After our long Journey to the Red Centre which you can read about here, Dan and I set up camp at Ayers Rock campground. I had hoped to experience a new angle on viewing the rock than just the traditional view points.
I had heard stories about climbing the rock, and thought that would be an amazing way to get up close and personal with Australia’s iconic rock formation. However, after a few minutes in the resort souvenir shop i felt very guilty about my desire to climb the rock as the lady behind the til explained that the climbing route is a sacred path for spiritual significance to the aboriginal people and communities beyond the rock and that they would prefer it if you didn’t climb.Sure, it was perfectly legal but who was I to ignore their wishes, I was sure I could find another unique experience and I was right! There were plenty of other options to chose from, dinner under the stars with the view of the rock, a camel ride to the rock but the one that caught my eye…. a helicopter ride!
Once we arrived at the Helicopter we found it was just the two of us which made for a very personal experience. I had never been on a proper helicopter flight before so it was all very exciting! We had chosen to fly just towards Ayers rock as we had already had quite an amazing view of The Olga’s on our drive through. As the helicopter took off the roar of the propeller’s was muffled bout our eye muff’s. As we gained height we gained another perspective of how desolate the area was, all i kept thinking was “my god, we drove through that!”. There was nothing as far as the eye could see, apart from the few buildings of Ayers rock resort on the scorched plains and Ayers Rock itself.
As we approached the Rock it grew larger and larger in size and it appeared so much bigger than what it looked from the ground. The pilot explained how the rock had twisted on it’s side, which they knew from the lines in the rock which now run vertcal instead of horizontal. This all happened hundreds of millions of years ago. He also explained that the red colour, which appears to change shades with the light, is due to oxidisations of the iron-bearing minerals in the rock. Suddenly, Ayers Rock was that little bit more impressive and not ‘just’ a rock in the Australian Outback.
Unfortunately, like all of my early travel photo’s, these pictures were taken on an old, cheap digital camera so you will have to excuse the picture quality. I can’t recommend the Heli-tour of Ayers Rock enough, for a new perspective on one of Australia’s top tourist attractions, it’s a must!