So rather more than a rock: Spoonful of Sarah’s Uluru journey | Intrepid Travel Blog


“But isn’t it just a rock?” If we’re gonna get technical about it, Uluru is a sandstone monolith which is outlined as a single large rock. But locations like this don’t fall inside dictionary definitions—not when there are 500 million years of geological historical past and 60,000 years of First Nations tradition to uncover.

I not too long ago returned from Intrepid’s Best of Uluru & Kings Canyon journey with self-proclaimed lawyer-turned-funtrepreneur Sarah Davidson – aka Spoonful of Sarah. Sarah’s most up-to-date Intrepid adventures have been to Antarctica, Morocco and Egypt, so this journey was a lot nearer to house. (Australia’s large, so after I say ‘closer’, I imply there’s *solely* 2,300 kilometres between Melbourne and Uluru.) But generally exploring your personal yard is simply as, if no more, eye-opening than jetting off to far-flung locations.

I sat down with Sarah to talk about her expertise travelling to the center of Australia.

You’ve executed a good bit of worldwide journey, so what made you select the Red Centre?  

I’ve had the privilege of doing a great deal of world journey, however I realised I’ve not spent practically sufficient time exploring our unimaginable nation. I had the perspective that Australia will at all times be right here, and I can see it each time. Domestic journey was the one choice for a short while throughout the pandemic, and it was an enormous wake-up name to what’s on our doorstep. It’s so lovely and numerous, and we’re lacking an enormous alternative by jetting off abroad.

My id beforehand was very a lot Melbournian, and the extra home journey I do, notably to locations just like the Red Centre with deep historic and cultural significance, the extra I perceive and recognize what it means to be Australian.

A traveller touching the rock ripples of a once-sandy ocean bed at Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory
Touching rock ripples from an historic seabed (#mindblown)

Why hadn’t you been to Uluru till not too long ago?

I stored saying I might do it later, however that’s a non-productive option to method journey (and life generally). I’d been to the Northern Territory earlier than and I at all times thought I might go by way of Uluru, as if it was only a brief practice journey away. Every time I’d been shut, I used to be nonetheless so far-off that I might’ve solely been capable of do it in a cursory manner. It’s straightforward to neglect how large Australia is!

The final time I used to be in Alice Springs, I made a decision I might plan a devoted journey to Uluru to present it the credit score, appreciation and headspace it deserved. While it’s attainable to fly out and in for a day or two, I needed a deeper expertise.

What was it like seeing Uluru for the primary time?  

I used to be awestruck. I actually needed to catch my breath. There are a number of lovely locations which can be grand in scale, however then there are locations which can be magnetically or energetically completely different – and Uluru’s considered one of them. I felt fairly emotional fascinated by the all-knowingness of it and the issues it should’ve witnessed all through historical past.

Photos can’t seize the dimensions and the way it feels to be there. They’re usually targeted on Uluru itself, however for those who zoomed out, you’d see the encircling terrain is totally flat except for the neighbouring (and equally spectacular) Kata Tjuta—a set of 36 large rock domes that are even wider and taller than Uluru. I keep in mind pondering, “How on earth did this gigantic thing get here, and how does it happen to be in the geographical heart of Australia?!” It’s mind-boggling. Driving to Uluru from Alice Springs additionally made me extra conscious of how random it’s.

I’ve obtained a photograph of individuals standing on the base like ants with Uluru towering into the heavens above them; I don’t assume anybody can expertise this and never really feel amazed.

The unimaginable Kata Tjuta, about 50 kilometres west of Uluru

What have been a few of your highlights of the Red Centre?  

It was all so particular, however the wow second was sundown at Uluru. We’d spent the day strolling across the base and studying about Anangu creation tales, so I didn’t assume I might really feel extra awe impressed. But nothing can put together you for that crimson glow. Sometimes issues aren’t as vibrant in actual life as a result of cameras can choose up completely different refractions of color or images are brightened up with filters, so it took me by complete shock.

It was brown for ages, and I keep in mind pondering how the crimson color on individuals’s images should’ve been edited. But then, in a break up second, it turned fluorescent crimson. It was like somebody had flicked a change. We solely obtained a number of moments to understand it earlier than it turned brown once more; the fleetingness of it made it much more particular.

Another spotlight was the individuals – not solely the opposite travellers on our Intrepid journey but additionally those that reside and work within the roadhouses and the distant Outback communities. It’s fascinating how there are individuals whose total world revolves round this mighty rock.

Beaming smiles at sundown

Was there something that stunned or shocked you?  

Most Australians develop up seeing images and movies of Uluru so we’re a bit desensitised to it. We know the place it’s and (we predict we all know) what it appears to be like like, so it doesn’t really feel mysterious. You anticipate a component of familiarity while you get there which could impression your preliminary response, however I couldn’t have been extra captivated.

The Outback appears to be like prefer it’s at all times sweltering, so the chilly was sudden. Even for those who’ve been to the desert earlier than and you recognize it’s chilly within the mornings and evenings, it’s bizarre to get up and alter into your down jacket and a beanie; I virtually didn’t pack these, however I’m so glad I did!

I used to be additionally shocked by the remoteness of the communities that reside within the Red Centre. For us metropolis dwellers, ‘remote’ is normally a rustic city a few hours from Melbourne. But on this case, we’d taken a three-hour flight, pushed for 2 days, and that’s the place they reside.

Travellers admiring the sunrise on a chilly winter's morning at Uluru
The beanies have been a lot wanted on a cold May morning!

Why did you go to Uluru with Intrepid as a substitute of organising it your self?  

Immersion is the phrase that involves thoughts. Uluru’s a kind of locations that deserves to be executed correctly; respectfully. Otherwise you’ll rob your self of the chance to essentially have interaction with the historical past, native information and tales handed down by way of the generations. It might find yourself being only a rock for those who landed, appeared and left.

Having a information who’d lived within the area for 30 years was reassuring. He knew what time we’d must arrive to see the sunshine reflecting in a sure manner or the best way to reshuffle issues so we didn’t miss out on something—the form of stuff you possibly can’t Google. Driving for hours every single day additionally takes up a number of vitality and headspace, so it was good to take a seat again and let Graeme, our chief, deal with every little thing.

I additionally beloved connecting with the opposite individuals in our group and seeing Uluru by way of non-Australian travellers’ eyes. This pretty Canadian couple, Jean and Pierette, had travelled the world over to be there, which reaffirmed the way it’s a fairly large deal.

You might do Uluru your self for those who needed to, however my favorite components of all of the journeys I’ve executed have solely been attainable as a result of we’ve been with Intrepid.

Travellers learning about native seeds and their uses at the Karrke Cultural Experience in the Northern Territory
Learning about native seeds and their makes use of on the unimaginable Karrke Cultural Experience

Read about Spoonful of Sarah’s Egyptian honeymoon with Intrepid 

What would you say to different travellers who haven’t but been to Uluru?  

It’s unimaginable to know what you’re lacking till you go, so simply do it. I’d be stunned for anybody – notably Australians – to not really feel moved by Uluru in some capability. Travelling to Uluru felt just like the cultural equal of a pilgrimage; it connects you to the place we reside and our historical past past what we’re taught. I doubt many individuals return from Uluru pondering, ‘It’s only a rock’, however even for those who did, it’d nonetheless be probably the most spectacular rock you’ve ever seen.

Sarah travelled as a visitor of Intrepid on our Best of Uluru & Kings Canyon journey. If you’re eager to find the center of Australia, take a look at Intrepid’s full vary of Uluru adventures.


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