It’s good time to take advantage of the Victorian School Semester Holidays and travel with Cathy, Audrey and Violet to Uluru for a visit. It’s also a good time to be here as the weather is relatively cool. Over the next week daily maximums will range from just 24C to 30C degrees. Quite comfortable for being in a desert environment!
We left Melbourne on the daily non-stop flight that is operated by Jetstar Airlines (known in our family as ‘Deathstar Airlines’). Our hotel rooms weren’t ready when we arrived at lunch time, so we filled in some time by exploring the Yulara Village and one of its museums. This tourist town is owned and run by the Indigenous Land Council (ILC) and has a variety of accommodation ranging from a five star hotel to a camping and caravan area. The town centre has a little supermarket, cafes and several shops – all built around an attractive town square.
I read in this morning’s paper that the ILC has overcome some of its previous financial problems through a government loan and better daily flights from Melbourne and Sydney (when previously air travel was only via Alice Springs). As a result, their profits are up and occupancy at the resort has increased from 60% to 80%. Employment of indigenous people has apparently risen from just a few people to nearly 400. Good News!
We could see Uuru as we approached the airport and had a glimpse of the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) outside the other side of the plane. We are looking forward to exploring them and giving the girls an insight into some Aboriginal culture over the next few days.
The accommodation facilities here are surrounded by gardens featuring many different dry weather plants. Not all of them are strictly local to this area but they make a fine display. The yellow Honey Grevillea is local and seems to be growing everywhere. It is in full bloom – perhaps stimulated by some of the recent rains in the area. There are plenty of other pretty plants in the gardens and I look forward to some macro photography.
The sky, on our first night, was as clear and crystal and the stars were exceptionally bright – especially compared to those that I see in the city. Although a little tired from an early morning start, I couldn’t miss taking advantage of the clear night, so I walked up to the lookout at the top of a sand dune in the centre of the town area and tried my hand at some star photography. My previous attempts at this haven’t been too successful but this went rather well. I am quite happy with this image of the milky way in the sky over our hotel.