Uluru

There is a lot to take in on any first-time visit to Uluru and your kids are sure to have lots to say. Astonished comments will tumble from their mouths: Uluru is even bigger than they expected, and they thought the surface was going to be smooth, and they didn’t think plants would be growing all around it – isn’t this supposed to be the desert? Your tour guide leads you around the base of Uluru, pausing in front of painted ochre diagrams on the wall of a cave. Hundreds of years ago, this cave was a  classroom where men gave lessons to boys. Your kids whisper that it would be fun to have lessons in a cave, and you realise this is not just a tourist visit, but a spiritual and cultural experience for all of you.

Price range

MID-RANGE

Contact details

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park

(08) 8956 1128
 
 
Open sunrise to after dark

Don't Miss

■ The chance to find a peaceful place where your family can experience the spirit of Uluru alone.

■ Visiting one of the waterfall areas about an hour before sunset. Many birds come there to drink, and at dusk, the microbats appear, snatching insects out of the air.
 
Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area.

Fabulous Facts

Anangu people believe the landscape was created by ancestral beings who were part animal, part human. One of the most important is Mala Man (Mala is the Anangu name for the rufous hare-wallaby). Rufous hare-wallabies used to be abundant in this area, but became extinct in the 1950s. A small colony was reintroduced in 2005 and is breeding successfully – so watch out for them on your Mala Walk.

Insider Tips

■ The Anangu people are the traditional owners of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru and Kata Tjuta are sacred sites.

■ Climbing Uluru is offensive to the Anangu people, and it is also dangerous – Uluru is the height of a 90-storey building.
 
■ Uluru was called ‘Ayers Rock’ by European settlers and you are likely to hear this name used sometimes.
 
■ The best way to experience Uluru is to walk around the base. It is preferable (though not compulsory) to do this with a guide, who can make sure you do not view, enter or photograph important sensitive areas and will teach you some Anangu law and culture.
 
■ There are free ranger tours for the Mala Walk – partway around the base – that operate every morning (seasonal start times). Phone ahead or check the website for other walk options.
 
■ If you go out for a dawn or dusk viewing of Uluru, rug up for warmth. Temperatures in the evening can be extremely cold, no matter how hot it is during the day.
 
■ Visitors over 16 years of age must buy a national park pass, valid for three consecutive days; the same pass is valid for the whole park including Kata Tjuta.
 
■ There are toilets, a cafe and picnic facilities near the base of Uluru at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre.
 
■ If you see dingoes in the park, you are advised not to feed them.

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