In October 2019, Uluṟu is set to close for climbing. The local Pitjantjatjara Anangu group regards Uluṟu as a sacred site where climbing is not allowed under traditional law, but also say it is distressing for them when deaths or injuries occur. Despite the warnings, an influx of tourists are making their way to the red centre to attempt the climb before the chance disappears.
But in truth, there are other ways to truly experience the sacred site. AAT Kings, a guided travel company with over 100 years experience, works with the local land custodians to ensure they offer experiences that are respectful of traditional owners. With these experiences offered by AAT Kings, visitors can take the opportunity to fully appreciate the sacred beauty of this ancient monolith and create truly memorable moments.
Bruce Munro’s spectacular Field of Light installation was inspired by a trip to Uluru over 27 years ago. This installation is situated within sight of majestic Uluru to feature more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frosted glass spheres. The public is welcome to the Field of Light for dinner, but the experience of watching the sunrise here is offered exclusively to AAT Kings!
In the intimacy of a small group, join a guided 10½ kilometres walk around the entire base of Uluru. Before you commence your journey of discovery, enjoy a light breakfast as you begin to absorb the enormity and beauty of your surroundings. Visit sacred sites, view Aboriginal rock art, and the vision of a waterfall in a desert setting is really something to see, especially after rain when the water flows from the side of Uluru and plunges into Kantju Gorge.
For travellers who still want the thrill of a climb, head to nearby Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park for a challenging hike. The Rim Walk is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The climb up a 100-metre cliff face reveals views of sandstone walls, grottos, chasms and cliffs.
Explore the Garden of Eden
Deep down between sandstone cliffs lies the Garden of Eden. Soak in the wondrous sights of a natural spring waterhole surrounded by local and exotic plants and trees such as gums, bonsai looking trees and enormous prehistoric ferns. It’s a truly unique landscape. For a less strenuous walk, set off on a two-kilometre stroll along the creek bed that leads to impressive views of the canyon rim.
The ultimate ending to an adventure in the Red Centre is an Uluru Sunset with AAT Kings’ exclusive BBQ dinner under the stars. With imposing Uluru as your backdrop, you can relax in the company of friends and fellow travellers to enjoy a selection of beer, wine and soft drinks and dine on a classic Australian BBQ menu. The cherry on top is a session of stargazing with one of their expert guides on hand to point out the constellations.
All photos via AAT Kings