Australia is a destination that can easily fall prey to lay-man associations such as kangaroos and Steve Irwin. However, it's home to some of the world's most fantastic natural wonders, stunning beaches, and unique "Outback". One of its most famous attractions is Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. It is one of the few places in the world to be dual-listed by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for outstanding natural values and cultural values.
Thousands of people want to visit Uluru but what is the best way to go about seeing this stunning destination? We've compiled some helpful tips on where to stay, what to do, and what to expect. Plus, we've interviewed friends who just returned from visiting Uluru for some valuable first-hand accounts!
What You Should Know About Uluru
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a picture-worthy red sandstone formation in the middle of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It unexpectedly rises more than 348 meters, which is higher than the Eiffel Tower and the Chrysler Building in New York!
Not only is Uluru a major landmark for Australians, it is sacred to the Aboriginal people known as the Anangu. The Anangu actually own all of Uluru and Kata Tjuta and still maintain their original culture. Because of this, visiting Uluru is not only a visual, archeological, and scientific experience it is also a cultural one. The Anangu frequently performa inna (a traditional dance and song), tell stories, and gather bush tucker. You might even be lucky enough to hire a Anangu guide to walk you around the base of the rock and explain their rich traditions and beliefs.
One of the best experiences surrounding Uluru is seeing the sun rise and set on the rock. Depending on the time of day, the sun displays a wide array of colors on the landmark, ranging from pink to blood red to mauve. The surrounding sky also displays breathtaking sunsets at night that should not be missed!
What to Do and Where to Stay
Besides exploring the "rock" other activities make visiting Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park even more appealing.
Take a Camel Tour in the Outback
Camel tours are offered at the park by various groups and organizations. It is a fantastic way to explore the Outback and get to know the unique landscape of Australia. You can even opt for a camel ride through sand dunes at sunset!
Keep an Eye Out for Wildlife
Some of the most exotic animals can be found at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. With 21 mammals, 73 reptiles, 178 birds, and four different types of frogs in the park, you are likely to see some rare creatures! You might even get luck and spot a colorful thorny devil or splendid fairy-wren.
Stay at Longitude 131
It's impossible to fully delve into the opportunities that await at Uluru without mentioning Longitude 131. This luxurious lodging boasts the closest possible location to Uluru and a true sense of immersion in the Australian landscape. It's difficult to describe Longitude 131 with the word resort because it is more an overall experience of discovery and relaxation.
Longitude 131 is made up of 15 luxury tented pavilions that feature king-size beds, remote controlled drapes, rainfall showers, climate control systems, and entertainment options. While you feel immersed in the authentic Australian landscape outside of the tent, you will enjoy all modern amenities during downtime.
Savor Gourmet Local Cuisine
The Dune House is home to the main dining area where gourmet meals are especially prepared for guests at the resort. All cuisine at Longitude 131 is best in class and celebrates to fusion of modern food and local Outback flavors. The Dune House is also the perfect place to sip on an outback sundowner at the open bar, which has won the likes of the world's most luxurious travelers.
Dining options aren't limited at Longitude 131. Private dining experiences offer meals under glittering canopies in the desert's twilight.
When visiting Uluru, the experience is not complete without staying at Longitude 131. This is simply because of the close proximity to Uluru and pure luxury it employs. Instead of standing out as a fixture among the Australian Outback, Longitude 131 integrates seamlessly into the environment creating an authentic experience with modern amenities.
What are some questions you have about visiting Uluru?