Australia // How awesome is a visit to Uluru?
So, after spending a couple of months in Australia the time had finally come to visit the Nation’s biggest icon: Uluru (aka Ayers Rock)! We were just a tad excited to state the obvious :) We had been dreaming of seeing this mystical aboriginal site since the day we decided to move Down Under, and long before actually.
As over expecting can be dangerous when visiting legendary places (they turn out to be very touristy, crowded and over-commercialised) we tried to refrain from too much jumping up and down and forced ourselves and our minds to stay cool in order to avoid disappointment after too many wild daydreams.
Turns out, you can daydream all you want about Uluru, this giant monolith will still catch your breath the moment you spot it’s famous outline emerging from the infinite red horizon.
It’s impossible to prepare yourself for that moment simply because it’s impossible to grasp the combination of sounds, smells, colours and all kinds of other sensations until you actually get there and you’re totally immersed in these monumental surroundings. In other words: It’s very very very much worth a visit!
As we drove closer the mountain just kept on rising, and it’s only until you reach the walking tracks close to Uluru you realise just how steep the sides of this 348m high sandstone monolith are!
A good way to explore to rock up close is to take the Mala walk, which runs right along the giant rock and into the Kantju Gorge. Sheer vertical walls, wavelike rock formations and Anangu Rock art can be admired along the way.
One of the most famous walks is the Uluru Climb. Although Aboriginal people ask to respect the site and don’t do this climb, many adventurers still try to conquer the strenuous 1-4 hour track (depending your level of fitness).
As it is very steep, windy and scorching hot it’s a very dangerous walk, and because of these harsh conditions it is closed almost 166 days per year (especially if it’s over 36ºC before 11 am, as was the case when we were there).
A safer and more relaxed way to marvel at the Uluru scenery is to go take post at a good vantage point and watch the sun rise or set dramatically over this massive landmark. There are several good options, so crowds are minimised as much as possible – phew ;) !
So how best to go about your visit?
Accommodation-wise there aren’t too many options, because it’s so isolated. Unless you’re willing to drive 463 km (one-way!) from Alice Springs, which is the closest town to Uluru, the best choice would be to stay at Yulara. This service village is located just 20 km from Uluru and 54 km from Kata Tjuta and consists mainly of the Ayers Rock Resort, a complex of hotels ranging from 2 to 5 stars.
Make sure you don’t try and squeeze a visit to this region in 1 or 2 days, as there are many other interesting sites close by. Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon are 2 other major highlights you don’t want to miss. For more information about visiting Kings Canyon, click here!
- Water. Water. Water. Water. Obviously :)
- Book ahead! As accommodation is limited make sure reserve your spot sooner rather than later.
- Warm clothes: Although it can be scorching hot during the day, temperatures can drop like rapidly as soon as the sun sets.
- Jump into those warmer clothes and go gaze up at the incredible night sky! The Milky Way shines as bright as a giant traffic jam!
- Be careful when you’re driving around at dusk or dawn. Wildlife is very active during those periods and you don’t want that kinda travel souvenir ;)
That’s all for now folks!
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