Uluru - is it worth it?

Old Jan 20th, 2024, 04:32 PM
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Uluru - is it worth it?

Planning to visit Australia as family 2 adults and child in Late May/Early June
Brisbane 2 days/2nights
Melbourne 3 days/3nights
Sydney 3days/3 nights
Cairns 3days/3 nights

Thought about visiting Uluru and Alice Springs for 3 days/3 nights

I read about high crime rate in Alice Spring and can not go out tn night at AS so dropping the idea of visiting AS.Ticket from Cairns to Uluru is USD 500 one way and decent hotel USD 400-700 per night. I heard even food and tours are expensive. Hence is it worth visiting it?

Uluru looks like Sedona (red rocks due to iron) and King Canyon is similar to Grand Canyon in USA. Recently been there last year.

Would appreciate input.

worryfreee is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2024, 04:56 PM
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We lived in Western Australia for seven years, but never went to Uluru, so it obviously wasn't "worth it" to us, but we're not you. I can guarantee you though, that other than 'red rocks' it has nothing in common with Sedona or the Grand Canyon.

FWIW - three nights doesn't equal three days - it's two full days. I plan my trips in nights, not days. This helps account for travel time, changing hotels, etc all of which takes time away from actual touring. I see 11 nights in your itnerary - one full day Brisbane, two full days Melbourne, two full days Sydney, two full days Cairns. Have you looked at a map and travel times and modes of transport?

Flight times - Brisbane to Melbourne 2:20
Melbourne to Sydney 1:35
Sydney to Cairns - 3:00

Assuming you're coming from the US (just a wild guess) would you undertake a trip like that in the US?

Regarding crime in Alice Springs...curious where you're visiting from that this concerns you.

Melnq8 is online now  
Old Jan 21st, 2024, 02:03 PM
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I would say if you partake in the cultural experiences offered by the Anangu, the original owners of Uluru, it’s well worth the experience. As they take you around the base of Uluru you will learn much about tribal traditions and the aboriginal way of life. They also have a dot painting workshop, and bush tucker walks.


The Ayers Rock Resort also has sunset tours, dining under the stars, visits to Kata Tjuṯa, the other rock formation, etc. Click on the “Experience” drop down in the above link.
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Old Jan 21st, 2024, 07:23 PM
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I would say that Uluru and nearby Kata Tjuta are uniquely Australian and well worth it. However, you don't see to have the time. I would even drop one or two places from what you already have and concentrate on two destinations, at most three, given the amount of time you have.
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Old Jan 21st, 2024, 07:32 PM
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Australia – size map: https://www.virtualoceania.net/australia/maps/how-big-is-australia.shtml

+1 for Melnq8 and Heimdall.

Costs: As you may gather from the map I've attached above, this is a reasonably remote area. Some might even say quite remote. Therefore, transport and staff costs are higher than in highly populated urban areas, flowing onto accommodation and some other items. Supply exceeding demand keeps the premier accommodation and car rental costs up. I've not stayed there, but believe Emu Walk apartments are quite reasonably priced. Reasonable being what one with some experience with Australian accommodation costs would regard as reasonable given the location, supply & demand and experiences associated with being there.

Which brings me to context: You mention you've heard food is expensive. Well, it may be if you are comparing a meal or menu item at Yulara ("Uluru" is the "big red rock") with the advertised price of a similar item in suburban US. However, when you add the obligatory 15-25% tip to the US meal price, I'm guessing the gap will not be so great. We pay our staff decent wages in Australia and don't have to stiff customers into tipping to make up the difference between the miserable pittance US restaurants pay their staff and a living wage. There's a saving on everything you'd normally be tipping willy nilly on - just don't.

Alice Springs is approximately 450kms & about 5 hours drive from Yulara.

None of us can tell anyone else whether something is "worth it" (whatever that particular "It" may be) to someone else. As Melnq8 says, we are not you. I can tell you that it's been worth it to me on the 3 occasions I've been, but that's meaningless really as you don't know anything about me, my experiences, interests or expectations.

