When you have finally decided to go visit Uluru also known as Ayers Rock, you will have decided of a lifetime to explore one of the most unique landscapes and cultural experiences in the world. It’s never easy to plan a trip of this magnitude, especially when your experience is centered on someplace that is not on the way to other fascinating places in the Northern Territory.
We know that everyone likes to travel differently when they explore and take an adventure. But there are a few items or places to see when you visit Uluru that will make your journey to this giant rock more memorable. Anytime you can plan with good advice, your journey or adventure is a better experience. That’s why we have come up with these five tips for you to think about when you are planning your adventure of a lifetime to Uluru.
First off, you need to think about how many days you need to fully appreciate Uluru. We suggest at minimum a three day Uluru tour. If you are traveling from Alice Springs which is more than 450kms away, you will need to add another day of travel time. The drive is anywhere from five to seven hours long depending on the number of stops you make along the way. Once inside the park travel times from lodging or camping areas to Uluru is roughly 40kms roundtrip. You need to factor all of this time into your day for you to get the most out of your experience.
Another plus to staying three days is that you can relish a sunrise and sunset at Uluru. During these times of the day, the gigantic monolith changes colors as the sun projects on the rocks. This also allows you time to visit Kata-Tjuta where you will find 36 stellar rock domes that are an incredible piece of the natural landscape of the area.
Our second tip for planning a trip to Uluru is to choose when you want to visit and the type of climate that is more comfortable for your body. May and September might be the best months for you when you want to stay comfortable during the day. Temperatures range between 20 and 30 but nighttime temperatures plunge. If you are interested in wildflowers then you should try visiting during August or September when flowers are in full bloom. Summertime from October to March brings dangerously high temperatures during the day. There is also a tremendous amount of rainfall during this stretch of the year. The bright side is that waterholes and waterfalls will be full and ready to cascade down the beautiful rock formations. No matter which time of year you decide to visit Uluru make sure you bring the appropriate clothing for the climate.
Our third tip is to stop at the Cultural Centre when you arrive. This allows you to learn more about the unique Anangu culture of the area. Uluru is a very spiritual place for the Anangu. They believe the rock is an intricate part of their Creation Story as aboriginal people. Also at the Cultural Centre, you can talk with park rangers about the best hiking trails for your level of physicality and hiking ability. Another important aspect to stopping at the Cultural Centre is the interactive activities and exhibits. Here you can learn Aboriginal arts and crafts from the Anangu.
Our next tip for planning your trip is deciding on where to hike while you are visiting Uluru. There are several beautiful walks you can undertake including walking the base of the Uluru. The more than 10km trail is well defined and will take an average hiker three hours. If you are at Uluru during the summer months you need to complete the walk by 11:00 A.M. after which the heat is unbearable. Another nice walk in Uluru is the Kuniya-Mutitjulu Waterhole. The trail you follow is a literal living cultural landscape and expresses more of the Anangu Creation Story. In the summer months, the area comes to life with waterfalls too which are very impressive to see.
Our last planning tip when visiting Uluru is to take the 50km roundtrip drive to Kata-Tjuta where you can experience another important aspect of Anangu culture and the natural landscape of the area. Once you are there you want to walk the 7.5km of loop trails that will give you unbelievable views of the Olgas which are 36 red domed rocks towering in the desert landscape. The walk ranges from the easy boardwalk to more difficult grades, so come prepared with all the necessary items to enjoy your walk.
Now you have a better understanding of how to best experience your adventure after learning our five tips for planning your Uluru tour. Just remember to take your time, revel in the beauty of the natural landscape, and above all respect and learn about the Anangu culture.