Uluṟu / Ayers Rock Guide
A definitive icon of Aboriginal Australian history and culture, Uluru is most certainly a bucket list destination. Set deep in the heart of the Australian Outback, Uluru and its neighbouring Kata Tjuta are sacred to the region’s indigenous people. Known colloquially as the Red Centre, this vast desert landscape provides some of the most breathtaking views in the country. Get set to take in rich ochre earth, imposing geological formations and stunning sunrises and sunsets that bathe Uluru in an unforgettable red glow.
The sheer magnitude of Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, will surely take your breath away. Arrive early in the morning and watch as the rock changes colour in time with the rising sun. A guided walk around the base of this world-famous monolith is the perfect way to appreciate its size and splendour. There’s also a great range of walks and hikes in the surrounding Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park that cater for all ages and abilities.
Once you’ve had your fill of the rock itself, discover the vast desert landscape that surrounds it. Explore this stunning region in a way you’ll never forget – take a 4-wheel drive or quad bike tour, get a bird’s eye view from a helicopter or tour the sights from the back of a camel.
Move on to the natural wonder of Kings Canyon, another site that’s sacred to Aboriginal culture. The sweeping rock formations and deep rugged gorges make for truly spectacular scenery, and a swim in the refreshing water here is a lovely way to cool off on a hot Aussie afternoon.
Eat and Drink
All restaurant options at Uluru are located within Ayers Rock Resort. There’s a diverse range of cuisines on offer, from Asian favourites and modern Australian fare to burgers, pizza and bush tucker inspired buffets. Enjoy a quick meal or a luxurious fine dining experience with the sprawling red desert surrounding you.
If you prefer to self-cater, the small but well-stocked supermarket at Ayers Rock Resort will provide everything you need for barbecues in the campground. The territory’s central hub of Alice Springs is well equipped with restaurants, pubs and bars, so dust off your walking boots, step inside and celebrate your Aussie Outback adventure with a cold drink.
Ayers Rock Resort is home to all of Uluru’s accommodation options. Comprised of 4 hotels and a large camping ground, the resort caters for a wide range of needs and budgets. The ever-popular camping ground, which boasts full facilities, is a great option for those seeking an affordable experience.
Longitude 131, a luxury eco-conscious wilderness retreat, offers a unique experience, while the Outback Pioneer Lodge provides dorm-style rooms for those who prefer a solid roof over their heads. A great selection of accommodation is also available in Alice Springs, with bars, restaurants, shops and the local airport all close by.
For a conventional retail experience, the bustling hub of Alice Springs is your go-to destination, with shopping centres boasting high-street fashion, department stores and food courts. For cultural souvenirs and unique keepsakes, head to Ayers Rock Resort Shopping Centre and the cultural centre within the national park. Copies of traditional Aboriginal artwork are a great memento to take away from your time at Uluru, and make for wonderful gifts as well.
Uluṟu / Ayers Rock Like a Local
Australia’s Northern Territory is the indigenous cultural epicentre of the country, and the ideal place to immerse yourself in Aboriginal history. It’s important to remember that while it is a tourist destination, Uluru is also a home to the Pitjantjatjara people, who established the area thousands of years ago and have fascinating stories to tell. The concept of ‘Dreamtime’ represents the sacred, ancient time of the creation of all things. This theme is absolutely integral to Aboriginal culture, so a Dreamtime Walk around Uluru is the perfect way to experience the history of Australia’s native people.