Want to to go to Uluru? Here’s the lowdown on accommodation, activities and how to get there.
Getting to Uluru
Uluru is in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – about 335 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs as the crow flies. The most popular way to get there is by flying directly to Ayers Rock Airport, then booking in at one of Ayers Rock Resort’s hotels, which includes glampsite Longitude 131°.
All ARR accommodation includes free airport transfers, and you can either book a guided tour from your hotel or hire a car at the airport. Alternatively a car trip from Alice Springs will take approximately five hours, and gives you the option of visiting Kings Canyon – another breathtaking spot – along the way (kingscanyonresort.com.au).
Staying at Uluru
There are a handful of different accommodation options within the area’s purpose-built town. Ayers Rock Resort (owned by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia; managed by Accor) is your main option and includes:
• A lovely five-star hotel, Sails in the Desert (from $368 per night)
• The four-and-a-half-star Desert Gardens Hotel (from $280 per night)
• Four-star Emu Apartments, which are self-catering (from $272 per night)
• Both hotel and basic motel-style rooms at Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge (from $248 per night)
• The surprisingly green Ayers Rock Campground (unpowered sites from $36 per night)
• Top-end ‘glamping’ option Longitude 131°, which sits slightly separate to the rest of the resort and is managed by super-luxe hotel group Baillie Lodges (yours for a cool $1100 per person, per night, including all meals and drinks, the mini-bar, and a selection of guided tour experiences).
There is also a supermarket, bank, day spa, post office, art gallery, souvenir shop, hair salon and several fantastic restaurants (try Arnguli Grill, Ilkari’s very modern buffet, and the do-it-yourself ‘Outback BBQ’). Everything is a short walk or the free shuttle-bus ride away.
Playing at Uluru There
There’s so much to do here nowadays that the rock itself might not end up being the stand-out! Some of our top picks:
• Kata Tjuta, formerly known as The Olgas, is the area’s breathtaking best-kept secret. It’s an easy half-hour-ish drive from ARR and Uluru. Go alone or take a tour with one of several companies (bookable when you arrive).
• ‘Fooluru’, aka Mount Conner, has its own fascinating heritage (Mount Conner is located on the private property of Curtin Springs Station, currently owned by controversial commissioner Peter Severin) and adds another level to your experience of the area. Hike across it, 4WD around it, land on top of it and more with SEIT Outback Tours.
• Jump out of a plane with Uluru and Kata Tjuta for company with Skydive Ayers Rock. Exhilarating.
• Jump on the back of a Harley Davidson for a tour of Uluru and Kata Tjuta with Outback cycling.
• And at Ayers Rock Resort, book in for:
+ Some pampering at Sails in the Desert’s Red Ochre Spa. It’s a cocktail of slate, wood and restrained art installations, with an international-standard treatment
menu (from $60 per treatment)
+ The cocktail-making workshop at Sails in the Desert (being offered late in the year)
+ A dot or silk painting lesson (from $69 per person)