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New Viewing Platform Opens at UluruOctober 14, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox
Visitors to Australia’s Red Centre will get to see a new side of Uluru (formerly known as Ayres Rock) with the official opening of Talingru Nyakunytjaku, the new sunrise viewing area at Uluru.
Talinguru Nyakunytjaku, which in the local Aboriginal Pitjantjatjara language means “place to look from the sand dune,” was unveiled on October 8 and will give the 300,000 visitors a year who come to Uluru a new perspective of the Australian tourism icon.
At a cost of $19 million (funded by Australia’s Federal Government), the platform has been landscaped into the sand dunes and offers panoramic views over the desert oaks to both Uluru and Kata Tjuta, on a clear day.
Just under two miles from Uluru, Talinguru Nyakunytjaku also features traditional shade shelters or wiltjas, one mile of walking tracks and raised pathways, interpretation of the Aboriginal landscape and stories, and an area that can potentially be used for outdoor performances or concerts.
It is expected to welcome some 3,000 visitors every year, an increase on the 1,200 people that used the previous dawn viewing area. The new area is supported by a 6.8-mile scenic road around Uluru, as well as a new coach area, car park and toilet amenities.
On a clear day, the platform will offer views of Kata Tjuta, also known as Mount Olga; another rock formation located some 16 miles away.
Standing about two miles from the rock, the new area allows visitors to take in the southeastern face of Uluru without revealing any sacred sites.
Visitors traveling to view the new side of Uluru can stay in a wide range of accommodation at nearby Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, from the $17-per-night campground, to the luxurious Sails in the Desert Hotel and the safari-chic Longitude 131° luxury campground.
More than 65 tours are available for visitors to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, including the Desert Awakenings 4WD tour and the award-winning Sounds of Silence dining experience, with the viewing platform providing visitors and groups with even more reason to visit this Red Centre icon.
For more details visit www.voyages.com.au.