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Roadtrip Australia: Van-Tastic Northern Territory - WILLIE & ANDREW Americans Willie and Andrew embark on the ultimate Aussie roadtrip as they motor around Northern Territory with Van-Tastic Adventures for six action-packed, free-wheeling weeks of adventure.


AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 31 March 2010 | Views [1044] | Comments [4]

After a gruesome 20-hour drive, Andrew and I finally arrived at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. We entered knowing nothing more than its beautiful sunrise and title as world’s biggest rock, which we only discovered through a postcard and quick search on Wikipedia.

We left with something much more. 

Our first encounter with Uluru left us breathless. You might be skeptical about anyone using that phrase since your neighbor said the same thing after reading the Twilight series but rest assured this natural treasure does not disappoint. Standing boldly at 1142 feet, Uluru makes its presence felt from miles away.

The park is a World Heritage Area recognized for its natural environment and living culture, which dates back tens of thousands of years. As commercial photographers, Andrew and I needed to register for filming permits in order to capture the essence of the park while still protecting Anangu culture. 

Before we were able to document our experiences we had to meet with the park’s media officers to discuss the specifics of our permits. Something we were dreading since the start of our trip. How strict would their rules be? Would this compromise our artistic integrity? Did I really just ask that last question?

Ben and Troy welcomed us with handy tips on fending off the swarms of flies in the Northern Territory and explained that commercial photography wouldn’t be allowed at certain sites, ritual objects, designs and ceremonies. These are considered sacred and are reserved for only those who may ‘properly’ view them.

Throughout the rest of the day Troy accompanied us around Uluru helping us get the photos and footage we wanted. Our day concluded with a spectacular sunset at Kata Tjuta.

The following day we met Troy and Dave from Discovery Ecotours for a 5-hour base walk around Uluru. During the walk, Dave stopped to inform us of sites that were of special significance to the Anangu people. He told us stories that were passed down for thousands of years and were reinforced by natural etchings in the rock. These stories hold sacred knowledge for the Anangu people.

Along with being a spiritual place, Uluru proved to be a lesson in plants, animals, culture, and geology. Along the way we encountered a wild thorny devil, dingo, red kangaroo, and camels (which are surprisingly just as dangerous as the cigarettes).

And the icing on the cake was a Harley Davidson tour that left Andrew and I feeling, well… Badass.

Oh… And I ate a wasp and was ridiculed for bringing along my ‘producer’. But that, like the stories of the Anangu people, will remain private.

By: Willie Concepcion

Tags: australia, ayers rock, funny, national parks, nature, northern territory, travel, uluru, van-tastic adventures, worldnomads.com



Wow, sounds like learning about the Tjukurpa culture was a great experience. What kind of religious or cultural rituals do they have?

  Maria Apr 1, 2010 1:29 AM


This is sounds so amazing! I can only imagine how cool that side of the world really is. Can't wait to hear more!

  Charles Apr 1, 2010 5:38 PM


yum! wasp!
so glad you guys are experiencing all that! sounds way better than Twilight, no joke!

  Morgan Apr 1, 2010 6:28 PM


"Would this compromise our artistic integrity? Did I really just ask that last question?"
lovin' it.

  Jan Apr 1, 2010 9:44 PM



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