Ayers Rock Sunset - Sunrise At Uluru
The Colours Of Uluru - Pictures And Videos
of Sunrise and Sunset At Ayers Rock

A picture of Ayers Rock at sunset:

The quintessential image of the Australian Outback, a must have trophy for nearly every Australia traveller...

Ayers Rock sunset

Photo by Krossbow

It's the most intriguing feature for many visitors: the everchanging colours of Ayers Rock at sunset and sunrise.

Photographers set up for days to record the different light and changing moods of Uluru. Sunset and sunrise tours are popular with tourists.

I particularly like the story of one traveller, who describes riding his push bike on the ring road around Uluru at sunset...

He kept going round and round and on every lap he saw a Ayers Rock glow a different colour... What a great way to see the sunset. Beats the crowded Ayers Rock sunset viewing areas any day.

(If you have a great tip or a story about Uluru, please share it here.)

According to my observations many tourists never even get to see the actual sunset at Uluru, just the little black and white preview on their camera, until they get home and watch their video...

But jokes aside, the changing colours of Ayers Rock at sunset are a fascinating spectacle.

I am grateful to all the people who took the amazing photos and videos that decorate the Uluru section of the Outback Guide.

This one is a particularly stunning one.

And here are some other great Ayers Rock sunset pictures for those on slow connections:

Full moon and sunset at Ayers Rock Uluru Sunset

Photo by BKKcrew

No picture is more often associated with Australia than a photograph of Ayers Rock at sunset. It is a compelling picture: the deep orange, glowing above the already darkened expanse of the Outback, perfectly flat, the endless horizon... No wonder Uluru is a magnet to tourists.

If a picture alone can instill such awe, how much more spell binding must the real thing be?

Sunset At Ayers Rock - The Reality...

Um, actually, that can vary greatly...

Because of the huge number of tourists who visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park there are lots of rules and regulations, you can't just do what you want and go where you like.

Dedicated Uluru sunset and sunrise viewing areas on the ring road are the only places where you are allowed to stop. And you are not allowed to leave the bitumen and wander of into the fragile dune area.

Those Uluru sunset viewing areas are big car parks, parking bays as far as you can see, and every single bay is occupied by the time the colours of Uluru start changing.

Here is another video, a very short one, that gives you a more realistic impression of what a sunset at Ayers Rock, viewed from the viewing area, may feel like...

How you will experience your Ayers Rock sunset (or sunrise) depends on your expectations. It may very well blow you away, despite all the people and the touristy aspects.

But if you've been travelling in the Australian Outback for a while, if you've spent time camping in the desert, watching the sun set in the Australian Outback, nights under the stars at the camp fire, and if you love that kind of thing...

Uluru sunset viewing area

The Ayers Rock sunset can be a bit of a shock to the system: tourists pouring out of vehicles and setting up all their video equipment, tour guides whisking out tables and champagne glasses...

Not exactly the serenity you had hoped for...

There are two sunset viewing areas, one for cars, one for big buses. The view from the bus parking area is the nicer view in my opinion. Unfortunately that area gets closed one hour before sunset and is only accessible for the bus tourists and their champagne experience...

Uluru sunset dinner

Photo by Krossbow

Most people rave about this champagne experience, the "Sounds of Silence" dinner that is staged there. (It can be booked at the Ayers Rock Resort Yulara, where you will be staying).

Champagne to watch the Ayers Rock sunset, a delicious buffet style dinner by the light of hurricane lamps, star gazing with a qualified astronomer...

Even if you are not into camping, you can't travel to the centre of Australia and not spend at least a few hours enjoying a starlit night in the desert.

In the past it was easy to set up your own champagne dinner, for those who are not into organised events or didn't want to pay the steep price. Not any more... Thanks to new laws individual travellers are now banned from enjoying a glass of wine while watching the sunset at Ayers Rock.

As of September 15 alcohol is banned from all Aboriginal lands in the Northern Territory. Registered tour operators are exempted. In other words, if you want to enjoy a glass of wine or champagne with your Ayers Rock sunset, you have to join a tour.

There is currently a lot of discussion about the new laws, so there may be more changes to it, and more exemptions, in the future. For now, tourists on busses can drink, independent travellers can not.

Update: The authorities have backed down and the four areas overlooking Uluru are now exempted from the ban. You can have your wine and cheese with your Uluru sunset.

Ayers Rock Sunrise

I will leave you with two sunrise videos. Everything I said about the sunsets applies to the sunrise at Ayers Rock as well. The first one is taken from the ring road (near the official viewing area) and you can guess the amount of traffic and people, even though most of them are behind the person filming... Whoever filmed the second video made the effort to get well away from it all...

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