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Most Asked Questions About Uluru

We've got all the whats, whos, whys and whens of a visit to Uluru answered.

Most Asked Questions About Uluru

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

We've got all the whats, whens, hows and whys of a visit to Uluru covered. 

Uluru Aerial

WHAT IS ULURU?

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is one of Australia's most recognisable natural landmarks located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. Uluru is the world’s largest monolith or more accurately, an ‘inselberg’ which is an isolated mountain or hill rising from a plain in a hot and dry region. Made of arkose sandstone, Uluru rises 348 metres above the ground, a further 6km below the ground and has a circumference of 9.4 kilometres. At 348 meters tall, Uluru is higher than The Statue of Liberty (93m) and taller than Paris’ Eiffel Tower (324m) and only 33m lower than the Empire State Building (381m). To the Australian Aboriginal people, Uluru is sacred. Archaeological research shows that the Aboriginal people have lived in this area for over 30,000 years.

Image of Uluru from space captured by @thom_astro

Image: a striking picture taken by astronaut @thom_astro capturing Uluru from space

WHY SHOULD I VISIT ULURU?

You haven’t seen Australia until you’ve visited this sacred Aboriginal site in the heart of the country. To truly appreciate its magnitude and beauty, Uluru has to be experienced up close and personal. Like Yellowstone, Pompeii and the Grand Canyon, photographs fail to fully capture the essence of the place. It is truly a remarkable destination and provides visitors an opportunity to connect to Aboriginal culture and experience the Aussie outback. 

Uluru Bush

CAN I CLIMB ULURU?

Yes, until 26 October 2019, when the climb closes for good, you can still climb Uluru. However, Anangu ask as visitors to their land that you respect their wishes, culture and law and choose not to climb this sacred monolith. The path of the climb is associated with important Mala ceremonies. Anangu believe that during the time when the world was being formed, the Uluru climb was the traditional route taken by Mala men when they arrived at Uluru. The climb may also be closed because of weather conditions or for cultural reasons. Find out more about the Uluru climb

Uluru Climb Close

Image: the warning signs at Mala Parking at Uluru | Maulemon | Wikimedia Commons

HOW DO I GET TO ULURU?

What many people don’t know is that there’s an airport located right near Uluru, it’s only 25km (25min drive) from the airport to the iconic rock. Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia airlines all fly straight to Ayers Rock Airport daily from Sydney (3hr), Melbourne (3hr), Brisbane (3hr) - commencing 3 August 2018, Alice Springs (45min) and Cairns (2hr 45min) and offer connecting flights from most other Australian capital cities.

To get from the airport to your hotel, there is a complimentary coach that meets all regular flights. The transfer takes approx. 10 minutes and takes you from the airport to your hotel at Ayers Rock Resort. There are no taxis so taking the free hotel courtesy transfer or hiring a car are your only two options for getting to and from the airport.

The next closest airport is in Alice Springs, 450km away. Flying into Alice Springs and hiring a car to drive to Uluru is a great option for those wishing to explore more of the Red Centre. Alice Springs to Uluru is 450km down the Stuart Highway, approximately a 4.5 hour drive on sealed roads. There is also the option of driving via Kings Canyon on the iconic Mereenie Loop Road taking in many incredible sites along the way. Alice Springs to Kings Canyon is 337km (unsealed for 197km of the journey), driving time is approx. 4 hours. From Kings Canyon to Uluru is 306km on sealed roads (approx. 3.5 hour drive).

Ayers Rock Airport

Image: © Flickr, Paula Funnell, Ayers Rock Airport

WHERE CAN I STAY IN ULURU?

Voyages Ayers Rock Resort is located only 20km from Uluru and 6km from the airport. The Resort provides a variety of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. You can choose from the premium Sails in the Desert hotel, the modern Desert Gardens Hotel, the self-contained one and two-bedroom Emu Walk Apartments, the funky Lost Camel Hotel (opening July 2018) and the authentic Outback Pioneer Hotel & Backpacker Lodge with dorms and budget rooms. There’s also a large Campground with powered and unpowered sites and cabins. In the Resort Town Square you’ll find a collection of shops and cafes, a supermarket, bank and ATM, car hire, newsagency, hair & beauty salon, postal office, and a Tour & Information Centre. 

