Uluru (AKA Ayers Rock) is the most photographed location in Australia, and it’s easy to see why! This epic sandstone rock juts out an impressive 348m high, and is surrounded by miles and miles of flat desert. Visiting Australia for a second time I knew I had to make the trip to see Ayers Rock for myself. If you are planning a trip to the red centre, here are my top things to do in Uluru Australia (including the best photo spots).
Everything you need to know about Uluru
Uluru OR Ayers Rock?
The iconic rock in Australia’s red centre goes by two names Uluru and Ayers Rock and it can be confusing to know which one to use so here’s a bit of background!
The area around Uluru was settled thousands of years ago by the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people. They named the rock Uluru which means ‘Great Pebble’.
The name Ayers Rock was chosen by the surveyor William Gosse in 1873 who sighted the landmark and named it after the South Australian Premier at the time, Sir Henry Ayers.
Ayers Rock was the preferred name for over a century, but the landmark has been officially known as “Uluru / Ayers Rock” since 2002.
In a bid to respect the original owners of the land I personally say Uluru.
Can you climb Uluru?
Uluru is a sacred site for the Aboriginal tribes of the area, and has great spiritual meaning.
Climbing Uluru is not currently prohibited, but the Anangu aboriginal people ask that visitors to their land respect their wishes, culture and law by NOT climbing.
THE CLIMB WILL CLOSE FOR GOOD ON 26 OCTOBER 2019
How to get to Uluru
The easiest way to get to Uluru is flying straight there into Ayers Rock Airport. However this can be expensive. I did a lot of research via Skyscanner to find the cheapest dates, and ended up flying Brisbane to Uluru for $100 then Uluru to Melbourne for 80$!!
You can also fly into Alice Springs but this is a 5 hour drive away.
The easiest way to get around is to have or hire your own car. We hired a car from Ayers Rock Airport, which was 180$ for 3 days.
Only Avis, Hertz and Thrifty operate in this area so have a look on their websites to find the best deal for you. As there are only three operators there is limited availability so make sure you book your car at least 3 weeks in advance.
If you don’t hire a car the resort offers complimentary coach transfers to and from the airport (these don’t require advance booking) and you can easily do and see everything you want by booking onto tours. These cost anything upwards of $70 AUD per person.
- Uluru Sacred Sights and Sunset Tour (with wine and cheeseboard)
- Uluru Sunrise and Guided Base Walk Tour
- Scenic Helicopter Flight
TOP TIP – You can purchase your national park pass online, which will save you some time upon arrival.
Best time to go
Summer in Australia runs from December to February and is the hottest time of year. Personally I would try to avoid this time in Uluru, however this will probably be when the cheapest flights are.
During the warmer months, Uluru is full of these extremely annoying flies. The flies don’t bite however they will land on your face (eyes, mouth, nose) and try to fly into your ears. As you can imagine this isn’t pleasant! You can either bring a net with you or purchase them for $10 AUD in the culture centre.
The best time to visit Uluru is May, June, September, October. This way you avoid the sweltering heat as well as the peak season (July and August).
There is one resort in Uluru which is in between the airport and the entrance to the national park. This resort has a few different hotels so you can choose what best fits your budget.
Book directly through the Ayers Rock Resort website for the best deal. If you are on a tight budget you will want to check out the camp ground, or if you don’t have camping gear/a campervan, you can stay at the Outback Lodge.
Top Things to do in Uluru
1) Watch the sunrise over Uluru
Whilst in Uluru I recommend waking up for sunrise everyday. Not only will you then be able to make the most of the cooler morning (and rest during the hottest part of the day) but Uluru looks best during golden hour.
There is a designated car park and area to watch the sunrise from (type Uluru Sunrise Viewing Area into Google), but I would also recommend checking out the Uluru lookout (pictured) which is near the accommodation. This is a great photo spot as you can go amongst the vegetation and there is no one around.
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Why should you visit Uluru? Well…. it ROCKS 🤣 :::: The origins of Uluru date back 500 million years!! 😱 To around the same time the Australian continent was formed. Large crustal blocks were merging together to create the island of Australia 🇦🇺. :::: It is one of those place where you can’t help but go WOW! Where was the last place you visited that made you go wow?! :::: TRAVEL TIP – Make sure you check out a sunset or sunrise from the Uluru lookout. It is outside of the national park (near to the hotels), and hardly anyone seems to come here! ❤️ :::: #ntaustralia #uluru #discoveruluru #seeaustralia #sheisnotlost #couplegoals #creativetravelcouples #coupleslovetravel #naturegramy #iamtb #speechlessplaces
2) Walk around the base
Once you’ve admired Uluru from afar, make sure to get up close! The base walk is about 10 km of track that takes you around the whole circumference of the rock. Walking around Uluru is a great opportunity to learn more about it as well as see how much the surface of the rock changes.
