Ayers Rock, Uluru

No matter how many pictures you've seen, nothing will prepare you for your first view of Uluru. Once you stand at its base, touch it and explore its mysteries, you will understand why it's not only a treasured place to local Aboriginal people, but also one of the great attractions of the world. Ayers Rock (now widely known by its Aboriginal name, Uluru) is the symbol of the Northern Territory's Red Centre, rivalling the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House as the best known Australian tourist icon in the world. Mount Olga (which is actually the highest of a group of 36 outcrops commonly called The Olgas) are the focal points in the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, about 450 kilometres south of Alice Springs. Both are extremely important to the belief and culture of the Aboriginal people and are World Heritage listed for their cultural significance as well as for their geological uniqueness.

Ayers Rock is the largest monolith (single rock) on earth, standing 348 metres above the desert floor. It is 3.1 kilometres from east to west, 1.9 km wide and 9.4 km around its base. The Anangu people prefer visitors to respect its cultural significance and not climb Uluru. But if you insist, as many do, you must be fit as it is 1.6 kilometres from the base to the summit and some sections are very steep. Unless you are a highly trained athlete, allow two hours for the return trip. Some sections are very steep and people have died falling from the rock or from seizures after the climb. The climb is closed when there is rain or high winds. In 2017 the Uluru-Kate Tjuta National Park board unanimously voted to ban rock climbs, a decision that will be enacted from 2019.

Ayers Rock Attractions

Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre: The Cultural Centre near the base of Ayers Rock is an essential introduction to the history and cultural importance of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Interactive displays, video presentations and artwork present the park through the eyes of its traditional owners, the Anangu. Here you will get an insight into Tjukurpa, the creation stories and lores of the Aboriginal people. The centre incorporates Maruka Arts & Crafts, an Aboriginal-owned arts cooperative that represents hundreds of artists around Central Australia. It is the home of wood crafting and visitors can watch artisans at work. Take home a piece of superb, absolutely authentic artwork and small gifts from the souvenir shop. The centre is open daily and admission is free. The building itself is a stunning example of modern Australian architecture.

There’s a broad variety of options for those seeking accommodation at Ayers Rock. Everything from outback hotels and self-serviced apartments to eco-lodges are available for visitors in the region.

Uluru Ayers Rock Guided Tours Camel ride Ayers Rock Aerial View Tjuta Sunset