Uluru is a UNESO World Heritage site that should be on everyones bucket list when making a trip to Australia because your Aussie Outback adventure is not complete without a visit to the Red Centre. This monolith is more than 600 million years old and has become the iconic symbol of Australia.
So whether you have just booked your trip or still unsure on what’s there – here is everything you need to see & do in Uluru.
Where to Stay: Sails in the Desert
Even though accomodation is owned under the monopoly that is the Ayers Rock Resort – surprisingly there are a bunch of accommodation options available out here in the middle of nowhere. You can find a spot for just about every budget and experience from camping to glamping.
For the high end luxe experience then a stay at Longitude 131 is right up your alley. This boutique retreat only has a few glamping tents available so you will need to book this one well in advance. We tried and we failed so learn from our mistake and get booking early.
A hotel that is a little more affordable, but still captures the 5 star feel is Sails in the Desert. Here you will have a comfy beautifully decorated room with all the amenities you may need: a pool, gym, spa, delicious buffet breakfast and multiple restaurants to choose from. This is where we stayed during our 3 day trip and had a very pleasant experience. Our full review is coming soon, so check back later.
- Desert Gardens Hotel is a four star hotel.
- Outback Pioneer Lodge is the backpackers solution.
- Ayers Rock Campground is for those wanting the true Aussie experience of roughing it in the outback.
The Cultural Experience: Dot Painting
A unique way to be introduced to Australian Aboriginal Art is by doing a Maruku Arts Dot Painting Workshop. Here we were joined by a local Indigenous artist as she shared through her translator about the different symbols depicting their Creation Time (Tjukurpa) stories. It honestly was one of the most culturally enriching experiences we have ever done in the NT.
After feeling inspired we grabbed some modern utensils (acrylic paint & paintbrushes) to put together our travelling story on how we arrived in Uluru through a dot-artwork that was also a keepsake.
Best way to see Uluru at Sunrise: A Camel Tour
If you want an adventure and unique way to watch the sunrise at Uluru then let us point you towards a camel riding experience. Starting the day off at 6am we climbed onto our camels and headed out over the rich red sand dunes into the cool morning air.
We were treated to a sunrise worth writing home about. It was a clear day, the sun started off with pastel pinks before turning blood orange and then ending in a spectacular show that lit everything in sight. If 6am is too early to get up on your holiday, let me tell you it certainly pays off. We were given was one of the most beautiful Aussie sunrises we had ever seen.
As we slowly walked along the red dirt, we watched as the rock changed colours from deep purples to oranges and reds – something you need to witness with your own two eyes!
We won’t lie, who would think you would need to pack a jumper in the desert? Our chilly morning ride concluded by warming up our hands and belly with a fresh brew of tea and coffee whilst we tasted their famous freshly baked (still warm) beer bread damper, it was the perfect way to end a perfect morning.
Things to do in Uluru: Motorbike Tour of Kata Tjuta
For all the adrenaline junkies taking the visit to Uluru we totally recommend trying something a little different. Imagine seeing Uluru for the first time on the back of a Harley Davidson – that is exactly what we did!
We went for an afternoon drive and decided to head out to Kata Tjuta. Kata Tjuta is a group of large, ancient rock formations about 30 kilometres away from Uluru. Together, these giant stone formations form the two major landmarks within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. As the two rock formations are a quite a distance apart, heading out via Harley Davidson was the perfect way to see more of the National Park.
A Must Do: Field of Light
Imagine standing in one of the most remote places on earth surrounded by a field of iridescent light. More than 50,000 flower like stems topped with shimmering glass spheres are scattered across Australia’s spiritual heartland. This unique festival is still running until early 2018 so make sure you start planning your trip soon if you don’t want to miss out!
Where to Eat: Uluru Fork & View
For a super unique dining experience we highly recommend having dinner at Uluru Fork & View. This exclusive tour is a specially designed and modified double-decker open top bus, the lower deck having been transformed into a kitchen and the upper deck a 44 seat open air eatery with uninterrupted views of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Sipping on champagne and eating a delicious meal while watching the sunset over Uluru on a double decker bus is a dining experience we will never forget!
Viewing Platforms: Sunrise/Sunset
Uluru is famous for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Watch as the rock changes colour before your very eyes. There are five viewing areas built specifically for experiencing and photographing this beautiful landscape.
Car Sunset Viewing: This the is the perfect place to watch the colour change at Uluru at sunset (no tour buses allowed). Perfect if you have hired your own car.
Bus Sunset & Dune Walk View: This spot gives you 360 degree views of Uluru & Kata Tjuta. The area is accessible to everyone all day until 4pm when it is reserved for sunset viewing for bus and coaches. If you are on a bus tour, expect to come here.
Talinguru Nyakunytjaku: This also gives you 360 degree views of Uluru & Kata Tjuta. It’s also the main spot for sunrise viewing for Uluru. There are 3 shelters available, two viewing platforms and a few kilometers of walking track to find the perfect spot!
Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing: This location gives you 360 degree views of Kata Tjuta with Uluru on the horizon. The sun hits the rock here at sunrise, and silhouettes at sunset.
Kata Tjuta Sunset Viewing: This spot gives you awesome views of Kata Tjuta, especially at sunset. Watch the stunning colour change into deepest reds.
Thanks to Tourism Northern Territory for kindly inviting Flying the Nest to experience the Northern Territory’s Red Centre. As always, all opinions are our own.