Ayers Rock Travel Guide

Ayers Rock Featured Image

Discover this land of vast Central Australian deserts, scenic habitats for kangaroos and the hardy dromedaries, and distinctly enormous rock formations. The Ayers Rock, or Uluru to the aborigines, stands huge and blazing red against this subdued backdrop. The rock is renowned for its rock domes at the red center, and tourists and explorers walk along the tracks around the base to have a closer scientific and aesthetic appreciation. There are countless opportunities to explore the diverse wildlife and rich botanical ecosystems, and observe the cultural practices and spiritual beliefs of the Australian aborigines in the Uluru area. There is more to the rock waiting for you to explore.

The Best Times to Visit

Ayers Rock Summer
Photo Credit: http://thecarefreetraveler.com/aboriginal-tours-a-unique-way-of-touring-in-australia/

The perfect time to visit the Ayers Rock may depend upon your travel goals. The Ayers Rock is open all seasons, but each season offers unique natural views and different getaway tours from another.

1) The Cold Days of June and July

Getting the best from the Ayers Rock extraneous physical tour requires an outdoor-friendly climate. You may not want to visit the heritage area during the cold days of June and July obviously because of outdoor travel difficulty, but the cold season presents the rich botanical asset of the Ayers Rock which cannot be viewed any other time of the year. The wild and exotic flowers around the red center only appear during the cold days of June and July, so why not grab the opportunity of witnessing such flowers bloom as you relax in the variety of accommodations and restaurants within the National Park?

2) Fair Weather of April and May, or August and September

Helicopter tours, camel rides, night camping, and walks along the bases of the Ayers and Olgas are best enjoyed during fair weathers. You can do away with heavy warm clothes and wear light apparel that allows you to move freely along the valleys and gorges of the red center.

Getting Around Ayers Rock 

Enjoy the sights offered by Ayers Rock through different means of transportation. Each travel mode has its own appeal.

1) Shuttle

Ride the luxurious coach to enjoy the panorama of the Ayers Rock and neighboring places.  The six-hour private shuttle journey from Uluru to Alice Springs is one of the most convenient ways to see most of Central Australia. The travel is quite long and it is an opportunity to relax, delight at nature’s varied scenes, chat with your companions and enjoy interesting stories and funny anecdotes from the driver and his assistant.

2) Camel Ride

Ayers Rock Camel

Because a vast desert surrounds the Uluru, the most convenient way to explore the heritage area is through camel ride. There are plenty of camel stations at the red center and the operators will be more than glad to tour you during daytime both at the Uluru and Kata.

3) Helicopter

Admire the rock formation from the top. Tours are available to fly you over Uluru and Kata. Sunsets turn the huge rock into a burning orange color.

4) By Foot

Go from one rock formation to another on foot. Just make sure that you wear extra comfortable clothing and proper shoes, and bring enough water for this highly strenuous activity.

What to Do 

Getting a tour at Ayers Rock is about this magnificent geological formation, the surrounding bio-diverse ecosystem, and the heritage of the Anangu people. The National Park and the community offer the best tourism potential by providing the different aspects of Uluru.

1) Fly Over the Red Center

If you can’t beat the exhausting walk on the Uluru and Kata, you can instead opt for a 15- or 30-minute helicopter ride over the Ayers Rock. With only a minimum of USD129, you will be provided with multilingual informative audio materials and beautiful music while being flown. The tour will pick you up from and bring you back to your hotel.

2) Join the Uluru Aboriginal Mala Walk tour

Go around the circumference of the Uluru with an aborigine guide so he can orient and show you how the Uluru is revered. He will tell you tales which may put your trip in a better perspective.

3) Listen to the Aborigines’ Stories on a Camel Ride

Camels are some of the gentlest mammals and a trip with them and the guide will make your trip a distinct one with the Southern Australian signature. Enjoy the flora and fauna, the stories of your guide, and your bumpy ride. Uluru Camel Express tours cost at least US69.50 and may be done anytime from sunrise to sunset.

4) Join the Aboriginal Dot Painting Workshop

This is your do-it-yourself souvenir of your Ayers Rock travel. You can craft your own indigenous dot painting guided by an Anangu tribe person. Painting sets for children cost USD35 while art craft sets for adults cost USD69.

5) Watch the Ayers Night Sky Show at Ayers Rock Observatory

Arm yourselves with iPad, telescope, and binoculars as you learn about astronomy and its relation to the past and present cultures by looking at the vast sky from the vast plane of the Central Australian desert. Activity price starts at USD35.

6) Savor Outback with a Night Camp

Experience outback, explore the Ayers wildlife within the Uluru National Park.

Prime Attractions

You should definitely expect to see great things at the Ayers Rock because of its prestigious title as one of the World Heritage sites. The social interaction with the Anangu people is the center of all the prime attractions because of the key role they play in developing the place and putting more sociocultural significance to the area.

1) Uluru (The Ayers Rock)

Appearing like a mountain that is set on fire during sunset, the Uluru or Ayers Rock is the primary attraction of the Australian Red Center. It is a big chunk of rock that stands high at 0.21 miles and 2.5 miles long. It is particularly considered by the indigenous peoples of Anangu as a very sacred place; thus, only a walk along the base is generally permitted by the Ayers Rock tribe guardian. Small group tours during sunrise and sunset cost USD240 at the least.

