As one of Australia’s most iconic sites, the behemothic Uluṟu draws thousands of tourists every year. While we marvel at the grandiose beauty of the rust-colored sandstone monolith, we must also remember the spiritual and cultural importance it holds.
The Uluru is not merely a pretty rock to climb, it is an ancestral holy ground to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people, and we must treat it with reverence and sensitivity.
Rightfully, the sacred site had been closed off to visitors since October 2019. However, there are still plenty of sights and activities around it to experience the Australian outback.
Marvel at the Uluṟu from the ground
Even though you can no longer scale the rock formation, you are more than welcomed to tour the area around it. It is 12km around the base, and you could either walk around it or take a segway tour.
Want an even more exotic experience? There’s also the option of a camel ride!
Pro-tip: the views are most spectacular at sunrise and sunset.
Marvel at the Uluṟu from the sky
Want a birds-eye view of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park? You still can, and not break the law or disrespect the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people.
For the daredevils out there, why not go skydiving? Get your adrenaline pumping and bask in the crimson glow while taking in a birds-eye view of the area.
Those less adventurous may wish to take one of the many scenic flight options you could book where either planes or helicopters would take you around the beautiful grounds of the national park.
Stay at the Ayers Rock Resort
Perhaps you wish to make some S’mores around a campfire and be closer to nature? Or maybe you’d rather sip on unlimited champagne in a glamorously appointed lodge? Either way, you’ll get some of the most majestic views of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park and a shimmering starry night sky.
With prices ranging from A$43 for a campground site to A$3,200 for the luxurious Longitude 131°, there is something for everyone.
Seek out for King’s Canyon
Just a 3-hour drive out from the Uluṟu, the exhilarating King’s Canyon towers 300m into the sky, and endless activities from 4×4 rides to the King’s Canyon Rim Walk.
The unmissable sight here has to be the Garden of Eden, which you would find at the end of the 6km-long walk. Exotic plants encircle the otherworldly splendor of the rock hole pool, and you’ll be able to understand how aptly named it is.
Traverse the (accessible parts) of Kata Tjuṯa
Kata Tjuṯa is also another sacred site; however, there are certain spots carved up where it is deemed acceptable for tourists to visit. This includes the Walpa Gorge Walk and the Valley of the Winds.
As you roam the Walpa Gorge Walk, you can enjoy the breathtaking sights of the 36 domes that make up this area, with the highest rising over 500m. As for the Valley of the Winds, come during dawn or dusk to see the beautiful play of light and shadows.
Dine on a dune
A dining experience unlike any other, the Tali Wiru dining experience, crafted by the Ayers Rock Resort. You get some of the best vantage points of the area, as you watch the sun slowly set and the colors alternating between all hues of red and brown before nightfall when the stars start to pierce through the dark sky.
Didgeridoos play in the background as you embark on your culinary journey, with dishes inspired by, and ingredients from, the land it sits on, as they are paired with some of the best Australian wines. It may not be cheap, coming in at A$375, but the experience is priceless.