Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard the news that from October 2019, the controversial climbing of Australia’s famous rock will be officially banned (a totally necessary move as far as we’re concerned!)
Thankfully there are a plethora of other ways to appreciate the mind-melting magnitude of this natural phenomenon and Aboriginal icon that we reckon are way better than tramping up and down it anyway.
Note: The best times to visit are sunrise and sunset – it’s a cooler temperature and the colours are beyond any artist’s pallet.
1. Ride A Bike
Two wheeled travel using leg-engines is the way forward in our opinion – you get from A to B faster than walking, giving high-fives to the environment along the way whilst creating much needed wind-flow in desert saunas.
Outback Cycling is a mobile bicycle shop conveniently located next to the car park at the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa Cultural Centre. Based on how many beers you slugged around camp the night before, you can decide how far you want to ride. A full lap of the rock has a nice ring to it though #TourdeRock.
2. Ride a Camel
Speaking of trusty steeds, camels take desert travel to a whole ‘nother level.
You can’t help but gain a deep appreciation for these animals; how they’ve adapted to their environment but also the role they played in the first European explorers’ exploration of the Outback. There’s also something pretty flippin’ cool about cresting a red-dune atop a ginormous four-legged ‘ship of the desert’.
Uluṟu Camel Tours are the go-to at sunrise and in addition to the ride itself, you’ll also get to scoff down homemade beer-bread damper and local jams after the trip.
We all strive to fill our lives with new experiences, and curate a mind bank of awesomeness (we are explorers after all). Hurtling towards Uluṟu at terminal velocity falls firmly into this category.
Cheapskates can close their eyes, point a hair-dryer in their faces and switch on their imagination. Other’s may have thrown a few more goldies into their piggy banks and although it’s over faster than your dignity on your 21st birthday, it’s not something you’ll be forgetting in a hurry.
Skydive Uluṟu are the only operator in the area and with thousands of jumps under their overalls (and a clean safety record!) you’re in more than capable hands with this mob.
Trails weave around Uluru and even into the rock itself. The base walk is the most popular, a 10.6km loop that takes around 3.5 hours to complete, depending on how much you gawp at the rock art. The other options are significantly shorter (up to 4.5km) and each offer a different rock experience. Time it right after rainfall and the Kuniya Walk guides visitors to the Mutitjula waterhole, an experience that’ll make you question everything you thought possible at Uluṟu.
None of them are particularly challenging (for the most part they’re relatively short and flat) but it’s the heat that can get the better of travellers who don’t kit themselves with common sense supplies: water, sunscreen and a hat. For a full list of walks, check this out.
5. Field Of Light
The brainchild of British bulb-wizard Bruce Monro, this ambitious art installation is like nothing else on earth.
Known locally as Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku, it means ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ which perfectly encapsulates the experience. As the light gives way to darkness, a sea of 50,000 light illuminate across a spectrum of pulsing colour beneath the backdrop of the mighty Uluṟu.
Be quick though, you’ve only got until the 18th March 2018 before they begin the painstaking process of removing 15 tonnes of solar powered LED lights.
From wonderfully extravagant experiences to tight-arse treats, there is something for every type of traveller (and bank balance) at Uluṟu. One thing is for sure though, no one ever regrets a trip to the beating heart of Australia.