6 Ways to See Uluru

 
28 November 2013

No, you shouldn’t climb Uluru, so don’t even try. But you can still take in Australia’s most famous rock without stomping all over the sacred site. Here are six tour options.

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Adrienne Brown

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If you head to the Australian outback to see Uluru (Ayers Rock), there are a variety of ways to circle and see the recognizable landmark. Some require physical work on your part, some don’t. Some get you up close to the rock, some let you admire from a distance. They’re all good and it’s worth exploring a couple of different options, if your time and budget allow.

The only place to stay near Uluru is Ayers Rock Resort, which offers a variety of accommodations. Find the one that’s right for you, then head to the tour office and choose how you’d like to see the main attraction.

By Foot

This is the most up-close and personal way to experience Uluru and if you want to beat the heat, you have to get up early! Most walking tours depart about an hour before sunrise. They’ll take you right to the base of the rock where, depending on your tour, you’ll walk part or all of the 14-kilometre base trail. Your guide will tell you about the culture, geology and environment around Uluru.

Credit: Adrienne Brown

Credit: Adrienne Brown

By 4WD Vehicle

Don’t feel up for a long walk in the sweltering desert heat? Enjoy the view of the big red rock from the comfort of an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. You’ll stop at important spots and for photo ops and your guide will point out what you need to know.

By Camel

Australia is known for some unique wildlife (including the kangaroo and koala) but most people don’t realize it’s also home to thousands of camels—750,000 in the wild, according to the BBC. They overrun some areas of the outback but, luckily for visitors to Uluru, they’re also ideally suited to the hot, dry weather in the interior. Hop on a camel and admire the sunrise or sunset as you meander through the desert. And don’t mind your camel if he or she decides to pause to grab a bite of the flora along the way.

Credit: Adrienne Brown

Credit: Adrienne Brown

By Motorcycle

Whether you’re a Harley lover or a first-timer, why not see Uluru from the back of a bike? Choose the tour to suit your needs, hop on, feel the air in your hair and enjoy the ride!

By Candlelight

Ayers Rock Resort offers a special dinner experience called Sounds of Silence. This dinner under the outback night sky will hit all your senses. The didgeridoo will welcome you to a viewing point where you’ll watch the sun set over Uluru-Kata-Tjuta National Park (with a glass of bubbly to kick off your evening). Next, you’ll head to a wide open dining space where you’ll share dinner with new friends, watch the last light fade away, enjoy a traditional Aboriginal dance performance and tuck into an Aussie buffet. Finally, you’ll be regaled with stories about the stars before you head back to the resort.

From the Air

To really get a feel for Australia’s “big rock,” check it out via an aerial view. You can book either a helicopter or small aircraft tour, but note that neither flies directly over Uluru. Rather, you will be flying alongside it.

A Final Note on Climbing Uluru

Many people make the hot, steep climb to the top of Uluru every year. The trek is not officially banned (although such a ban is on the verge of being put into place), but it is often closed during high heat and high winds, and, more importantly, is discouraged by local aboriginals. Uluru carries great spiritual significance for the local Anangu and, out of respect for their laws and culture, they prefer if visitors do not climb. Similarly, people have been both injured and have died while climbing Uluru because it is so strenuous, particularly in sweltering desert weather.

 

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Adrienne Brown

Adrienne Brown is a freelance writer and editor from Kitchener, Ontario. She writes about health, food, home and garden topics, but she’ll drop anything for travel. She’s a certified scuba diver, a non-stop eater, a passionate explorer and an eager learner who is always on the lookout for a new adventure. Her favourite travel partner is her husband, David, who always lets her drag him up the tallest towers and on the most obscure outings.