By Christine Retschlag
For those who've never visited, it would be tempting to dismiss Uluru as simply a big red rock in the middle of nowhere. Don’t make that mistake.
It would also be too easy to describe this giant rock monolith – the largest in the world – as an Australian tourism icon, clutching at cliches normally reserved for holiday brochures. But it’s much more than that.
Non-Indigenous Australians and overseas travellers are said to be profoundly moved by its spiritual significance the moment they lay eyes on the 348-metre high red sandstone formation. It’s the same spirituality that the traditional custodians, the Anangu people, have been talking about in their storylines for centuries. Believed to date back at least 700 million years, Uluru is perched in the heart of Uluru-Kata Tujta National Park in the Northern Territory.
The glorious thing about this sacred site is that it is ever-changing. A visit at sunrise offers completely different colours and contours to that at midday, and again as the harsh outback sun sets lazily over the rock. In one day you can watch it glow from early morning oranges, to rust red at midday, before softening into pinks and purples with the sun’s final beautiful blush.
Sydney: 3 hours
Cairns: 3 hours
Melbourne: 3 hours
From Alice Springs average drive time is six hours
Best time to visit
The best time to visit is between May and September when the weather is cooler. Due to its location, Uluru doesn’t really experience wet or dry seasons, although the rock is said to be magnificent when it does rain. In
summer, temperatures can soar to more than 36 degrees Celsius. Nights can be cold in winter.