A 3 hour flight on Virgin Australia (quite a nice airline) and we arrived at Yulara Northern Territory for a 2 day visit to the famous rock that is almost in the middle of the continent. Well known for its red color from the iron in the landscape, it is an amazing and massive sight. After an early check in to our hotel, we have a brief look around the town center before our sunset tour. The company had no other travelers, so we had the van and 2 guides to ourselves. Uluru and Kata Tjuta are said to be 550 million years old. 500 million years ago the whole area became covered with sea and the sand/mud fell to the bottom and covered the seabed. The weight of this new seabed turned into rock. the rocky fan became Kata Tjuta and the sandy "fan" became Uluru. Then 400 million years ago, the sea disappeared and the rocks folded and tilted as the earths tectonic plates shifted. Kata Tjuta tilted slightly, Uluru tilted about 90˚thus causing the vertical striations you see on the face of the rock. The Kata Tjuta is 3498 ft high about 650 ft higher than Uluru. This is sacred ground to the Anangu (Aboriginal people who live here) and much of the formation is respectfully not photographed as they use it for ceremonies. It can be climbed, but it is discouraged for cultural and safety reasons.
Though we had many grey clouds, we still had great color at sunset. Our guides provided sparkling wine and an appetizer of bread, vinegar, oil and dukkah from wattle (a seed made from what we would call an acacia bush) to dip. It was an interesting flavor with a lot of crunch.