5 must-do activities for the perfect Uluru experience

uluru rock during sunrise

Zoe Macfarlane

Posted September 16, 2022

As one of Australia’s most recognised landmarks, it’s no surprise that a trip to Uluru is on almost every traveller’s wish list. Many visitors vow to return, captivated by Uluru and nearby attractions and atmosphere.

Uluru is a place of geological wonder, of deep sacredness, and a place for adventure, too. A trip to Uluru is as enriching as it is inspirational, and we have all the tips to help you plan your perfect Red Centre getaway. RACV Members save more on incredible Uluru travel experiences, including attractions, tours, car and motorhome rentals

Uluru is an estimated 600 million years old and once sat at the bottom of an ancient seabed. It towers over the desert landscape at 348 metres above sea level and has the rare status of holding two UNESCO World Heritage listings – geologically and culturally, thanks to the significance it holds for local First Nations Australians.

Uluru is part of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, with Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) also worthy of your attention. While some travellers, especially those driving down from Alice Springs, may only spend a day at Uluru, we recommend allowing 2-3 days to experience the region’s full glory. 

Exploring Uluru

Seeing Uluru from various vantage points across the day is a must to experience its shifting hues and changing atmosphere. Sunrise and sunset activities are popular, with a range of options to cater to every kind of traveller.

For an uplifting start to the day, join a morning walking tour around Uluru (RACV Members receive a discount). Alongside walking 10.5 kilometres, you’ll also discover the beliefs, lore, and stories of the Anangu, the First Nations people who are the traditional landowners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

If you’d like a grander sense of adventure from an elevated vantage point, consider a sunrise or sunset camel tour. The pace and peace of this adventure afford a deeper connection with the land as your journey over the rich red dunes. Learn about the flora, fauna, and history from your cameleer before arriving at Uluru in time for either sunrise or sunset.

The opposite pace of a camel tour is one by Segway. While you may first feel a little geeky in the safety helmets, you’ll be grateful for them as you zip Uluru’s circuit, saving your legs. Regular stops and guide commentary ensure this is an entertaining way to experience Uluru.

For a bird’s eye view over Uluru, consider a helicopter scenic flight. It offers a remarkable perspective over this sacred land and will be a talking point with your travel companions for years. 


Mala walk at Uluru. Image: Tourism NT
Uluru Camel Tours are a great way to experience the beauty of the area. Image: Tourism NT

Field of Lights

While standing at the foot of Uluru can leave you speechless, a visit to Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku - the Field of Light - does the opposite, eliciting oohs, aahs, and the quiet thump of your jaw hitting the floor. This dazzling fantasy garden by artist Bruce Munro sits in the shadows of Uluru. Some 50,000 fibre-optic spheres light up the desert floor in a truly mesmerising effect.

There are four ways to enjoy Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku. To see the lights only, book the 1.5-hour Field of Light Pass. The Field of Light Star Pass includes dune-top canapes and drinks as you watch darkness fall over Uluru, followed by a self-guided walk through this enchanting art installation. To go all-out, opt to also immerse yourself in the unforgettable A Night at Field of Light 3-course bush tucker dinner and star talk.

If you’re rather be tucked up in bed (or a swag) of an evening, the Field of Light at sunrise will better suit. You’ll arrive in the dark to the magic of the swaying lights, and as the sun rises, views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta emerge.

Sounds of Silence

For another epic Red Centre experience, dine under the starry outback sky at the Sounds of Silence. Atop a dune overlooking Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, witness the sunset - canapes and sparkling wine in hand. A moving didgeridoo performance follows, before a 3-course bush tucker-focused meal with Australian wine and beer. The evening concludes with a fascinating talk about the southern night sky. 



Field of Lights is an unmissable experience. Image: Tourism NT
Sounds of Silence at Uluru. Image: Tourism NT

Kata Tjuta

The sacred Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) is a large group of domed rock formations in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Located 40 kilometres west of Uluru, it’s best to experience Kata Tjuta’s ochre-domed boulders at sunrise or sunset, when the light alters the shapes and colours in the most mesmerising way.

Kata Tjuta translates to ‘many heads’ and on a tour of Kata Tjuta you’ll learn why the land is sacred and the Dreamtime stories from the Anangu people. 


Take a helicopter ride over Kata Tjuta: Tourism NT
Sunrise at Kata Tjuta. Image: Tourism NT

Kings Canyon

If you have an extra day for your Red Centre travels it is well-spent on a day tour to the soaring red sandstone of Kings Canyon. Located three hours from Uluru, Kings Canyon is in Watarrka National Park and is an estimated 440 million years old. The drive is appealing, too, revealing more of the Northern Territory’s rugged landscape.

Once in Kings Canyon, walk the 6-kilometre Canyon Rim circuit into the Garden of Eden rock hole, spying the rare plants en route. The 360-degree views are worth the effort of the hike alone. Not a hiker? Choose the easier Creek Bed Walk. If you’re a Priscilla Queen of the Desert fan, watch for the iconic Priscilla’s Crack where a south wall lookout (and breathtaking views) awaits.

couple looking over Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon is three hours from Uluru. Image: Tourism NT

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