8 AWESOME THINGS TO DO AT ULURU (AND NEARBY)

NT PHOTOGRAPHY AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK IMAGES

The Australian outback is a place like no other. An endless sea of red and flows beneath your feet while the scorching Aussie sun bears down. There are few harsher places in the world. However, huge drawcards such as Uluru have brought tourism down under and out into the Aussie Outback. I recently ventured out into the middle of Australia on the adventure of a lifetime getting after some adventurous things to do in Uluru and awesome experiences in Alice Springs.

During one week in the Aussie outback, I woke up for sunrise every day and made the most of my time in the red center. These are the adrenaline-filled adventures I got up to.

This is a short video from my outback adventure.

 

Where to stay at Uluru

I stayed at Sails in the Desert, which is the most popular hotel at Uluru. Sails in the Desert is perfectly positioned to make the most of the Australian outback, Sails in the Desert is just a 5-minute walk from the Uluru Lookout. The decor at Sails in the Desert is inspired by Aboriginal culture, and the hotel features original Aboriginal artworks throughout the public areas and in the guest rooms. The onsite Mulgara Gallery also showcases an impressive range of Indigenous art.

This accommodation is perfect for couples and families as it has big spacious rooms, fantastic pool area and an award-winning restaurant.

Check availability and rates: Sails in the Desert

 

8 Adventurous things to do in Uluru

Uluru is one of the largest rock formations in the world and one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks. The UNESCO World Heritage site is incredibly sacred and important to the traditional Aboriginal landowners. Most of the things to do in Uluru center around the rock. 

Sunrise Camel ride with Uluru view

As the sun broke the horizon we were slowly making our way through the colorful dunes just across the way from Uluru. We woke an hour before the sunrise and by the time we hopped on the back of the camel to form our camel train, the outback landscape was already being painted in pastels. The sunrise camel ride tour gave us the best view of Uluru during sunrise and was one of my favorite activities at Uluru. We slowly meandered through the shrubs and dunes, our eyes ever-locked on Uluru as it changed tones with the rising sun. The camels were incredibly friendly and loved being pet. This was one of the most relaxing things to do in Uluru and a great way to start the day.

Book your tour: Sunrise Camel Ride and Home-made breakfast

 

Sunset viewpoint

On my first night in Uluru, we headed just out of the national park and found a viewpoint overlooking the dunes and straight towards Uluru. While the sun actually sets in the opposite direction over Kata Tjuta, this is a great spot to witness the color change of Uluru as the sun goes down. Me being me, I decided to liven up our viewpoint with some downhill dune-hopping action.

There is a really cool sunset tour at Uluru that takes you to the base of Uluru during the day and then to an awesome lookout for wine, nibbles and dinner for sunset.

Book your tour: Sunset Uluru Tour

 

Skydiving

Is there a more adventurous way to thing to do in Uluru than jump out of a plane trying to get the best vantage point? The answer is no. We bundled out of the plane after flying directly over Uluru and after the adrenaline slowly settled, the views were off the charts. Uluru definitely looks spectacularly different from the air. The landscape was much greener than I expected and it almost didn’t look like the desert.

When you book your skydive, the best part is you can choose to do your jump for sunrise, the middle of the day or sunset. I think sunset would probably be the best but sunrise would be pretty epic too. As you can see I did mine during the middle of the day.

Book your skydive: Uluru Tandem Skydive

 

Bike riding around the base of Uluru

Many of us adventurers aren’t blessed with deep wallets. We search out the best value for money experiences we can find. For me, bike riding around the base is the cheapest way to get the most up close and personal experience with the iconic rock while still getting the blood flowing. It’s 15km in total around the base and by choosing a bike, you experience each small crack, ridge, and cave on the walls of Uluru. Signs along the way give you a brief history and insight into the significance of Uluru as well as alerting you to the sensitive areas, which you are not allowed to photograph.

Book your bike tour: Uluru Bike Tour

Book your bike rental: Uluru Bike Rental

Field of Lights

The field of lights is an attraction that will blow your mind. Acclaimed artist, Bruce Munro, has created an installation of 50,000 solar lights. The lights form an epic blanket of colors, emulating a sunset below Uluru. You can walk through the lights or enjoy the spectacle from the hilltop. If you spin around you will also get epic views of Kata Tjuta as the sun falls in the background.

