Uluru Walks: More Than Just a Climb up a Bloody Big Rock!
Wondering whether there’s any Uluru walks besides the Ayers Rock Climb?
The good news is, yes, there’s quite a few walks at Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta, and that most of them are very easy.
On this page, we’ve written about all of them.
That’s because we’ve actually done all of them! We’ll introduce you to the walks on offer, let you know what to bring, when to walk and what to avoid.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to download a free guide to all of the Uluru walks we talk about on this page.
Uluru Walks: What You Need
These are the essentials you’ll need to take on any of the Uluru walks we talk about on this page:
- Water: at least 2 litres (more if you’re doing the Uluru Climb)
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Sunscreen – yes, even in winter, you’ll need sunscreen here
- Hiking shoes, runners or light hiking boots (leave big, heavy hiking boots at home!)
- A camera. You’ll never forgive yourself for not taking photos!
Uluru Base Walk
The Uluru Base Walk is the walk that Aboriginal people and the National Park staff prefer that you do, rather than climb the Rock.
It’s one of the more popular Uluru walks, so you will see a lot of people out on this one. What’s even better is that it doesn’t get closed like some of the other walks at the Rock.
The walk is 10.6 km loop around the entire base of Ayers Rock. It takes most people around 3.5 hours to complete.
Whilst most people might balk at walking 10 km, the information provided on the signs on this walk are worth the walk.
Even better, the walk it is completely flat. So flat, that it’s wheelchair accessible for the entire way.
The Uluru Climb
Whilst Aboriginal people and National Park staff do their best to convince people not to climb, the fact is that the Uluru climb is very popular with visitors.
We’ll warn you now, the Uluru climb is the most difficult of the various Uluru walks.
It’s very HARD and very STEEP.
If you’re scared of heights, you won’t like it.
If you are unfit, do not do it.
Around 2-3 people die each year because they do the walk and are not fit enough.
And in case you missed that the first time: this walk is hard!
The climb takes anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on your fitness. There are places to rest along the way, however, don’t expect a seat or cool drinks stand when you get to the top.
It gets very windy on top of Uluru, and in the winter it can also be freezing cold.
On average, the climb is closed about 166 days per year, due to hot weather and high winds. A sign at the park entrance lets you know whether the climb is open.
The Liru walk is a short, flat walk through mulga woodland, connecting the Cultural Centre and the will take you between the Cultural Centre and the base of Uluru.
It’s not really a stunning or remarkable walk, although it does meander through some interesting plant habitats. The good thing about this walk it that Uluru looks over you the whole time you do this walk.
The walk itself is 4.5km in length and takes 1.5 hours if you dawdle.
The Kuniya walk leaves from the Kuniya carpark and takes you to the Mutitjulu waterhole, home of a wanampi, an ancestral watersnake.
This is an awesome walk to do after rain, and great for birdwatchers. You’ll also see some rock art in the caves.
The Kuniya walk is very short, only 1km in length, is wheelchair accessible and will take you about 45 minutes, including sightseeing.
Mala Walk and Kantju Gorge
If you’re looking to see lots of Aboriginal rock art and get away from the crowds, then the Mala Walk might be for you.
You’ll love the sheer walls and tranquility of Kantju Gorge, especially if you’re totally over the sunrise and sunset crowds!
Really, this is one of the best Uluru walks, and one that is not visited by many tourists.
The Mala/Kantju Gorge Walk is only 2 km return, is wheelchair accessible and takes about 1.5 hours.
The Lungkata Walk can be reached by either the Kuniya or Mala Walks, and is a ‘teaching walk’.
It tells the story of the relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, and also explains how Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park is jointly managed.
There’s some great photographs to be taken on this walk, if you’re there at the right time of day.
The Lungkata Walk is 4 km return, and takes about 1.5 hours to complete. It’s also wheelchair accessible.
Kata Tjuta dune viewing area
You’ll drive right past this short walk about 26 km along the road to Kata Tjuta.
