There are several ways that visitors can tour around Uluru or nearby Kata Tjuta. It’s possible to fly in a helicopter or hot air balloon within several kilometres, ride a camel, take a coach tour but few are as cool as riding a Harley-Davidson; the ultimate Uluru ride.
Having the opportunity to ride pillion on a hog around the sacred rocks in Australia’s red centre was not one but two dreams come true. A true meeting of icons.
Uluru Motorcycle Tours arrange the tour and I met my personal ‘easyrider’ Alex at the town centre of Ayers Rock Resort after watching an indigenous dance display. It was already quite late, so fitting in sunset at both Kata Tjuta and Uluru would be a challenge, but Alex seemed up for it, so off we sped.
We whizzed along the relatively quiet roads towards Kata Tjuta, which is still affectionately known colloquially as “The Olgas”. Riding pillion on this machine was a pleasure, not at all uncomfortable or worrying. It had been sometime since I’d ridden a bike, the last time was several years ago, when hit by a car near Bath, but Alex exuded confidence and his assurance made me to feel totally safe.
Being a passenger also allowed me to attempt to take a few images as we sped along the road. Due to the speed, firm suspension, and receding light however, few turned out acceptable for reproduction.
We were soon at Kata Tjuta and were even lucky enough to catch some of the soft, red light of a rapidly descending sun. After a few minutes of taking some photographs, including getting Alex to do some posing, for which, he was a natural we sped off again to catch the fading light at Uluru.
This required pushing the National Park speed limit as far as possible without actually breaking it. Racing the setting sun, and speeding along the empty roads was exhilarating, the wind fresh on my face and the world zooming by as our target, Uluru grew ever larger ahead.
Arriving just as the last rays of sun hit the face of the iconic rock, had us both smiling, high-fiving and back-slapping. The light was amazing; Uluru almost seemed to glow red in the soft, dimming light, it was the perfect end to an unforgettable day. Some quick work was needed to capture a few images before the light faded altogether, there wasn’t even time to set-up a tripod. Even so I couldn’t help grinning like a Cheshire cat.
The grin was still firmly fixed to my face as we rode back to the hotel, and it’s just as well nobody could see me, I probably looked remarkably stupid. There was one last treat in store before I had to dismount my motorised steed; a spectacular post sunrise view of Kata Tjuta, silhouetted against the yellow glow of a Northern Territory sky, simply stunning.