It’s officially summer in Australia – yay for scorching hot days, sunburns and mosquitos. (Next Saturday will be 98.6. I think I’ll be packing for snowy Pennsylvania in the air con!) To celebrate surviving one more year melanoma free, here is a run down of one of my country’s most famous destinations: Uluru. I once drove from Adelaide to Sydney right after watching the movie, Wolf Creek: I was constantly looking in my rear view mirror for a crazed gun slinging bogan in a flanno ready to pop my tyres. I would love for you all to experience a similar kinda of horror desert drive. I kid.
Uluru (Oo-lah-roo) or Ayers Rock, has over 65 tours and experiences available in the National Park. NT tourism is pretty good at pushing more time at Uluru, offering suggestions for a 6 day itinerary down a three-day itinerary, visiting everything from Alice Springs, Uluru, and Kata Tjuta (Olga’s) but to be honest, unless you have extensive tours planned for Uluru 2 days would be sufficient. You’d have time to explore the rock, a sunrise and sunset, relax and even squeeze in a tour. The Kings Canyon if you have some extra money is a must with plenty of transport options (coach or helicopter depending on budget) and a sunset motorcycle tour of Uluru is also a cool option. You can visit Alice Springs, a 4.5 hour drive away but Darwin is where the real action is. If you plan on visiting the area my suggestion would be fly directly into Ayers Rock from Sydney and spend 2 or 3 days. (Qantas and Virgin Blue both fly direct) After visiting Uluru fly into Darwin or Alice Springs. My suggestion is Darwin. You shouldn’t travel here expecting a cheap trip,but the experience is unforgettable.
A Tour in Alice Springs – Feeding the Crocodile
Accommodation Options at the Rock:
Camping: Ayers Rock Campground offers cabins for up to 6 people for $150 in low season, in high season it jumps to $450. A powered camping site in low season is $41 compared to $123 and a non powered camp site in low season is $36 or in high season, $108. They do offer stay deals (stay for 4 pay for 3) and family rates.
Backpackers: Stay at Outback Pioneer Lodge. It offers twenty bed single sex dormitories and four bed mixed sex dormitories with shared bathrooms. 20 person dorms start from $38. (No children in dorms)
Luxury Options: Try the 5 star eco sensitive Longitude 131 or the Sails in the Desert Hotel. In low season a room can be as cheap as $350 in high season the rates can hit $1000. The rates include a return transfer to Alice Springs.
The climate in winter is on average 72 and usually reaches 95 fahrenheit in the summer and often exceeds 104 degrees. The nights are cooler. While in the middle of nowhere, the area is rich in history and culture and offers breath-taking sunsets and sunrises.
Have you been to Uluru? What did you think?