10 top things to do at Uluru in Australia’s red centre where the Northern Territory desert creates a landscape that astonishes from dawn to dusk.
While the Uluru climb is now permanently at the request of the traditional owners, the local Anangu people, there are still so many things to do at Uluru and around Ayers Rock Resort. Of course, you’re going to see a spellbinding sunrise and linger over a sunset, discover ancient stories and learn about local Anangu culture on an Uluru tour, but there’s more.
10 top things to do at Uluru
Here are 10 ways to add more thrill to your experience.
Walk with the wind
Climbing the rock is so last century and no longer allowed out of respect. Today it’s all about tapping into the Uluru’s spiritual energy and sharing some of the ancient legends and lore. Walk around the base of the rock, learn some of the legends, discover the secret silence. You don’t need to climb Uluru to be elevated here.
Try bush foods
Never eaten kangaroo, emu or crocodile? Take the plunge with a tasting platter at Arnguli Grill, Desert Gardens Hotel. The portions are small, but the flavours are excellent. Go the whole way with a flight of matched wines to accentuate the flavour nuances.
Have damper for breakfast
Chow down on some true Aussie tucker with a slab of freshly cooked damper liberally doused in Golden Syrup in front of a campfire, while the morning sun lights up Uluru. Works for me! Follow it with the best bacon and egg roll and a guided tour around Uluru with plenty of local insights. Don’t miss a trip to the ‘lav’ after breakfast to enjoy a drop toilet fit for a king. There’s even a painting on the wall. Desert Awakenings is the tour to take you there. It’s $193 per person for this Uluru tour.
Jump on a motorcycle
It’s double the excitement – you are at one with the world on the back of a bike, and there’s nothing between you and that big red rock. I’ve been around it by bus, car, helicopter and food and my money is on the motorcycle. I didn’t climb Uluru when I could and have no regrets about that.
When the weather is warm, time your journey for the early or late hours of the day. Talk to the folk at Uluru Motorcycle Tours from $219 per person. Do wear a helmet. I took mine off for the photograph.
Relax in the spa
It’s hot, cold, rainy, or you just feel like a treat? Head to the spa for a relaxing massage or facial. You’ll find yourself in capable hands and come out floating on air as I did. Talk to the folk at Red Ochre Spa, Sails in the Desert.
Ride a camel
They might be a feral pest, but behind a camel’s long, luscious lashes lie the smarts of an eight-year-old child. Hop on a camel for a comfy ride through the desert with a different perspective. Talk to Uluru Camel Tours. Costs from $80 per person.
Paint your own
Take home a piece of the Red Centre by creating your own art in a dot painting workshop at Ayers Rock Resort. A Maruku Arts Dot Painting Workshop will have you painting under the guidance of a local Indigenous artist to great a story of your experience at Uluru. The two-hour workshops cost $72 per person.
Cycle around the rock
Do it a different way and cycle around Uluru. You’ll see all the same sites, just a little quicker. The bikes come with helmets and there are designated, lockable parking stations at the best stopping points. It’s $50 each for a three-hour hire and includes helmets and a lock. More information at Outback Cycling.
Unpolluted by light, the skies in the red centre are perfect for stargazing. Take a guided tour of the night sky and look through a telescope at the Sounds of Silence dinner ($195 per person) or join a tour at Ayers Rock Resort.
Learn about bush lore
If you want a guided bush walk or to listen to a bush yarn, check the daily free activities at Ayers Rock Resort.
Go in Australia’s cooler months, June, July and August or plan your trip carefully in the summer months of December, January and February, so activities centre around the beginning and end of the day.
Visiting Uluru is a life-changing experience for many and deserves a place on the top three best places to see in the world in 2020.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled and stayed as a guest of Sails in the Desert.
I would like to try the bush food. Sometimes I need bizarre food adventurous in life. It’s hard to choose between riding a camel or a bike to explore the Uluru. But probably doing both is the best choice.
A bike ride or a camel safari offer great ways to see the area but my favourite is a simple walk around the rock. That really gives you time to soak up the ambience and enjoy the many different views. You’ll love the bush food tastes. The flavours are amazing.
So many amazing things to see and do. I’d love to try the painting workshop. I think $72 for two hours is very reasonable. I’d have to make sure I could ship it back home since it might be a challenge packing it in my suitcase 🙂
I really enjoyed the painting workshop. Don’t worry about getting it home. I would think that once you have completed your painting and it is dry, they will just roll it up for you so you can easily slip it into your suitcase.
Now that I’ve moved to Australia, visiting Uluru has shot up several places on my list! I’m going to plan a trip soon as things get safer. Love the idea of cycling around the rock, and damper over a campfire sounds awesome!
Uluru is really worth visiting. There’s something so special about this place that cements it into your heart. The winter months are ideal to visit as it is still warm during the day although cold a night in the desert. Enjoy!
I will certainly have to add Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to our plans when we finally get back to Australia. I certainly would be looking for those sunrises and sunsets! My first camel experience was not great but I would love to do a longer ride and see the desert from this perspective. I can see why it made the list.
I have experienced a few camel rides around Uluru and in Alice Springs and the camels have all been well trained and friendly so I would expect you will have a good experience. It certainly does give a different perspective to the desert. Here’s hoping you will be able to visit soon.
I can see why it made the list in 2020, it looks like a magical place. I should like to do a cycle to take in the scenic landscape, immediately followed by the spa and cap off the day with some room service!
Sounds like a great plan. The spa there is great and I do love room service but you might want to experience one of the restaurants for dinner. 🙂