Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park
Essential Information For Visitors
Uluru National Park At A Glance
On this page you find an overview of essential visitor information for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park as well as links to more information:
The climb, the walks, the sunsets...
- Getting There
- Accommodation At Uluru
- Services, Prices And Fees
- Attractions/Things To Do At Uluru National Park
Getting To Uluru
- Distance from Alice Springs: 461 km to Uluru (443 km to Yulara, the Ayers Rock Resort)
- Distance from Erldunda turn-off (Stuart Highway, 200 km south of Alice Springs): 262 km to Uluru
- Distance from/to Kings Canyon: about 310 km
Yulara, the Ayers Rock Resort, is located 8 km from the park entrance (18 km from Uluru) and offers accommodation at all price levels, from camping to ultra luxurious.
The resort has the reputation of being an overpriced rip-off place. There is no accomodation inside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. (Read more: Ayers Rock accommodation)
Shoestring budget travellers can camp for free at Curtin Springs, 92 km from the park entrance. (Read more: Ayers Rock budget tips)
If you join one of the Outback safari style tours available you will be camping at a private bush camping site outside the national park.
Prices and Fees
Entry fee for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park: A$25 per person. The pass is valid for three days. There are no one day or two day passes. Children under 16 are free.
Accommodation and most restaurants at Yulara are overpriced (with the exception of the Outback Pioneer BBQ). Camping fees are reasonable, so are the prices at the cafe inside the national park. (Note: Ayers Rock Resort and the Uluru National Park do not belong together! Totally different management.)
There is a supermarket at Ayers Rock Resort, which has normal prices, and a service station. (Fuel prices are reasonable for the location, too.)
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park opening hours vary over the year:
March: 5.30am - 8.30pm
April: 6am - 8pm
May: 6am - 7.30pm
June/July: 6.30am - 7.30pm
September: 5.30am - 7.30pm
October: 5am - 8pm
November: 5am - 8.30pm
Cultural Centre opening hours:
7am - 6pm (entry closes 5.30pm)
Information Desk opening hours: 8am - 12 noon, 1pm - 5pm
Attractions/Things To Do
Cultural Centre: located 13 km after the park entrance, and 2km before Uluru. The journey through the "Tjukurpa Tunnel" in the Cutural Centre introduces you to the culture of the Anangu people and Aboriginal law (Tjukurpa).
Entry is free, the centre offers great information materials, and brochures about Uluru's history, geology and environment.
Climbing Ayers Rock is allowed, but discouraged. The Aboriginal custodians ask you not to. If you choose to climb start early to avoid the heat of the day, and note that the climb may be closed on very hot or windy days, when climbing is considered too dangerous.
(Visitors often complain that rather than make climbers feel guilty, climbing should be disallowed altogether, if it really is such a big issue for the Aboriginal owners. This shows a lack of understanding for Aboriginal culture, as well as the legal situation. Read more about the issues surrounding the Ayers Rock climb here.)
Uluru Sunset and Sunrise Viewing is only possible from designated parking and viewing areas.
You will be told the exact times of sunrise and sunset upon arrival at your accommodation, or you can check at the Cultural Centre.
Update: as of September 15 alcohol is banned from all Aboriginal lands in the Northern Territory. The only exception are registered tour operators. If you want to enjoy a glass of wine or champagne with your Ayers Rock sunset you have to join the masses.
Another update: (October 30) 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.
- Dune Walk: 500 metres return/20 min
This short walk starts from the bus sunset viewing area and gets closed for all other visitors one hour before sunset.
- Liru Walk: 4km return/1 hour
Walk from the Cultural Centre to the base of Uluru.
- Kuniya Walk: 1km return/30 min
Short track to a permanent waterhole at the base of Uluru.
- Mala Walk: 2km return/1 hour
In my opinion the best walk at Uluru. Can be done as a self guided walk, following the booklet "An Insight Into Uluru". (Available at the cultural centre.)
Rangers conduct daily free guided walks here, starting 8am (Oct-Apr) or 10am (May-Sep). Meet the ranger at the Mala Walk sign.
- Uluru Base Walk: 9.4 km/3-4 hours
Circles the whole base of the rock. (The Kuniya and the Mala walks are part of the Uluru Base Walk.) Start early and take water!
Kata Tjuta is a 50km drive from Uluru. It consists of 36 steep sided monoliths, which, just like Uluru, look most impressive at sunrise and sunset. Again you have to stick to the official sunset viewing area to see the spectacle.
Of the twelve walks that used to wind through the valleys here, only two remain. The rest are closed to enable the Anangu to hold their traditional ceremonies. (As you can imagine, there are no more ceremonies amidst the carnival at Uluru.)
- Walpa Gorge Walk: 2.6 km return/1 hour
Leads up a rocky slope and then into a shady, moist gully where it ends on a viewig platform.
- Valley of the Winds Walk: 7.4km circuit/3 hours
To me this is by far the best walk in all of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It retains a sense of wilderness and the scenery is just spectacular. Kata Tjuta is nowhere near as busy as Uluru, and if you pick a good time (like very early or late in the day) you may be alone for much of the walk.
For more information contact:
Ayers Rock, Australia, main page