Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park is home to the world-famous Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Red Centre of Australia and one of the country’s most famous natural landmarks. One of the most famous rock formations in the world, this monolith stands at a towering 348 metres tall and has a circumference of over 9km, with the bulk of its mass lying underground.
This unique slice of the outback is known for its amazing views at dawn and dusk. The Talinguṟu Nyakunytjaku viewing area offers uninterrupted 360° views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, with the sun’s glow bringing the surrounding desert landscape to life.
A trip to the Northern Territory is incomplete without getting to experience one of the many amazing Uluru tours on offer. See the information below to learn more about Uluru (Ayers Rock) to help you plan an unforgettable experience in the heart of Australia.
Things to Know About Uluru
Before you book a tour to Uluru, there are a few things you should know about in order to enhance your experience.
History of Uluru
In 1873, surveyor William Gosse sighted ‘the Rock’ and in honour of the then Chief Secretary of South Australia Sir Henry Ayers, named it Ayers Rock. It wasn’t until 1993 that Uluru became the first icon in Australia to be given back its Aboriginal name and making it the first official dual-named feature in the Northern Territory.
Art & Culture
There is an incredible amount of Indigenous Australian art and culture in the surrounding region. Uluru tours give you the chance to learn about Aboriginal creation stories, ancestral beings, admire local art and discover the significance of the several walks available. Stop by the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre, the best place to get acquainted with Anangu country. A wander through the “Tjukurpa Tunnel” will introduce you to the culture of the Anangu people and Aboriginal law (Tjukurpa).
Walking around the 9km perimeter is one of the key highlights of many Uluru tours, but with plenty of walking options, it may be difficult to know where to begin. At AAT Kings, we recommend the Kuniya Base Walk and the Mala Walk, both highly-rated by tourists and locals. While walking along these trails, you will encounter sacred Indigenous sites and art.
The Kuniya Base Walk is an insightful track that leads to the Muṯitjulu waterhole, home of a Wanampi, an ancestral water snake. You’ll gain a unique insight into the sheer physical and spiritual enormity of Uluru and pass by ancient cave paintings and other sites of significance to the local Anangu and the early explorers.
The Mala Walk leads you past several areas of rock art and sacred sites where Aboriginal communities live and prepare for ceremony. It’s believed that as you walk through this area, you’ll be surrounded by the spirit of the Mala Tjukurpa – the hare-wallaby people. This adventure will also take you to the peaceful Kaṉtju Gorge.
There is plenty of local wildlife to see when you travel Uluru (Ayers Rock) and its surroundings, such as the dingos and the rufous hare-wallaby. You will also be able to encounter the largest land mammal in Australia, the ‘red kangaroo’, which can be found in the plains, woodlands and even desert. Birdwatching is also a popular activity for those who visit the Red Centre as many birds take shelter within the park’s rocky slopes. The Uluru region is home to over 178 species of bird throughout the arid landscape, making this landmark a remarkable place to spot some rare species. You will be able to encounter the brown falcon, the black-faced woodswallow, zebra finches, and more - so remember to keep an eye out.
Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
As the two most popular rock formations in the Northern Territory, adventures of Uluru and Kata Tjuta are often featured together in several top Uluru tours. Sitting approximately 40km to the west of Uluru, Kata Tjuta is a unique experience with its flowing rock domes, which light up beautifully at sunrise and sunset. There are various walking trails to choose from, such as the Walpa Gorge Walk or the Valley of the Winds Walk.
All Uluru tours put you within striking distance of Alice Springs, the gateway town to Australia’s Red Centre. The town of Alice Springs has plenty of its own landmarks to explore, including Anzac Hill and the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve. Many of our Uluru tours go to and from Alice Springs, making it an excellent town to stay in if you are keen on exploring the Red Centre.
Wattarka National Park
Watarrka National Park is approximately 300km southwest of Alice Springs and is a protected region encompassing much of Kings Canyon. The rocky terrain is perfect for those seeking a hiking adventure outside of their comfort zone, with it taking around 3 hours to walk the park’s circumference.
When to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock)
The best time to visit the Red Centre depends on what experience you want. If you want to avoid the heat, then the period between May and September is the coolest, with temperatures staying between 20-30 degrees. Walking tours will be more comfortable under these cooler conditions, allowing you to explore one of the most stunning areas of the world with ease.
On the other hand, the hottest months (between October and March) bring the rainfall that allows Uluru’s waterfalls to flow - a unique and wonderful sight. Of course, anyone visiting the Northern Territory during this time should ensure they are drinking enough water and have adequate sun protection.
For visitors interested in the region’s wildflowers, August and September are considered the best months to schedule an Uluru tour.
How much time do you need to visit the Red Centre?
You need at least 2-3 days to have a robust experience of Uluru (Ayers Rock), where you can fully explore the major features of the region and learn about its Indigenous significance. However, there are plenty of worthwhile half-day Uluru tour experiences that you can enjoy while visiting the Northern Territory.
AAT Kings’ Tours of Uluru
For those that are interested in visiting Uluru, AAT Kings offers a variety of different tours, from one-off coach transfers to 19 Day Guided Holidays. Our selection of tours is suitable for all ages and interest, with short and long Uluru tours available. If you are looking at exploring Uluru either by yourself or friends and family, browse our selection of Uluru-specific tours below.
