Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park NT

I’m typically not one to do things simply because they’re a “must do”. In fact I found myself at Uluru almost as an afterthought, if that’s at all possible in a place so isolated and far from absolutely everything. But I will now say: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a place every Australian must visit in their lifetime. Foreigners too. You think you know what to expect on the long drive off the highway and into Uluru, as you search for that great big rock on the horizon. But it’s so much more. It will surprise, intrigue, inspire, and leave you with an overwhelming sense of ‘something’. I’m not even sure what that ‘something’ is, you’ll have to go and feel it for yourself. Don’t climb the rock. Please. Spend half a day, or even a whole day, walking around Uluru taking it all in. The different landscapes that surround it, in the cool shade and the harsh sun, as the colours of the rock change endlessly. A don’t forget Kata-Tjuta. From Uluru it’s quite a mesmerising, undulating shape on the horizon but once you get close, in and amongst the domes, the scale is unbelievable.

Looking across the rough textured asphalt road and red dirt of the Red Center to the famous shape of Uluru, surrounded by dry yellow grass and a pale blue sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Looking across the rough textured asphalt road and red dirt of the Red Center to the famous shape of Uluru, surrounded by dry yellow grass and a pale blue sky.

Soft pale dry grasses and small trees in the shade at the base of the deep red Uluru, Uluru-Kata-Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryA single magpie sits in a dead tree as Uluru looks almost dark purple in the shade, golden grasses still in the harsh sun, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Soft pale dry grasses and small trees in the shade at the base of the deep red Uluru; A single magpie sits in a dead tree as Uluru looks almost dark purple in the shade, golden grasses still in the harsh sun.

A pile of large red rocks at the base of Uluru with a rough-barked thin tree, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A pile of large red rocks at the base of Uluru with a rough-barked thin tree.

A tourist couple walk across the dry yellow grasses towards a deep purple Uluru in the shade, as a magpie sits in a dead tree, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryUluru looks purple in the shade as the harsh desert light shines on bleached grasses and the black burnt bark of a thin tree, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A tourist couple walk across the dry yellow grasses towards a deep purple Uluru in the shade, as a magpie sits in a dead tree; Uluru looks purple in the shade as the harsh desert light shines on bleached grasses and the black burnt bark of a thin tree.

Sunlight catches the leaves of thin trees at the base of Uluru, which appears pink and purple in the shade, Uluru-Kata Tuta National Park, Northern Territory

Sunlight catches the leaves of thin trees at the base of Uluru, which appears pink and purple in the shade.

Tufts of pale dry yellow grass on the red dirt in front of a mountain-shaped orange Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryTwisted dead tree and grassy landscape in front of Uluru, with small rocks at the base of the famous big rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Tufts of pale dry yellow grass on the red dirt in front of a mountain-shaped orange Uluru; Twisted dead tree and grassy landscape in front of Uluru, with small rocks at the base of the famous big rock.

Rough bark of trees with a carpet of green grasses and small plants in the shade at the base of Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Rough bark of trees with a carpet of green grasses and small plants in the shade at the base of Uluru.

A love heart shape in the rock face of Uluru, which appears purple and orange in the shade, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A love heart shape in the rock face of Uluru, which appears purple and orange in the shade.

Looking up at the high orange glowing walls of Uluru with sunlight on the leaves of a thin eucalyptus tree and bright blue sky beyond, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritorySmall bright green leafy trees and plants growing in the shade amongst rocks at the base of Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Looking up at the high orange glowing walls of Uluru with sunlight on the leaves of a thin eucalyptus tree and bright blue sky beyond; Small bright green leafy trees and plants growing in the shade amongst rocks at the base of Uluru.

Lush bright green bush landscape at the base of Uluru which shows a variety of oranges in its rock face, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Lush bright green bush landscape at the base of Uluru which shows a variety of oranges in its rock face.

Uluru in full sunlight with a scrubby grass landscape, orange dirt and a deep blue sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryThe rough bark of trees in the shade, sunlight catching their leaves, and the glowing orange rock face of Uluru in the background, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Uluru in full sunlight with a scrubby grass landscape, orange dirt and a deep blue sky; The rough bark of trees in the shade, sunlight catching their leaves, and the glowing orange rock face of Uluru in the background.

The high, curved, orange rock face of Uluru with trees at the base and black marks showing the path of water down the rock when it rains, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The high, curved, orange rock face of Uluru with trees at the base and black marks showing the path of water down the rock when it rains.

Yellow wattle in front of an orange Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryThe undulating orange rock formation of Uluru with stripes of yellow grass and green trees across the landscape, under a deep blue sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Yellow wattle in front of an orange Uluru; The undulating orange rock formation of Uluru with stripes of yellow grass and green trees across the landscape, under a deep blue sky.