Where to start from: Mala car park.
When to go: I would go as early as possible! Watch the sunrise and then start the walk.
What to bring: Bring plenty of water! There is nowhere to refill your bottle. I would also bring snacks or a packed lunch.
If you don’t want to walk the full 10km you can find some smaller walk suggestions on the Australia Parks website.
Alternatively you might want to look at exploring the base on a Segway Tour!
3) Go hiking in Kata Tjuata
As the name suggests the Uluru Kata Tjuata National Park consists of Uluru, and Kata Tjuata.
If you are planning to explore Kata Tjuata you will need to start early! The path actually closes at 11am if temperatures go over 36 degrees (which happens a lot) so you cannot start after this time, I would try to be finished around midday at the very latest.
You can either drive the 40 minutes straight there at sunrise, or you can watch the sunrise at the Kata Tjuata sunrise viewpoint before entering the valley to start the hike.
The hike takes around 4 hours and has limited amounts of shade. Make sure you bring plenty of water, there’s only one tap located just after the first viewpoint.
If you don’t have a car then you can book onto the Uluru sunrise and Kata Tjuata tour.
TOP TIP – Most of the roads in the national parks have signs saying ‘no stopping here’. However if you drive a bit along the road towards Western Australia you’ll be able to stop here to enjoy my favourite angle of Kata Tjuata, a perfect photo spot!
4) Watch the sunset over Uluru
You can’t come to Uluru and not watch the sunset! The rock glows a fantastic red during golden hour which is a site you cannot miss!
As this area is a national park with a number of areas which are sacred to the Aboriginal people, you are not able to park or walk in most areas of the park. However similar to the sunrise car park there is a sunset car park in place for your enjoyment and photo opportunities! Just type Uluru Sunset Viewing Area onto Google Maps.
TOP TIP – I would recommend going at least half an hour before sunset so that you get a parking space.
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I can’t believe I’m 30 😱 :::: Coming back to Europe and also my birthday has got me thinking a lot about what I would like to achieve in my 30s (business-wise) :::: I would love to be able to work full time on my blog, insta and photography however I don’t quite make enough money yet. 💰 :::: I am hoping to find a part time remote job (in social media) so that I can still work on my own projects (and travel!), I haven’t started looking at jobs yet but fingers crossed I can find something interesting! 💻 :::: I would like my base to be Paris but I really don’t know what the future holds! :::: What do you do for a living? :::: EDITING TIP – After adding my Golden Glow Pop Preset on @lightroom I added a radial filter on my face to brighten it and make it pop more #gingerpresets 🌟 :::: #ntaustralia #uluru #exploreuluru #discoveruluru #seeaustralia #sheisnotlost #naturegramy #iamtb #speechlessplaces
5) Visit the Field of lights
The Field of lights is a beautiful art installation by the internationally celebrated artist Bruce Munro. As darkness falls and Uluru is thrown into silhouette, the Field of Light illuminates the desert.
The Field of lights is HUGE! It covers more than SEVEN football fields with 50,000 spindles of light. It really is quite a sight both up close where you can see the changing colours and from on top of the dune with Uluru in the distance.
Tickets start from $43 AUD and the installation will be around until 31 December 2020.
TOP TIP – Book in advance to avoid disappointment! I would also book a tour that includes the view from the dune as this is where you will see Uluru with the lights in the foreground.
6) Enjoy some FREE activities!
The Ayers Rock Resort offers a number of free daily activities for their guests. Including a Bush Food Experience which gives you the opportunity to learn about the local native foods.
7) Check out the Multijutu water hole
My favourite photo spot in Uluru was the Multijutu water hole, the way the light hits the rock and vegetation here about 45 minutes before sunset is just incredible!
The Multijutu water hole is also a great short walk to complete, with a number of historical sites along the path.
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IG vs reality 🤣 this net was a LIFE SAVER, I took it off for photos but otherwise I was wearing it all the time! :::: If you visit Uluru in the summer I 100% recommend buying one (it’s $10 from the cultural centre), it will stop the flies from landing on your nose/mouth/eyes/ears – they are after moisture so go for all the holes 😬 :::: Can you spot the fly on the boomerang? 🤣 :::: TRAVEL TIP – If you spend 2 nights at Uluru I recommend doing one sunset far from the rock (either at the sunset car park in the national park or the Uluru lookout) and one closer to the rock. Just look at the shadows and light here 😍 :::: 📷 by @alexwandr at Kuniya walk :::: #ntaustralia #uluru #discoveruluru #kuniyawalk #mutijuluwaterhole #seeaustralia #sheisnotlost #darlingescapes #womenwhoexplore #dametraveler
You will need at least two whole days to fully make the most of Uluru Kata Tjuata National Park and tick these top things to do off your list. I hope you enjoy your time at one of the most iconic landmarks in Australia, if not the world!
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