Uluṟu Trip Journal

History

In March 2020, I turned 40. I originally wanted a trip to Europe to visit vineyards in Italy and France, maybe stop in Berlin and see a few friends and maybe also go to Prague or some other beautiful old world city.

But my family wanted to spend my birthday with me, so as a compromise, I booked tickets to go to Orlando and Miami and spend it there. My father would fly into Miami from Rio and we would have a big birthday celebration at my sister’s house.

We flew into Orlando, where we spent a few days with my brother. Soon enough the COVID-19 pandemic started a few days after we arrived in Orlando, and everyone in Australia started to panic. My husband broke his foot and the Australian government asked all citizens overseas to come back home. So we did.

Quarantine aside, the birthday trip was supposed to be our big trip for the year and it just didn’t happen.

With the COVID-19 restrictions and the fact that we have just bought a house (moved in June 2020), there is not a lot to look forward to until then.

Out of lack of things to do and places to visit, came the idea of a trip to Uluṟu, the heart of Australia. The trip evolved and we will visit Alice Spring and Uluṟu. This page will feature the updates and information on the locations we will visit. Enjoy!

About Uluṟu

State/TerritoryNorthern Territory
LocationUluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park
Mountain typeInselberg
Type of rockArkose
Age of rock550–530 million years
Elevation863 m
Prominence348 m
Circumference9.4 km

According to the Aṉangu, traditional landowners of Uluṟu:

The world was once a featureless place. None of the places we know existed until creator beings, in the forms of people, plants and animals, travelled widely across the land. Then, in a process of creation and destruction, they formed the landscape as we know it today. Aṉangu land is still inhabited by the spirits of dozens of these ancestral creator beings which are referred to as Tjukuritja or Waparitja.

About Alice Springs

State/TerritoryNorthern Territory
Established (by Europeans)1872
Elevation545 m
Urban Area327.5 km2

Alice Spring and its History

Mparn­twe (pro­nounced m’barn-twa) is the Arrernte name of Alice Springs.  The Arrernte (pronounced arrun­da) are the traditional custodians of the land where Alice Springs is located. 

In 1861, Scottish explorer John McDouall Stuart departed Adelaide to explore the potential settlement areas in Australia. By the end of July of the following year, John Stuart had reached the most northern shores of Australia. Through this exploration, he enabled Sir Charles Todd to connect Adelaide to the north through the telegraph. Two months after the completion of the telegraph, a submarine line to Java enabled Australia to connect to Europe.

Until 1929, Alice Springs, was no more than a train stop to refuel for water for the steam engine. At the time, town was called Stuart, after the Scottish explorer. It was only in 1933 that Alice Springs got its current name, after Lady Alice Todd, wife of Sir Charles Todd.

Points of Interest

  1. Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve
  2. Olive Pink Botanic Garden
  3. Alice Springs Desert Park
  4. Ilparpa Swamp Wildlife Protected Area
  5. Kuyunba Conservation Reserve
  6. Standley Chasm
  7. Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park
  8. Finke Gorge National Park

Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve

It is the best preserved station along the Overland Telegraph Line and is one of the original sites of European settlement in the township of Stuart, later renamed Alice Springs, established in 1872.

Olive Pink Botanic Garden

The Garden was founded in 1956 by Miss Olive Muriel Pink as the Australian arid regions flora reserve. Today they carry on this tradition as an arid zone Botanic Garden specializing in flora from Australia’s vast interior.

There are a number of short trails that can be done in the garden where you will experience native fauna and flora. Should be good for nature/wildlife photography.


Trip Updates

Alice Springs

As I mentioned in my previous post, these restrictions the government has imposed upon us is really affecting me. More because I (currently) live in a very small place and have nowhere to go and take photos (freely). But today I will try to take a more upbeat approach and look into the future, when […]

No more road trip

My husband and I started talking last night about the plans to go to Uluru, in particular about the trip itself. I showed him my research and how I split the drive in 3 8-hour days. Discussed with him that going through Mildura we could go by Lake Tyrrell, which he hadn’t been to yet. […]

But there is more!

As it was clear in my previous Uluru trip post, there is a lot to do in Uluru and I’ve just started exploring it. My expectation was to go to Yulara (for sleeping and meals), watch the sunrise onto Uluru, watch the sunset behind the landmark and hike around it during the day. Today I […]

The heart of Australia

And so, in the sadness of not being able to plan or execute any photography that isn’t confined to the perimeter of the house, a light was shown onto me. I finally found a worthy trip to do: Uluru! Uluru is in the middle of Australia, in the harsh Outback. It has a lot of […]


References

Alice Springs Town Council. 2020. “A Brief History.” Last modified January 03, 2019. http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html

Northern Territory Government of Australia. 2020. “Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve.” Last modified February 21, 2020. https://nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park/find-a-park-to-visit/alice-springs-telegraph-station-historical-reserve

Pink Olive Botanic Gardens. 2013. “Home Page.” Last modified April 06, 2015. https://opbg.com.au/

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