There are direct flights between Yulara (AYQ) and Cairns, but on limited schedules (supply & demand again). And yes, it's an expensive route.

You might want to do an Itinerary showing your travel times for yourself, if not for us. As others have said 2 nights does not equal 2 days when you factor in transport to & from airports +security screening & pre-boarding wait + actual flight times, checking into accommodation at the new destination. Presumably you will be travelling with luggage, so add a bit extra for baggage collection at the airport.
Big plus, though: Domestic flights in Australia are nothing like the bun fight they are in the US. Security screening is quick, efficient & polite, boarding is orderly, seats are assigned and there are limits to the number & weight of carry-on bags one can have.

May/June is Autumn/Winter for us and a great time to visit Central and Northern Australia.
Still: 4 destinations in 11 nights doesn't give you any flexibility for a "down day", inclement weather or spontaneous finds - and as we've said, you can take 1/2 day off for travel etc. with the longer flight destinations. Not saying it can't be done at all - but I would be looking at each destination, deciding what I wanted to do there and timing that out.

Hot tip: In Australia we use AUD. Suggest you do too when you're discussing prices here.
Also - the Australia Forum on Trip Advisor is a lot more active than Fodors, so may be worth your while posting over there, too.

Bokhara2 is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2024, 11:12 PM
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We visited Uluru on our first visit to Australia which was quite a few years ago . Some photos and details of Uluru, Kings Canyon etc on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/2008/05...-red-centre-p/ which may give an idea of whether they are similar tp the Grand Canyon , Sedona or not (personally , I think not).

We were very glad we went back then but frankly, there is so much to see and do in Australia that it is difficult to choose. So far you seem to have chosen three of Australias largest cities so I assume that you really like cities? But what do you plan to do and see when there? As has been said already, 2 nights wont give you 2 days of sightseeing. 3 nights will only allow for two days of actual sightseeing. The rest will be given over to travel - checking in and out of hotels, travel to and from airport, waiting at airports etc..

Sorry if this sound brutal but I would really have a major rethink of what is important to you to see and do on this trip. There is more to Australia than cities. Also, dont forget the jet lag! If, like many here you are visiting from Europe or America, the jet lag will be awful. if from Asia, it will be better but 11 days in the country is not a lot anyway, if a coupe of days are wasted because of jet lag, I would question whether it is worth it.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 05:26 AM
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Hi WF,
G'day. Uluru and its neighbor are wonderful and worthy. For variety, one could see Uluru at both sunset plus sunrise. Personally, I would not include Brisbane with your time frame. For me, the Outback is one of Travel's Great Moments. Such Big sky, so many great sunsets. In 11 days, I would focus on including the Great Ocean Road and also the Great Barrier Reef. Melbun has a cool funky-boho district called St. Kilda, where you could see live music. Cairns has an exotic fruit farm with tastings that is a rare experience.
*Beware the looooooong flight's jetlag effects.
I am done. the roo
zebec is online now  
Old Jan 27th, 2024, 07:47 AM
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I've made three trips to Australia from the US and think Uluru and the surrounds were worth the effort, but I did not go to Alice Springs. We did go to Kings Canyon which was a long drive and could be skipped. Two full days around Uluru is enough (in my opinion), even two nights if the flights arrive early in the day or depart late. I agree with the person above that Brisbane can be skipped. The koala sanctuary and the botanic garden are nice, but I would not prioritize them over other places. You might also look at climate for Melbourne for when you are traveling. We went there in May and it was very cool, almost cold. That time of year you might spend more time in north Queensland (not just Cairns, farther north than that). We spent a week north of Cairns on one trip (all the way to Cape Tribulation) and loved it, just using Cairns as the airport and place to rent a car. There is a great deal to do up there and we didn't even make it to the Atherton Tablelands.

Best of luck.
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