The Uluru and Kata Tjuta area is truly magical. There are so many things to do and admire! It is worth spending several days there. Below I list some of the activities you could consider during your stay to discover Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the area: walks, flight, sunset platforms and more..
GENERAL MAP - ULURU & KATA TJUTA
Let's start with a map of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park which also shows you where the airport and the Ayers rock resort and camp guornd are (the maps below are from the brochure of the National Park, there are so well done I decided not to create my own this time)
As I love geological formations I was excited to see the majestic 348m high Uluru (also called Ayers Rock) from every angle possible.
Map - Walks at Uluru
Let's start with a map of the Uluru rocks and its surroundings including the walks, the sunset and sunrise platforms and the facilities (the map below is from the brochure of the National Park)
Base walk or sections of it
With many photo stops (where allowed) and taking your time, the base walk of Uluru takes under 4 hours. It is a 10.6 km loop that should not be attempted in the middle of the day. It is a very hot desert! It takes you to many intersting features of the rock and ancient painting.
More photos and information on my Uluru Base Walk post
Smaller walks are also possible by doing only portions of the loop: mala walk, lungkata walk...
Talinguru Nyakunytjaku - Sunrise
For those courageous enough to wak up early, the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku platform is the place to go for sunrise.
From this location, Uluru actually looks quite different. You see more ondulations.
Bus sunset platform
It is difficult to be alone for sunset around Uluru and Kata Tjuta. The bus platform is a good example of that as every tour bus converge there for the golden hours on the rock. Luckyli it is well developped and there is ample of space to set up and admire the giant - but no silence.
Car sunset viewing area
Less people than at the bus platform but still a lot of them. This area offers some more composition options with trees.
Uluru viewing during the day
Platforms are not only for sunrise and sunset. The bus platform is also accessible to cars during the day (before 4pm).
However because of the harsh light, Uluru looks less interesting as you see less details.
Uluru from the Imalung lookout
Just in the middle of the Ayers Rock resort is the Imalung lookoout. There is a path from the Ayers Rock resort entrance and from the campsite entrance. It is a short and easy walk and already gives a great view of Uluru.
You can notice that we get a different perspective on Uluru. It appears larger.
Unless there is really bad weather, it is authorized to climbed Uluru. However there is a big debate as the local aboriginals consider it sacred. Learn more about the controversial Climb of Uluru by Waking up wild.
DISCOVER KATA TJUTA
Kata Tjuta (also called the Olgas) is a congloremate of 36 domes. Mount Olga is the highest one and cuminates at 1066m above sea level, or 546m above the surrounding ground. It is a sacred site of the aboriginals and most of it is closed to visitors for that reason. Many legends surround the places but are not shared with outsiders.
Map - Walks of Kata Tjuta
Let's start with a map of the Kata Tjuta Domes and their surroundings including the walks, the sunset and sunrise platforms and the facilities (the map below is from the brochure of the National Park)
Valley of the Wind walk
The Valley of the Wind Walk is a hiking loop in the section of Kata Tjuta opened to visitors. The circuit is 7.4km-4.6miles circuit or you can do only a portion of it and turn around.
This walks takes you up between domes and on a circle in the middle of some of them.
I completed this tour in the rain and it was alerady magnificent. I can't imagive how beautiful it is with the blue sky and some white clouds.
More photos and information on my Valley of the Wind post
Walpa Gorge walk
The Walpa gorge is the easy 2.6km walk (1.6 miles) at one end of Kata Tjuta. It leads you to a narrow canyon between 2 domes and back (1 hour). This is a great way to realise the siwe of those domes. Check out on the picture the scale of the people compres of the domes.
You can get there by car or with the one of the loop of the Uluru Express.
Kata Tjuta Sunset viewing platform
The sunset viewing platform of Kata Tjuta offers a limited view of the domes but this where they are the closest creating an interesting all-together shape.
Plus the constrast of the red dust with the green trees and the orangy domes is incredible
I have visited the platform only during the day and it was already really nice.
Kata Tjuta Dune viewing platform
This platform is the best location for Sunrise over Kata Tjuta. However during the day it does not have the best perspective. You can see the spread of the Olgas but it is harder to separate the domes.
As the desert around Uluru is very flat, there is no viewpoint at higher ground. Therefore taking a helicopter flight is a fantastic way to get impressive views of the giant with a different perspective. On the tour I selected, we also flew near the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta (most of which you cannot see from the ground as the area is closed to tourists) and Lake Amadeus salt pan.
A great way to grasp how unique this place is!
More photos and information on my Uluru Helicopter Flight post
For one morning, I booked the Desert awakening tour. I enjoyed the isolation (as the group is very small) but disappointed by the scenery as Uluru was too far.
After walk in the dark up a sand dunes we discovered the settings with the breakfast seats and cooking facilities. Food was great.
Then we discovered some of the plants and drove to the cultural centre to meet with aboriginals and hear some stories.
More photos and information at the bottom of my Uluru Sunrise and Sunset post.
Sound of Silence Diner
Sounds of silence starts with big buses – not my cup of tea.
We first enjoyed sunset on a platform with a glass of sparkling wine. Sadly that evening, there were too many clouds for a nice sunset.
We then had diner in small round tables. It was a buffet and I was not impressed by the quality (although I do realize that they provide this dinner in the middle of nowhere)
I was lucky that the evening I picked was a moonless night and it was perfect for the astronomer’s talk. We could see perfectly all the constellations and the Milky Way was striking. It was the fist time I spent so much time looking at the stars but I have done it again many times since then.
MORE INFO & IDEAS
For a lot of information on fauna, flora, lanscapes, where to stay, what to do, maps, apps, etc, make sure to check out the National park website
My post focus on the various activities you can book there. Other bloggers have written about getting around & Staying there:
- Off the Path about visiting one of the most famous landmarks in Australia
- How to spend 48 hours in Uluru
Of course there are other activities, some more cultural (for example cave hill) and some more atypical (for example the Harley Davison tour). I just wanted to share with you the ones I did to give you an idea before you plan your trip. My 3 days were fully packed but I really enjoyed my stay there!
Further in the Red Center
To see more of this amazing region you can drive to and hike the King's canyon.
You can also enjoy a road trip all the way to Adelaide. Check how Laura traveled between Adelaide and Alice on an Outback adventure.
Want to see more of AUSTRALIA?
Will you stay on your own or book a tour?