With its jaw-dropping sunrises, ancient landscapes and cultural significance, Uluru is an unmissable destination. Here is your ultimate Uluru travel guide.
Searching for an Australian escape like no other? Head to the beating red heart of Australia to experience the otherworldly beauty of Uluru, one of the world’s most sacred and awe-inspiring natural wonders.
With striking ancient formations, incredible desert dining, conscious accommodation and a catalogue of immersive and culturally enriching experiences, there is no better time than now to travel to Uluru.
What to do in Uluru
Combining ancient Anangu storytelling with innovative drone, laser and light projection technology, Wintjiri Wiṟu is a game-changing new cultural experience. Translating to ‘beautiful view over the horizon’, Wintjiri Wiṟu brings to life a chapter of the Mala ancestral story, between Kaltukatjara (Docker River) and Uluru. Perched on a sustainably built ‘floating’ platform, guests will savour cocktails and canapes curated by Mark Olive. All accompanied by breathtaking views of Uluru.
Indigenous bush foods and native ingredients are the star of the culinary journey, and guests will be treated to a range of antipasti-style platters complemented by Penfolds wines. Expect dishes like smoked emu with a saltbush chilli crust and lemon myrtle crocodile curry pie. A second show, After Dark will see you enjoy wattleseed caramel popcorn served alongside refreshing gelatos crafted with native ingredients.
As the sun dips below the horizon, lights and lasers illuminate the landscape, turning the spinifex and mulga bushes that surround Uluru into a living canvas. The depth of the story is revealed when more than 1,100 glowing drones take flight to lift the ancient images to the sky. The drones depict aspects of the Mala story accompanied by a narration in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages. The soundtrack features traditional inma recorded with members of the local Anangu community.
This unmissable experience was created in collaboration with the Anangu Working Group, who have graciously chosen to share this story.
Price: Sunset Session is $385 per person, including return Ayers Rock Resort transfers. After Dark costs $190 per person.
If you’re looking for the ultimate experience to fully immerse yourself in Uluru’s Indigenous food and culture, Tali Wiru is for you. You’ll be picked up from your accommodation and transferred to the aptly named Tali Wiru location, which in the local Anangu language Pitjantjatjara means ‘beautiful dune’. The dune has panoramic views of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and you’ll even spot a glimmer of Field of Lights in the distance.
Guests will be served champagne on arrival and hear the sounds of the didgeridoo as canapes are served highlighting bush tucker flavours like desert lime, quandong and green ants. You’ll then move higher up the dune to the open air restaurant before indulging in a three-course meal paired with matching wines.
The evening concludes with an astronomy presentation accompanied by hot chocolates and cognac around the campfire as you learn a little bit more about the local Anangu people and their culture.
Price: from $380 per adult.
Sounds of Silence dinner
Savour a taste of the Red Centre as you dine beneath the sparkling night sky atop a dune overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The Sounds of Silence dinner is an unforgettable culinary experience that will leave you hungry for more. Champagne and canapes are served as the sun sets, accompanied by a stirring didgeridoo performance.
Enjoy your first course alongside a selection of Australian beer and wine, before being welcomed to an interactive chef’s table where you’ll choose from a freshly prepared bush tucker inspired menu. Settle back and listen as an Ayers Rock Resort expert decodes the clear southern night sky.
Price: From $234 per adult and $117 per child.
Uluru Astro Tours
Astronomy buffs and novices alike will benefit from a stargazing tour. In partnership with Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Uluru Astro Tours take advantage of the region’s low light pollution and clear skies to deliver an out-of-this-world experience.
A passionate guide will take you from your hotel to an ideal stargazing location in the National Park to learn about the southern night sky. In this outback classroom, you’ll view planets and stars through high-powered telescopes and learn about astronomy on a tour that can be personalised to suit your interests.
Price: $99 per adult and $60 for children.
Desert Awakenings Tour
An early morning start will see you picked up from your accommodation and transferred to Tali Wiru, the perfect spot for a sunrise view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
You’ll be served bacon and egg rolls, tea and coffee as well as a selection of pastries as the sun rises, casting beautiful light colours and shadows over the monolithic rock.
Once the sun is up and bellies are full, you’ll begin your tour to Uluru. Led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll get up close and personal to Uluru and learn about the Anangu people, their stories and significant locations that they have chosen to share with visitors.
It is important to note that parts of Uluru are significantly important to the Anangu and are not to be photographed. The tour will wrap up with a stop into the viewing area for the perfect Uluru selfie snap and a visit to the cultural centre to further learn about the people, culture and art of the region.
Note: you will also need to pre purchase your Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park pass for access to the parks. You can do this online at Parks Australia or at the entry gate.
