Uluru is the red centre of Australia. The giant monolith is a sacred site for indigenous communities in the region, and Australia-wide.
Credit: Tourism Australia
It holds high cultural significance and is one of the most popular landmarks to visit in the country.
For those lucky enough to have visited Uluru, they will tell you that this is not surprising. The magic that surrounds the rock and the area is unforgettable, and a visit here will stay with you forever.
- This means geologically it is a single rock formation, with the shape of Uluru being created from millions of years of erosion
- Visitors used to be able to climb Uluru. Given this a sacred site, this is no longer permitted.
- It takes around 3-4 hours to complete the Uluru Base Walk – a 10.6km circuit.
- It is taller than the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is 300m tall (320 including the antenna), while Uluru peaks at a massive 348m above ground level.
- It is even bigger below the surface – extending a whopping 2.5km down.
- It is estimated to be 550 million years old
- It was made a national park in 1950
- More than a quarter of a million people visit Uluru each year
Uluru Key Highlights
Kata Tjuta / The Olga’s
These rock formations aren’t quite as high as Uluru, but the cluster of rock formations is striking. Take a walk around the Kata Tjuta domes and watch the light changing on the rocks at sunrise or sunset. The rocks are 40km west of Uluru.
Field of Light
A visual spectacle in the middle of the outback. Created by Bruce Munro, the Field of Light is a garden of 50,000 light stems, dispersed to create a field of neon violet, blue and white. Bookings are essential.
Sounds of Silence
This experience may be on an expensive end of the scale, but it’s not the kind of thing you can get anywhere else. Enjoy an evening dining under the stars, overlooking the national park. Learn about native ingredients, the stars, and constellations above you, and listen to the sounds of the didgeridoo.
Uluru at sunrise/sunset
The sunrise and sunsets at Uluru are remarkable. Settle in at one of the viewing points – on the east for sunrise and west for sunset – and watch as the sky and Uluru put on a show. The changing colours in the sky and the reflections on Uluru will take your breath away. It is a special moment to pause and reflect, with nothing but peace and light to accompany you.
Take a scenic flight in a light plane or a helicopter to see the national park and the rocks from an entirely different perspective.
Take a peaceful stroll through the lands around Uluru atop a friendly camel. You can opt to take the ride at sunset for that extra magic.
The Aboriginal Anangu people have been living in this region for more than 20,000 years. Uluru and Kata Tjuta are a central element of their spiritual belief and life. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to join cultural tours. During these tours, your guide will teach you the history of the area and the peoples, along with bush tucker tastings and Dreamtime stories.
Where to Stay in Uluru
It is not permitted for anyone to stay in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. There are several places to stay nearby in Yulara – just north of the national park. Some of the hotels and resorts provide transport to the rock.
You can camp, bring your caravan, stay in a motel, or indulge in an unbelievable stay in one of the countries most luxurious lodges. The choice is yours.
Ayers Rock Resort
10 minutes from the national park and 10 minutes from the airport. Ayers Rock Resort has a supermarket, a pool, restaurants, a day spa and a hairdresser. You can take your pick from range of accommodation options.
- Sails in the Desert
- Desert Gardens Hotel
- Emu Walk Apartments
- The Lost Camel Hotel
- Outback Pioneer Hotel
- Ayers Rock Campground
A truly sensational experience awaits any lucky guests at Longitude 131. The luxury accommodation has been created to celebrate and highlight the surrounding region, with dining and spa services drawing inspiration from the nation. Stay in a luxury ‘tent’ and wake up to uninterrupted views of Uluru. Longitude 131 is an all-inclusive experience, with food, drinks and airport transfers all included in the rate.
Travel to Uluru from Alice Springs
The largest town from Uluru is Alice Springs. Alice Springs is 430km from Uluru, or a 5/6-hour drive. The drive can be broken up with a stop in Kings Canyon – a stunning landscape of sandstone walls, hiking trails and vast clifftops.
The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru is a true Aussie outback experience. You can drive yourself on the sealed roads, and for those with a 4WD you can visit lookouts on the rugged roads.
How to Get to Uluru
Uluru sits in a remote area, so travel time here can be extensive. Plan ahead and do your research to find the most convenient and cost-effective option for you.
For the most direct option – Uluru is serviced by Ayers Rock Airport, also known as Connellan Airport. The main town of Yulara is only a 20-minute drive from the airport. Most capital cities have direct flights to Ayers Rock Airport, with several airlines providing services.
The flights are not as frequent as other routes, so be sure to book ahead to ensure there is a flight operating on the day you need.
Take the scenic route and add Uluru to the great Australian road trip. Given the location far from civilisation, it does take a long time to reach the centre. Rest assured the experience of both the drive through the vast landscape and Uluru itself is well worth it. As mentioned above, driving from Alice Springs can take about 5 hours for the most direct route.
This is undeniably the best option for travellers who do not have access to their own or a hire car. Tours are incredibly informative, and having the experts take care of the itinerary, accommodation and transport allows you to sit back, relax, and take in this beautiful part of the country.