It was a crazy day with over 1000km on the road in our Britz Campervan, but we made it to Uluru just in time to experience the moment right before the sun sets and make Uluru glow and turn deep shade of red.
In the middle of Australia in the southern part of the Northern Territory, 264 kilometers from the main road of Stuart Highway and 443km long drive from Alice Springs you will find this ancient monolith known as Uluru or Ayers Rock. It is 248m high, rises 863 meters above sea level and is 9.4 km around the base. If you find that impressive you might want to know that it extends about several km into the ground, it is not exactly known how far, and what you can see is just a small part of it. And did you know that Uluru actually is gray? It is, but the iron content of the rock is “rusting” at the surface, resulting in the distinctive red iron oxide coating.
We spent the evening and the morning after in the area around Uluru, which allowed us to witness both the sunset and the sunrise. It is almost unbelievable to be there, to see the big red rock formation we have been wanted to see for such a long time right in front of us. We totally forgot all about the time we had spent on the road that day, driving for hours and hours. The only thing that distracted us was all the flies – oh my, so many flies, and you feel like every one of them want to try to enter all your openings such as your eyes, mouth and ears. It drives you crazy! We talked to a man that had visited Uluru at a different time of the year and at that time it was not a problem at all. But to be on the safe side we recommend taking fly net, the kind you have over your head, especially if you have plans to walk around for hours. And in that case you have to bring water, lots of water as it can get really hot in the summer time. The daily maximum average temperature is 38°C, but it can get as high as 48°C.
Uluru is situated inside the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, but in the same national park is also Kata Tjuta (or The Olgas), and we found that one more impressive than Uluru (if it is allowed to say that?!). Kata Tjuta is a group of large ancient rock formations approximately 30 kilometers away from Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre. The 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta are spread over an area of more than 20 kilometers, and the tallest dome rises 546 meters above the ground.
You can choose from a number of walking trails that range from easy strolls to longer, more difficult tracks. But on days with higher temperatures than 36 degrees the trails closes and it is strictly prohibited to hike.
When we visited Uluru-Kata Tjuta NP we stayed at Ayers Rock Campground, located 15km from Uluru. It is not allowed to camp in the national park, but Ayers Rock Resort/campground is the closest one. In the same area you’ll find a supermarket, petrol station, restaurants and some other shops.
To enter the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park you have to purchase a park pass – a three days visitor pass cost 25AU$ p.p. and you buy it at the entry station on your way into the national park.
We paid 47AU$ for a powered site at Ayers Rock Campground for one night, but it is listed different prices on their homepage.
It was a dream that came true when we visited this magical spot, and we think that it was worth the extra 528 kilometers of our travel route. We have talked about visiting Uluru since our first time visiting Australia, and we knew we had to when we decided to revisit. We could have taken a flight into the red center, but it was a fun experience to drive all the way through the country on Stuart Highway. But more about that road later!
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