The best things to do at Uluru and Kata Tjuta
Magnificent, ancient rock formations on endless desert plains, sacred, spiritual Uluru and Kata Tjuta are breathtaking places to visit. These are the best ways to experience Australia’s Red Centre.
- January 2021
There’s no question, Uluru is a must do. Glowing on the horizon, sacred to the Anangu, it’s the ancient heart of Australia’s Red Centre. There’s nothing like it in the world. And so many ways to experience it: from a camel train or a skydive plane, on a morning hike or a starry night. After some inspiration? To experience the best of this extraordinary place, these are our top things to do at and around Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
1. Segway around Uluru’s base
Save your legs and glide around the base of Uluru on a Segway. Join Uluru Segway Tours to jump on a two-wheeled, motorised personal transporter, and tour the base, stopping at significant sites and immersing yourself in the local history and culture. Guided walks to Mutijulu Waterhole and Kantju Gorge take in extraordinary ancient rock art, campsites and caves. It’s a fascinating and fun way to experience Uluru up close.
- If knee-pads aren’t your look, hire a bike from Outback Cycling Uluru and two-wheel it at your own pace.
- Or two-foot it. Embark on the 10.6km Uluru Base Walk or the shorter Kuniya and Mala walks. Tip: start early to beat the heat.
2. See the sunrise on a camel tour
Saddle up and see the sun rise aboard a “desert ship”. Take in the breathtaking colours of Uluru on a trip back in time, 19th-century-cameleer style. Take the reins on a camel train with Uluru Camel Tours, a ten-foot-tall adventure across red sand dunes to see day break over Uluru. Cameleers share wisdom about native flora and wildlife along the trail, tales of the Territory, and a damper and billy tea brekky to boot.
Not a morning person? Book a sunset tour – sleep-ins and sundowners sorted.
- Swap saddles for a sweet ride on a Harley Davidson. Go for a blast around the base or a quick spin along the sunset strip with Uluru Motorcycle Tours – rock and roll.
3. See the sunset from a helicopter
Treat yourself to a scenic flight for a pilot’s-eye view of Uluru. Small plane and helicopter flights offer an extraordinary way to see the ever-changing colours of the outback at sunset, the best way to appreciate the sheer magnitude of the landscape, and of course the perfect opportunity to be the Insta-envy of your friends. Choose from quick trips to Uluru and Kata Tjuta, to half-day aerial adventures taking in Kings Canyon and Lake Amadeus.
- Sign up for a tandem skydive at sunset with Skydive Uluru. If you’re not too terrified to prise open your eyes, you’re in for breathtaking views of Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Lake Amadeus and Mt. Connor.
- Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Land lovers, pack your Esky and park yourself at Uluru Car Sunset Viewing Area or Ewing Lookout (near the camel farm) to take in the sunset.
4. Wander after dark through the Field of Light
Add sparkle to your trip with a stroll through the stars: Bruce Munro’s Field of Light exhibition. After dark, wander among 50,000 spindles of light, covering an area the size of seven football fields, as they sway and illuminate the remote desert plains. To see the exhibition with nature’s best backdrop, book yourself a star pass: canapes and drink in hand, you’ll watch the exhibition come to light from atop a dune, with views all the way to Uluru.
- For even more star quality, try an outback astro tour. With seemingly endless horizons and low light pollution, the Red Centre is one of the best places in Australia to gaze at a gazillion stars and learn the ancient Indigenous stories behind the southern sky’s spectacular constellations.
5. Walk into Walpa Gorge at Kata Tjuta
Find yourself dwarfed between the towering walls of Kata Tjuta’s ancient domes on the Walpa Gorge walk. The 2.6km rocky track takes around an hour and is the best way to get up close to the sheer walls of the domes, and to appreciate the spiritual significance of Kata Tjuta. Nature lovers, expect to see rare plants along the trail, a seasonal stream and, if you’re lucky, local wallabies hopping about the domes.
Tip: Walpa Gorge a great spot to park yourself for sunset. Benches along the track attract fewer sunset spotters than the main viewing areas.
- Boots made for walking? Embark on the more challenging, but equally rewarding, 7.6km Valley of the Winds walk.
- Early bird? Watch the sunrise from Kata Tjuta’s best lookouts: the Kata Tjuta Sunset Viewing Area (a hidden gem for sunrise) and Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Platform.