Each year, Uluru welcomes over 300,000 visitors. This pales in comparison to the 1 million Australians alone who visit nearby Bali and 1.4 million who visit New Zealand. Uluru is the dream destination that hides in plain sight. It’s your holiday to take when you need to warm up in winter, it’s the experience of the real rugged Aussie outback in summer. It’s history, lore, culture, and natural wonder in one. Holidaymakers can be easily tempted to leave the country to visit exotic, exciting destinations. But the Aussie traveller would be remiss not to take the trip of a lifetime to the red centre.
Take a flight for less than 4 hours from Sydney or pause for a quick connection in Alice Springs from Perth to feel like you’ve exited Planet Earth. Cushiony, ruddy sand coats the ground, rocks pepper the landscape, and the sound of silence fill the air. Had you closed your eyes on the trip over only to open them as you take your first steps in The Outback, you might have thought that you landed on Mars by accident.
That’s until you find yourself in front of one of the most imposing natural formations in the world. In an instant, you are brought back to Earth - only it feels like you’re living in the times when dinosaurs roamed. The behemoth rock is part of the story that tells us how Australia formed before the first people arrived there over 60,000 years ago.
Today, visitors are lucky enough to visit Uluru by day and by night with incredible events like the Field of Light exhibit to see this historic formation through a most beautiful lens. Touring the area during the day invites a deeper understanding of the significance of this land and the Anangu people who live and own the area still. And the chance to observe living history does not stop at Uluru itself. Throughout the entire Red Centre, awe-inspiring natural features lie proudly, telling their ancient stories. Kata Tjuta, the MacDonnell Ranges, and Kings Canyon might be the most iconic at face value. But they take on much larger meaning with a bit of a deeper exploration. By getting the chance to spend some time exploring, the visitor gets the rare chance to observe real Aboriginal art, walk among a range of indigenous flora and fauna, and make a connection to the land that we so rarely get the chance to feel.
3 days is all it takes to have your entire worldview changed, 5 days is relaxed, and any longer is a treasure. A trip Uluru should be an Australian rite of passage, but we’ll settle for planning one incredible holiday.