Uluru, home to the iconic red mass that is Ayers Rock, is one of Australia’s most visited destinations. Many tourists and gap year students have designs to visit Uluru as part of their adventure travel plans, but how can you make sure that your trip is unforgettable? Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your visit.
When to go
Uluru is a premium tourist destination, which means that it’s almost always busy. The best times to go are dawn and dusk, when crowds have dispersed and you can soak up the peace and take in the wonderful views without flashlights and tours everywhere.
Sunset is a very popular time to arrive at Ayers Rock, so get there a little earlier. Most people want that prize-winning shot, so choose a spot and stay in it. Don’t leave as soon as the sun drops out of the sky. The best shots often come just after the sun has set and the sky becomes a magical mix of colours.
Most of us dream of seeing the splendour of Ayers Rock in clear blue skies, but don’t lose heart if it’s raining. Torrents of water cascading down the sides of the giant rock is one of the most dramatic sights you’ll see on your travels.
How to get the best views
Control of Ayers Rock was returned to the Anangu people around 30 years ago. It is considered sacred ground to them, and as such, they prefer visitors not to try and scale the rock. There’s no law against it, but it’s always advisable to respect cultural traditions and beliefs. If you want the picture postcard views, organise a camel trek around Uluru or enjoy a bird’s eye view from the skies with a helicopter ride.
Other things to do
Many of us head to Uluru with the sole aim of seeing Ayers Rock. However, it’s well worth spending the day there to enjoy some nearby sights. The Valley of the Wind walk, which should take around three hours, is an experience you’ll never forget. The Olgas (Katu Tjuta) are another natural wonder you won’t want to miss. Keep your eyes peeled for a series of 36 domes, which will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world.
If you’re visiting Uluru, be wary of the conditions. It can get incredibly hot in the summer, so make sure you take plenty of water with you, head for the shade when you can, and wear sunscreen.