World Heritage-listed Uluru is one of Australia’s most iconic symbols. Located in the heart of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre, Uluru is an ancient landscape, rich in Australian indigenous culture and spirituality. There are many ways to experience the majesty of Uluru and the beauty of this unique desert landscape. Take a walk with an Aboriginal guide and learn about ancient traditions and stories from the Dreamtime. See it from the skies by helicopter or hot air balloon. Ride across the ochre coloured desert on a Harley Davidson motorcycle or on the back of a camel.
The traditional custodians of Uluru, the Anangu, believe this landscape was created by their ancestors at the beginning of time, and they have been protecting these sacred lands ever since. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre is a great starting point for visitors. Learn about Tjukurpa, the traditional law guiding the Anangu people. Take a dot painting workshop, where Aboriginal artists will show you how they express their culture through art. You’ll have your own original artwork to take home as a memento. Take a walk with an Aboriginal guide and learn about their ancient traditions and stories from the Dreamtime.
There are a number of ways to experience the majesty of Uluru. No-one misses sunrise and sunset. At different times of the day the colours change, from pink to purple to dark red, while the sky reflects a superb array of colours. See it from above by helicopter or hot air balloon. Ride across the desert on a Harley Davidson motorcycle or on the back of a camel. Although it is possible to climb Uluru, the traditional owners do not because of its great spiritual significance, and in respect of their culture ask that others do not climb it either.
Although it’s a harsh environment, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is home to hundreds of species of animals, birds and rare plants. The Uluru region is a genuine birding paradise with more than 170 species. Kangaroos, emus, dingoes and wallabies roam wild on the red desert sands, providing many opportunities to see them up close. Animals and plants are an important part of the Uluru creation stories. Learn about bush tucker, traditional medicines, sacred Aboriginal rock art and how animals formed the Uluru landscape from a park ranger on one of three walks: the Mala Walk, Lungkata Walk and Kuniya Walk.
Experience the Sounds of Silence dinner at Ayers Rock Resort and learn about the tales of the southern night sky with a ‘star talker’. Feast on authentic Australian delicacies such as barramundi, kangaroo and crocodile, complemented by fine Australian wines. Longitude 131 is the closest accommodation to Uluru itself and offers spectacular sunrise and sunset views over the rock from its luxury safari tents set amongst the sand dunes. Or pitch a tent in the Ayers Rock Campground under the shade of native desert trees. You can even stay on an authentic Australian outback cattle ranch at Kings Creek Station.
Spend a day exploring the mysterious 500 million year-old rock formations of nearby Kata-Tjuta, which are just as impressive as Uluru. Take a guided walk and sample bush tucker in the Valley of the Winds. Not only is Australia’s Red Centre steeped in human history; it is home to rare Australian plants and animals not found anywhere else. Only three hours from Uluru, Kings Canyon is another natural wonder featuring soaring sandstone walls, waterfalls and views that stretch across the desert. Walk around the canyon rim and see the weathered domes of The Lost City and the Garden of Eden.
Uluru is approximately 460 kilometres or a six hour drive southwest of Alice Springs. Many visitors choose to explore Australia’s outback at their own pace by driving the Northern Territory’s famous Red Centre Way. This gives you a chance to explore many of the Northern Territory’s major attractions including Alice Springs, Uluru, Watarrka National Park and Kings Canyon and the West MacDonnell Ranges. Another way to experience Australia’s Red Centre in comfort and luxury is on The Ghan, a legendary rail journey from Adelaide to Darwin which stops at Alice Springs and offers a side journey by coach to Uluru.