Uluru worth the money?

Old Aug 15th, 2005, 11:47 AM
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Uluru worth the money?

I am planning a trip to Austalia for my honeymoon in April-May of 06. We planned to go to Sydney, the Reef, and Uluru. After some research it is obvious that one company dominates all the lodging and there is no competition at Uluru. My question is this: Is it really worth the $300 a night USD (if not more) to see Uluru? My fear is spending all this money and then being totally disappointed.
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Some people say yes - other no. I went there 5 years ago and was blown away by the size. You only need 1 night there as you can do Kata Juta (Olgas) in the afternoon and Uluru (Ayers Rock) the next morning prior to your flight. This is one of Australias icons and the photos you can take are fabulous
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Of course, as mentioned above, this is a totally subjective question that will yield both positive and negative answers. I think that if you have come all that way already, it is worth the extra money to see Uluru.

It is also true that accomodations are shockingly expensive in Yulara, but I have never paid as much as $300 USD a night. One of the better 'bargains' is to get a cabin in the Ayers Rock Campground. These cabins are quite tidy, with air conditioning, TV, and a small kitchen; and they cost about $120 USD/night. They are also more private than a hotel room. There's also The Lost Camel, which has small rooms with shared bathrooms for about $220 USD/night. Neither of these are by any means high-end, but they are serviceable and will get you where you want to be.
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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I went twice and I would go there many more times. I did not stay in any hotel, I went on an organized camping tour (Sahara Outback Tours). To me it was and still is the best way to enjoy the real beauty of the red centre.

Uluru and the Olgas are a MUST see and are worth the money to me. But you have to decide for yourself.
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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We wer there a couple of weeks ago and I'm still not certain of my answer. Yes, I think, since it's not just the various rock formations but the whole feeling of the place - open, empty, quite alien for most foreign visitors.

The hotels are very expensive but they're not that much more than city accommodations, and if you're coming so far I wouldn't let the lodging cost be the deciding factor.

I posted a Uluru trip report as part of our RTW - see the post on this board (currently below by five or six threads.)
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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You can go cheap and make it a camping night too! But yea... honeymooners...

So... Uluru is worth it. It's the image of oz. Can't go to oz without seeing it and deciding for yourself if it was worth the money!

HAVE FUN!
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 06:49 PM
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It's definitely worth seeing, but I wouldn't just go there and back. You also want to see the Olgas and Kings Canyon. The best (and probably the cheapest) way is to fly to Alice Springs and take a 4WD outback tour that heads out along the Western McDonald range, down to Kings Canyon and Uluru and the Olgas and back to Alice. Typically 4 or 5 days with campsite acommodations of various levels of comfort. I can't recommend a particular operator because I made the mistake of doing it on my own in a 2WD, which restricted me to paved roads and involved a lot of backtracking.
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 09:10 PM
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I went last year to that part of Australia and was disappointed by Uluru which did not live up to its considerable hype. I saw the sun set on it, and I walked around it in the early morning, and I certainly have no desire to visit it again. I thought that Kata Juta was more atmospheric, and Kings Canyon better still. However to visit all these takes at least a couple of days, and, if I were on my honeymoon, I'd rather spend the time on the East Coast, preferably somewhere on the Reef.
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Visited Uluru several years ago -As you fly in, the sheer size and "aura" of the Rock knocks your sox off! It and the Olgas are terrific to explore.
The area originally had tourist lodgings and shlock right at the Rock, the formatt now, which is far superior, has everything a distance away.
There are 3 or 4 different kinds of lodgings; ours which wasn't top-of-the-line, was fine - I don't remember it being too pricy. Same with food; different price eateries or you can shop for yourselves.
If you do go, consider the evening dinner-stargazing tour out in the desert,(forget what it's called). It was a lark.
Enjoy Oz.
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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And a tip... If you do go to Uluru... I saw it at sunrise. But from the sunset spot! No one else was there... And it gave me beautiful colours... The sunrise from sunrise spot was not nearly as spectacular. They say the rock changes colour. But yea...
Sunrise from sunset spot rules!!!
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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Agree with most of the others, especially "someotherguy" and "myaustralia". Take the time to add on the Olgas and Kings Canyon and it will make the trip all that more worthwhile. The Valley of the Winds walk at the Olgas is wonderful, and best enjoyed in the AM before the tour groups arrive.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I can't really answer the question as to lodging and cost. My wife and I stayed in Alice Springs this past February. I, too, had debated back and forth whether to go see Uluru. I am so very glad we decided to go. And yes, we had to drive to Uluru from Alice Springs. This is, perhaps, not the smartest way to do it. But you know what -- even though it was the longest day (and night) we spent, we're both extremely glad we bit the bullet and did it. Probably, the hightlight of our two week trip.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 11:55 AM
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db2177,
My husband & are are planning our trip for Apr. 06 also (our 14th anniv). We are checking lodging in Alice Springs & have been looking at the Sahara Outback Tours as "myaustralia" mentioned. Those tours sound great, camping, camel riding & seeing all the other sites that "someotherguy" mentioned. "ALF", your lodging info is helpful though, as we have not made definite plans yet. Gardyloo, what is the title of your Uluru post? I didn't find it. The size of the Rock hasn't sunk in to me yet, "NGail's" comment really gets me excited about it. I've wanted to see it since I was a kid -- long before my last name became Ayers almost 14 years ago!
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 03:16 AM
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Uluru is a 'must do' if you have that choice. At least you can say you've done it. If money or time is an issue, just stay on the East Coast. The weather will be warm up North & plenty to see.