The Field of Lights tour guides you through this amazing attraction at Uluru as Uluru glows in the background. Coffee and tea are provided during this sunrise tour that will leave you amazed. Free pickup and drop-off to your hotel is included.

Book your tour: Field of Lights Sunrise Tour

 

Kata Tjuta 

Kata Tjuta is often overshadowed by Uluru but it is actually one of the most unique things to do at the Uluru region. Kata Tjuta is comprised of 36 domes, which are spread over an area of 20 kilometers. The highest point is called Mount Olga, which was named in honor of Queen Olga of Württemberg by the explorer Ernest Giles. 

There is a really great tour that takes you to Uluru for sunrise and then to Kata Tjuta afterward for a breathtaking sunrise view followed by a walk at the base of Walpa Gorge.

Book your tour: Uluru Sunrise and Kata Tjuta half-day tour

 

 

Things to do along the journey from Uluru to Alice Springs

In between Alice Springs and Uluru, there is actually a lot to see. I suggest spending one night near Kings Canyon. To get to Kings Canyon from Alice Springs you will need to take the shared shuttle bus unless of course, you have a private vehicle. The shared shuttle bus is very comfortable with A/C and spacious seating.

Book your ticket: Alice Springs to King Canyon Shared Shuttle Bus

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon is one of the most famous spots in the Aussie outback. We had slept in the hotel nearby the night before and headed up to Kings Canyon early in the morning. The 45-minute hike leads you to a natural wonder. The canyon winds as far as the eye can see, eventually bending out of sight. This spot is out of this world during sunrise as the light slowly creeps through the canyon. We hung out here for hours marveling at the rock formations.

The Kings Canyon and Panorama Tour are one of the most popular tours in the Aussie Outback with hundreds of bookings every year. The tour actually begins with a hotel pickup from either Alice Springs or Uluru depending on which you booked. The tour begins with a breakfast at Kings Creek Station before the climb to the Canyon Rim of Kings Canyon. You then head to Canyon Resort to relax, have lunch and have a dip in the pool before.

Book your tour: Kings Canyon Panorama Tour

 

 

Cruising the Aussie outback roads

Part of the fun of the outback is cruising the red roads and leaving a trail of dust behind you. We threw up the drone and followed ourselves for a while in what felt like the middle of nowhere!

 

Ormiston Gorge

Ellery Creek is the Australian version of an Oasis. We left the red, dirt track and headed on a short stroll into the bush. All the while we walked alongside a sandy bank, wondering where this magical waterhole might be. Before we knew it, we had arrived at the outback beach! Sandbanks and gum trees surrounded a peaceful waterhole, which is a favorite of the locals from Alice Springs. A few mini-cliff jumps and antics at the waterhole before we had a serious chill in the sun made this one of my favorite moments of the trip.

The Pool to Pool tour takes you to all of the best watering holes in the outback in one day. Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, and Glen Helen all in one day on a guided tour from Alice Springs.

Book your tour: Pool to Pool tour – Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen

 

Glenhelen Camping Site and Waterhole

There’s no better way to experience the Aussie outback than to spend the night camping out after roasting some marshmallows on the bonfire. Glenhelen campground was a really comfortable way to get outdoors. The tents were already set up for us with electricity available and a bonfire. It wasn’t glamping but we certainly weren’t roughing it.

The beauty of Glenhelen is the waterhole. Only a couple of minutes walk from the campsite is one of the most beautiful waterholes in the country. Despite how amazing it is, we were the only people there to enjoy it! We found a rope swing along the sandy banks, enjoyed the epic reflections and I even found a couple of epic spots to do some cliff-jumping.

The Pool to Pool tour takes you to all of the best watering holes in the outback in one day. Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, and Glen Helen all in one day on a guided tour from Alice Springs.

Book your tour: Pool to Pool tour – Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen

Ellery Creek Big Hole

Ellery Creek is another epic waterhole on the journey from Uluru to Alice Springs. Huge cliffs on either side give an epic backdrop to a sandbar that juts out from the right side of the waterhole. We had a scenic picnic before having a dip in the chilly water, even finding some pretty gnarly spots to jump from.

The Pool to Pool tour takes you to all of the best watering holes in the outback in one day. Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, and Glen Helen all in one day on a guided tour from Alice Springs.

Book your tour: Pool to Pool tour – Ellery Creek Big Hole, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen

 

For information on all things adventure in the Northern Territory, you can visit their official website by clicking here.

 

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