How to Spend 1 Day in Ayers Rock (Uluru)
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is one of Australia’s most identifiable symbols. Sacred to the Pitjantjatjara, the Aboriginal people who call themselves Anangu, the rock is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, together with Kata Tjuta, makes up the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Here’s how to maximize your 1-day visit.
Morning: Sunrise Scenes
Wake up early to make the most of your one day at Uluru/Ayers Rock. Start by catching the rising sun as it casts a warm glow over the sacred rock. Guided walks around the base introduce visitors to Uluru’s culture, geology, and environment, with guides recounting the Aboriginal creation stories that are the essence of the monolith. The trail is around 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) but flat, and tours typically include a picnic breakfast. For those who prefer not to make the long walk around Uluru, consider riding a camel instead.
Afternoon: Uluru from Above
Due to its spiritual significance, the Anangu do not climb Uluru and request that visitors respect their culture by not climbing on it either. There are plenty of other ways to get a bird’s-eye view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas), including on a scenic helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft flight over the area. If an adrenaline rush is what you are after, consider the option of free-falling from a height of 12,000 feet (3,657 meters) on a tandem skydiving flight.
Night: Colors of Sunset
Round out a great day exploring Australia’s Red Centre by sipping a glass of wine or beer as you watch the changing colors of the desert as the sun sinks over Uluru. Guided tours generally include pickup and drop-off from your hotel to the designated sunset viewing area in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park for the best view of the rock. After the sun sets, tours typically transport you to an Aussie-style barbecue dinner as the stars light up the night sky and guides point out planets and constellations, including the Southern Cross.