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murphy17 Mar 5th, 2010 06:05 PM

Ayers Rock for 3 days
Will be In Ayers Rock for 3 days and would really appreciate suggestions on the tours to take while I am there. Thinking of booking the sunrise tour! Do I need a car while I am there? Should we go to Kings Canyon?
Would like to learn about the history of the place and would also like to learn about the aboriginal people.
Thanks in advance

longhorn55 Mar 6th, 2010 06:55 AM

We've been to Uluru twice, the first time seeing the sights by tours and the second time seeing the sights on our own by rental car. We found the trip with the rental car more enjoyable and cheaper for our family of 4. We could choose where to go, when to go and how long to stay there. If you are going alone, I don't know how the prices would work out (tours vs. car rental), but you will still have more flexibility if you have your own car. If you decide to go this route, be sure to book your car well in advance of your visit. Also, be aware that the accomodations for Uluru are located in Yulara Village which is several miles away from Uluru itself (not walking distance).
I would plan to spend most of a full day visiting Uluru. You can take a free ranger-guided tour in the morning, visit the Cultural Center and then walk around the base of Uluru (a 9km walk which is not difficult). There are also several tours of Uluru available which are led by the Anangu people. You might enjoy these since you say you want to learn about the history of Uluru and the Aboriginal people. Climbing Uluru is discouraged for cultural and safety reasons, but you can do it. There are also sunrise and sunset tours or you can drive to Uluru on your own if you get a car to see it at these times.
I would plan on spending at least a half-day visiting and hiking around Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). There a several hikes there of varying degrees of difficulty.
If you want to go do a day trip Wartarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), then I might recommend a bus tour for this because you do not want to be driving on your own before sunrise or after sunset due to wildlife on the road. Be aware that Kings Canyon is about 300 km by road from Uluru, so it will be a long day.

RalphR Mar 6th, 2010 07:56 AM

Ideally to make the most of a trip to Uluru, the Olgas and Kings Canyon, you'd like to have 4 days, 5 nights. We spent 3 nights at Yulara (Uluru), giving us a full day each at Uluru and the Olgas The third day we drove to Kings Canyon. We spent 2 nights there giving us a full day to explore. I think the whole trip could be squeezed into 4 nights (3 full days), but you'll have to plan carefully, ideally arriving at Uluru early in the day and flying out as late as possible on the last day.

Keep in mind, Kings Canyon is best seen by doing the walk around the rim, which will take the better part of a morning or an afternoon. It's not like the Grand Canyon - you have to hike up and around to get the view. It is well worth spending a minimum half day at the Olgas - at least as interesting as Uluru. The Olgas' Valley of the Winds walk is really good, the best one in the area in my opinion. Suggestion is to do this early in the day ahead of tour groups that arrive later.

murphy17 Mar 6th, 2010 07:03 PM

thanks for the info. I am going to be there with my 3 daughters who are in there 20's. I booked a rental car while I am deciding if we should do tours or go out on our own. How do I find out about the free ranger-guided tours?

marg Mar 6th, 2010 11:40 PM

When we checked into our accommodation, we were given a newsheet with details of ranger walks, special activities, etc. There was a visitors' centre at Yulara so you should be able to get all your information there, plus most accommodation venues will have info.

Bokhara2 Mar 6th, 2010 11:58 PM

murphy17 Mar 9th, 2010 05:13 AM

thanks for the info.

tinydancer Mar 10th, 2010 01:39 AM

I loved walking all around the rock at sunrise. Stunning!

murphy17 Mar 11th, 2010 05:22 AM

did u do the sunrise walk on your own or with a tour group??

katrinab Mar 11th, 2010 08:22 AM

I think you could easily do a tour on your own logistically, but having a knowledgeable guide could really enhance the experience by giving you the cultural/historical aboriginal context. We did a 3 day/2 night trip from Alice Springs with The Rock tour company that was wonderful. More info and pics in our Alice Springs post at

Orlando_Vic Mar 13th, 2010 02:14 PM

I't not a "tour", but the Sounds of Silence Dinner was a wonderful experience. The food is good (but not great). Go there for the entire experience and I think you will find it very memorable. We did. Book early as it is very popular.

Vic's travels:

murphy17 Mar 13th, 2010 02:56 PM

Since I only have 2 1/2 days in Ayers Rock to explore this is what I was thinking (don't want to miss anything)-
arriving in the morning - visit cultural center and go on sunset tour
day 2 sunrise tour and then visit The Olgas in the afternoon
day 3 go to Kings Canyon (have rental car) for the day and at night do the Sounds of Silence dinner.
Am I missing something????

murphy17 Mar 13th, 2010 02:57 PM

Also, thanks for all the different websites to look at, they have been very helpful.

marg Mar 13th, 2010 07:20 PM

If you intend to do the canyon walk at Kings Canyon (which I highly recommend) be aware that it will probably take you about three hours. It's a beautiful walk and better appreciated if you take your time (and take some food and drink). Start the walk from the left hand side of the canyon from the carpark and get the worst part over first. Try to do the walk in the morning if you can.
From memory I think it is about a two/three hour drive from Yulara to Kings Canyon - have you thought about staying your last night at Kings Canyon instead of returning to Yulara? I have a feeling that the hotel at Kings Canyon do a similar dinner there - could be worth checking out. It would certainly save a chunk of driving.

murphy17 Mar 20th, 2010 07:18 PM

thanks for the info. flying out of Ayers Rock in the morning so I would rather do Kings Canyon in 1 day.

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