Kata TjutaWalpa Pit Stop Tour

The very last tour for the Uluru trip, was a fairly easy afternoon walk at Kata Tjuta. Our friendly driver Adam collected us from the hotel and provided us with an informative commentary during our 45 min drive each way. Adam had worked out here for ten years so he was a fountain of knowledge.

The tour was small, not on a huge coach, so quite personalised. Adam stopped along the way at a lookout which was a short walk up, to have a fabulous view of Kata Tjuta. We were warned of the flies, and he wasn’t wrong! We had fought flies all week and become somewhat used to them, but, this was literally like the breeding ground for all flies, well it seemed that way anyway. But the view sure made up for it. Adam was right, this was worth perfecting the Australian ‘wave’ for.

Back on the bus, it was short drive out to the Olga’s themselves. Along the way we passed the longest shortcut in Australia. This road is 2800 kilometres if you traverse the entire Outback Way, which takes you from Winton Queensland to Laverton Western Australia. 1600 kilometres is dirt road and there is up to 300 kilometres between food, fuel and sleep stops. quite mind blowing facts and a trip you would need to be very well prepared for. Don’t turn down there by accident, you might be there a while!Kata Tjuta means many heads. There are 36 domes which make up this intriguing area, cover around 21 kms squared. The highest of the domes is Mt Olga, 1066 metres above sea level or towering around 546 metres above the desert plains, was so named by Ernest Giles in 1872, to honour Queen Olga of W├╝rttemberg.

The Armadus Basin Kata Tjuta lies in, was formed around 850 million years ago. Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta are formed with sediment originating from what is know as the Mount Currie Conglomerate, which consists of granite, amongst other sediments, with patina being the compound giving the orange-red hue Uluru and Kata Tjuta are known for.Many Pitjantjatjara ‘Dreamtime’ legends are associated with Kata Tjuta. The stories are fascinating, with a sacred area set aside over generations for ‘men’s business’. Legend foretells, women who become privy to the ‘men’s business area’ are open to violent attacks or even death. The Anangu people believe those dome formations are home to the “dreaming”s spirit energy. In 1995 they again began using the sacred site for cultural ceremonies.After completing Kings Canyon, this walk was really quite easy to traverse with marked tracks and easily walked bridges. Highly recommend you wear good solid footwear though, there are loose rocks and rocky steps to negotiate in places.You cannot help but be completely mesmerised by the sheer size of these domes, as you negotiate your way through the Walpa Gorge. Listen for the wind though, it whistles as you make you way through the canyon. Take some time to breathe in how incredible nature is, if you dont stop and enjoy along the way, you will miss the moments.

The entire Tour from pick up to drop off, isn’t more than about 2.5-3 hours, including around 1.5 hours drive time. For an autumn/winter afternoon walk, I’d recommend walking out here, its easy enough to be pleasant, yet with a little challenge and the added bonus of a great little spot at the top of the gorge, harbouring native plants and a grove of Spearwood trees.Spearwood trees are an evergreen shrub, growing to around 2-6 metres, with some yellow globular blossom forming in spring. They were not blooming today, but still, it is worth the walk. Remember to respect the Anangu people and do not cross into areas you are specifically requested not too.The trip back down is fairly easy, a few steps but just follow that marked path down the gorge, stopping along the way to take some photos and listen for the whistling wind. It is quite interesting. Especially when there was no wind at the bottom, yet throughout the walk, you really become attuned to nature, with the addition of that whistling wind.

After a short stop at Australia’s, most expensive long drop toilet, (oh yes you need to see this and hear the story, it is quite entertaining), it didn’t take long to be dropped back at the hotel. I’m not giving away all the secrets, head out to Kata Tjuta and find out for yourself, probably not one for the heat, but we had a pretty good time of year and wasn’t too hot.Check Dine Live Travel on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram as well as our other platforms for more information and photos. Thank you for following this blog and really do hope you have enjoyed this Uluru series. Some exciting things coming in the next week or so, keep an eye out!

