5 Tips to Tackling a Trip to Uluru


5 Tips to Tackling a Trip to Uluru

Uluru is more than 600 million years old. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage area that should be on everyone’s bucket list, but before you dive head first into a trip to the outback, here’s a few tips to ensure you make the most of your visit.

1. Distance

Ayers Rock Airport is the closest spot to fly into when you’re visiting Uluru. Virgin and Jetstar fly in here but if you’re flying Qantas or other aircraft carriers, you’ll arrive in Alice Springs. The city is 450km from Uluru. It’s worth spending a few days in Alice Springs to get used to the heat and to check out the local galleries and museums. If you want to stay closer to the rock, there are plenty of Uluru hotels.

2. Inside the Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park covers 1,325 square kilometres. It’s home to the iconic Uluru monolith and the Olgas. You need a pass to enter the park, which can be purchased at the Entry Station or in advance. Children under 16 are free. If you don’t have a car, there are plenty of day trips from Alice Springs which include entry into the park. The standard passes are for three days so make sure you get your pass date stamped when you first enter. The park opens just before sunrise and closes after sunset every night. Check with the rangers for seasonal time changes.

3. Visiting Uluru

Once you’re in the park, follow the signs to Uluru. The Mala car park sits at the base of Uluru. Each day at 8am there is a free Mala walk led by a ranger. It takes about an hour and a half and is good for first timers. If you want to walk around the entire base of Uluru, allow 3.5 hours for the 10.6km loop. You’ll be surprised by the diversity of the landscape. There’s plenty of bushland, birds, even a waterfall if you’re there on the rare occasion it rains. The rock itself is not one solid lump. The pitted surface curves and undulates, with overhangs sweeping along like a wave and enormous boulders sitting at its foot. Make sure you respect the signs designating sacred areas where photographs aren’t allowed. Take plenty of water, a hat and be prepared for lots of flies.

4.Photos

Professional photographer Ewen Bell visits Uluru a few times a year and has this tip to offer: “A new sunrise platform was established in recent years to cater for growing demand and to provide an opportunity to walk through some of the flora in the desert. It’s very pretty but lacks impact for photographers. The best place is still the sunset viewing carpark. Doesn’t sound glamorous but the shots are brilliant from 3pm onwards. Don’t visit too late or the long shadows get in the way of a wide lens. 24mm is perfect here, giving lots of foreground detail for compositions and a sense of scale to the rock itself. Uluru is still one of my favourite places in the world to be, it has an energy that changes constantly. So do the photos.”

5. The Olgas

The Olgas, traditionally named Kata Tjuta, are 35kms west of Uluru and the view from the sunrise viewing platform is the best spot to take photos. Up close they’re best photographed as the sun rises but be aware, the appropriately named Valley of the Winds walking track and the Walpa Gorge Walk can turn into wind tunnels and if you’re there before the sun hits the shadows, take a jacket.

Images  by Lisa Perkovic

 

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Lisa Perkovic

About the Author Lisa Perkovic

Lisa is the Expedia Blog Editor and has spent the past eight years travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs. She makes sure the Expedia Blog is always stocked with the best stories, travel tips and destination news from our bloggers and Expedia’s experts. Sydney is her base to drop off souvenirs before heading off on the next adventure. Lisa writes about everything from the world’s weirdest dim sum to cruising aboard monster ships. 3 travel must-haves? A hat, hand sanitiser and underwater camera What's on your travel bucket list? An over water bure in Tahiti, an African safari and snorkeling in Oman    

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