We arrive at Yulara

A lovely sleep-in was had at our overnight free camp at Petermann Rest Area. I cooked up scrambled eggs and bacon for everyone and, judging by the way no one talked during breakfast, they were enjoyed by all.

After packing up we set off on our final leg to Uluru 120km away. We passed Curtin Springs, a one million acre cattle property that has really embraced tourism. They have a roadhouse, camp ground, do tours to Mt Connor and even have a paper making factory where paper is made from the local grasses. The camping area looked very busy and the vans were parked quite close together. I think we chose our overnight camp really well. We were the only ones there to start with however a couple of motorhomes came in and then three vans and a couple of campers. There was plenty of room for everyone to spread out.

We all chuckled in the morning as they had all left before we all got up!

Not long after passing Curtin Springs you get your first glimpse of Uluru in the distance. OMG it is HUGE. There was lots of excited chatter over our UHF’s with everyone thrilled we were finally nearing the famous Aussie icon.

As we approached Yulara I checked the map of the area and discovered there is only one dump point in Yulara and it is out of town near the water treatment plant so we decided we’d better head there first before going to the campground. Here we came across our first queue. Luckily there were only two in front of us.

After that necessary business was complete we headed into Yulara. Yulara is the name of the town/resort that is the closest to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).

We made it to Yulara

We pulled into the Service Station to fuel up prior to camping and Katie drove into the Campground to get in the queue. After fuelling up we were able to pull in behind Katie in the queue. I think I counted 5 vans plus us in the queue so not too bad.

Entering reception we found a long queue of people most of whom were checking in like us. We felt sorry for one guy as he was waiting only to get some $1 coins for the dryers.

It wasn’t a very long wait. The three staff seemed to be doing their best. We were allocated our powered sites and given a map of the park. We were also given a Campground Pass that you have to carry with you if you wish to enter a licensed premises at Yulara. Only genuine guests at the resort may be served alcohol.

How disappointed we were when we arrived at our allocated sites. They were right out the back on red sand and there were bollards on both sides of both sites which meant we wouldn’t be able to put our slide out and awnings out. There was also no water tap. There was power however this would not do for 6 days. We’d booked sites so long ago with power and water.

It’s hard to express how disappointed we all felt. We’d been planning the trip for so long and we were so looking forward to getting to Uluru. What to do?

We set off to walk back through the campground passing by other sites and I made note of which ones were free and would suit us. Back at Reception and the queue was just as long as before. I noticed that the lady that served us before was free and I quickly walked over to her and explained that the sites were too small for us AND they had no water. That would be OK for a couple of nights but not for 6. Katie said I did get some glares from people waiting in the queue. The assistant was very helpful and tried her best to find another site for us. Eventually her senior came over to see what the problem was and when we explained she was also helpful and said it might take a while to juggle around other bookings but she would try her best.

Yay! she was able to give us the vacant sites we’d seen on our walk to reception. We were very happy with that! What a great outcome. It pays to be nice and friendly. I explained to the kids on the way back ‘You catch more flies with honey’. By being nice and friendly we achieved the outcome we wanted. The original small sites would be more suitable to a camper trailer.

We quickly walked back and moved onto our new sites. We were able to back the van in and drive the motorhome in forwards so our doors and awnings face each other. The kids were so helpful setting up camp. They are old hands at it now.

It took a while to set up camp as we were staying for 6 nights in the one place. I even put up our solar party lights. They would light up when it got dark.

We were all extremely happy with our camp sites.

It was an excited group that set off in the car in the late afternoon to drive out to see the rock. Uluru is about 20km from the campground. Wow. As we got closer we were all amazed. It is so huge that it’s a bit hard to take it all in. We stopped at the sunset viewing point and cars were already staring to park up for the sunset view. We checked out that carpark and decided we’d come back one evening with drinks and nibbles and our camp chairs so we too could sit and wait for the sunset.

We continued on and drove all the way around Uluru with another short stop at the Mala Walk. This is the place that people used to start their journey when you were allowed to climb the rock. Climbing the rock was very dangerous and also offensive to the local Aboriginal people who consider the rock a sacred place. Not a place for tourists to troop all over. I looked at the spot where people used to climb and I’m glad its closed. I’m looking forward to our cycle around it instead.

Back at camp it was Katie’s turn to do dinner and tonight’s was nachos. Delicious and filling. At the dinner table we all talked about what we were grateful for and it was a universal thing. We were all grateful to be on this trip and be finally at Uluru. We all felt very fortunate.

Tomorrow we will explore the village/resort and in the afternoon we will be going on a camel ride. How exciting! I’ve never been on a camel!


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