48 Hours in Uluru - Top Things To Do
Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is on most Aussie's bucket lists of places to visit. We have grown up learning about it and having it as icon of our outback. But travelling to the red center is quiet expensive, and at times flights overseas can be cheaper and thus more tempting. But this year when we saw that one of the budget airlines had return fares for $150, we jumped on the chance and quickly called around to see who was keen to book ASAP! Because it was a very rushed decision, there was no time to check with manager's about applying for leave so we planned on flying in on Saturday and flying out on Monday, giving us about 48 hours there. We were a bit worried that this wasn't enough time, but now having done it, it was the perfect amount of time to experience the wonder of Uluru ad Kata Tjuta National Park.
The following list is what we ticked off in that short amount of time that I would recommend people do whilst in Uluru, even if you are there for longer. I would also recommending hiring a car from the airport to give you the flexibility of doing what you want and when.
Valley of the Winds Walk
The Valley of the Winds is a trail that takes you through Kata Tjuta (also known as The Olgas) and includes two lookout points. The total circuit is about 7.4kms and takes 3 hours to complete. This is an easy walk but the heat can be brutal (the trail is actually closed after 11am on days forecast to reach beyond 36 degress Celcius) so try and do it early in the morning. Since our tight timeframe meant we didn't have the luxury of doing it when it was cooler we decided to only do half the trail and even still it was stunning to see the massive formations up close and get among them.
|Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)|
We watched the sunset on the first day at the Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing area as it gave us a view of the sun-setting over the outback to the right of us, the changing hues over the Olgas directly in front of us and then the changing hues over Uluru to the left of us. It was a perfect spot to see the changing colours of the sky and see the two formations in one spot.
|Our view of Uluru at sunset from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area|
This is a given when visiting Uluru. Try to get in 30 minutes before the time of sunrise to get a good spot and to really see the changes of colour in the sky and of the rock.
The Mala Walk is one of the walks you can do along the base of Uluru and is perfect when you don't have time to walk around the entire thing. There are free ranger guided walks but since we were up so early for the sunrise, we were there too early for the guided walk so opted to do it ourselves which is very easy to do as there are stops of information to read along the way. This walk is not difficult at all and takes about 1.5hours return. This walk was a great opportunity to get up close to Uluru, and walk into the little nooks and caves, see the Aboriginal painting on the walls and learn about the local culture and history.
|Part of the Mala Walk|
For those who don't know much about Aboriginal culture, this is a perfect spot to learn more. There is video viewing room that showed a video about how tourism and exploration impacted the local culture and a museum to learn about not only the local culture but also about the wildlife and fauna. There is also a gift shop and cafe at the centre.
It was definitely a unique experience being able to explore the outback on camels and getting to interact with them but we did learn during our experience that all the camels there were taken from the wild so that they could be trained to be ridden by tourists which made us feel a bit guilty. They did also explain that by being taken from the wild their life expectancy increased by 20 years so its something to consider when deciding if this is something you want to do.
Sounds of Silence Dinner
During 2016 there is an art installation called the Field of Light so during this time the experience is called a Night at the Field of light. This experience included drinks and canapes which we watched the sunset at a private area, an Aboriginal performance, a three course dinner cooked with local ingredients, beer and wine, a star talk (definitely a highlight, I hadn't seen so many shooting stars in one sitting and such a clear look at the stars) and then time to explore the Field of Light, which is basically an installation of tiny lights across the outback (the field equates to the size of several football fields) which change colour. This package was a little expensive at almost $200 so a cheaper alternative is to do just the sunset canapes and drinks and Field of Light which was under $100.
Enjoy the Resort
All the accommodation, restaurants and shops all sit within one location- Ayers Rock Resort. And there is lots to do just in the resort including free daily cultural performances, talks and tours, pools, bars, games rooms and lookouts.
So that was all the things we managed to tick off during our time in Uluru. It definitely was an amazing experience and I cannot explain how it felt when we saw it for the first time. To see more pictures check out my Instagram. You can also check out my footage below: