Happy Hump Day!! I’m so excited to share about our time in Uluru and give you the ultimate travel guide! Uluru (or Ayers Rock) is basically in the smack dab middle of Australia and it’s pretty dang small. Our airport literally looked like it could have been a house in Paradise Valley…haha! It was so tiny for an airport but made it that much easier to navigate through. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Uluru (don’t worry, I wasn’t before we went), it’s essentially a massive rock in the middle of a huge flat desert with some pretty epic views, sunsets, and culture. Our time there was shorter compared to the other cities we went to, but it was jam packed in the BEST way possible! We got the most out of our time there.
Desert Gardens Hotel: When we landed in the airport and hopped on our shuttle to head to our hotel, our driver made a joke that “If traffic wasn’t bad, we’d arrive in 6 minutes” haha because it’s seriously so small. One road led to a little round of hotels and we stayed the Desert Gardens Hotel and HOLY COW it was incredible! Me & Den were freaking out a little bit because both of us love staying in hotels and this one was just so amazing. You could choose from either a garden view that looked into a courtyard or a desert view & we had the desert view. Trust me when I say you should reserve the desert view room, it did not disappoint. Our patio literally wrapped around our entire room because we had the corner room. & the pillow cases were so cute. If you know me, I’m a sucker when it comes to decor in hotel rooms. The pillow cases were even for sale in their gift shops, along with a bunch of other designs from local aboriginal artists.
Some other options to look into that wouldn’t disappoint (and are all near each other) are:
I’ve said it already, but I just have to say it again-we did SO much! Our first night we went to the Tali Wiru sunset dinner BUT I’ll get more into that under the “Where to eat” portion below, I’ll link it twice because it was just that good.
Desert Awakenings: We were up bright & early for this one! We were picked up around 5 am by our shuttle that took us out to a gathering point that looked over Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The other rock that has more humps to it) to watch the SUNRISE!!! Ugh it was seriously so beautiful. There’s something so serene about watching the sunrise over a desert when you are in a private tour group with less than 20 people. It makes it that much more of an experience! It was definitely freezing, but they had heaters set up, hot coffee and tea to help warm us up! After that they took us to the base of Uluru. They tell you that it’s like 2800′ tall but you can’t even fathom that when you’re super far away. So getting up close and personal was legit insane! It’s just this huge rock in the middle of a totally flat desert. Still blows my mind!
Cultural Center: This was a stop towards the end of our Desert Awakenings tour. They are pretty specific about where you can and cannot take pictures, for cultural reasons! Because of that, I wasn’t able to take any photos while we walked through. It was FILLED with Aboriginal art, trinkets, blankets, everything. There were a few women outside one of the spaces that were working on some new art pieces. You know the iconic dot art pieces? They were everywhere, it was incredible to see!
*Side Note: If you choose not to go with the Desert Awakenings tour, you can still visit the cultural center and the base of Uluru by entering into the park in general! Tickets are $25 per person. I’ve included the link here as well to make it easier to see the park as a whole and decided where to go from there with tours and what not!
SEIT Kata Tjuta Private Tour: We had a few hours of down time in between activities to get some rest so this was the second half of our day after we did the sunrise tour. This tour was just us 5 which was SO cool! Again, we were picked up at our hotel by a shuttle and tour guide. We loved our tour guide, Georgia! She knew so much and was seriously hilarious. We hiked in between two huge boulders at Kata Tjuta and you could pretty much overlook the whole desert. After that, she actually gave us two options to do for sunset and we chose to go back to Uluru to see the sunset there. Our first night with the sunset dinner, we were quite a bit farther away from Uluru so this was an even more personal experience. We set up shop, whipped out a bottle of champagne, and started our phones & go-pros for an EPIC time lapse video! I mean we couldn’t have been closer if we tried. The pictures you see of Uluru just lit up in bright orange are seriously no joke! It looked EXACTLY like the pictures. There was a certain point when the sun was setting when the entire rock was completely lit up and bright orange. I mean it was honestly a once in a lifetime experience. Once the sun set, we headed back to our hotel and just had a relaxing night in with some wine!
Resort Shopping: Okay, this was probably one of the most addicting parts of the trip! Haha! There were SO many gift shops with the coolest souvenirs and art pieces. The morning of our last day, we had a few hours to spare after breakfast and were deciding what to do-shocker, it was shopping!
Sounds of Silence: So we didn’t do this BUT it’s a great(also cheaper) alternative to our Tali Wiru Sunset Dinner! It’s a larger group of people with a buffet style dinner instead of a small 20 person group and plated multi-course dinner. Both still get to experience the epic sunset though, so it’s a win win!
Dot Painting Workshop: This was one of the ideas we were throwing around as something to possibly do the morning of our last day before our flight out. It looked REALLY cool, especially to me with my design and art background! But we ended up getting carried away with shopping and experiencing all of the unique pieces of work in all of the different shops!
All of the links I’ve included essentially take you to the home page for any and all things Uluru! There are so many other things you can do while you’re there like helicopter rides/tours, other food experiences, different types of tours. They have it all. They’ve truly made it a one stop shop to experience everything while you’re there.
I have been SO excited to share this portion of this travel guide because we had the GREATEST dinner experience probably of our entire life. When they market the Tali Wiru Sunset Dinner as “life changing” they are not joking! Plus, me & Den will probably never have that nice of a dinner like…ever again in our entire life so we were just high on life throughout the whole thing! Haha
Tali Wiru Sunset Dinner: Okay, so here goes! We were in a smaller private group of roughly 20 people that were all picked up by shuttle and taken out to the desert to a private lookout an hour before sunset that looked over Uluru. We were greeted with champagne (holla!) & appetizers that featured local foods like kangaroo & crocodile. We moved onto our multi-course dinner that had an individual wine pairing for each course! How cool and swanky is that!??! When we arrived there was a guy playing the didgeridoo and holy cow it was so impressive to watch. Once we finished dinner and dessert, two guides came and talked to us about all of the stars and stories behind the stars. We were out in the middle of the desert so you could literally see ALL of the stars. We could see the Milky Way, too! Again, just so incredible, calming, and overall such a great memory that I’ll cherish forever! I had the Wagyu Beef Fillet & it was literally the best thing I’ve ever had in my entire life HAHA Me & Den still talk about it like every other day. I’ve included the seasonal menu below so y’all can take a peek at what the other options were that we could choose from!
Mangata Bistro & Bar: We stopped in for a quick bite to eat when we first arrived and had some small bites to share. PSA: Order the the charcuterie board-it was so good! Den got like a honey mustard salad & he said it was great!
*This link for the Mangata Bistro & Bar includes EVERY single dining option at the resort/different hotels! It’s a full comprehensive list so I figured that would be easier than me re-listing each option out-especially when we didn’t visit most of them and I can’t give a true/authentic review of how I felt about them!
Thank you SO much if you’ve gotten through this entire travel guide-it turned out so much more lengthy than I thought! (I feel like I always end up saying that! Haha) But I truly feel like I’ve included some of the most incredible things to do while you are experiencing Uluru!
*If you missed my first recap of our first stop in Sydney, you can check that out here!
Our last stop in Port Douglas (we flew into Cairns) was one for the books, too & that travel guide is still coming up, too! Thanks again for stopping by & don’t forget to subscribe to follow along seamlessly! Until next time, babes!