranches or filling stations/diners.

We had some time to kill the evening we arrived in Alice Springs, so after dinner we went to the cinema to see "Shakespeare In Love". Meteor crater

The next day, we stopped to check out a group of meteor craters on the way to Uluru. Several thousand years ago a meteor fractured into several large pieces (and many smaller ones) and struck the ground. The aboriginal name for the area suggests that they witnessed the event.


Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Uluru is the largest known monolith (single, unfractured piece of rock) in the world. Although it looks pretty impressive, most of it is still underground.

The aboriginals have several creation stories that describe what caused some of the features of the rock. We took a couple walking tours around it, reading the legends as we reached the appropriate spots.

Dinner in the desert One night, we signed up for a dinner in the desert. We were bussed out into the bush to some tables set up in a clearing. We were served a delicious meal and told some local legends (if the sky had been clear we would have had a short lesson on the stars).