Wild and wonderful are the two words that best describe the expansive terrain that is the Australian Outback. Located in the Northern Territory, most visitors flock to this part of central Australia to see “The Rock” at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Read on for tips on traveling to Uluru and what to expect.
WHERE TO STAY
Ayers Rock Resort in the town of Yulara is the only resort near Uluru offering accommodations. There are options to suit the budget of every traveler and all reservations can be booked online.
Budget Accommodations ($)
Ayers Rock Camping Ground – a great choice for those who enjoy the outdoors with options including two bedroom cabins, powered and non-powered camping sites, and coach bays for larger groups.
Outback Pioneer Lodge – offers hostel style accommodations including twenty-bed female and male dorms and four-bed mixed sex dorms, both with shared bathroom facilities.
Mid-Range Accommodations ($$$)
Outback Pioneer Hotel – located within the same complex as the Outback Pioneer Lodge, the Hotel offers private rooms and bathrooms for guests.
Luxury Accommodations ($$$$)
Desert Gardens Hotel – this 4.5 star hotel boasts 218 guestrooms with free in-room WiFi, a swimming pool and some guestrooms that have direct views of Uluru.
Emu Walk Apartments – offers one and two bedroom self-contained apartments with separate living, dining and kitchen areas.
Sails in the Desert – this 5-star hotel has 228 rooms, an on-site spa, swimming pool and modern dining, lounge and bar options.
Longitude 131° – this luxurious “campsite” features fifteen elevated pavilions with direct views of Uluru, personalized service and an inclusive tariff that includes all dining, premium beverages and in-tent bar.
Tip: there is a free Resort shuttle bus that stops at all hotels, the campgrounds, the town square where there are shops, restaurants and a supermarket, and the Visitors Center.
WHAT TO DO
Ayers Rock Resort partners with tour operators to offer visitors once in a lifetime experiences like helicopter tours and camel rides. Here are highlights of what to see and do at Uluru.
Uluru and Kata Tjuta – the main reason why people come to the Australian outback, these landmarks are not to be missed. Take a guided Uluru base walk and hike Kata Tjuta. The entry fee for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is AU$25 and is valid for 3 days.
Kings Canyon – located 3.5 hours from Uluru, visiting Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park is another excellent way to explore Australia’s rugged outback landscape. Visitors can opt to take the challenging rim walk on top of the canyon or a leisurly walk on the valley floor.
Field of Lights – this award-winning installation features 50,000 solar powered lights that illuminate the land surrounding Uluru.
Camel Tour – taking a sunrise or sunset camel tour in the Australian Outback is an unforgettable experience. Ayers Rock Resort has an on-site camel farm where guests can take a ride on a guided trail overlooking Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Tip: combine the sunset camel tour followed by the Field of Lights experience for a memorable evening.
Guests staying at Ayers Rock Resort can request a complimentary coach transfer to and from the airport.
If you want to explore Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the surrounding area at your own pace, consider renting a car at the airport or at Ayers Rock Resort.
Budget travelers should consider booking a camping tour with The Rock Tour, Wayoutback or Intrepid. Each company operates its own tour bus and have itineraries that visit Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Airport: Ayers Rock Airport (AYQ)
Climate: The summer months are December, January and February. Visitors traveling during the summer should pack sunscreen and an insect head net to keep the desert flies away. The winter months are June, July and August. Pack warm layers if traveling during the winter.