Uluru is one of Australia’s most iconic tourist destinations for very good reason. I’ll be honest, I had never really seen the appeal until last year, when a friend who had loved it years before insisted we visit. I can’t thank her enough that she did – I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place I’ve felt so happy and relaxed in. I hope you too feel as if you’re in another world in Australia’s red centre.
1. Uluru is appropriate to visit all year around, but you still need to pick the time of year you’re going to visit. Believe it or not, unlike Darwin and Tropical North Queensland, Uluru doesn’t just have a wet and dry season, but five traditional seasons based on the local food that can be gathered at the time. We visited in November, and it while it was hot, coming from Brisbane it definitely wasn’t unbearable. As a rough guide from October through to March, the average temperature is above 30C°, whilst April – September the average temperature is below 30C°. The nights and mornings can also get very cold, especially in June, July and August, so warm clothes are a must at this time of year.
2. On this note, it’s H-O-T during the day. I would suggest staying somewhere that has a pool at the very least. Hell, even a sprinkler. Bring a hat and a truckload of sunscreen. You’ll need it.
3. Uluru is backpacker central – if you’re looking for a fun (and cheaper) trip, backpack or hire a van. You’ll meet people of all walks of life from all over the world.
4. As soon as you enter the national park ($25 for a one-vehicle three day pass), go to the Uluru Cultural Centre and take the ranger-guided Mala walk. Uluru is a very sacred Indigenous space and it’s a privilege to have access to it. There are a number of rules to observe in the surrounding area which will be fully explained to you so you don’t unintentionally break them and face heavy fines for doing so.
5. Sunset and sunrise over “the rock” as we affectionately nicknamed it, is really special. Integrate watching the sunset into your day, every day, and try watching at least one sunrise, even if it’s just from the viewing platform in the resort village. It’s perfect – no other words.
6. BYO snacks, alcohol, fresh food, water bottles etc, especially if just on a short trip. There is only one small supermarket in the village with limited range of food and you’ll save money and time by bringing your own. I would also recommend bringing a healthy supply of bottled water if driving.
7. Take proper running/walking shoes and active wear – in contrast to popular opinion, you’ll actually need it. The base walk around Uluru which is kind of an obvious must-see is 10 kilometres long. Not exactly feasible in thongs and denim shorts, although we saw some people valiantly trying. #chafe
8. You will be permanently covered in red dust, as will your shoes and clothes. Now is not the time to debut your brand new Nikes/Adidas/Chuck IIs. I took a stinky old pair of Adidas marathons and left them at the hotel as a parting gift.
9. When you arrive at Uluru, you’ll notice a lot of people rocking full-brimmed hats with mosquito netting. They’ll look ridiculous. You’ll laugh at them. However, you won’t be laughing so hard at the end of your day when you look back at your selfies and realise in every single picture at least one large black mosquito is making a featured cameo, whether its on your teeth, eyeball or zooming up your nostril. The upshot is take strong mosquito repellant, a fan and be prepared for a lot of swatting. The flies do get fairly hectic during the middle of the day so try to plan so you’re inside for that portion of the day. #flygamestrong
10. Even though Uluru is the most well-known attraction in the red centre, there are other amazing places you have to work into your trip, including Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon. Stay tuned for more info!
Disclaimer: Sincerest apologies for the number of selfies in this post but I think we were so obsessed with Uluru we legitimately got completely caught up taking pictures with it. I promise this is a one-off!