Introduction to Uluru

Located in Alice Springs - the third largest city in Northern Territory, Australia, Uluru has captivated many visitors’ hearts with its raw but distinctive charm of the reddish-orange rock and the surrounding area. Despite its spectacular appearance, the majority of the mass is still being buried under the ground of Uluru. What humans are witnessing are the results of erosion from a million years ago. 

Uluru is known by another name ‘Ayers Rock', which was taken after the Chief Secretary of South Australia when it was discovered in 1873. The name ‘Ayers Rock' was widely used until 1993 then being renamed to ‘Ayers Rock / Uluru’. Later in 2002, it was renamed ‘ Uluru / Ayers Rock’ to show respect to the Anangu people as well as the ownership of the land. Given that, you can refer to the landmark as ‘Uluru' or ‘Ayers Rock'. The locals will still only call it ‘Uluru'.

Uluru is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Listing for its natural in 1987 and cultural values listing in 1997. The region is one of a few places recognized in duel listings.

Cultural information

Not just a landmark, Uluru also holds a significant meaning to Australian Indigenous culture. 

The Anangu (pronounced: arn-ung-oo) people have been living in the region for more than a thousand years, way before the invasion of the Europeans in the 1800s. Because of that, the community holds a strong bond with Uluru and the area surrounding it. To the Anangu Dreamtime stories, Uluru was formed by 10 ancestral beings, with each feature of the rock carved by a certain ancestral spirit. The term ‘Dreamtime' refers to the period where life was created according to the Aboriginal culture. ‘Dreamtime' is the basis of Aboriginal lore and culture, through which all things in the natural world were created by ancestors or spiritual beings. When visiting Uluru, visitors will have a chance to listen to Dreamtime stories from the locals through different activities.

  • Shell, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Petermann, Northern Territory 0872, Australia


Transport to the Uluru 

You can fly to Alice Springs from any major airport in Australia. From Alice Springs, there are two options for you to choose

  • Hop on a campervan and enjoy the scenic view on the 450 km-long trip to the heart of Uluru. The trip will take approximately 5.5 hours
  • Catch another flight directly to Uluru (Ayers Rock). The flight is said to be around 50 minutes long.

What’s good to eat in the Uluru 

The uniqueness of Uluru's cuisine does not lie within its variety but in its spectacular view of mother nature. There are plenty of dishes you can choose from, such as bbq or other international food. However, only in Uluru can you enjoy your meal under the dazzling sky full of stars.

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    Accommodation in the Uluru 

    There are a variety of accommodations for you to choose from, and most of them are Aboriginal-owned. Availabilities are self-contained apartments, an outback hotel, 5-star luxury accommodations, hotels, backpacker rooms, and a campground with sites and cabins.



    Entertainment in the Uluru 

    1. Walk around the Uluru base

    On 29 October 2019, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management decided to permanently close the climb trails to tourists due to the land being a deeply sacred place to the Anangu people. However, visitors can still enjoy the magnificence of the landmark by taking a 10 km walk around the circumference of the rock. The walk is the most recommended way for visitors to explore the biodiversity of the region, and experience an incredible trekking route that can't be found elsewhere. 

    If you’re keen on learning about the Anangu culture, guided tours around the base are another fascinating option. The local guide will introduce you to stories of the Dreamtime that have been passed down to generations of the Anangu people, alongside the amazing trek around the base of the rock. 

    There are five routes that you can take:

    • Mala walk (wheelchair accessible route)
    • North-east face walk
    • Kuniya walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole (wheelchair accessible route)
    • Lungkata walk
    • Liru walk

    2. Visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre

    A visit to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre will open you to everything Uluru can offer, from the history of how Uluru was formed, to the traditional and cultural practices of the Anangu people that are still done till this modern age and time. The centre also exhibits Maruku Arts - a not-for-profit art and craft cooperation run by the Anangu that showcases a diversity of art varying from traditional canvas, paintings, punu (traditional wooden carvings) to woven baskets. 

    You will need to reserve a parking pass prior to your visit. The pass can be purchased online, or on-site. 

    The centre is wheelchair accessible, with many facilities on-site that provide you with the best experience such as gas bbq & picnic site and shops.  

    3. Join the dot painting workshops 

    Join this 1.5-hour workshop to explore the traditional Anangu culture through the arts. You will be guided by a local Anangu artist and an interpreter. During the session, not only will you be creating an art piece to take home with you, but you will also acquire a deeper understanding of the Aboriginal arts and culture through ancient symbols used in the Anangu arts, Pitjantjatjara words, and stories from the local guide. 

    The workshop runs twice daily, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and will be held in Yulara town square near Kulata Café. Time table is as below:

    • April–September: 11:30 am–1:00 pm and 2:00 pm–3:30 pm.
    • October–March: 10:30 am–12:00 pm and 1:30 pm–3:00 pm.

    In whatever activities you take, always remember to bring a hat and a water bottle with you, especially if the activity occurs in the afternoon.

    Best time to visit the Uluru 

    The recommended period is from May to September when the temperature during the day varies from 20-30 degrees. The cool weather means there will be little to no rain, making your exploration a comfortable experience. The colors of the rock are also more vibrant during this time, which is ideal for some scenic shots.