Little did I know that planning my dad’s 60th birthday and getting the whole family together at Uluru would lead to my engagement!
There are daily flights from Sydney to Ayres Rock with Jetstar and Virgin or you can fly Qantas via Alice Springs. I chose to fly Jetstar this time and I booked baggage and exit row seats. The flight did not have entertainment so there was no need to purchase.
There are many options for accommodation in the Ayres Rock village, all the sites are owned by Voyagers. As there was 10 of us we choose the Emu Walk Apartments, which have recently been renovated. Emu Walk is in a great location, close to the central shopping area, restaurants and one of the pools. They have 1 or 2 bedroom apartments that are HUGE! We had a 2-bedroom apartment and could have slept 8 people, the only downfall is that there is only one bathroom.
Voyagers offer complimentary arrival and departure transfers; however, we chose to hire a car. As it was the Easter long weekend, most of the hotels were booked out, so I decided to pre-book all of our tours with AAT Kings.
Kata Tjuta & Uluru Sunset
On the tour we travelled to the mystical 36 domes of Kata Tjuta, we walked the base of Walpa Gorge.
In the late afternoon, after Kata Tjuta, we travelled to the Uluru sunset viewing area where we watched the striking colour changes of Uluru at sunset, all while enjoying nibbles and a complimentary glass of wine….or 5!
Sunset BBQ Dinner
After the stunning sunset we continued onto the AAT Kings exclusive venue in the Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park to enjoy an Australian barbecue dinner. We ate like kings, beef steak, kangaroo fillets, chicken skewers, lamb sausages, garlic prawns, bread rolls and salads were spread out for us to indulge in and of course red white wine, champagne and soft drinks were all included too!
The weather was stunning and we were stargazing when Brad got down on one knee!
Uluru Sunrise & Sacred Sites
The next day it was a very early start at the Uluru sunrise viewing area, where we watched the first rays of the sun set the Red Centre alight, while enjoying a warming cup of tea or coffee. After sunrise we were taken by coach around the sacred sites of Uluru. We stopped at Mutitjulu Walk where our driver and guide escorted us to the beautiful Mutitjulu Waterhole. There are Aboriginal rock paintings along the way and we were taught about some native flora and the Aboriginal and European history of Uluru.
Uluru is a sacred site for the Anangu (meaning “we the people”) and they prefer that visitors do not climb the steep, imposing rock. It is a physically demanding activity, that can take up to two hours. Many people have died falling off the rock, however many more have died from heart attacks a couple of days after they have left the red centre, it’s probably why the Anangu prefer visitors don’t climb it!
Helicopter ride- Uluru & Kata Tjuta – Approx. 30 min (IT IS A MUST!!!)
Make sure you see it all while you are at the red centre, it is a once in a lifetime trip and this helicopter ride was amazing as we combined Uluru and Kata Tjuta which was a truly unforgettable flight.
The tour showed us Kata Tjuta, which means ‘many heads’, a sacred place relating to knowledge that is considered very powerful. It is made up of a group of 36 conglomerate rock domes the highest of which stands 198 meters taller than Uluru and dates back 500 million years.
Recommendations when at Uluru and Kata Tjuta during the warm months:
Make sure you bring plenty of water at least 1 litre per hour
Bring a hat and sunscreen
Bring a flynet as the flies enjoy a walk around Kata Tjuta and Uluru
Wear comfortable walking shoes
Don’t forget your camera
It’s hard to describe, but Uluru and Kata Tjuta are very magical places and are nothing like anything I have seen anywhere in the world. If I were to go again, I would probably split my time differently and drive with an overnight at Kings Canyon.
Now back to work with a broken ankle and plenty of time to plan my wedding!!!