Manav Sirwani is an avid fan of cricket and travelling. Now studying family managed business, he feels that whenever an opportunity to travel arises, he must grab it. “School may be a good place to expand your academic knowledge but when it comes to learning more about life, there is no better teacher than travelling,” Manav says. Manav travelled to Australia where he visited the Uluru National Park and he takes us along on his adventure!
I visited Canberra with my family and it so happened that some of my cousins were planning a trip to Ayers Rock in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, at Petermann in the Northern Territory of Australia. That was the first time I had heard of Uluru National Park, and I can’t say I was too excited about it. Fast forward to now and I couldn’t be happier that I went along! There were no direct flight connections to Uluru from Canberra, so we had to go to Sydney to take a flight to Alice Springs. Ayers Rock is over 400 kilometres from Alice Springs, so we rented a car. It took us almost five hours to reach the place through a sealed highway.
When we reached Ayers Rock, we realised what we would have missed had we skipped this trip. Uluru National Park is regarded by many adventurers as the spiritual heart of aboriginal Australia. You cannot fail to admire this mammoth red rock which looks like a monolith protruding from that nondescript desert. We were surprised to see the number of people that visited this place on that day. There were many scenic lookouts near Ayers Rock. We followed a ring-shaped road around Uluru and the signage was quite easy to follow.
After staying overnight in a motel in Yalara, a nearby town, we got up early and made our way to Ayers Rock because we wanted to catch the sunrise there, which turned out to be a sight to behold! After breakfast, we decided to go on a five-kilometre walking trail. Before long, our throats were parched as it was summer in this hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed. We then had lunch at the Mala Car Park cafeteria near the cultural centre. We came to know that climbing here is still controversial because some indigenous Anangu tribes regard this as a sacred location, and they request visitors not to defile it by making it into a picnic spot or adventure location. They do not climb this rock, out of respect. Their main aim is to see that people do not damage this environment. As a result, the park’s board management decided to close down climbing expeditions permanently by October 2019.
This mighty rock is Mother Nature’s spectacle. It has made such a mark on my memory that I have no hesitation in recommending this place to all tourists. It should be right up there on any visitor’s bucket, alongside Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, and the Sydney Opera House. There is a subtle spiritual energy that you feel when you visit Ayers Rock. Now I am sure that all my future visits to Australia will always take me back to this exciting place – the Red Centre of Australia! - Manav Sirwani