Uluru Coach Transfers
AAT Kings offer a transfer service for those that are looking to explore the area on their own. Travel by an air-conditioned coach through to the desert landscapes, while looking out the window for wild animals that inhabit the area. The transfer services includes comprehensive commentary by our experienced Driver Guide. See below for more information about our selection of transfer routes to and from Uluru:
- Ayers Rock to Alice Springs Transfer
Starting from Ayers Rock Resort, enjoy travelling through marvellous desert scenery with comprehensive commentary provided as you pass major landmarks like Atila (Mt. Conner). A quick stop at Erldunda Roadhouse gives you the chance to refresh with afternoon tea before continuing your journey up the Stuart Highway to arrive at Alice Springs.
- Kings Canyon Resort to Ayers Rock Transfer
Admire the stunning desert scenery with a professional Driver Guide as you travel from Kings Canyon Resort to Ayers Rock Resort. You will get to see Atila (Mt. Conner) and pass through the working cattle station Curtin Spring, which has been family owned and operated since 1956. Keep an eye out for wild camels roaming this area.
- Alice Springs to Ayers Rock Transfer
Go from Alice Springs to Uluru by coach and experience the best landscapes the Northern Territory has to offer. Passing through the breathtaking West MacDonnell Ranges, you’ll get to learn about the region’s natural history, including the unique flora and fauna of this Australian desert. You will also learn about the traditional Indigenous beliefs and traditions of this region. On this trip, you’ll see flat-topped Atila (Mt. Conner) before reaching Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, where you can experience the Red Centre in all its glory.
Uluru Half Day Tours
Our selection of Half Days Tours is suitable for those that are short of time or are looking for the perfect way to enhance a day trip. Our Half-Day Uluru Tours offer various short trips to Uluru (Ayers Rock), where you can sit back and relax while our guides take you on a relaxed adventure exploring Uluru (Ayers Rock) with spectacular views. If you are looking at enhancing your day trip by exploring Uluru, browse below from our selection of boutique experiences.
Uluru Morning Guided Base Walk
In the intimacy of a small group, join your Driver Guide on a 10.5km walk around the entire base of Uluru. Visiting sacred sites, viewing Aboriginal rock art, and seeing the vision of a waterfall in a desert setting are all spectacular experiences for travellers. This adventure is wonderful after rainfall when the water flows from the side of Uluru and plunges into Kantju Gorge.
View the full itinerary of the Uluru Morning Guided Base Walk.
Sit back and relax as you travel into the amazing Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park. Your driver guide will provide expert commentary while you enjoy the amazing surroundings and the sight of Uluru in the distance. You’ll be overwhelmed by its incredible size, presence and inherent spirituality.
View the full itinerary of the Uluru Sunset Half Day Tour.
Uluru Sacred Sites & Sunset
Travel in the comfort of your coach around the base of Uluru with your Driver Guide, who will provide details on its incredible history. Learn about the significance of ancient Aboriginal rock art, the culture of its traditional owners, the Anangu and the surrounding areas’ flora and fauna. Your day concludes with a spectacular sunset view at Uluru.
View the full itinerary of the Uluru Sacred Sites & Sunset Half Day Tour.
Uluru Sunrise & Field of Light
Internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro is noted for his immersive site-specific installations that employ light to evoke emotional response, often in an outdoor context and on a monumental scale. His Field of Light, inspired by a trip to Uluru over 27 years ago, is installed in a remote desert area within sight of majestic Uluru. It is truly a magical sight to behold.
View the full itinerary of the Uluru Sunrise & Field of Light Half Day Tour.
Uluru Short Breaks
Our selection of Short Break tours is suitable for those that looking to explore the rich history and culture of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the surrounding region. Our Short Break tours offer a variety of 2-day tours to Uluru, which you will have the opportunity to learn about indigenous customs and traditions, while witnessing the beautiful landscape and sunset over Uluru. Exploration of the intricacies of this major Australian landmark is more enjoyable when it is done over time. If you are looking at visiting Uluru, browse from our selection of short break experiences below.
Uluru and Kings Canyon Unearthed – 3 Day Short Break
After being transferred from Ayers Rock Airport to Ayers Rock Resort, you will be able to take in the magnificent beauty of Uluru by passing through the stunning landscape of the West MacDonnell Ranges. Walk between the domes of Kata Tjuta and witness Uluru’s mesmerising sunset and sunrise and discover its rich history and culture.
View the full itinerary of the Uluru and Kings Canyon Unearthed 2 Day Short Break.
Uluru and Kata Tjuta Highlights – 2 Day Short Break
Take in the sights of the marvellous Red Centre. Explore the domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and venture into Walpa Gorge. Witness an unforgettable sunset and sunrise at Uluru and immerse yourself in ancient Anangu culture on a guided walk around the base.
View the full itinerary of the Uluru and Kata Tjuta Highlights 2 Day Short Break.
Browse more of our tours below to learn about experiencing Uluru with AAT Kings.