Ayers Rock Resort Aerial

WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO VISIT ULURU?

Uluru is beautiful all year round! Most people choose to travel between April and October when the days are vibrant with an average of 24C°/75F° with clear skies and minimal rainfall. Night-time temperatures can get cold at this time of year so make sure to pack warm clothes. On the opposite end of the year during November to March, the days are sun-laden and warm with an average temperature of 35C°/95F° and the evenings are beautiful and balmy. Rainfall in the desert is unpredictable but more likely to fall at this time of year which is also your best chance of experiencing Uluru's rare waterfalls.  

Uluru

WHAT CAN I DO IN ULURU?

With over 101 tours, activities and attractions at Uluru and within Ayers Rock Resort, your days will be action-packed. Meet some desert reptiles, ride a camel across the desert dunes or take in an aerial view of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park on one of our air adventures. If you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, whizz around the rock on a bicycle, segway or on the back of Harley Davidson.

To gain a deeper understanding of the history, culture and geology of this remarkable place, you can join one of the guided tours. The benefit of joining a small group tour (less than 20 people) is that they’re personalised and you have access to an expert guide who will tell you all you need to know about Uluru.

No visit to Uluru is complete without tasting some native bush tucker at a Bush Food Experience, or enjoying a dinner under the sparkling desert sky at the Sounds of Silence, A Night At Field of Light or the intimate Tali Wiru.

Have a read of our top 10 can’t miss experiences in Uluru.

Uluru Outback Cycling

HOW DO I GET AROUND?

There are no taxis, ubers, line-buses or trains around so your options include:

Hiring a car - If you want the freedom to explore the destination at your own pace, hiring a car is possibly your best option. Avis, Hertz and Thrifty car rentals are available with pick-up and drop-off options from Ayers Rock Airport and the Resort. You can choose from a range of vehicles including 4WD and sedan options. Due to the remoteness there are only a limited number of cars available at any one time, so we recommend pre-booking your rental car well in advance.

Joining a guided tour - Guided tours provide pick-up and drop-off to your hotel or campground. Another great thing about joining a guided tour is that you’ll also learn more about the history, culture and landscape thanks to an expert guide.

Uluru Hop On Hop Off Shuttle - Choose from either a 1 day, 2 day or 3 day pass and hop on and off the bus as much as you like from sunrise to sunset. This shuttle bus travels between the Resort and the National Park and stops at the Cultural Centre, Uluru sunrise and sunset lookouts, Kata Tjuta lookout, Walpa Gorge and Valley of the Winds. Pick-up and drop-off is also included.

Free Resort Shuttle Bus - There’s a free shuttle bus that circulates the Resort to help you get around. It runs from 10:30 in the morning to just after midnight, departing every 20 minutes. The shuttle stops at all hotels, the campground, Resort Town Square, Wintjiri Arts & Museum and the Uluru Camel Farm. Please note that this shuttle does not go to Uluru.

Coach/Bus Services - If you’re looking to travel further out to discover more of the Red Centre, there are luxury air-conditioned coach and bus services running between Ayers Rock Resort, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs. Your drive/guide will provide comprehensive commentary as you pass through the rugged scenery of the outback.

AAT Kings Uluru Coach

GOT ANOTHER QUESTION FOR US?

Feel free to give us a call on +61 2 8296 8010 (or 1300 134 044 from within Australia) or email us at travel@voyages.com.au. We’re always happy to answer any questions and help you plan your Uluru escape!

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Create your own itinerary using the My Itinerary planner. Start by browsing and adding experiences to your itinerary to help you plan your days. Then select accommodation that best suits your style and budget before finalising your perfect Uluru escape. You can easily save your itinerary and come back to it at a later date.

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1 Day Hop On Hop Off Pass

This 1-day Hop On Hop Off pass gives you the freedom to explore Uluru at your own pace for one day. From sunrise to sunset, hop on and hop off as much as you like throughout the day. Additionally, this pass also entitles you to one bonus transfer to and from Kata Tjuta within the same day.