Cost: from $189 per adult and $145 per child
Field of Light
As the sun sets over Uluru’s ancient landscapes, Bruce Munro’s Field of Light comes to life. Made up of over 50,000 solar lights, this stunning outdoor gallery illuminates the desert as far as the eye can see with gentle rhythms of colour.
Travellers hoping to witness the display can choose from one of three passes. A general Field of Light pass includes entry to the world-renowned exhibition, as well as return coach tranfers from all hotels. Up the indulgence with a Field of Light Star Pass which includes entry, outback-style canapes and Australian beverages, a host-led introduction to the gallery and return transfers.
Hungry for more? You can even combine your Field of Light experience with the Sounds of Silence dinner. The Field of Light Dinner pass includes a sumptuous three-course meal, a fascinating star talk and a self-guided walk through the installation, plus return transfers.
Cost: A general Field of Light pass prices from $45 per adult and $32 per child with the Star Pass ranges from $100/adult and $65/child. The dining experience costs $280 per adult and $140 per child.
Purchase artwork directly from the Anangu people on the Town Square Lawn. You can also search for special pieces at the Gallery of Central Australia (GoCA) where you can undertake a tour to learn about the history of dot painting and understand the style produced by artists in the region. GoCA works with Indigenous art centres across Central Australia, as well as independent artists and galleries. Each artist chooses the price for each piece they create, meaning your purchase will support emerging creators and their families.
Uluru Camel tour
Get close to nature with a peaceful camel ride through Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru Camel Tours offer a wonderful range of rides at sunrise, sunset and during the day on camels rescued from the wild.
If you prefer to see the camels with your feet firmly planted on the ground, hop on the resort’s free shuttle bus and get off at the Uluru Camel Tours farm. Here, you can meet the camels and other animals including an emu, goats, chickens and ducks.
While you’re in the area, be sure to visit the Chris Hill Saddlery to watch saddles and harnesses crafted from scratch, the Royal Mail Hotel, and grab a drink at Old Tom’s Waterhole, a rustic outdoor bar with views of Uluru.
The Uluru Camel Cup is held here each year in the last weekend of May. Be sure to add this quirky Uluru event to add to your Red Centre travel bucket list.
Cost: from $80 per rider.
Enjoy free activities
Head to Yulara Town Square to make the most of Voyages free daily activities covering culture, art, nature and astronomy.
Enjoy bush yarns detailing stories of Indigenous culture and tradition, and a bush food experience and cooking demonstration. Test your musical prowess with the digeridoo workshop and get crafty with a ‘paint your own Australian animal’ activity.
There is also a guided garden walk and astronomy documentary, plus free daily movies in the Arkani Theatre.
One of the best ways to explore the living cultural landscape of Kata Tjuta National Park is on foot. In summer, it’s advised to head out early and finish exploring by 11am.
The Uluru base walk, which takes 3.5 hours, will take you around the circumference of the striking rock. Beginning at the Mala Carpark, the 10-kilometre trek weaves through acacia woodlands and grassed claypans.
The three-hour Valley of the Winds walk has two lookouts and gives you a range of perspectives on the rock formation. Early mornings are the best time to see local wildlife like kangaroos.
The Walpa Gorge walk is the best place to see unique flora and fauna up close. The walk takes an hour to complete as you hike within the sheer walls of the sacred Walpa Gorge. Keep your eyes peeled for wallaroos and clusters of native pink daisies.
In addition to seeing Uluru on foot, you can also travel by segway, bicycle or take a scenic flight.
Where to stay
Voyagers Ayers Rock Resort
Voyages Ayers Rock Resort offers six different accommodation options catering to all types (and budgets) of travellers.
Founded in 1990 with the opening of Voyages Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge (then called Red Centre Hotel), the resort is the go-to for travellers visitng Australia’s Red Centre. Stay here to enjoy comfortable accommodation and more than 100 unique activities, tours, and experiences.
Price: from $43 per night.
Sails in the Desert Hotel
For those looking to indulge, Sails in the Desert is a five-star accommodation option with spacious rooms decorated with Indigenous art. After days spent under the outback sun, unwind at the Red Ochre Spa or sparkling pool. When hunger strikes, guests have access to the Pira Pool Bar, Ilkari buffet restaurant and Walpa Lobby Bar for casual meals, coffee and cake and drinks.
Price: From $475 per night, minimum two-night stay.
Desert Gardens Hotel
Set within lush native gardens, this desert oasis provides a relaxing retreat after days spent exploring. Choose from Rock View and Deluxe Rock View rooms, each opening to a balcony or private courtyard area with views of Uluru.
Or bed down in a Garden View room, nestled among gum trees and garden beds. Guests are well-equipped with a resort-style pool, free shuttle bus and the Mangata Bar & Bistro open for breakfast and all-day dining.
