Uluru (Ayers Rock) is one of Australia’s best-known landmarks. Sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu—the Aboriginal people native to the area—the rock is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, along with Kata Tjuta, comprises Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Here’s how to enjoy the rock from all angles.
Day 1: Uluru from Above and Below
One of the most unique things about Uluru is how it appears to change color as the sun shifts position throughout the day. Admire early-morning hues from the base of the rock on a sunrise walking tour that provides a great introduction to Uluru’s culture, geology, and environment. Tours typically include a picnic breakfast. For something less strenuous, opt for a camel ride instead.
To truly appreciate the color and scale of Uluru, take to the skies on a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft flight. You'll see Uluru and the vivid, red-rock formations of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and enjoy birds-eye photo opportunities. Round out your day with a glass of wine and Aussie-style barbecue dinner at the sunset viewing point in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Day 2: Aboriginal Culture
Spend your second day delving deeper into Aboriginal culture. Travel to Cave Hill, the land of the Anangu Aboriginal people, on a 4WD tour that lets you tackle the rugged landscapes of the national park with ease. Tours to Cave Hill typically include an indigenous guide that reveals Aboriginal stories handed down over many generations, as well as time to admire the ancient rock art of Cave Hill, one of Central Australia’s most significant Aboriginal rock art sites—morning tea and a picnic lunch are usually included.
After a full day of culture and adventure, spend the evening relaxing at the Ayers Rock resort, where you can enjoy dinner and drinks.
Day 3: Art and the Art of Silence
Art and folklore abound in the sacred area of Uluru, so spend your final day soaking it up. Opt for a sunrise visit to the Field of Light, a light installation by British artist Bruce Munro, or enjoy a hands-on Aboriginal dot painting workshop at Uluru Cultural Centre. Most tours give you the chance to interact with Aboriginal artists and allow free time to complete your own painting to keep as a memento.
Spend your final evening dining beneath the stars with an award-winning Sounds of Silence dinner package. You'll travel to a secluded formal dining setting in the middle of the desert, where you’ll sip champagne and dine on Australian delicacies as the sound of the didgeridoo fills the air and the sun sets slowly over Kata Tjuta and Uluru. Afterward, an astronomer typically guides you around the southern night skies.