The walk leads to an area where you’ll be treated with an incredible view of the domes which will have you taking photographs like crazy.
It’s a relaxing place to sit and absorb this ever-changing landscape, especially at sunrise, and is a great alternative to the frantic Uluru sunrise viewing area.
This is a very short walk, only 600m long. It should take you only a few minutes to complete (the guidebooks say 30 mins, but this would be if you’re taking photographs of every second desert oak!). The walk also has wheelchair access.
Walpa Gorge Walk
Walpa Gorge is the walk that most people do when they visit Kata Tjuta. It’s the walk you’ll find yourself on when you leave the parking area at Kata Tjuta.
Walpa means ‘windy’ in Yankunytjatjara, and the Gorge certainly can be windy!
It’s a fairly easy walk (my elderly parents with dodgy knees and hips had no problem with it), that leads gently up along a dry, rocky watercourse, and ending inside the gorge itself.
You actually end right in between two of the towering domes.
If you’re there in the late afternoon, the shadows will stop you taking good photos � better to visit earlier in the day if you want to take good photos when you’re inside the domes.
The Walpa Gorge Walk is 2.6 km return, and should take an hour to complete.
The Valley of the Winds Walk – Kata Tjuta
In our opinion, this is the BEST of all the walks in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.
The reason we say this is: it’s diverse and spectacular.
On this walk, you climb through the domes of Kata Tjuta, passing two lookouts, and then sweep down into an amphitheatre hidden within the domes, following a creekbed.
The atmosphere inside the domes is one of being within a secret, hidden place. The domes tempt you to go off exploring (you’re not allowed to, unfortunately).
One of the best things about this walk, apart from the incredible experience of being in the middle of the domes, is that you walk through a lot of different habitats, and have the chance to glimpse many different birds and plants.
Yes there are several steep climbs on the walk, but they’re very short and there’s plenty of places to stop and rest and just soak up the ambience along the way (I really am wanting to do this walk again and again as I write this!).
The walk is 7.4 km and is a loop, so you don’t need to go back the same way you came. It takes most people 2-3 hours to complete.
You could do it faster if you’re fit, however, I recommend that you stop often to take photos.
Really, this is one of those Uluru walks you don’t want to miss. If you’re wondering whether to walk around the base of Uluru or do the Valley of the Winds walk, do the Valley of the Winds.
Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Walks
In late 2009, Parks Australia unveiled its new Uluru sunrise viewing platform called Talinguru Nyakunytjaku (this means ‘to look at the sand dunes’).
Whilst there has been a lot of controversy about the positioning of this platform which you can read about here (it’s not really the best place to see the sunrise on Uluru), the good news for walkers and hikers is that several new short walks were created.
There are two short walks at Talinguru Nyakunytjaku (pronounced tal-in-goo-ROO nyuk-in-chah-KOO).
The first of these is the Minymaku Walk/ Women’s Walk Loop.
‘Minyma’ means ‘woman’ in Yankunytjatjara (-ku means ‘belonging to’ or ‘for’).
This short walks takes you to the Minymaku Platform,and along the way, teaches people about Women’s Business, how women collect and process bush foods and some of the games young children play.
It’s very short, only 1 km in length and takes around 30 mins. It also has wheelchair access.
The second walk is the Watiku Walk or Men’s Walk Loop.
‘Wati’ means ‘man’ in Yankunytjatjara.
This walk encompasses the Minymaku walk and platform, and teaches people how Anangu men hunted, how they made spears, and a little about the importance of fire to Aboriginal people in this area.
The Watiku Walk is 1.5kn in length and takes around 45min to complete. Like the Minymaku Walk, it’s wheelchair accessible.
Download Maps of Uluru Walks
These free PDF files have maps and more information on all the Uluru Walks we’ve talked about on this page:
- Download the Uluru Walks brochure
- Download the Kata Tjuta Walks brochure
- Download the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku walks brochure
Have YOU been on any of these walks?
If so, what were your impressions? What advice would you give to people thinking about doing these walks?
We’d love to know your thoughts in comments section below.
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