A close up of the textured orange rock face of Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A close up of the textured orange rock face of Uluru.

Looking up at Uluru from the base through grasses, a dead tree and scrubby bush in the shade, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Looking up at Uluru from the base through grasses, a dead tree and scrubby bush in the shade.

Looking up at the textured rock face at the base of Uluru, with tufts of grass in the rock and balancing boulders as the immense size and depth of the rock is visible as it recedes into the distance in waves, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryLooking across dry grasses and dead flowers to rippled black marks cascading down the orange face of Uluru, showing where water flows when it rains, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Looking up at the textured rock face at the base of Uluru, with tufts of grass in the rock and balancing boulders as the immense size and depth of the rock is visible as it recedes into the distance in waves; Looking across dry grasses and dead flowers to rippled black marks cascading down the orange face of Uluru, showing where water flows when it rains.

The dirt path at the base of Uluru amongst boulders, trees and soft grasses in the cool afternoon shade, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The dirt path at the base of Uluru amongst boulders, trees and soft grasses in the cool afternoon shade.

Thick vegetation at the base of Uluru with soft pale grasses and small trees, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryTyre marks and dingo prints in the fine red dirt by the side of the road with Uluru in the background, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Thick vegetation at the base of Uluru with soft pale grasses and small trees; Tyre marks and dingo prints in the fine red dirt by the side of the road with Uluru in the background.

More than just one big rock, a large pile of boulders at the base of Uluru, purple in the late afternoon shade with the rough textured bark of the thin tree, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

More than just one big rock, a large pile of boulders at the base of Uluru, purple in the late afternoon shade with the rough textured bark of the thin tree.

Looking across the asphalt road, red dirt and yellow grass to the iconic silhouette of Uluru with a big blue sky and the purple haze from fire smoke, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Looking across the asphalt road, red dirt and yellow grass to the iconic silhouette of Uluru with a big blue sky and the purple haze from fire smoke.

Looking over scrubby plants to Uluru as it starts to glow orange as the late afternoon sun sinks lower in the sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Looking over scrubby plants to Uluru as it starts to glow orange as the late afternoon sun sinks lower in the sky.

Scrubby landscape in front of Uluru with trees growing in its cracks as the rock starts to change colour in the golden light before sunset, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryTrees are dwarfed by the enormity of Uluru, which begins to glow orange in the early sunset light, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Scrubby landscape in front of Uluru with trees growing in its cracks as the rock starts to change colour in the golden light before sunset; Trees are dwarfed by the enormity of Uluru, which begins to glow orange in the early sunset light.

Uluru in the light of late afternoon and early sunset as the scrubby grass landscape begins to turn golden, with grey smoke from nearby fires hanging in the sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Uluru in the light of late afternoon and early sunset as the scrubby grass landscape begins to turn golden, with grey smoke from nearby fires hanging in the sky.

At sunset Uluru turns a bright deep orange copper colour, with trees looking tiny in the cracks of the massive rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryA yellow flower in the cool late afternoon shade as Uluru glows in the distance, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

At sunset Uluru turns a bright deep orange copper colour, with trees looking tiny in the cracks of the massive rock; A yellow flower in the cool late afternoon shade as Uluru glows in the distance.

A tourist couple kiss in front of the deep red sunset rock at the designated sunset viewing spot, as others take their photograph, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritorySunset turns the landscape and the rock a bright glowing orange, as a tree is dwarfed by the monolith of Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A tourist couple kiss in front of the deep red sunset rock at the designated sunset viewing spot, as others take their photograph; Sunset turns the landscape and the rock a bright glowing orange, as a tree is dwarfed by the monolith of Uluru.

Uluru turns deep red at sunset when viewed from the sunset viewing spot, with a purple haze in the sky from burning fires, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryThe golden sun disappears below the horizon next to the dark shape of Uluru when viewed from the sunrise viewing spot, as the tips of tall pale grasses catch the last light, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Uluru turns deep red at sunset when viewed from the sunset viewing spot, with a purple haze in the sky from burning fires; The golden sun disappears below the horizon next to the dark shape of Uluru when viewed from the sunrise viewing spot, as the tips of tall pale grasses catch the last light.

The domed rock formations of Kata Tjuta with a landscape of native grasses and desert oaks, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The domed rock formations of Kata Tjuta with a landscape of native grasses and desert oaks.

A rocky red dirt hillside with pale grasses and the shadow of a tree, behind it a few of the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta and a deep blue sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryLooking up the steep round rock face of one of Kata Tjuta's domes with a small cluster of trees growing amongst the rough rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A rocky red dirt hillside with pale grasses and the shadow of a tree, behind it a few of the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta and a deep blue sky; Looking up the steep round rock face of one of Kata Tjuta’s domes with a small cluster of trees growing amongst the rough rock.

