Why Uluru is the heart of Australia

Uluru

Uluru is more than a rock in the red centre of Australia.  It is the country’s spiritual heart. Believed to be more than 700 million years old, it holds a powerful presence, that has to be seen to be believed – it was not until I jumped off the tour bus to bask in its giant shadow that I realised the true meaning of this. I felt an instant connection with this land, despite being first generation Australian born of Italian born parents, it is almost like Uluru has a maternal energy, one that holds on to you long after you leave and makes you feel like you are part of its long history, whatever your own origins.

Uluru represents many things to many Australians. The indigenous Australians believe the rock is a sacred place, much like a church, where for millions of years tribes gather to perform rituals even to today. Climbing Uluru is possible but discouraged for this reason. They believe the rock was formed during Dreamtime, and ancient carvings and paintings adorn the side of the rock, telling stories from more than 10,000 years ago.

Uluru

My favourite experience at Uluru and what I believe is must-do is the Sounds of Silence dinner. Imagine eating canapés as the sun sets over the majestic Rock, and then walking along a walkway which expands to reveal your dining room for the night – a large open plain on the red desert, decked out with tables with white cloths – under the stars. Nothing can prepare you for what happens after your three course dinner – a buffet of Aussie delicacies including crocodile and kangaroo –  your waiter blows out the candles that adorn each table and all of a sudden you are sitting in the desert, in the shadow of Uluru – with only the star light overhead. An astronomer then explains the many constellations complete with telescope for those that wish to see Saturn or other visible planets. A breathtaking and unique experience for every traveller.
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Located in the Northern Territory, getting to Uluru is easy. Direct flights to Uluru operates from major cities around Australia – and the Ayers Rock Resort, holds a range of accommodation options, with free airport transfers from a camping ground  to deluxe hotels. Activities around the resort include a Guided walk around the gardens with Indigenous guide through to frequent sunrise, sunset and day tours to Uluru.

So don’t delay – the spiritual centre of Australia awaits.

The Blue Mountains – getting away from the rat race for a weekend

My happy place is a rainforest setting, with a tranquil river flowing and sunlight breaking through the trees. I make it a point to get away each year to somewhere that resembles my happy place – my favourite being the Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains are located approximately 1.5hrs from Sydney and is a gorgeous mountainous region. The town of Leura is situated 5min from the mountains and makes a great base with a quaint little shopping village and range of accommodation.

Blue Mountains – Walkway at Scenic World

Once you arrive at the mountains – You can bush walk, or catch the cable car, unique Railway or Skyway – all part of the newly developed Scenic World. An unlimited pass for use across all these attractions starts from $35. You can scare yourself on the RailWay – the steepest railway in the world, or climb the Giant Stairwell to the Three Sisters, or simply take an easy stroll through the paved walkways and trails.

Cableway at Scenic World
CableWay at Scenic World

The best time of year to go – although you can go all year round – is during the winter months, there is a winter festival and lots of yummy food to keep you energised for the days walk or hike. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

Why Uluru should top every Aussie’s bucket list

Most Australians favour an overseas adventure to a holiday in their own backyard. However there are some places in Australia that boast a beauty that is found in no other – one of those places is the Red Centre, Northern Territory. And the heart of the Red Centre, all 863 metres of it, is Uluru.

Sunrise at Uluru
Sunrise at Uluru

Uluru is more commonly known as Ayers Rock; it was named by William Gosse in 1873 after Sir Henry Ayers. Uluru is the Aboriginal and official name. You can fly directly to Uluru and take one of the many transfers to Ayers Rock Resort, where five different types of accommodation await, from camping grounds to Sails in the Desert, a five-star resort.

You can see Uluru from the air, walk around it (all 10km of it), the local tribes recommend you don’t climb it for spiritual reasons, or watch the sunrise on a camel.

Sounds of Silence dinner at Uluru http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/sounds-of-silence/
Sounds of Silence dinner at Uluru http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/sounds-of-silence/

A must-do is the Sounds of Silence dinner, winner of multiple tourism awards. Nothing showcases the beauty of this massive monolith than a candlelit dinner in the middle desert, complete with astronomer and a showcase by a local indigenous tribe.

Uluru at sunset
Uluru at sunset

Whether you stay for a weekend or 5 days, the red sand of Uluru exudes a positive energy which you feel as soon as you are in its presence, and there are not many places in the world where you can say that.