What to see and do at Uluru
If you’re worried that Uluru is just a big red rock in the middle of nowhere, relax. There’s lots to see and do at Ayers Rock.
On this page, we’ve put together a list of adventurous and not so adventurous things to see and do at the Rock. True, some of the activities at Uluru are expensive, but there’s also lots of free things to see and do as well.
To help you plan your trip better, we’ve grouped these Ayers Rock attractions into activity categories, prices, average times needed and links to the companies which run them.
Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park:
Please note: if you decide to do any of the activities within Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, you’ll have to pay the park entrance fee as well as any other tour costs.
Thankfully, once you’ve paid the park entrance fee (which is actually a 3 day pass to the park), most of the activities are free.
Sightseeing and Photography:
If you’re not into walking and you don’t want to pay for anything other than the park entrance fee, then you’ll find that there’s plenty of Ayers Rock attractions to keep you occupied.
You can circumnavigate Uluru in about half an hour in a vehicle.
Or spend two hours driving over to Kata Tjuta (50km each way), and snapping some photos along the way.
The sand dunes and desert oaks -in fact, the entire landscape around Uluru- are a photographer’s dream.
The contrasts of red ochre dunes and the most incredible, purple blue skies you’ll ever see, make it very hard to take a bad photograph here.
If you’re into photography, you’ll love Ayers Rock and its surrounds!
Of course, everyone comes here to see Ayers Rock. Lots of people are happy just to see it and photograph it.
There’s a sunset viewing area (incredibly popular and very crowded in peak season), a sunrise viewing area on the northeast of the rock, and the newer Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area, which opened in 2009.
This newer viewing area has no photography restrictions, unlike some other points around Uluru. It’s also a lot less crowded at peak times!
Along the road to Kata Tjuta, you’ll also find a stunning sunrise and sunset viewing area. This is situated along the main road between Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
You can still get great shots of Uluru from the Kata Tjuta dune viewing area, and it gets a lot less crowded.
Ayers Rock Attractions: Walking
One of the Ayers Rock attractions we thoroughly recommend is doing one of the many walks within the national park. Besides, after spending all that time in the bus or car to get here, you really should get up and get yourself moving!
Read about Ayers Rock Walks in detail here. Below is only a summary about each walk.
- Uluru Base Walk: The walk is 10.6 km loop around the entire base of Ayers Rock. It takes most people around 3.5 hours to complete, is very easy and flat!
- Liru Walk: Near the Cultural Centre. 4.5km in length and takes 1.5 hours if you dawdle.
- Kuniya Walk: Only 1km in length, wheelchair accessible and will take you about 45 minutes.
- Mala Walk and Kantju Gorge: 2 km return, is wheelchair accessible and takes about 1.5 hours.
- Lungkata Walk: 4 km return, 1.5 hours to complete. It’s also wheelchair accessible.
The Uluru Climb
Aboriginal people and National Park staff request that you do not climb Ayers Rock.
The Uluru climb is only for the very fit. It takes anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on your fitness. On average, the climb is closed about 166 days per year, due to hot weather and high winds. A sign at the park entrance will advise visitors whether the climb is open.
The following walks are at Kata Tjuta:
- The Walpa Gorge Walk: Is only 2.6km in length and is very easy for most people. Allow an hour.
- The Valley of the Winds Walk: Our absolute favourite walk at Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. It’s 7.4km in length, and takes about 3 hours. The walk may also be closed during hot weather. A sign at the park entrance will let you know if it’s open.
- The Kata Tjuta Dune Walk: Is located along the road to Kata Tjuta at the Kata Tjuta dune viewing areas. It’s only 600m long and can be done in less than 30 min.
- Ayers Rock Resort: Has a couple of very short walks over a small sand dune in the middle of the resort, where you can get a great view of the resort and town of Yulara.
Ayers Rock Attractions: Aboriginal Culture
Along with seeing Uluru itself, one of the main things that most tourists want to experience is Aboriginal culture. Many people leave disappointed, stating that they never even see any Aboriginal people at the park.
The easiest way to avoid this is to take one of the cultural tours run by Aboriginal owned and operated companies, although these can be expensive.
The Cultural Centre: Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park’s Cultural Centre is was built in 1995 to mark the 10th anniversary of Handover (where the park was given back to the traditional owners).
For most people, the Cultural Centre is as close to an Aboriginal experience that most visitors ever get. It’s great as an introduction to Yankunytjatjara and Pitjatjantjara culture, although many visitors feel that the ‘don’t climb the Rock’ message is driven home too much in many of the displays.
There’s a cafe at the Cultural Centre, art and souvenir shops, and if you’re lucky, cultural talks and demonstrations by Anangu (a word that means Aboriginal person, NOT the name of the Uluru tribe!).
Anangu Tours: Is one of the best known Ayers Rock attractions, and longest running of the Aboriginal owned cultural tour companies operating in or near Uluru.
Anangu Tours offer a variety of tours, from short walks to dot painting workshops. We’ve spoken to many people who say that the tours were fantastic and well worth the money.
Cave Hill Safari: If we could recommend any Aboriginal cultural tour, we’d recommend this one, because the man who runs it, Stanley Douglas, is such a warm, genuine and amazing person.
Stanley is one of Uluru’s Traditional Owners and a natural communicator and leader. You’re guaranteed to fall in love with him! As well, this tour will take you onto Aboriginal land that you’d never otherwise see.
Other Ayers Rock Attractions:
There are a few other Ayers Rock attractions we’d like to mention here. All of these are commercial operations and some are quite expensive!
Sounds of Silence: Sounds of Silence is a gourmet three course dinner featuring Australian bushfoods, held outside (and under the stars) followed by a ‘star talk’. It’s billed as one the top Ayers Rock attractions.
First up, we’ll let you know that we haven’t tried the Sounds of Silence dinner.
We also need to let you know that what we’ve heard about it from people who’ve tried it is this: yeah, great experience, great food, but hellishly overpriced.
The cost is $163.75 AUD per person. Personally, we wouldn’t pay it, but the choice is yours.
Camel Tours: Anangu Tours now runs camel safaris at Uluru. You can try a short camel ride from the Uluru Campground or a 2.5 hour tour. Prices vary from $10 – $99 per person.
Harley Davidson Motocycle Tours: Highly recommended! You can even hire a Harley for a day.
Prices start at $90 for a spin right round the Rock.
Helicopter & scenic flights: The photos you’ll take from the air are amazing! Flights vary from 15 min ($125pp) to day long flights taking in Kings Canyon and Uluru ($695pp).
Don’t forget to check our Ayers Rock budget tips and tricks page to save money on travel and accommodation costs!