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Uluru: The Heart of the Outback

Scaling Uluru was once a top draw for tourists in Oz, but out of respect for its cultural significance. This was rightly knocked on the head in late 2019. Uluru, once known as Ayers Rock, has been given back its rightful Indigenous name.

Alice springs Uluru

But no worries, mate! There's still heaps to do at Uluru and many ways to appreciate this iconic rock!

For just $38 for three days, you can snag access to the whole national park, catch some stunning sunrises, learn about local history at the cultural centre, get up close with the Uluru base walk, and explore the often-overlooked Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and the diverse flora and fauna in the desert haven of Walpa Gorge.

With over 120+ activities and tours, there's something for everyone's dream outback escape, but with so much on offer, it can be a bit of a puzzle knowing where to start!

Catch Uluru at Sunrise

Top of the list of things to do in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park is watch the sunrise and paint the rock with those iconic red centre colours.

Ensure you're up with the sparrows, allow 30-40 mins for the drive-in, and find a comfy spot to watch this magic moment.

Head to the sunrise carpark, where you can join the crowd at the viewing area. Bring a chair and your morning cuppa if you're keen to dodge the masses!

There's nothing quite like enjoying your brekkie brew while watching the sun light up the heart of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.

Explore Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjuta, or "many heads", is a collection of 36 massive domes over 20 kilometres.

These rock formations, while not as famous as Uluru, are 200 metres taller and hold equal cultural significance to the Anangu people.

There are two walks to check out these beauties: The Valley of the Winds and Walpa Gorge.

The Valley of the Winds is a longer trek that lets you wander among the domes and get up close and personal with them. It's a bit of a challenge in parts, so set aside up to 4 hours to do the full loop.

This area is also sacred to the local mob, so out of respect, they ask that you don't snap any photos to preserve the spiritual traditions of the place. So, be mindful of where you point your camera.

Walpa Gorge is a shorter stroll, but with its towering cathedral-like walls acting as a desert refuge, it's teeming with local plant and animal life to discover.

If you're lucky, you might even spot a wallaroo!

Be Dazzled by the Field of Light Installation

This art installation, known as Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku or 'looking at lots of beautiful lights' in the local Anangu language, was whipped up in 2016 by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro.

Due to popular demand, this display of 50,000 spheres of light has been extended indefinitely.

Spend a few hours wandering and soaking in the magnificent installation of desert colours, or join an exclusive sunrise walking tour to have the whole place to yourself.

Wander through the maze of colourful, stunning lights as they spread out and intertwine across the desert floor.

Tuck into Dinner 'Under the Stars'

Dining under the stars has to be one of the top things to do in Uluru, with a few different options!

Tali Wiru, meaning 'beautiful dune' in the local Anangu language, is one of these unforgettable open-air dining experiences.

This bush tucker-inspired menu features a 4-course dinner served with top-notch Aussie wine, all. At the same time, you learn from a local Indigenous storyteller sharing their culture, history, and tales about the local people and places.

Alternatively, you can enjoy a similar dune top experience with the more budget-friendly Sounds of Silence three-course bush tucker-inspired buffet.

While taking in the stunning views of the iconic rock, sit back and enjoy a didgeridoo performance. Learn from a local guide as they tour the wonders of the desert night sky and map out the stars and constellations.

Spend Some Time in Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon, located 324km north of Uluru in Watarrka National Park, offers a rim walk that showcases the iconic Australian outback landscape of the Northern Territory.

This 6km circuit walk provides spectacular views of the gorge, weaves through marvellous sandstone rock domes known as the 'lost city', and dips briefly into a picturesque oasis aptly named the Garden of Eden.

The start of Kings Canyon is by far the most challenging part, with 500 steep steps. But the rim walk mellows out as you make your way around the Kings Canyon Rim and is well worth the views!

Allow up to 3-4 hours to return, and, as with all walks in outback Australia, midday temperatures can skyrocket, so be sure to get an early start and pack plenty of water! If you prefer to take a day trip to this area of Watarrka National Park, you can join the Alice Springs Uluru Tour.

Best Restaurants in Uluru

Alice springs Uluru Tour

While the selection of restaurants and food outlets is small in this region, there's still a diverse range for all budget requirements!


Kulata Academy Cafe is a perfect spot to grab a quick bite to eat in town before heading off on a tour or a snack once you're back! Choose from their range of toasties, muffins, and other sweet treats and their hot drinks menu.

Mid Range

Ilkari Restaurant offers a diverse menu of contemporary Australian cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals range from $20-60 AUD, and it is a great place for those with dietary preferences and needs to go for a sit-down, hearty meal in the heart of Yulara township.

High End

As mentioned above, Tali Wiru is an absolute must for fine dining in Uluru. Offering a bush tucker-inspired menu with a backdrop of Uluru, it's not going to disappoint!

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