Uluru: more majestic than you ever imagined
Uluru was created over 600 million years, originally sitting at the bottom of a sea – incredible to imagine as today it stands 348m above ground. Another barely believable fact: around 2.5km of it is in fact underground. What you're seeing is the tip of a huge, hot, red iceberg.
Located west of the Simpson Desert, Uluru is about 335km south-west of Alice Springs, and 463km by road. There is so much to experience in this vast, world-renowned expanse, one of the most imposing natural wonders on the planet. Set in a breath-taking landscape you'll see nowhere else on earth, this icon of Aboriginal culture and legend is perhaps the best place in Australia to come to an understanding of Indigenous beliefs and way of life. This is the Red Centre, the heart of Australia, and everyone should experience it at least once.
Things to do
Ayers Rock Resort
Somewhat of an Uluru one-stop-shop, Ayers Rock Resort opens in new window offers accommodation from 5-star luxury to dorm beds. It also gives you access to all kinds of incredible experiences, from camel trekking to scenic flights, dot-painting workshops to 4WD tours. Activities free for hotel guests include Indigenous theatre performances telling the stories of the local legends, bush tucker cooking demonstrations, and guided tours of local flora.
The Ayers Rock Resort Campground opens in new window has backpacking, caravanning or camping accommodation to suit the back-to-nature traveller. Tent sites, powered sites and air-conditioned cabins are located within the Ayers Rock Resort complex. It’s the perfect base from which to discover the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Sounds of Silence
That iconic image you’ve seen of white tablecloths, full formal glassware and crockery, with the big red Rock looming up as the backdrop? You can put yourself in that picture! It’s called Sounds of Silence opens in new window and it's four hours of Outback bliss. The spread is impressive: canapés, a three-course bush-tucker buffet, desserts, beer, wine, tea, coffee and port. But throw in Indigenous dance and didgeridoo performances, a guided night tour and return transfers to your hotel, and you have a truly special once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Uluru base walk
The Uluru base walk opens in new window, just over 10km around the Rock, is the best way to soak up the essence of the place – do it in the early morning before the heat hits its peak. Other trails opens in new window around Uluru take you to waterholes and rock art sites, and you can learn about the legends of the local Indigenous people on the way.
Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park is a walker’s heaven. It’s filled with walking trails opens in new window, from 30-minute saunter to four-hour trek, from easy to moderate, most of them wheelchair accessible. Being close to the land is the best way to discover the breath-taking natural beauty and rich culture of Uluru, as you walk to scenic viewpoints, rock art sites, waterholes, gorges and wildflower landscapes.
Ayers Rock Airport (Connellan; AYQ)
Distance to Ayers Rock Resort 6km
Shuttle Complimentary shuttle buses meet every flight and go to Ayers Rock Resort, the journey takes around 10 minutes.
Taxis are not available.
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When to go
Uluru has a desert climate, with average temperatures ranging from approximately 22°C in winter to 35°C in summer. Tourists flock here in winter to avoid summer heat, but take note that nights and mornings during winter are cold, with average lows for June, July and August between 4°C and 6°C. Be mindful, too, that because of the lack of rain, winter is the dustiest time of the year.
Daytime temperatures during summer can exceed 40°C, so packing heavy-duty sunscreen and a hat is imperative. You can also count on torrential tropical storms during the summer months.
To avoid summer's extremes and winter's crowds, the months of April and September are your best bet.
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