Why now is the best time for Aussies to go to Uluṟu

Never been to Uluṟu? It's time to move it from the bucket list to the to-do list!

Photo of Uluṟu with a couple in the foreground
Has Uluṟu been on your bucket list? It's time to move it to the to-do list. Photo: Supplied

Palya! This is a word you'll hear frequently upon your arrival in Uluṟu, the home of the Aṉangu people. It's a Pitjantjatjara word that means many things, such as 'hello', 'goodbye', 'thank you' and more, and it's something you'll want to remember and use where possible during your visit – because it is well and truly time to visit central Australia if you haven't already.

If Uluṟu has been on your bucket list for some time, it's time to move it to the to-do list. It's never been easier to get to the Red Centre, and you'll never experience anything quite like it anywhere else. And that's a promise!

As mentioned above, it's easier than ever (and cheaper) to fly to Uluru, thanks to Virgin Australia who launched new flights earlier this month from Melbourne and Brisbane. And if you thought flights would break the bank? Think again. Virgin Australia's flights to Uluru start from just $119 one-way.

Virgin Australia flight landing in Ayers Rock airport
It's never been easier and cheaper to fly to Uluru, thanks to Virgin Australia. Photo: Supplied

Virgin Australia will operate:

  • 3 flights per week from Brisbane to Uluru

  • 3 flights per week from Uluru to Brisbane

  • 4 flights per week from Melbourne to Uluru

  • 4 flights per week from Uluru to Melbourne

And if you can, don't forget to book a window seat, as you'll get great views of Uluṟu and Kata Tjuṯa on the flight in.

Sails in the Desert with Uluru in the distance
Sails in the Desert is the perfect place to stay during your Uluṟu visit. Photo: Supplied

There are many places to stay at Ayers Rock Resort, but we stayed at Sails in the Desert, a luxurious oasis in the desert. Sails in the Desert features a swimming pool, brasserie-style dining with Ilkari Restaurant, and Walpa Lobby Bar, where you can enjoy Indigenous cuisine and the Red Ochre Spa, the perfect place to unwind after a day of experiencing Uluṟu.


Given that we visited in winter, we didn't take a dip, but we saw plenty of people enjoying a swim or lying in the sun. Winter is an excellent time to visit, however, because the mornings and nights may be quite chilly, but it's easier to rug up than try to cool down in the 40+ degree weather they get in summer!

Upon landing at Ayers Rock, we were greeted with a complimentary shuttle that takes guests to each resort in the area, making it a very easy trip. However, if you're driving, you'll find complimentary parking on-site.

Sails in the Desert room
We absolutely loved our time at Sails in the Desert, the rooms were so cosy and the beds were perfect. Photo: Supplied

The mattress was soft and cosy, and the showers were on another level – exactly what you need after any of the early morning or evening experiences to warm you up if you visit during winter!

While we didn't spend long in the room – there's so much to explore outside! – we were very happy with the experience we had and we loved the integration of Indigenous artwork and bringing in the orange and green colour palette from outside to inside the room. The rooms feel very contemporary and spacious, which came as a great surprise. Each room also has a balcony overlooking the pool.

Importantly, the service at the resort was also incredible. We will definitely come back.

Wintjiri Wiṟu

Wintjiri Wiṟu in Uluru
Wintjiri Wiṟu was an incredible experience, and I highly recommend it. Photo: Supplied

Wintjiri Wiṟu was one of my favourite experiences of our entire Uluṟu trip, and it's a must-do if you are visiting the area.

This experience takes place at the top of a dune in an open-air theatre set-up. Guests are treated to cocktails and food that embrace Indigenous ingredients to create a delicious culinary experience.

Marni Dixit in Uluru
Wintjiri Wiṟu is a stunning place to watch the sunset on Uluṟu. Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle

Once the sun sets, you are in for a real treat. This is when you will witness the ancient Mala story, which is retold through drones, lasers, and projections. This would be an amazing experience to take kids to – I've never seen anything like it before.

Field of Light

The Field of Light in Uluru
The Field of Light at sunrise was a magical experience. Photo: Supplied

If you're not a morning person, I'm sorry, but you need to visit Bruce Munro's Field of Light right before the sun rises. It's such a beautiful experience and another must-do.

This exhibition is named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakunytjaku, which means 'looking at lots of beautiful lights' in Pitjantjatjara. It features 50,000 lights that span the size of more than seven football fields. It's something that needs to be seen to be believed.

You can also experience the Field of Light at sunset if that's more you're thing, but seeing the sun come up in Uluṟu is certainly a breathtaking experience, and we recommend you do it at least once during your trip.

Tali Wiṟu

Tali Wiru in Uluru
Tali Wiru is Australia's only hatted outdoor dining experience, and it is stunning. Photo: Supplied

Tali Wiṟu, meaning 'beautiful dune', is another unforgettable experience. This is Australia's only hatted outdoor dining experience and features incredible views of both Uluṟu and Kata Tjuṯa. It is also the highest-rated restaurant in the Northern Territory. Guests enjoy a four-course meal that is infused with native ingredients to create flavours you've likely never experienced before. We enjoyed a beautiful Moreton Bay bug, Darling Downs wagyu tenderloin, and more, all expertly paired with Penfolds wines.

We also enjoyed some stargazing with a guide who shared beautiful stories about the stars from the Aṉangu people. It was a truly beautiful experience and one of my favourite memories from the trip.

Mala Walk at the base of Uluṟu

The Mala Walk at Uluru
The Mala Walk takes you around the base of Uluṟu and through to Kantju Gorge and it's breathtakingly beautiful. Photo: Supplied

On the Mala Walk, you learn about the ancient campsites, ceremonies, and daily life of the Aṉangu people. This walk takes you around the base of Uluṟu and through Kantju Gorge, which is breathtakingly beautiful. If you're lucky enough to visit after it's been raining, this gorge turns into a beautiful waterfall, but it's a very rare sighting!

Park rangers will guide you along the walk and share with you the Tjukurpa (creation stories) of the many rock formations in the area. You will also learn about how Uluru and Kata Tjuṯa formed. You can also take this as a self-guided walk by following signs along the way.


High tea

While you've likely experienced high tea before, I'm sure you've never experienced it quite like this. At Sails in the Desert, you can enjoy Indigenous cuisine with their Australian Native High Tea experience. This experience features a selection of sweet and savoury dishes, all showcasing a different native ingredient. One of my favourite dishes was the lemon myrtle scone with quandong jam.

Kata Tjuṯa at sunrise

Kata Tjuṯa at sunrise
I personally think Kata Tjuṯa is more spectacular than Uluṟu, photos don't do this sunrise justice. Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle

I had heard that Kata Tjuṯa is almost more spectacular than Uluṟu, and I have to admit, I do believe it to be even more incredible. We drove to the Kata Tjuṯa Sunrise Viewing Platform to watch the sunrise, which was yet one of my favourite experiences of the entire trip (it really is hard to choose just one!). The light changed so quickly, and the rocks looked different every minute, and it felt like the photos didn't do it justice.

We then drove to the base of Kata Tjuṯa and walked through the walls of Walpa Gorge, which was mindblowing, to say the least.

I have never experienced anything quite like Uluṟu and Kata Tjuṯa before in my life. Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle
I have never experienced anything quite like Uluṟu and Kata Tjuṯa before in my life. Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle

Ready to book your flights to Uluru? Virgin Australia currently operates up to seven return services per week to Uluru.

Yahoo Lifestyle was a guest of Virgin Australia and Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru.

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