Day 178

Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (Olgas).






Uluru dominating the surrounding plain.


A stream of visitors ascending Uluru comparable to ants on an anthill.


Introduction to Mala Walk at the base of Uluru.


People ascending Uluru.


Itjaritjariku Yuu – During the Tjukurpa, the ancestral Minyma Itjaritjari, or marsupial mole woman, built a shelter and yuu (windbreak). The shelter is a cave (bottom left below the holes) and the yuu is the large wedge-shaped rock at the opening to the cave. Holes in the rock are said to have been tunnelled out by Itjaritjari, who have lived here from the very beginning before the Mala people arrived.


The red sand footpath of the Mala Walk around the base of Uluru.


Kulpi Nyiinkaku – Teaching cave where for many generations, elders have taught nyiinka (bush boys) how to travel and survive in the outback. The cave drawings are akin to a school blackboard.


Introduction to Kulpi Watiku – The senior men’s cave.


Kulpi Watiku. This is where where senior Mala men made fires and camped, busily preparing for inma (ceremony). From here they could keep an eye on the bush boys in the cave nearby and also be on the lookout for men returning from a hunt for food.


Cave at the base of Uluru.


The footpath of the Mala Walk with caves on the right.


Wave shaped cave rock formation.


Wave shaped cave rock formation.


Introduction to Tjilpi Pampa Kulpi – Old people’s cave.


Me standing at the side of Tjilpi Pampa Kulpi.


Uluru seen through a gap in rock formations along its base.


Typical outback scenery.


Introduction to Kantju Gorge on the Mala Walk.


Vertical walls of Kantju Gorge.


Vertical walls sheltering sections of Kantju Gorge from the morning sun.


Caves in the side of the rock.


Caves in the side of the rock.


Holes at varying heights in the rock with water channel showing on the surface.


Holes in the rock.


Steep sides.


Caves in the side of the red sandstone rock.


Pile of red sandstone rocks.


Another view of Uluru.


Introduction to Walpa Gorge.


Large domed rock.


Visitors walking through Walpa Gorge.


Sheer rock face showing water channels on the surface.


Walpa Gorge is in the heart of Kata Tjuta.


Visitors on a footpath in Walpa Gorge.


Sandstone formations flank the gorge.


Large domed rock formations of the Kata Tjuta.


Sunset at Uluru.


Sunset at Uluru.

Sunset at Uluru.


Sunset at Uluru.


Sunset at Uluru.


Me at Uluru at sunset.


Sunset at Uluru.


Sunset at Uluru.


Cobber Pedy Town, Kangaroo Sanctuary and Breakaways Conservation Park.


Coober Pedy has over 70 opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. 


Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground properties, called “dugouts”, which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat.


Abandoned old bus that had been converted into opal mining machine.


Entrance to an underground mine that has been converted into an art gallery.


Aboriginal artist at work on an original picture for myself.


Work in progress. Love the vivid colours.


The artist and I with the finished artwork.


And he signed it for me. Limited edition 1 of 1.


Feeding time at the kangaroo sanctuary.


Popular activity for both the kangaroos and the the visitors.


Kangaroos being fed wasabi beans.


The sanctuary helps injured and orphaned kangaroos.


Kangaroo being stroked.


Kangaroo being bottle fed.


Kangaroo looks very relaxed in its man-made pouch with its eye closed while being fed.


Now out of its pouch and beginning to wake up.


Getting more aware of its surroundings.


Not short of attention.


Having a good look around to see who are all these strangers looking at me.


Metal sculpture of a kangaroo.


Relaxed and chilled in a towel.


This is a traffic bulletin for the Stuart Highway in the Coober Pedy area, and from this highway you access the Breakaways Reservation. This section of the Stuart Highway is frequently closed for a day or a couple of hours as it passes through the largest land-based test range for defence material in the western world.


Introduction to Breakaways Conservation Park.


Not just any old wire fence, this if the famous Dingo Fence also referred to as Dog Fence.


Arid landscape in the conservation park.


Dingo Fence is a pest-exclusion fence that was built during the 1880s and finished in 1885, to keep dingoes out of the relatively fertile south-east part of the continent and protect the sheep flocks of southern Queensland. This is also the longest fence in the world stretching for 5,614 kms.



Colourful landscape.


Mesas – flat top hills.


Introduction to the landform known as papa or the castle.


According to an Aboriginal story the two mesas represent two dogs sitting down and the hill represents a wati or man who is the dogs owner.


The reservation got the name “The Breakaways” because the mesas and low hills appear from a distance as if “broken away” from the higher ground of the escarpment.


Another view of the two sitting dogs and their owner. Non-Aboriginal refer to the landform as the castle or salt and pepper because of similarity to the colour. Whilst the dogs and the owner are joined together, the hill has weathered faster than the mesas hence the difference in colours.


Me with mesas and hills in the background.


Beautiful view of the hills and mesas with varying colours.


A row of mesas in the distance.


No shade to escape the sun here.


An unsealed road transverses the conservation park.


Some hills and mesas have weathered faster than others to give this landscape a unique colour scheme.


View across the conservation park.




 A track can be seen on the right winding its way around the contours of the rock formations.


Flat plain with no sign of human inhabitants.




The semi-arid desert climatic conditions of the reservation mean cool nights and very hot days.


Changing colours of the landscape.


Mesas and hills.


Undulating scenery.


The flora in the park seems to distinctively grow in lines and not bunched together which may have something to do with sources of nutrients in the ground.


A large mesa.


A mesa standing out amongst the flat landscape.


You can see from this mesa how it has weathered differently in various locations depending on its exposure to the elements.


Cobber Pedy Accommodation.


So we arrived in Cobber Pedy and our dorm was underground. I freaked out and booked into the sun deck.


Some additional photos from my visit to Devils Marbles (Day 174). The rest of the photos can be viewed by clicking >here<.


Me showcasing a Devils Marble.


Large marble balancing on a smaller one beneath.


Not sure anyone can cope with two of me in the same photo.


This gives you some idea of the scale of some of the rocks.


The top right corner is already showing signs of curvature from erosion and weathered.


Standing on a flat rock with formations of Devils Marbles in the background.


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