A helicopter tour offers a thrilling aerial perspective of Uluru-Kata Tjuta. Preparing for a heli ride over Australia’s vast Red Centre is almost as exciting as the trip itself.
First up, passengers meet the pilot and receive a drill about what to do and not to do when approaching the helicopter: keep your head down! After a group photo at the side of the helicopter, blades whirring noisily overhead, guests climb onboard and put on headphones. In no time at all there’s lift off, and in the blink of an eye the heli is sweeping above Longitude 131° in a grand arc, heading towards Uluru.
The view of the landscape from the air is nothing less than thrilling; the natural icons explored on the ground fall into perspective against the sky and horizon. Mount Conner, Uluru and the mighty domes of Kata Tjuta line up and make sense as if part of a bigger plan, while fault lines run like ripples into the distance. The Red Centre seems greener from above, with desert oaks dotting the red earth like an artwork.
The pilot’s commentary explains the indigenous Tjukurpa – or dreaming – and stories of the landscape and indicates the private indigenous community at Mutitjulu before circling towards Kata Tjuta.
For those who have walked among some of the 36 domes on the Walpa Gorge experience or on the rewarding Valley of the Winds walk, a flight over the rock formation reveals their true shape and layout; some have grassy tops with trees growing determinedly from the most precarious of places. The mysterious appeal of Kata Tjuta with its crevices and alleyways is only heightened from above.