From up amongst the domes of Kata Tjuta looking across the rocky orange landscape to a grassy valley with more cascading domes in the distance, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryA tree in front of a round orange Kata Tjuta rock dome, with blue sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

From up amongst the domes of Kata Tjuta looking across the rocky orange landscape to a grassy valley with more cascading domes in the distance; A tree in front of a round orange Kata Tjuta rock dome, with blue sky.

Dead trees and burnt blacked ground in the landscape in front of Kata Tjuta, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Dead trees and burnt blacked ground in the landscape in front of Kata Tjuta.

A large dead black tree in a pale grassy landscape with small eucalyptus trees in front of Kata Tjuta rock domes, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryLooking across the iconic red dirt of the Red Center, with tuffs of spinifex and a plant with white flowers, towards the round rock domes of Kata Tjuta with a lone cloud in the big blue sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A large dead black tree in a pale grassy landscape with small eucalyptus trees in front of Kata Tjuta rock domes; Looking across the iconic red dirt of the Red Center, with tuffs of spinifex and a plant with white flowers, towards the round rock domes of Kata Tjuta with a lone cloud in the big blue sky.

A shaded rocky path through the dark canyons in the middle of Kata Tjuta, with large looming domes on all sides, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryA group of tourists stand together and listen to their guide in the red rocky landscape with one of the Kata Tjuta domes behind them, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A shaded rocky path through the dark canyons in the middle of Kata Tjuta, with large looming domes on all sides; A group of tourists stand together and listen to their guide in the red rocky landscape with one of the Kata Tjuta domes behind them.

The landscape surrounding the domes of Kata Tjuta with orange rocks, tuffs of pale grass and spinifex, and twisted dead trees, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The landscape surrounding the domes of Kata Tjuta with orange rocks, tuffs of pale grass and spinifex, and twisted dead trees.

A pebble path with overhanging white gum tree and lined with grasses leading towards Kata Tjuta, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritorySmall orange rocks amongst pale grasses and scrubby bushes in the landscape in front of Kata Tjuta, the domes of which themselves seem to be topped with scattered grass and trees, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

A pebble path with overhanging white gum tree and lined with grasses leading towards Kata Tjuta; Small orange rocks amongst pale grasses and scrubby bushes in the landscape in front of Kata Tjuta, the domes of which themselves seem to be topped with scattered grass and trees.

The orange domes of Kata Tjuta with a big blue sky above and a lone cloud casting a shadow, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The orange domes of Kata Tjuta with a big blue sky above and a lone cloud casting a shadow.

The silhouette of Kata Tjuta with a tree-covered grassy landscape bathed in warm sunset light, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritoryThe light of a golden setting sun across the red dirt and grass-covered landscape with Uluru in silhouette and Kata Tjuta a speck on the horizon, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The silhouette of Kata Tjuta with a tree-covered grassy landscape bathed in warm sunset light; The light of a golden setting sun across the red dirt and grass-covered landscape with Uluru in silhouette and Kata Tjuta a speck on the horizon.

The purple silhouette of Kata Tjuta with a golden red light across the landscape and a photographer amongst the tall grass capturing photos of the sunset from the sunrise viewing spot, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The purple silhouette of Kata Tjuta with a golden red light across the landscape and a photographer amongst the tall grass capturing photos of the sunset from the sunrise viewing spot.

The golden setting sun casts orange light across the grassy landscape and red dirt, with Uluru a dark silhouette, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The golden setting sun casts orange light across the grassy landscape and red dirt, with Uluru a dark silhouette.

The silhouette of Kata Tjuta glows pink and purple against a yellow sunset sky as the last golden red light catches the tips of the tall pale grass, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern TerritorySunset at Uluru from the sunrise viewing deck, with silhouettes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta against an orange backdrop and a tiny moon and a big sky, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

The silhouette of Kata Tjuta glows pink and purple against a yellow sunset sky as the last golden red light catches the tips of the tall pale grass; Sunset at Uluru from the sunrise viewing deck, with silhouettes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta against an orange backdrop and a tiny moon and a big sky.

Kata Tjuta glows purple against an orange sky as the sun sets and darkens the landscape, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Kata Tjuta glows purple against an orange sky as the sun sets and darkens the landscape.

The sun sinks below the horizon, leaving the sky to glow orange with the dark silhouettes of Kata Tjuta and Uluru

The sun sinks below the horizon, leaving the sky to glow orange with the dark silhouettes of Kata Tjuta and Uluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory.

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