Price: From $400 per night, minimum two-night stay.
Emu Walk Apartments
Great for families or groups, Emu Walk Apartments offer fully self-contained one- and two-bedroom apartments. Here you’ll find air-conditioned living areas, comfortable bedrooms and fully-equipped kitchens awash with Indigenous design elements.
Just 20 kilometres from Uluru, and right next to the Yulara town centre – with an IGA, eateries and souvenir shops – it doesn’t get more convenient than this.
Price: From $420 per night, minimum two-night stay.
The Lost Camel
For comfortable, central and colourful Uluru accommodation, travel to The Lost Camel. This quirky, boutique-style hotel offers compact rooms decorated in bright colours, each with a king bed and private bathroom. Soak up the sun by the central swimming pool or enjoy a casual meal at one of the nearby cafés.
Price: From $330 per night, minimum two-night stay.
Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge
Located within the Ayers Rock Resort, Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge is perfect for the money-conscious traveller seeking affordable accommodation and priceless memories. The lodge boasts clean, budget rooms as well as comfortable hostel accommodation for backpackers.
Dorms feature air-conditioning and access to communal bathroom facilities, a common room and the famous do-it-yourself Outback BBQ.
Price: From $260 per night.
Ayers Rock Campground
BYO tent, camper or trailer and pull up at the Ayers Rock Campground to sleep under the clear desert sky. Air-conditioned cabins are available for those who are not so keen on roughing it, and communal bathrooms make camping a breeze.
The campground also boasts a swimming pool, playground, laundry facilities, barbecues and an outdoor kitchen to make your outback stay a comfortable one. There’s also a complimentary shuttle bus for access to the Ayers Rock Resort’s restaurants, bars, shops and more.
Price: From $43 per night.
For those really looking to up the luxury, Longitude 131˚ is the height of desert indulgence. Choose from 16 safar-style tented pavilions with sweeping views across Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Each abode is decorated with vibrant Aboriginal artworks and features floor-to-ceiling windows so guests can soak up the vistas.
Enjoy an outback sundowner at The Dune House, the heart of Longitude 131˚. This open bar and world-class restaurant celebrates a fusion of modern and native flavours. When relaxation calls, Spa Kinara awaits with rejuvenating treatments and Indigenous healing rituals.
Price: from $1,350 per night (twin share). Minimum two-night stay.
Where to eat in Uluru
While each of the hotels have wonderful dining facilities on offer, it is well worth your while to check out the other dining options on offer in and around the Ayers Rock Resort.
No trip to Ayers Rock Resort would be complete without sharing a meal at Outback Pioneer Kitchen. Home to a bar, kiosk and bottle shop, it’s the ideal place for a casual meal, served alongside live music and stirring conversation. On the menu you’ll find classic, hearty dishes like pizzas and burgers loaded with tasty toppings.
Kulata Academy Cafe
Kulata Academy Cafe is an Indigenous training facility serving pies, fresh sandwiches and salads, as well as an array of cakes and pastries. Students here learn a range of skills in a supportive environment to help kick-start their hospitality careers. And what better way to support them than by purchasing a delicious smoothie, tart, tea or coffee?
Looking for a quick bite? Ayers Wok offers a mouth-watering range of take away noodle dishes, and Asian-inspired cuisine made fresh to order. Choose from Pad Thai, curries, laksa, fried rice with tofu and Dim Sum like pork and prawn gyoza.
Plating up favourites like fish and chips, pasta and salads, Gecko’s Café is a family-friendly eatery in the heart of Yulara town square. Grab a beer-battered barramundi, or indulge in an Outback Breakfast to start your day.
Uluru travel information
How to travel to Uluru
While it may be one of Australia’s most remote landmarks, travel to Uluru is a breeze.
Qantas offers direct flights to the Red Centre gem departing from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Adelaide and Alice Springs. Meanwhile, Jetstar offers direct services from Melboure, Sydney and Brisbane.
If you’re keen to embark on a thrilling road trip, Uluru is just a 4.5-hour drive from Alice Springs. Or, take the 19-hour drive from Darwin via the Stuart Highway.
If you’re a free spirit we strongly recommend hiring a car, if you haven’t driven yourself. If hiring a car isn’t an option, there are plenty of tours you can take to see Uluru and surrounds. These tours can add up in cost and also book out, so make sure you pre-book before you leave.
Other Uluru travel tips
Make sure you’ve purchased your park pass as most tours do not include your entry fee to the National Parks. While you’re out exploring, make sure you have enough water – a litre for every hour you’re outdoors is recommended – and protective clothing.
Looking for more inspiring Vacations & Travel stories? Try these…