Address: Circuit Drive, Yulara

2) The Uluru Walk

A few meters away from the parking area, the Uluru walk traces the cultural journey of the Anangu people. There are different pictures and artifacts with corresponding audio clippings to enlighten tourists of the cultural heritage of the aboriginals. Learn about the legend of the battle of the two snakes, Kinuya and Liru, that gave rise to the Uluru.

Address: National Park, Yulara, Australia

3) Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Center

A well-maintained building with indigenous items that show the rich cultural heritage of the Anangu people and the geological wonder of the Central Australian land, the Cultural Center has become one of the favorite sites of the Ayers Rock tourists. Memorabilia items may also be purchased from a number of souvenir shops in the center.

Address: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Yulara, Australia

4) Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

The Kata Tjuta is a World Heritage Site that offers fantastic views of rock formations. Tourists enjoy the water features and picnic areas along its valleys and gorges. A total of 36 rocks comprise the Kata Tjuta, with Mt. Olga (0.339 miles high) as the highest.

Location: 22 miles west of Ayers Rock

Where to Eat

Touring an indigenous site need not be associated with boring restaurants and poorly made meals. Special Australian delicacies are served at some of the wonderful dining places within the premises of the Ayers Rock.

 

1) Sounds of Silence

Sounds of Silence

Who would think about having an elegant dinner in an outback setting? The Sounds of Silence perfectly combines the natural scenes of the Ayers Rock during sunset with the sophisticated preparation and presentation of both traditional and gourmet dishes, such as kangaroo and emu. It opens daily from sunset till the night with adult complete meals starting from USD142.

Address: Yulara Drive, Yulara

2) Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Center

There is no other way to start your day than by having your sunrise breakfast at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Center. Choose among the different dining establishments within the facility to meet your budget and satisfy your craving.

Address: Yulara Drive, Yulara, Australia

3) Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

You need not move out from the heritage site because the National Park already provides perfect Australian barbecue-style dinner under a star-filled night sky and with a soulful view of the gigantic red rocks. Dinner cost starts at USD120 per person.

Address: Yulara Drive, Yulara, Australia

4) Tali Wire

Are you after an intimate dinner with your special someone under the starry night sky of the red center? Make your dinner reservation at the world-renowned Tali Wiru with a beautiful view of the Uluru during sunset. Savor the Australian delicacies such as wagyu fillet, rubbed kangaroo carpaccio, champagne, and macadamia for only USD295 per person.

Address: National Park, Yulara, Australia

Where to Stay

Although the Ayers Rock is definitely a place removed from modern civilization, a number of world-class accommodations are still within the Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park premises.  Different rooms and villas can be booked from the management of the Ayers Rock Resort depending upon your budget and comfort preferences.

1) Lost Camel Hotel

Inspired by modern minimalist interior design, the Lost Camel Hotel provides a feeling of   relief to those who are mostly comfortable with the urban setting. The blue- and purple-themed interior is perfect for happy people because of innovations in room layout.

Address: Yulara Drive, Yulara, NT

2) Kings Creek Station

Are you dreaming of experiencing native Australia? Try this inn that also houses one of the biggest camel stations in Australia. Accommodation rates are among the lowest you can find at the red center.

Address: Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park, Yulara, Australia

3) Desert Gardens Hotel

Desert Gardens Hotel offers a five-star experience in the middle of the Australian desert. Some rooms are by the poolside while others simply have gorgeous balconies. When you are done with the exciting activities at the Ayers Rock, relax yourself at the Bunya Bar and satisfy your appetite with the delectable dishes offered by the Arnguli grill.

Address: Yulara Drive, Ayers Rock, Yulara Northern Territory, Aurstralia

4) Sails in the Desert

Indigenous design mixed with elements of modernity perfectly captures the admiration of guests. Just conveniently located within the desert of Central Australia, it is the perfect place for tourists going on a multi-day itinerary at the Ayers Rock. Accommodation price per person starts at USD300.

Address: Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park, Yulara

5) Emu Walk Apartments

Houses with special hotel features are great for anyone who wants to fully relax from a day of adventure at the Ayers Rock. Emu Walk Apartments are suitable for visitors who are touring with their families and friends because an apartment unit can accommodate up to six persons. The kitchens in all units are great for groups who want to create their own outback meals. Apartment accommodation rate starts at USD600 per person.

Address: Yulara Drive, Ayers Rock, Yulara Northern Territory, Aurstralia

Shops for Ayers Rock Memorabilia

Delight in the memories of your Ayers Rock tour by making sure you bring something special back home. Visit the souvenir shops within the National Park to get a piece of native Australia.

1) The Cultural Center at Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Park Shopping

Specialty shirts with the Ayers Rock picture, mugs with rock images, remarkable pens, and different aboriginal crafts are all available at the shopping center of the National Park.

Address: Yulara, Australia

2) Maruku Gallery and Walkatjara Art Center

Displaying a number of aboriginal artifacts, the Maruku Gallery and Walkatjara Art Center is the right place for those who are looking for boomerangs and native hunting spears. Original artworks of the Anangu people are also for sale at the gallery for only a minimal amount. An aboriginal painting costs only USD13.50.

Address: Uluru Cultural Centre, Yulara, Australia

An ultimate outback experience at the Ayers Rock involves more than sightseeing or challenging outdoor activities. The walks along the base tracks of Uluru, the camel rides, the helicopter tour, the night safari, and the stories of the Anangu people – all of these bind and offer you a cohesive insight into the Uluru. Remember always, Ayers Rock is not just a rock. It is a piece of humanity and heritage, a very important one.

Marv Perez

Escape Hunter - January 22, 2014

Camping out there sure must be fun… just be aware of the dingos!

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