Uluru – Ayers Rock
We spent three nights in Yulara, the tourist village built for travelers wanting to explore the national park.
There are many things here to suit all needs. Shopping, Grocery store, restaurants, spa, hotels, bus, camping and even camel rides.
Everything is expensive. The main highway is over 200 km away. Alice Springs is over 450 km away. Fuel here is more expensive that out on the highway so be sure to fill up before you arrive.
There are plenty of free activities too.
The campground/caravan park is the only one, there is no other choice so you get what you see.
There is a lookout in the campground where you can view Uluru
It is showing signs of being rundown and getting old but there is a park for kids to play, pool to swim in and laundry. The showers are kept clean and the supply of Hot Water is good.
You do need to be aware of the local wildlife.
Dingoes are here and you do need to be mindful. We did not see any but there sure were posters about them.
We even saw camel crossing signs. It appears that some camels, from long ago, have made Australia their new wild home and are indeed found in this area.
When you enter the national park, you need to pay your entry fee. Knowing that most people visit for more than a day, your ticket will allow you three days to visit before being required to pay again.
Our first day in Uluru Park we set ourselves up for the sunset. Pictures will never do justice to the ever-changing colours of the rock as the sun sets.
A popular spot so be sure to arrive early to get a good viewing location.
Day 2 had us exploring much more closely. There is a cultural center where every visitor should go to learn more about this important location. Uluru has significant meaning and importance to the aborigines of the area and great respect should be shown at all times. The cultural center is also a great place to pick up a few locally made authentic souvenirs like wood carvings and paintings. No pictures are allowed.
Uluru is one large rock. Getting up close you can truly get a sense of its size and even them the majority of the rock is berried underground.
There is a well-paved road that runs around Uluru and makes a present drive. There are also guided and self-guided walks of about 10Km around Uluru itself. The guide also makes sure to suggest that you finish this walk by 11 am during warmer weather.
If you have the time, make sure to follow the 40 + km road to Kata Tjuta.
This rock formation is made up of several different pieces and there are two spectacular walks.
The shorter hike through the Walpa Gorge is only 2.6km. The path is rough and I would recommend good shoes and no toddlers. I did take Scarlet in the carrier with no problem.
Valley of the Winds has several different lengths, the longest being 7.4km. Be sure to check the status of the trail as it does close due to wind and weather.
Plan for a few days of exploration, there is lots to see and do.
Driving yourself is a great way to see the area and it is not necessary to book a tour. A tour will provide you with more information while you see everything.