Growing up, the red centre has always seemed to be a magical and surreal place. With its bright orange monolith, surrounded by a vast desert of red clay, Uluru and Kata Tjuta has always been on my bucket list.
Day 1: Arrive in Yulara - Field of Lights Exhibition
We arrived at our accommodation in Yulara around midday and immediately went to the concierge desk to book our Field of Lights Tickets. As it was Easter holidays, all pre-booked tickets were sold out and we could only purchase them on arrival. Luckily we managed to score some tickets for the latest session on that very evening! Usually tickets sell out quick, with the twilight session being the most popular.
The road to the exhibition was pretty much pitch black – in that, you literally couldn’t see anything out the window except for you own reflection. But once we got there, *insert open mouth emoji*. Because O.M.G, it was spectacular. The sky was clear and the moon was shining bright. The exhibition didn’t need any more illumination because 50,000 lights all lit up in different colours and pulsating to an invisible rhythm was purely majestic.
Bruce Munro’s Field of Lights exhibition is a definite must-DO! They have also extended the dates until 31 December 2020.
Day 2 - Uluru Sunrise Viewing Point and Camel Tour
The next day we woke up at 5:30am to see the magical Uluru come to life at sunrise. We drove to the viewing point and were greeted with around 150 other tourists with the same idea. Most of them were clustered at the top of the viewing point (on the timber decking area) and clambering over one another for the best view. Seeing this, we decided to go further down the steps and come right up to the rope barrier that separates human from wildlife. It was definitely a lot quieter here and no quality of view were lost (it is a pretty big feature that’s hard to miss!).
Watching Uluru change from an orange-grey to a bright orange colour is an awe-inspiring and joyful memory I’ll never forget. It’s hard to surmise just how incredibly magical and beautiful this location truly is and despite how many photos we take, it still doesn’t do it justice.
After taking in the beauty that is Uluru, we had to make our way back to the hotel to catch the shuttle bus to our next pre-booked activity – Uluru Camel Tours.
First time riding a camel and let’s just say it was a bit bumpy. Despite the rough riding companion, the views were nothing short of amazing. The tour takes you through parts of the desert that you would otherwise not have been able to access. The tour guide follows you on foot every step of the way (the camel doesn’t go very fast) and they educate you about life in the outback, Australian history and camel related fun facts.
FUN FACT: Most of the camels used in the Middle East for riding purposes are imported from Australia. This is because when camels were introduced in Australia, only the best were chosen. Over time, these camels have evolved into a superior breed. More immune to illnesses, generally larger in size and live longer too!
Day 3 - Kata Tjuta - Valley of the Winds Walk
Kata Tjuta (A.K.A The Olgas) are a series of large rock formations approximately West of Uluru (FYI: Uluru and Kata Tjuta are all within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks and both are accessible with one entrance fee). We decided to do the Valley of the Winds Walk as it takes us to two lookout points – Karu (2nd photo) and Karingana (5th photo) Lookouts.
As soon as we got there, aside from the million of flies greeting our faces with enthusiasm, we were in awe at the size of it all. Canyons of red rock surrounds us and transports our imagination to another planet. The track was visible and obvious in most parts, but you will find that most of it is rocky and can be quite steep. So take your time and wear proper hiking shoes.
Both lookouts were quite hilly to get to and there’s not a lot of shade or cover during the walk so take a good amount of water with you. There’s a water refilling station along the walk but it’s not until towards the end of the trail. Again, the photos don’t do the views justice, what looks like little shrubs in the distance are actually huge trees!
All up, the walk took approximately 3 hours for us to complete. This was with little break and short photo taking time.
Day 3 - Kata Tjuta Sunset Viewing Point
Tired and sweaty post-walk, we drove in our nicely air-conditioned ute to our final destination for this trip – Kata Tjuta Sunset Viewing Point.
We arrived quite early for sunset but managed to get the best seat in the house. As we wait, we ate our snacks and marvelled at the thought that not too long ago we were just walking within those huge boulders.
The sun gradually set behind us and with it came a magical display of colour. Like Uluru, Kata Tjuta is absolute magic. From a greyish-brown colour to a vivid orange, it seemed like this place was putting on a show for us.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta Travel TIPS
- Accommodation in Yulara vary from quality and price. If you know your dates, book in advance as often these can get booked out quickly.
- Book a hire car if you’re flying in.
- Food is quite limited – there’s an IGA in Yulara so pack plenty of snacks and water.
- MUST get a fly screen protector thing – you’ll see people walking around with these black nets over their faces. It looks silly but it works! The flies can be relentless and this will save you a lot of frustration and swatting.
- Pack a jacket – the desert can be quite cool in the early morning and evenings.
Have you been to Uluru-Kata Tjuta? Do you have any travel tips? Leave a comment below.