I’m Beau Mitchell and welcome to my article on Uluru. I grew up around Fremantle in Western Australia. When I was younger my family went on vacations every year. I remember wanting to capture these moments on my parents point and shoot camera. As a gift for my 18th birthday, my folks bought me a DSLR camera. I have been carrying one with me ever since.
I am currently travelling Australia in a van. My wife and I finished converting our 2006 Toyota Hiace into a campervan in February, 2020 right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Fortunately, for most of us in Australia, the pandemic hasn’t stopped us from travelling within the country.
We initially planned to leave Perth in late March on our lap around Australia. However, we were delayed and began in late May. We have been travelling in our van which we named “Pote” for eight months now. Pote is a character from the TV series Queen of the South that my wife and I love.
Six Amazing Nights in the Outback
I have visited Uluru and Kata Tjuta once before. However, my wife is Colombian and I wanted to show her the “real” Australia. You know – the Outback – landscapes you see in movies/documentaries about Australia.
She has been living in Australia for four years and hadn’t seen much more than Perth where we were living. Uluru was one of the destinations during our trip around Australia that we were excited to visit together.
We arrived at Uluru in October, 2020 and had initially booked three nights at the Ayers Rock Campground. Since the area is massive – and there are many hikes and different viewing areas – we actually booked an additional three nights after the first three days finished making it six nights in total.
Some of the activities we did included hiking around the base of Uluru one day, through the Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjuta on another, and attending the free activities in the area like learning about the indigenous bush tucker and didgeridoo classes in the town square at Yulara.
Another couple of highlights were our sunrise helicopter flight over the iconic rock formations and witnessing a lightning storm pass over the rocks on our first night there. All of these experiences were amazing to us.
Why Visit Uluru and Kata Tjuta
Uluru and Kata Tjuta are set amongst a majestic landscape in the centre of the Outback. They are the kind of landscape that most people imagine when they think of the Australian desert – red dirt, dry, hot and tons of flies.
I think a lot of people don’t actually realise how massive the area is and how much life is out there. One surprising thing about Uluru is that there are currently no buildings in Australia that are taller than Ayers Rock.
I really enjoyed getting close to the sacred rock during the base walk. It’s approximately 10km of path and hiking where you can see the massive rock from every angle. Just be aware that you cannot photograph or film Uluru from every angle as some of the surrounding land and rock faces are sacred sites to the Anangu, the local indigenous people.
Memorable Experiences at Uluru
The most memorable part of our trip was the sunrise helicopter flight. It was only 36 minutes, yet it seemed to last much longer. We watched the sun appear from over the distant horizon and light up the face of Uluru while the rest of the landscape remained in relative darkness. It’s not cheap but I would recommend doing this if you can squeeze it into your budget.
Best Places to Stay in Uluru
Since we were travelling in our own campervan we stayed at the Ayers Rock Campground for around $40 per night. However there are other options available if camping or caravanning is not your type of vacation.
Need to Know Before you Go
Plan your trip according to the season. The weather can be extreme. Allow for at least three days. More if possible because the place is huge. Definitely make sure to pack a fly-net otherwise you will be constantly waving your hands across your face to swat the hundreds of flies invading your space!
There are also numerous other sights to see between Alice Springs and Uluru. If you have the time, I recommend returning to Alice Springs from Uluru via Kings Canyon. The Rim Walk at Kings Canyon is another awesome Outback spectacle worth spending a day at. Enjoy Uluru 🙂