5 Best Things to Do in Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park
We have pulled together a list of top activities you can do around Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta - Olgas so you can experience the best things to do in Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park.
Are you wondering what is all the fuss about and why are so many people willing to undergo tiring journey only to get closer to the rock formation rising from the flat plain?
One of the reasons might be that people are fascinated by exceptional nature wanders, and as we live in the world where greater almost always means better - no wonder that Uluru, the world's largest monolith attracts so much attention. To give you a rough idea: Uluru is 348 m high, rises 863 m above sea level, is 3.6 km long, 1.9 km wide, and the circumference is 9.4 km.
The second reason is simple and for us certainly more important than numbers. Uluru altogether with equally interesting Kata Tjuta is just stunning.
So you're all set, know all the stats, points of interest, and in a nutshell, you are prepared to see something outstanding. What you might not be prepared for is the immensity and stillness of the rock which will amaze you no matter how many times you've seen photos before.
We stayed in the park for three days and couldn't get enough of it.
But Kata - Tjuta National Park is not only about Uluru although we can't deny it is the park's main feature.
We pulled together a list of 5 best things you shouldn't miss when visiting Australia's Red Centre, and to help you when planning Australia Itinerary.
#1 Spectacular Sunsets and Sunrises
Try to catch as many sunrises and sunsets as you can.
Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta are exceptionally stunning when the first and last sun rays of the day touch its surface, and this real-time color transformation is one of the main reasons for a visit.
The color of the rocks changes from light orange to crimson red and finally to violet dusk and creates an incredible spectacle.
There are several viewing platforms around so find your spot and wait for the show to begin.
#2 Walk around Uluru
The walk around Ayers Rock base is 10 km long and takes around 3 hours at a leisure pace.
The path bypassing the monolith is flat, the only obstacle can be the heat. From a distance, Uluru looks like one solid piece of rock and walking around might not sound like fun.
The opposite is true.
We were genuinely surprised how the surface of Uluru is diverse as we walked around gaps, ridges, slopes, grooves, canyons and even small valleys with green vegetation carved into it. The Uluru's area is rough without much rain, but from time to time you can spot blackish parched trails hollowed out by water. At the end of the trek, it is possible to walk inside the small cave with rock arts from original inhabitants.
There are many places from where to capture great photos, so it is not hard to obey a few photographic restrictions along the way.
You can check out our useful guide to Ayers Rock for more information.
#3 Walpa Gorge Walk
This walk is near Kata Tjuta area, so we had to drive here from Uluru approximately 45 minutes by our rental car, and we spent the whole afternoon in Olgas after that, waiting for the sunset.
Walpa Gorge Walk is a gentle trek, only 2.6 km return which leads you along the natural creek to viewing platform observing a desert refugee for plants and animals between two of the tallest domes in Kata Tjuta.
It is sometimes unbelievable seeing the plants to grow and thrive in such harsh conditions, considering we felt so parched in the afternoon heat.
#4 The Valley of the Winds Walk
The signature hike in Olgas is 7.4 km loop, and it takes you through spectacular landscape. The rocky walk leads between impressive red domes (36 domes around 500 million years old) and climbs to the two lookouts overlooking the desert area.
Also make sure you'll have time to finish the walk and move to sunset viewing platform.
This is together with Kings Canyon Rim Walk one of our favorite hikes in Australia.
#5 Walk Over Red Sand Dunes
This one is not as easy as it sounds because dry vegetation covers most of the ground here, but after you turn off from Stuart Highway to Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, there are places along the way, where the flat red dirt turns into small hills and creates unspoiled red dunes.
WHAT TO PACK FOR ULURU & KATA TJUTA NATIONAL PARK
The area around Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the Australian outback is dry and hot, and the sun is unforgiving, it is not uncommon to experience high temperatures around 40°C.
Not many people can imagine though that from May to September, nights are very cold, and temperatures can drop below zero. As you can see, the climate in the Red Center is extreme, and you should pack following the most essential things to ensure your trip will be comfortable.
- Hiking Boots for Him & for Her | Hiking is the best way how to enjoy the unique scenery, the 10 kilometers long walk around Uluru was unforgettable, so bring sturdy shoes with you.
- Protection Against Sun - Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Lipbalm with Sunscreen, Hat | Sun in the Red Center is harsh, do not walk outside without proper protection.
- Swimsuit for Him & for Her | Almost every hotel or even campground has a swimming pool to cool down, so don't forget to bring your swimsuit.
- Long Pants for Him & for Her | It can be really cold during Australian winter, so pack long pants, but some people prefer to wear long trousers even in summer because almost everything in Australia is poisonous, and it is better to have legs covered.
- Headtorch | Uluru and Kata Tjuta are the most famous for sunrises and sunsets, and it means one thing. You need headtorch as you will be getting up early and going to bed late at night.
- Camera | Australian Outback is so photogenic, consider buying a quality camera to capture the beauty.
- Water Bottle | It is important to stay hydrated. We drank every day more than four liters because of terrible heat. Do not underestimate it!
WHERE TO STAY IN AYERS ROCK
Ayers Rock is a premium location, the lodging availability is limited and the hotels are expensive.
We recommend you to stay at Desert Gardens Hotel - featuring a hotel pool, rooms set among native gardens, air-conditioned spacious rooms, and just 5-minute walk to the Uluru sunset viewpoint.
TRAVEL INSURANCE - SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE
We never leave our home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover your trip essentials.
Travel smarter and safer!