Uluru Bicycle Hire (Departure 1)

Take a morning ride around the base of Uluru by bicycle. The 15 kilometre self-guided journey is easily made within 3 hours and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Stop and explore the pure beauty of this spiritual and unique wonder of the world at your own pace. Once you have finished your ride, you are free to explore the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre. Includes return hotel transfers operated by Uluru Hop On & Hop Off. Children toddler seats and tag-a-longs available on request, subject to availability. Departure times: Return transfer from your accommodation by Uluru Hop ON Hop Off 7:15am December 7:45am February 8:30am March 9:30am October and November 10:00am September 10:15am 16-30 April and May 10:30am 1-15 April and June to August Duration approx. 4 hours

15min Uluru and Resort Postcard Flight (daytime)

Limited on time? Take to the skies on a 15 minute scenic helicopter flight that takes you past Ayers Rock Resort and onto breathtaking views of the desert landscape and the majestic Uluru, as well as Kata Tjuta in the distance. Enjoy this tour anytime throughout the day, excluding sunrise and sunset. Tour duration is approx. 1 hour
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Longitude 131°

Longitude 131° offers an exclusive experience of Australia’s spirited heartland.

Emu Walk Apartments

Ayers Rock Resort’s Emu Walk Apartments offer the luxury of newly renovated, fully serviced apartments with all the practicalities of home.

Ayers Rock Campground

Located within the Ayers Rock Resort, the well-equipped campground is an ideal base from which to experience the beauty of the living cultural landscape in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
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Bush Food Experience

Learn about Australian and local native bush foods with a tasting of seasonal seeds, fruits and spices. Your knowledgeable guide will describe how for centuries the Indigenous people used the bush for food.  You'll find out about the uses of certain plants, fruits, grains and spices and about traditional food preparation methods. Enjoy a cooking demonstration of a recipe using some of the ancient native bush ingredients. Tour duration approx. 45 minutes. 

Mani Mani Indigenous Cultural Theatre

Mani-Mani Theatre Company’s unique sound, lighting, 3D effects and performance take you on a visually captivating experience transporting you to the ancient lands of Central Australia where the story of Walawuru, Kakalyalya & Kaanka unravels. The symbolic story of Walawuru, Kakalyalya & Kaanka is a tale of love, jealousy and greed. Expressed through ‘Mani-Mani’, the local art form of storytelling, this contemporary Indigenous performance brings to life the ancient ancestral beings Walawuru the Wedge-Tailed Eagle and his two wives; Kaanka the black crow and Kakalyalya the white cockatoo. Walawuru is happy with his two wives but little does he know Kaanka is evil and very jealous of the kind and caring Kakalyalya. The word ‘Mani-Mani’ comes from the Yankunytjatjara & Pitjantjatjara language of the Anangu people of Central Australia. Anangu people would often tell stories by drawing symbols in the sand using a stick taken from a branch of the Mani-Mani tree. The stories were often about ancestors, real events in history and the Tjukurpa creation time. Please note: this tour will recommence 5 February 2018

Ecology & Museum Tour

Wintjiri museum provides an educational display highlighting local history, Aboriginal culture, geology, flora and fauna. On this interpretative tour of the museum your Aboriginal guide will introduce you to the region's unique ecology and classes of mammals and fauna types not found anywhere else in the world.  Gain insights into the Anangu land conservation and management practices as well as a brief historical overview; starting 30,000 years ago with the Aboriginal habitation to the early European explorers, and the development of tourism at Uluru. Tour duration approx. 45 minutes.
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3 Day Best of Uluru Itinerary

Experience everything Uluru and the surrounds has to offer with the top once-in-a-lifetime tours and activities on this 2 night Best of Uluru stay including: A Night at Field of Light Desert Awakenings sunrise tour Kata Tjuta Sunset Various guest activities

3 Day Culture Itinerary

Immerse yourself in the magic of this cultural living landscape with this all-encompassing 2 night cultural itinerary including: Sounds of Silence dinner under the stars Dot painting Desert Awakenings sunrise tour Various guest activities

3 Day Luxury Itinerary

Your 2 night Luxury and Indulgence stay is overflowing with experiences that will leave you with a lifetime of lasting memories. Includes Mayu Wiru intimate fine dining experience, an intimate Desert Awakenings tour, a helicopter ride and various guest activities to experience at Ayers Rock Resort. This itinerary is suited to couples or 2 singles wanting that indulgent Outback break. Includes: Tali Wiru fine dining under the outback sky Desert Awakenings tour Helicopter ride (requires a min. 2 passengers) Variety of guest activities
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