Posted by: travelrat | January 28, 2013

The Road to Uluru

The Coach

Uluru: 20th April 2012.
Once more, the pre-dawn darkness found us waiting for a coach. I was pleased to see it was operated by Cobb & Co., a venerable and respected name which has been around almost as long as Australia has.
Back in the day, Cobb & Co. operated stage coaches, and were, if you like, the Australian equivalent of Wells Fargo. The distances were long, and, if you spent days … sometimes weeks … confined in a space little bigger than the back of a long-wheelbase Land Rover, your fellow passengers just had to be your ‘cobbers’, or mates.
Or, so they say! In all the time I’ve spent in Australia, I’ve very rarely heard an Australian use this word. But then,  I’ve never heard a Scotsman saying ‘Hoots, mon!’ or ‘Och aye the noo!’ either.
So, we were on our way, in the capable hands of Graham, our driver/guide. We had a long way to go, and there were stops along the way.

Camel Ride
It’s rather surprising to learn Australia is now the only country in the world where camels can still be found in the wild. Indeed, they actually export camels to Saudi Arabia.
So, our first stop was at a camel farm at Stuart Wells. I didn’t have a camel ride; I just bought a coffee for, in truth, I found it a rather catchpenny sort of place. But then, we’ve been spoilt by camel rides elsewhere. I was tempted by the quad-bike safari, but it was well expensive, and we didn’t have time anyway.
However, I was really angered at Erldunda, our next stop, by the notice on the door ‘Please don’t ask for drinking water, as refusal often offends’. I wished I’d seen that notice before I’d bought my coffee, for I don’t wish to patronise that kind of place. I suppose it comes from previously having to do with people for whom refusal of a drink of water is just not done; indeed, it’s sometimes regarded as a sin.
(I found out later it’s to discourage people from seriously depleting the limited water supplies by filling the drinking water tanks of their camper vans. That, I agree with … although they could have worded it better)

Not Uluru!

Not Uluru!

Next was a photo stop at a point which consisted of just a lay-by and a ‘long drop’ toilet. It should be called ‘Not Uluru Lookout’, for Mount Conner, the hill we could see, is often mistaken for Uluru. And, on the other side of the road, we could climb a sand dune to see an extensive salt flat.
After checking into our hotel, we went for a drive around Uluru, punctuated by a couple of short walks around the base.
Finally, to the Sunset Lookout, to see the changing colours of the Rock as the sun set. Fortunately, the wine and nibbles were nice, and most welcome; unfortunately, the sun didn’t co-operate on this occasion, hiding behind the clouds. But, maybe we’ll have better luck with the sunrise tomorrow.

This is!

This is!


  1. […] Uluru: 20th April 2012. Once more, the pre-dawn darkness found us waiting for a coach. I was pleasedsource […]

  2. I’d love to ride a camel again. It’s a strange motion at first. They are odd but lovable creatures. Love the shots of Uluru – a truly magical place!

    • I like camels … in spite of the fact that only another camel would call them beautiful! Problem is, of course, having done a real camel safari, a lurch down the paddock just doesn’t cut it. But if you’ve never ridden a camel before …

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