6 Things to Do in Uluru and Its Surrounds — Other Than Seeing the Sacred Site, Of Course

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

If you thought the only thing to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and its surrounds was to walk around the impressive rock that is Uluru, seeing it at first light and last, you’d be sorely mistaken.

While many of the activities in the area do involve Uluru in some way, whether it’s a show in the desert with it standing tall in the distance, or a tour around it led by an Indigenous local, there are still other things you can do in the park that don’t feature it.

This is what I discovered when I recently visited the park as a guest of GoPro. It was the perfect setting to showcase the impressive features of the GoPro Hero 11, released in September 2022.

If you’re heading to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park too, ahead I’m sharing everything I did on the trip other than stand in awe of the site held sacred to Indigenous people for thousands of years. Activities you might be keen to do too.

Uluru NT
Image: Unsplash

Though, if you do want to spend a morning or afternoon appreciating Uluru’s beauty, you’ll be surprised at just how much around the rock there is to explore. There are six walks around the rock, most of them wheelchair-accessible, ranging from the 2km-return base Mala Walk, to the 10.6km full base loop.

Catch the Wintjiri Wiru Drone Show

Wintjiri Wiru, which means ‘beautiful view out to the horizon’ in the local Pitjantjatjara language, tells the story of the ancestral Mala people through choreographed drones, lasers and projections that illuminate the night sky. Book the Wintjiri Wiru Sunset Dinner package, which will see you arriving just before sunset and treated to drinks, canapés, and a dinner hamper, or the Wintjiri Wiru After Dark show, which sees you arriving at dark for the show.

Do an Indigenous Tour

While you can do the Mala Walk with a ranger who’ll tell you the story of the Mala (rufous hare-wallaby) people free-of-charge, for a truly special experience, book a tour with Maruku Arts. The 45-minute Kuniya walk tour will see you shown Uluru’s cave art, given a look at bush medicines Indigenous people use, and the chance to create your own dot painting.  

Maruku Arts
Image: Maruku Arts

Walk Through ‘Field of Light’

Art installation Field of Light by British artist Bruce Munro comprises 50,000 spindles of light that cover more than seven football fields. Book a package that includes transfers from your hotel and a self-guided tour, or instead, opt to see ‘Field of Light’ while dining next to it, as part of the Sounds of Silence experience.

Visit the Wintjiri Arts and Museum

Wintijiri Arts and Museum is an Aboriginal art gallery at Ayers Rock Resort, exhibiting works of its artists in residence from the Pitjantjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra lands. The artists work on their pieces in-situ, so are able to interact with guests, as well as sell their works directly to them.

Relax in Your Hotel

The accommodation options in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park range from camping, to resort stays. On the more premium end are Sails In the Desert and Longitude 131. If you’re staying at one of these, it’s worth carving out some time in your itinerary to simply relax in the pool, listening to the rustling of leaves in the gumtrees. You’re on holiday after all.

Drive to Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon is about a three-hour drive from Uluru, and worth seeing while you’re in the area. There, you can take a scenic flight with Professional Helicopter Services over the canyon, climb it at sunrise, and experience Sunset Light Towers, Munro’s second exhibit in Northern Territory, which opened in April 2023 at Discovery Resorts – Kings Canyon. See it from Luritija Lookout.

Sunset Light Towers
Image: Discovery Resorts

Anangu hold the Mala story, from Kaltukatjara to Uluru, through a drone, sound and light show designed and produced by RAMUS.

Related: What Can a GoPro Do That Your Phone Camera Can’t?

Related: 7 Unforgettable Road Trips in the Northern Territory

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