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A Guide to Ayers Rock
Know Before You Go
- Don't spend one day at Ayers Rock. You'll miss out on sunrise or sunset, all the activities and considering how much it costs to get to Uluru; you'll waste money by not spending the extra time exploring the region.
- You can't always climb Uluru. If temperatures reach 36C or it's very windy the climb is closed.
- There is an entrance fee for Uluru. The national park charges AUD 25 per person for a three-day pass. The park is open from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the summer months and closes at either 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. during the rest of the year.
- See Aboriginal rock art. The Mala Walk is a 2km return hike that goes past a lot of ancient rock art. It's also wheelchair friendly and not as popular as the other trails in the national park.
- Stay for sunset and sunrise. You'll get to watch the colours of the desert change and get those awe-inspiring pictures to remember your trip. Once the sun has dipped below the horizon, stay for another 15 minutes to watch the colours intensify.
Getting Around Ayers Rock
- Join a tour. While it is the most expensive option, it's a safe and comprehensive way to explore Ayers Rock. You'll cover all of the most popular spots in town, and you'll have an informative guide to answer all of your questions.
- Rent your own car. If you want more freedom getting around, you can hire a car either at the airport or in town. Thrifty offers an unlimited kilometres package which is handy considering the size of the Australian outback.
- Hire a motorbike. This is a slightly cheaper way to get around if you're travelling alone or as a couple. Plus the cool breeze from the bike will help with the high temperatures of the desert.
When is The Best Time to Visit Ayers Rock?
The best time to visit Ayers Rock is during the cooler months of May to September. The lower temperatures make it more comfortable and safe to walk around Uluru. The colours of the rock are also more vibrant, and you're more likely to see the local wildlife.
The only catch is that its high season. The crowds visiting Uluru skyrocket the prices for accommodation and flights. If you want to save money, try booking your trip a few months in advance.
In the summer months (December to February), temperatures often reach highs of 36C or more. If you're planning a trip during this time, it's advised to visit Uluru in the early morning to beat the heat of the midday sun. You'll also need to carry plenty of water with you to avoid dehydration.
But if you don't mind the warm weather, you'll find that these months are the most affordable time to visit. Hotels often discount their room rates due to the slump in tourism, and you'll have better luck finding airfare deals.
Airports in Ayers Rock
Ayers Rock Airport
Ayers Rock Airport (also known as Connellan Airport) is a 20-minute drive from Uluru. The airport serves domestic flights to Sydney, Alice Springs, Cairns and Melbourne with regional airlines Jetstar Airways, QantasLink and Virgin Australia.
Getting To and From Kalgoorlie Airport
There are no taxis that operate from Kalgoorlie Airport. The only way to get to your hotel is to hire a car or take the free shuttle buses.
The complimentary buses follow a circular route to the Ayers Rock Resort. The service leaves the airport every 20-minutes from 10:40 a.m. to 12:30 a.m and stops at all hotels, campgrounds and the visitor's centre.
If you want to have more freedom getting around, you can hire a car. Avis, Hertz and Thrifty all operate from the airport, and you can choose from a range of vehicles.