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Flora

As its world heritage listing indicates, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ‘contains unique, rare or superlative natural phenomena, formations and features’. There are over 416 species of native plants in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park alone.

Flora


Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of a trip to Australia's Outback is how green it can be! Most people can't believe that there are over 416 species of native plants in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park alone. The Aboriginal people have used the plant life of Central Australia for thousands of years to supplement their diet of native game as well as for medicines, weapons, clothing and shelter.

As its world heritage listing indicates, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ‘contains unique, rare or superlative natural phenomena, formations and features’.

Anangu have, for centuries, divided the flora in the Park into a number of categories: Punu (trees), Puti (shrubs), Tjulpuntjulpunpa (flowers) and Ukiri (grasses).

Uluru Flora waputi

Kurkara - Desert Oak

One of the most distinctive and impressive trees of the pila and tali habitats is the Kurkara. Like many plants in the Central Desert, the Kurkara has modified leaves to reduce water loss. Its needles are made up of thin striped segments, leaf stalks, linked by a ring of projections, each of which is a tiny leaf.

Desert Oaks are slow to mature and grow in deep sand in large numbers. Juveniles look like Christmas trees and when matured to an adult form, spread massive limbs when the roots meet the water table. It is the only member of its family in Central Australia and its cones are the biggest of its kind. Fire burns its foliage but usually does not kill the tree.

Wanari- Mulga

This tough shrub is the most common shrub in puti and probably the most common in all of Australia. It is well equipped to survive dry hot conditions. Like most acacias, it has leaves that aren't really leaves at all but flattened leaf stalks called phyllodes. These reduced leaves lose less water vapour when the plant breathes than more traditional leaves. They are also silvery to reflect the heat and hang vertically to minimise the sunlight falling on them.

Kaliny - Kalinypa Honey Grevillea "Sweetshops"

The spectacular flowers of grevilleas make them popular in Australia gardens. But in the Central Desert they have a more important role. The flowers of Desert and Honey Grevilleas are full of nectar, attracting a host of insects and honeyeater birds. Look for beads of nectar glistening on these flowers in the early morning before the day shift of sweet tooths have their fill.

Shrubs such as grevilleas and hakeas (corkwood trees) flower in the spring and winter and are known for their big bottlebrush heads. Kaliny-kalinypa (honey grevillea - Grevillea eriostachya) flowers are bright yellow and green. Colourful ground  flowers are called tjulpuntjulpunpa. Daisies and other ground flowers bloom after rain and during the winter. Others such as the wattles bloom as spring approaches.

Uluru Flora red grevillea

Tjanpi - Spinifex "Spiky Donuts"

The spiny leaves of Tjanpi (Spinifex) are rolled into needles to conserve valuable moisture. Young plants are round. As a clump grows outwards the outer leaves take root. Eventually as the plant expands, the centre dies, producing rings. Old clumps become metres wide.

Tjanpi cools the sand for animals, provides food for grazing insects and mammals, and gives spiky protection. Your fingers or shins may have already told you how effective that protection is.

The prickly tjanpi (hard spinifex - Triodia basedowii) hummocks are prevalent throughout the Park. Their enormous root systems prevent desert sands shifting, spreading underground beyond the prickly clump and deep into the soil and forming an immense cone.

For a much more comprehensive look at the plant life in the area, make sure you visit the Visitors Centre in Ayers Rock Resort while you're on your trip.

Join an Indigenous guide on an exploration around the Resort gardens at Desert Gardens Hotel and Sails in the Desert on the free Guided Garden Walks. Or pick up your pocket guide from the hotel reception for a self-guided walk around these gardens.

Uluru Flora wattle

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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. Download timetable and map

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

15min Rock Blast (Daytime)

Launch off on a rock blasting adventure and take in the sights of Ayers Rock Resort and surrounding desert landscape as you make your way towards Uluru. Enjoy a panoramic view of the breathtaking scenery unique to the Red Centre.  Tour duration approx. 1 hour
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Longitude 131°

Located adjacent to Ayers Rock Resort, Longitude 131° offers an exclusive experience of the Australian Outback, rich in cultural heritage and history.

Emu Walk Apartments

Ayers Rock Resort's 4 star self-contained apartments: Only 20km from Uluru, the newly renovated 1 and 2 bedroom apartments are sheltered behind gardens of native trees. Lowest Price Guarantee.

Ayers Rock Campground

Ayers Rock Campground is located only 15km from Uluru and offers cabin accommodation, unpowered and powered camp sites for caravans, campervans, motor homes and camper trailers. The camp ground offers modern camping facilities and a playground, pool, supermarket and petrol station.
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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.  Days and times: daily, 1pm Location: Wintjiri Arts & Museum

Guided Garden Walk

Desert Gardens Hotel is famous for it's magnificent gardens full of local flora. Meet your Indigenous guide at the hotel's reception for a guided tour of these authentic native gardens and an introduction to the many different plants which Anangu relied on for food and medicinal purposes. Tour duration approx. 1 hour.

Bush Yarn

Welcome to the Circle of Sand, the Indigenous heart of Ayers Rock Resort. You'll become captivated by the yarns told by an Indigenous storyteller of Aboriginal history, culture and traditional techniques used on the land. Dependant on the season, learn about traditional bushtucker or an Indigenous man’s “survival kit” including weapons such as katjii (hunting spears), tjutinpa (clubs), kali (boomerangs) and miru (spear thrower). Tour duration: approx 30 minutes. Days and times: daily, 10am, 10:30am, 11am, 11:30am Location: Town Square Lawn Area
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3 Day Uluru Outback Adventure Itinerary

Discover adventure in the Australian outback over 2 adventure-packed nights. Witness an amazing sunrise over Uluru. Get an adrenaline rush on a Harley Davidson ride. Enjoy dinner under the stars at the award-winning Sounds of Silence and various guest activities. Tours in this itinerary requires a moderate level of fitness.

3 Day Uluru Budget Itinerary

Explore Australia's Red Centre on a budget in 2 packed nights. Experience the magic of Uluru. Enjoy a dinner under the stars at the award-winning Sounds of Silence, walk through the Field of Light and discover various guest activities that will provide you with unforgettable memories. This itinerary is designed for those wanting a budget adventure.

3 Day Luxury Itinerary

Enjoy this 2 night Luxury Uluru getaway and experience the unforgettable Tali Wiru dinner under the Central Australian desert night sky. Watch the sun rise over Uluru as the desert awakens and join various Indigenous activities at Ayers Rock Resort. This itinerary is suited to couples or two singles wanting an indulgent Outback stay.
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