If you want to experience the unique Central Oz and get some aboriginal experience, go to Uluru - 'The Rock' is awe inspiring.
As others have said, I'd fly into Alice & take the 4WD trip out there via Kings Canyon & do the Olgas (Kata Juta) too. see if you have time to walk around it - 9km (5.5 miles).

Otherwise, drive yourself out there but it is a long way so stay overnight. See the cheaper accomodation options.
Unfortunately, Yalara is the only accomodation. It was specifically built to protect Uluru & Kata & it's about 20Km (12 miles) away. It is a very expensive spot to stay by Aussie standards & we all get caught, even the camping is relatively expensive.

You have some very good info on the posts above.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 10:22 AM
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My concern is with the weather. We will be in Oz from Nov. 14-28. I'd expect to be in Uluru around Nov. 19-22 or so. All of the travel books I've been reading (Fodors, Frommers) say it's too hot to go at that time of year, that you can't be out in the daytime. Is this true? I hate to spend all the money on the flights and hotels just for a few hours a day in the evening only.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 06:36 PM
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While we were there in the fall, we did most of our hiking in the early am. The dawn walk around Uluru was awe inspiring and getting out at first light meant we had almost the whole 9 km walk to ourselves. We did the same at Kata Tjunta. The climb up to or out of the Valley of the Winds is a stiff up, but the scenery is awe inspiring. We were very happy that we had fly nets for the walk out from the Kata Tjunta parking area.

We spent the peak of the day at the very well done cultural center and lounging around the various hotel pools. We stayed at the cheapest hotel accomodation and it was perfectly adequate.

The drive out from Alice is spectacular in a empty way. The first 90 km to Stuarts Well there is absolutely nothing manmade expect the road and your vehicle.

The highlight of the drive of course is Dinky , the world famous piano playing and singing dingo who resides at Stuart's Well. . Not to be missed.

We too went out via Kings Canyon which is another spectacular spot w/ a great hike up to the top of the canyon.

Also the desert garden place in Alice is very interesting. We flew into Alice very early AM from Darwin and then drove out and overnighted at Kings Canyon and then spent 2 nights at Yulara and then flew onward from there.

AndrewDavid
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 08:44 PM
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Mid November is getting hot in the centre. But the days are getting longer so lots of daylight. The trick would be to get up early - you will for the sunrise on the rock anyway.
Go for your walks then. Once it reaches mid day, seek some relief at your Yalara accomodation or spend time at the Aboriginal cultural centre. Then in the late afternoon, back for the sunset viewing. Why not a formal dinner on the sand dunes while viewing 'the rock'.

You may consider a drive to Kings Canyon later one morning (in an air conditioned vehicle) then in the late afternoon climb that. Have a meal there before heading back. But that will be a long day if Yalara is your base.
Watch for wildlife while driving during dawn and dusk.
I would go.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 09:54 PM
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Hi db2177-I thought it was just a big red monolith without much charm! There's another one as you drive in close to Uluru which is a bit confusing!

We booked our accom on www.wotif.com.au for Uluru & Kings Canyon & I believe we paid around AUD200 per night for top quality rooms at both these places. King's Canyon is a small canyon & if you've seen the Grand Canyon you're gonna be disappointed!

That's not to say you shouldn't consider going to both places, however if money is a concern then why not wait until you get to Australia & look for some bargains on www.lastminute.com.au.

We went in May and the weather outback is superb, cool nights & warm days. Have a great time! BTW if you want to see somewhere unique, google Cape Leveque in West Australia. It is the most glorious place anywhere in Oz, imho!
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 03:43 PM
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My huasband & I just booked a trip to Australia, and we are planning to visit Uluru for 3 nights. We found a deal right on the resort's website (http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au) for an off-season discount on rooms if you stay 3 nights or more (link on right side of Pricing screen under the hotel of your choice). So we're going to take advantage! Sails in the Desert - top of the line - for $1,122.00AUS ... that's about $831USD, or about $277 per night. Now, that's the top of the line hotel, & I noticed the same "off-season" rates apply to the other ones we looked at, as well. So, if you think you do want to explore, this might help with the per-night cost.

I have my own question to ask, & this seems a good place to add it... has anyone taken the Uluru & area tours offered by the resort vs. the ones that local companies offer? Suggestions on which are more worth the time/money? Any unique experiences we are missing? Thanks!
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 08:05 PM
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Stephe78, I may have added some details to another thread re central Oz!.

Yalara is a purpose built Private Resort to protect the Uluru & Kata Juta area. Staying there is generally quite expensive, everything is more expensive.

I think you would get a better appreon of this area by flying into Alice Springs which is actually a real town and has attractions of it's own.

From Alice, take tour - around 3 days which would comprise a round trip taking in Hermansberg, Palm Valley, Kings Canyon, Uluru & Kata Juta.

Just a thought - enjoy Oz..
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