Uluru – Day Three ends with A Night at Field of Light

Day three at Uluru had begun with the Helicopter Tour. We then filled in the day by browsing the town centre shops for souvenirs, walking around the resort and taking in some of the awesome free activities. One of which was the incredible Mani Mani Theatre. You cannot take photos or video in the theatre, however we were completely blown away with the sheer brilliance of the story telling and interpretive dance. If you don’t stop in to see this you really are missing an incredible experience.

Our more relaxed, somewhat less strenuous day, was going to end with A Night at the Field of Light. This experience combines the popular Sounds of Silence dinner with British artist Bruce Monroe’s 50 000 light display, making for a totally unique and simply awesome evening.

Collected from our hotel, the AAT Kings coach took us to a secluded sand dune area, not far from the resort, tucked away behind the camel farm. After disembarking from the coach,you head up the sand dune to be met with trays of bubbly and smiling welcoming staff. Ok, you have my attention now, this is looking pretty good!!Glass in hand, mingle with your fellow tour participants, as the sun beings to drop down below the horizon for the night. Your backdrop is Uluru, which changes colour as often as the light reflections do.Raise a toast to the rock as you witness an almost silent sunset. The only noise out here, are the soft murmur of voices, a light clinking of glasses, punctuated only with the clicking of cameras and burst of laughter. Quietness envelopes you, very different from city life where noise is a constant reminder of life moving on.Trays of canap├ęs are offered to all. Smoked kangaroo, crocodile, poached prawns, rosella and caramelised sweet potato are on offer to tempt your tastebuds. As the sun begins to disappear on the horizon, participants move location, with a short walk down to the area set up for your 5 star dinner.

A brilliant red carpet moves beneath your feet. Your ceiling this evening will be an incredible array of night stars. Gas heaters dotted throughout the white linen covered tables, will help to keep you warm. That group of strangers you are being seated with, will be your interesting companions for the evening.

Darkness falls as tables are filled and relaxed diners greet their fellow table companions. Staff check with each diner to ensure their choice of drink is catered for throughout the evening. Warming tomato and thyme soup is then served to the tables. Enjoy your entree, its a nice way to warm the insides as the temperature drops.

Each table is soon asked to head to the buffet, where you help yourself to a wide selection of food. On the menu tonight you have kangaroo, lamb, barramundi, chicken, vegetables and salad. Menu items are clearly named so pick your choice, head back to the table and savour those bush tucker flavours mixed with your choices. The beautiful sounds of the didgeridoo provide a soothing background to the laughter and chatter.

Finish your dinner with a variety of delicious sweets. By now you are full, cannot eat another thing. The flowing alcohol has relaxed everyone with friendships forged and stories shared.Beneath your sand dune, the field of lights below has sprung into life, with colours becoming more prominent through the evening.

After dinner, as all the man made light is extinguished, the incredible canopy of stars above your head comes to life. An onsite astronomer runs you through the constellations and planets twinkling peacefully above. As the laser points out specific areas, you are completely in awe of canopy of diamonds. With no man made light to interrupt, the sky above is absolutely exquisite. Never will you see something as brilliant as this from a brightly lit city.Tonights interesting astronomy lesson draws to close, patrons have utilised the best long drops you will ever see in your life, and before you know it, the time arrives to wander through the field of lights.

Glasses are left behind, staff begin to clear the tables as you all take your cameras to immerse yourself in this incredible display.The brainchild of British artist Bruce Monroe, this immersive coloured light experience covers 49000 square meters. 40 people took six weeks to plant the different coloured solar powered stems. Wander through the snaking paths. There’s a long or a short route. I chose the short route, only to give myself more time to stop and take photos.

You really cannot describe the feeling as you wander through the baubles of light. It is immersive, it is soul restoring.

As patrons emerge from the other side of the field, your waiting coaches display their resort destinations. Choose the coach you need and before long, you are safely back at your accommodation.

Another perfect end to a perfect day. It’s an early start tomorrow, with a Desert Awakenings tour starting the day, before a wander through Kata Tjuta.

Sleep easy, dreaming of sparkling stars and lights. Tomorrow is the last full day at this amazing outback destination.Remember to check all the other Dine Live Travel Platforms, including instagram, facebook, Pinterest and twitter. Photos, or coffee table albums are available upon request. Perhaps you may prefer to utilise our new itinerary service. Sweet dreams!