Top Ten Australia Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Find Uluru's Secrets
By Ron Moon & Viv Moon

Uluru, the great sacred rock of Central Australia, attracts tourists from near and far. While many clamber up the great back of the giant to its flattish peak, better experiences are found around The Rock's long circumference, or across the rolling dunes of the desert a short distance to the other great tor of this region, the Olgas.

These big landforms, standing proud above the surrounding sand plains, have been a beacon for man from the time of wandering nomads and the earliest European explorations of Australia. It's as much a shock today as it must have been in the old days to find water—cool, fresh, and clear—at the base of the great rock, or flowing in a narrow rocky stream amid the many domes and rock hills of the Olgas. In the cool of such places, away from the blast furnace of the desert sun, plants and flowers—even delicate ferns—thrive. Birds, especially the seedeaters like small pigeons, brightly colored finches, two-toned galahs, and blindingly white cockatoos, come to such havens to drink each morning and night. Larger animals too—kangaroos, wallabies, and dingoes—rely on these small oases, fed and protected by the great rocks that surround them.

No wonder Uluru is such a sacred place!


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