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What You Need to Know Before You Visit Uluru

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is one of Australia’s most impressive natural wonders. A UNESCO-certified World Heritage site, this imposing sandstone formation is recognized by the entire world. Local aboriginals place great religious value on Uluru; the Anangu view is the living embodiment of their ancestors. They welcome tourists and require that you treat their sacred places with respect. If you know what to expect, it’s easy to enjoy this unique locale and have a great time.


01 How to get to Uluru

A car blazing through the Outback Nick Rains / Getty Images

The quickest way to get to Uluru is to fly there. Various airlines make flights directly to Uluru from every provincial capital in Australia except for Canberra. Alice Springs is a great starting point; the town is the unofficial capital of the outback, and flights from Alice Springs to Uluru take less than an hour. Alice Springs is the only place to embark on a bus ride to Uluru, and if you have time to spend this is the best way. Not only do you save money, but you get to enjoy breathtaking views of the outback. Renting a car and driving to Uluru is an imposing task that will count for at least five hours, but it can be quite practical and rewarding nonetheless.


02 How to enter the park

Lasseter Highway to Uluru FiledIMAGE / Getty Images

Uluru is the leading attraction at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. An entry pass will grant you admission for five whole days. If possible, you should plan to take advantage of the full stay. There are many ways to experience Uluru and even more things to do in the park outside the famous monolith. For a multi-day trip, you’ll have to stay in the nearby town of Yulara.


03 Find suitable accommodations

Australian Outback scenery structuresxx / Getty Images

The big decision when it comes to accommodations for your Uluru trip is staying at the campgrounds or a luxury resort. Ayers Rock Resort has a large campground that’s perfect for budget travelers. If you’re not fond of camping, there are several excellent resorts in the nearby town of Yulara. Desert Gardens Hotel and Sails in the Desert are both critically acclaimed luxury hotels that serve countless visitors to Uluru every year.


04 Pack well for your stay

The red desert beneath a clear sky structuresxx / Getty Images

If you’re camping, you’ll need to bring all the essentials to stay clean and comfortable. A good sleeping bag and a pillow are essential, not to mention sanitary wipes. If you’re staying at a resort, you’ll still need a good pair of hiking boots or sturdy sneakers. Baby powder is a necessity to avoid chafing while you’re hiking around the park, too. You’ll want to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, but you’ll also need to have warmer clothes on hand for the nights.


05 Pick the right time of year

The landscape at the Olgas in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Julien Viry / Getty Images

The biggest concern when it comes to flying to Uluru is the weather. During the summer, the days at Uluru are scorching hot. Visiting during winter isn’t much better, as the nights drop below freezing. If you’re staying at a resort, this isn’t so important; winter lasts from June to September and can be a good time to visit. In general, Uluru’s weather is at its mildest and most comfortable in the spring and the fall. If you can, plan your trip between March and May or October and November.


06 Catch Uluru at sunset and sunrise

Sun Rise at King's Canyon

Watching the sunset work its magic on the landscape is an absolutely essential experience. The area seems to come alive at the start and end of every day. There’s a designated area to view the sunset from a rental car, and it might be the most romantic spot in the whole park. If you’re traveling with that special someone, make sure that you take your time to have a picnic together here.


07 Learn about Uluru and the tribe that cherishes it

Uluru Segway Tours at Mala Parking in front of Ayers Rock Climb in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Aboriginal Land.

Visiting the Cultural Center first thing will really enhance your overall experience at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The cultural center is filled with indigenous artworks and artists who love to tell foreigners about their stories, culture, and way of life. With an appreciation of the cultural background behind Uluru, you’ll enjoy the visit even more.


08 Sightsee around the base of Uluru

Mount Connor, also known as "Fooluru" for its confusing similarity to Uluru phastflyer / Getty Images

While climbing isn’t allowed, you can still enjoy the astonishing sandstone monolith from up close by touring the base. There are tours by camel and segway, and you can also walk the circumference of Uluru. Tribal guides and experts lead the tours and mix sightseeing with enlightening insight into the history of Uluru.


09 Tour the rock from above

An aerial view of the Outback structuresxx / Getty Images

If you want to see the towering views from atop Uluru, you can do that by hot air balloon! SkyShip Uluru takes visitors on a blimp-trip over the park and gives them a great view and plenty of time to enjoy it. There are other options for airborne tours of the rock, including flights by fixed-wing plane and helicopter.


10 Treat the park with respect

Uluru Segway Tours at Mala Parking in front of Ayers Rock Climb in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Aboriginal Land.

Climbing the rock is illegal. The local peoples revere Uluru and wish for visitors to respect it. However, showing your appreciation for the area doesn’t end there. The local ecosystem is quite delicate, and interference such as littering can be more damaging than you’d expect. If you take only photographs and leave only footprints, you’ll help maintain Uluru as a beautiful site of cultural exchange for generations to come.


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