Like a lot of born and bred Australians, there is a lot of my own country I haven’t visited and to be honest, don’t know a lot about. A lot of you working holiday makers see and experience a lot more of Australia than we so-called ‘Aussies’ do. Most of us have never been anywhere near the ‘Outback’.
So it’s time to change that!
In September 2017, I visited Uluru for the first time. I had heard from friends, colleagues and family that you must visit it etc, you won’t forget it in a hurry etc, can’t believe you haven’t been etc. So I had high expectations and was also a little concerned that they wouldn’t be met, let alone exceeded.
Boy, was I wrong, wrong and wrong.
I travelled by air from Sydney and it is ridiculously accessible. There are direct flights from Sydney to Ayers Rock airport and only take about 3.5 hours, with a tail wind it’s 2.5 hours. It’s taken me longer to drive to the Central Coast of NSW! The village near Uluru is called Yulara and it is home to the Uluru ( Ayers Rock) Resort. There are different levels and types of accommodation from camping to 5+ star resorts, which will cater to all budgets. I should add though, that as you are in the middle of literally nowhere (for eg, it’s over 5 hour’s drive to Alice Springs), that food and drinks are on the more expensive side, unless you have driven and bring your own.
In my opinion, Autumn (March to May) and Spring (September to November) are the ideal months to travel to the red centre. Temperatures can be as high as 45-50 degrees Celsius in the summer months ( and some tours can be cancelled due to the heat) and below zero during the evening in the winter months. A number of the sightseeing tours operate at sunrise and sunset, as they are so spectacular, so you need to factor this in.
We stayed for 4 nights and went on a sunrise tour and walked around the rock, a mid afternoon tour of Kata Tjuta (formerly known as the Olgas), a camel ride (very popular) and a sunset tour. I preferred the smaller group tours run by SEIT tours, as they take you away from the main tourist groups and the guides are ridiculously knowledgeable, about everything. There are also astronomical tours as the night sky is so clear of light pollution and they even have an Astronomer in residence during certain months of the year. Keep an eye out on the Uluru Events Calendar as they have specialist Yoga retreats or the Outback marathon if that takes your fancy.
I have included some of my photos, taken with my trusty Samsung phone. There was no need for any filters, so it gives you an idea of the colours of the outback.
So, what are you waiting for?