The Northern Territory’s sacred Uluru might be closed to climbers now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a good time there.
Here are some exciting things to do at Uluru other than climbing it.
Helicopter flight over Uluru
Climbing Uluru was cool and all, but it was tough work and really wasn’t that high up. If getting high is your thing, you should really opt for a helicopter instead. They’ll take you so high Uluru will look like a tiny anthill on the horizon. A sacred anthill, of course. Maybe not an anthill, actually, since there won’t be any people as ants on it anymore. However you imagine Uluru will look like from hundreds of metres in the sky, it will definitely be a remarkable experience. And it won’t leave you all tired and sweaty afterwards. So if you, like most people, are tired of strenuous activity, this is the experience for you.
Find out more at adrenaline.com.au
Bruce Munro’s Field of Light
People say the Aurora Australis is one of the most breathtakingly colourful things a person can see. You probably won’t catch it while you’re at Uluru, but don’t worry; Bruce Munro’s Field of Light might be even better. The instalation is a wonderful array of vivid lights set up just outside Uluru’s vicinity. The Field of Light turns the figurative sacred images of Uluru into a reality. Prepare to be dazzled by 50,000 coloured stems of light in a display that puts the Auroras to shame.
Book your Field of Lights experience here.
Uluru Morning Base Walk
I know what you’re thinking. “Walking is a poor, boring substitute for being able to actually climb Uluru.” But trust me, walking around Uluru can be just as good. For one thing, it isn’t as intense, so for those of you against or incapable of working out, you can still tag along. Plus, if you climb Uluru, you don’t get to see the actual mountain; just a huge expanse of the Australian outback. Walking around the mountain actually gives you a nice view.
Walking is soothing. It’s a way of collecting your thoughts and just letting your mind align with the universe. What better place to unwind than Australia’s most sacred site?
Find out more at aatkings.com
Sunset BBQ and Stargazing at Uluru
Everybody loves food, that’s just a fact. So, logically, adding food to Uluru can only make it better. Treat yourself with a BBQ as the sun sets over majestic Uluru and gorge yourself both on amazing food and amazing views. Get some dessert while you’re at it and savour the glittering vastness of the Southern Hemisphere’s finest stars. Devoid of all that nasty light pollution in the cities, you’ll get the most fantastic vista of the night sky and the grand emu that resides up there.
Red Centre Camel Ride Experience
Camels. Do I need to explain it any more than that? Take a ride on one of the most unique and awesome animals through the Australian dessert in an experience that turns every day into hump day, literally. For those of you unfamiliar with camel riding, it shouldn’t be much harder than riding a horse. It’ll be a bit bumpier, but that’s to be expected in the Australian outback anyway. Make camels your vehicle of choice and have an unforgettable time cruising around Uluru.
Book your camel experience here.
Speaking of vehicles, you can’t forget good old-fashioned motorcycles. As the fastest and most dangerous way of zipping around the desert, motorbike tours are ideal for true thrill seekers. And with almost nothing in the heart of Australia, there’s plenty of open space for you to let loose. You don’t even need to worry about getting lost. Uluru is the perfect home base you’ll always be able to find your way back to. Just remember to wear a helmet. You might feel invincible going 80 kmph in the open desert, but that goes away if you hit a stray rock.
Book your bike at ulurumotorcycles.com.au
Biking around Uluru
The greener, more active alternative to motorcycles, classic bikes are also a great choice for exploring Uluru. There are plenty of trails and small slopes for riding around the area. And with the speed boost over walking, you might actually be able to go around the entire site. But make sure to pack a water. Powering a bike in the blazing Australian sun is sure to work up a good thirst. And again, wear a helmet. As sacred as Uluru is, it’s not worth dying over.
Find more about bike hire here.
Skydiving over Uluru
For some people, seeing the grand landscape from a helicopter just isn’t enough. If that’s you, maybe a breezy skydive will give you the excitement you desire. Feel the soft outback wind against your, well, everything, as you plummet to the dessert below. If the wind doesn’t force your eyes shut or you aren’t busy screaming, the chance to see Uluru and the sprawling area around it certainly isn’t something you want to miss. Sure, climbing Uluru might have gotten your heart rate up; skydiving will give it the proper jolt to make you really feel alive.
Find out more at skydiveuluru.com.au
Visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)
Contrary to what everyone wants you to believe, Uluru really isn’t the only thing out there in the middle of Australia. Only 25km away is the towering rock formations of Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas. In fact, the tallest dome, Mount Olga, is 1,066 metres above sea level, making it 198 metres taller than Uluru itself. The dome is pretty sharp, but climbing it isn’t impossible. So, for the real hardcore climbers out there, forget Uluru. Mount Olga is the real challenge. For everyone else, it’s still a pretty cool site, and one that you don’t have to feel guilting about exploring.
Find out more at parksaustralia.gov.au/Uluru/
Love Australia’s Red Centre? Have you ever considered hiking the Larapinta Trail? Read more about it here.