WOW, Ayers Rock Resort, what a place!
The resort is kept to a very high standard, with everything landscaped, multitudes of pools, restaurants and thankfully quite a few places that sell cold beer, because boy it was hot while we were there! We stayed at the caravan park at the resort, which had a lovely clean pool with nice shaded areas and just a short stroll up a steep sand dune to a viewing platform where you could see ‘the rock’ in all its glory.
It was very spectacular taking in the afternoon sunset with a cold beer. The caravan park at the resort was very reasonably priced for a three-night stay. It was in close proximity to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which has an entry fee payable at a big boom gate before you enter. Paying the fee provides access for three days. Plenty of bars and restaurants were within a 15-minute walk from the caravan park as well as an IGA, chemist, medical centre and so on.
A fuel station was present and boy I know it’s central Australia but wow, the prices were up there. However, if you need it, you need it. After buying our three-day permit to access the national park, it was a very early start heading in prior to sunrise to try to catch the rock at different angles and lights. It really was a must-see.
After the first photo opportunities, we decided to walk around the base of Uluru and get up close and personal where you can touch and feel the rock and see amazing Aboriginal paintings and displays. The wave wall around the base really does look like a wave frozen in rock.
The rock itself is quite bizarre and almost alien to feel and touch. None of us had ever seen or felt anything like it. The different red colours it took on throughout the day were incredible. The rock was still able to be walked on but was closed on the day we were there.
We didn’t wish to climb it anyway. However, a well-worn groove was on the rock from many years of people’s feet trudging over it. Informative plaques describe a rich Aboriginal culture and how the traditional people lived their day to day lives around the rock, hunting and surviving. You could imagine how some of these places would be an oasis in a very harsh environment.
The Olgas (Kata Tjuta) are located about 50km west of Uluru. We decided to tackle them the following day, so it was another early morning to be there for sunrise at the viewing platforms and see Kata Tjuta in all its glory prior to first light.Wow, this didn’t disappoint.
After a beautiful sunrise looking at Kata Tjuta, we headed into the Valley of the Winds walk and Walpa Gorge. Both walks were absolutely amazing. Walpa Gorge was just incredible. It took our breath away to get in there, lie down and look up at the amazing rock escarpments, trying to imagine how it all formed. It really made our minds boggle.
Where Uluru appears to be a rock full of air bubbles, Kata Tjuta seems to be all smaller rocks melted together to make an astounding structure. We found Kata Tjuta even more impressive than Uluru, but each to their own. The kids were blown away by the whole experience. They loved the pools at the resort, the atmosphere everywhere we went and most importantly Uluru and Kata Tjuta. They really are a must-see.
A couple of tips: try to be up before daylight and at a viewing platform at first light. Make sure you pack plenty of drinking water. We also packed lots to eat because our kids are bottomless pits. A well-fed kid is a happy kid (less whingy at least). We also recommend taking fly net hats depending on the time of year. Fly nets certainly help you enjoy your day more.
We thoroughly recommend staying at the resort. The outdoor bar area (Outback Pioneer Hotel) was rustic with great atmosphere. We had a wonderful time. We hope this inspires you to get out there and see it for yourself.