Believe It Or Not, You Can Experience The Best Of Uluru In 48 Hours
In under three-and-a-half hours, you can be in Australia’s heartland, experiencing the very best of Uluru. Shrouded in mystery and spirituality, the millennia-old formation is fondly considered the beating heart beat of our land.
Escape the big smoke and book a weekend away in Australia’s Outback, trust us, you won’t regret it.
Book an early morning flight so you’re in Uluru before 12pm, rent a car and head straight to Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas.
Drive down the remote tracks and experience the iconic landscape. Take a hike around the soaring rock domes and enjoy the surrounding desert landscape. If you have a certain level of fitness, walk the full circuit walk through the Valley of the Winds, which will take you three to four hours.
The monuments in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park are estimated to be around 500 million years old, so slow down and enjoy the waterholes, sacred meeting areas and native flora and fauna.
The next 48 hours are all about sunsets and sunrises so, just before the sun sets, nip into the local township, Yulara, to pick up some cheese and biscuits and head to the viewing platform to watch the sun set over Uluru. The way The Rock changes in colour is an unforgettable sight.
As the day comes to a close, head to the Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge, one of the several Voyages hotels in Yulara. The hotel offers comfortable and affordable rooms within easy driving distance to Uluru.
But the day’s not over yet. Freshen up get ready for yet another unforgettable experience.
The Sounds of Silence dinner is an award-winning dining experience set under a blanket of stars. The bush tucker-inspired menu of kangaroo, emu and everything in between will undoubtedly leave an impression.
There is also a star talk and some impressive stargazing. You’ll learn where Southern Cross is and discover the Milky Way, as well as discovering planets and galaxies you never knew existed.
The exceptional clarity of the atmosphere is completely different to the city sky. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
Prepare for a super early alarm (sorry) on day two. In the autumn months, you’ll need to be up at 4:30am and, in the summer months, even earlier. Your hotel will have sunrise times available if you can’t be trusted to figure it out yourself.
Head towards Uluru and get ready to do the base walk, which is undoubtedly the best way to experience this incredible natural icon. By seeing it from all sides, you’ll discover intimate details that make this such an interesting feature of the Australian Outback.
Oh, and keep an eye out for the heart shapes in the formations.
The 10km walk takes about three hours. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the sites and watch the sun rise over the top.
After your walk, head towards the Cultural Centre. Through the Tjukurpa tunnel, you’ll find two the buildings constructed to represent two important ancestral beings – Kuniya, the python woman, and Liru, the poisonous snake man.
Indigenous people carry their culture through stories which are handed down through generations. Talk to one of the friendly local guides to understand more about Kuniya, Liru, the Mala and the story of Lungkata.
Stories are also told through inma. Inma is the Pitjantjatjara word for “ceremony” and usually includes dance and song. At the Cultural Centre, you’ll be treated to a special inma performance.
And, if you’re headed for the Red Centre, the best souvenir to come home with is an Aboriginal artwork. At the Cultural Centre, you can meet some of the artists and learn about their art before you buy.
At the on-site gallery, you might even see the artists painting. You can also check out jewellery, pottery and other crafts from Anangu artists in the Central Western Desert region.
If you’re keen to leave on a high, take to the skies for a sunset skydive over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. This unique perspective adds another layer of awe for The Rock.
Hopefully, by the time you’re packing up to head home, you’ve met some larger than life characters who inhabit the Outback. If not, make sure you come back soon.
(Lead image: David Kirkland / Tourism NT)