Are you ready for your once in a lifetime trip to Uluru? Have you considered everything you may need to pack? Are you prepared for the (sometimes harsh) conditions of the beautiful Australian desert?
If asking these questions just sent you into a scurry of panic, let us take the anxiety away whilst you are preparing for your Uluru trip by sharing some of our tips for your Northern Territory adventure. They will help you to remember important items, but will also inform you of what lays ahead on this magical journey into the Australian Outback.
Being informed will also help you decide which trip is best for you, as we tailor our tours to suit most types of travellers. Once you’ve had a read here you can head over to the Uluru Tours page to choose your adventure.
THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND
Australia is big. No duh right? Yet we feel the need to reinforce this because many of those travelling from smaller countries around Europe always get a shock with the distances we travel. The nature of covering a lot of highlights of the Northern Territory in a relatively short length of time on our tours is you'll spend a lot of time in our bus or 4WD. We break these long journeys up with chances for walks and photo opportunities, but nevertheless they're still big trips.
So why do you need to know how long we’ll spend on the road? Because then you can prepare!
You may want to download some music/podcasts to listen to and think about an external charger. Also, remember to pack some comfortable travel clothes. All our buses have air-con so no need to worry about sweltering, but it’s advised you wear something you’ll be comfortable sitting in for some hours.
KNOW THY NEIGHBOUR
Uluru itself is extremely well looked after and quite often any native critters are encouraged elsewhere in a humane way. We are talking snakes, spiders, dingoes, scorpions, etc.
However, in surrounding areas and on the way there, you may be so lucky as to come into contact with one our marvellous species. Our tour guides are well equipped in what to do when faced with our animal outback hosts and also have a lot of knowledge on what you can do to remain safe if suddenly faced with this kind of situation. So have a chat, learn something new and perhaps you’ll have a fantastic story to tell when you get back home!
Some more common pests that aren't deadly at all but more so annoying are the mosquitoes and flies. Pack insect repellent and consider a fly net for your hat!
FROM ICEBERGS TO OVENS
Depending on what time of the year you travel, it's quite likely you'll encounter extreme temperatures.
At night temperatures can dramatically drop in Uluru. The lowest recorded temperature is - 4 C in July 2001 (Australian Winter). While the temps in the day can skyrocket - the highest recorded temp is 45 C in the peak of summer - in the shade! Whilst these are both extreme ends and not the averages, it gives you an insight into the vast changes in the weather. Our vehicles all have air-con, and we do strive our very best to keep you comfortable for all parts of your tour. Saying this, you still need to be prepared for the conditions. This includes bringing a large water bottle so you can ensure you remain hydrated throughout the tour.
If you are traveling between May and October, bring some warm clothes. These are Australia’s winter months. During the daytime, you can expect temps around the mid 20s, but at night it drops to an average of 6 or 7 C. Likewise if you are traveling in the summer months, make sure you bring some light clothes that keep you cool but also will help protect you from our fierce sun.
We'd venture to guess that spending the night in a swag will be one of the highlights of your trip to Uluru.
Swag is an Australian term for what is essentially a bedroll. Today they are typically made of canvas or other synthetic materials, forming a cocoon which contains a mattress, sheet and pillow - and are super comfortable! Back in the day, swags were carried by ‘swagmen’ - itinerant farm workers during the late 1800's to early 1900’s that walked from job to job. Swagmen carried their belongings in a bundle called a swag, which usually consisted of a bluey (a blue bush blanket) rolled up with spare clothing inside a tarpaulin or ground sheet.
You have to try sleeping in a swag at least for one night. If you don’t, it would be like going to Paris and not eating a croissant, going to the Swiss Alps and not having a go at skiing or going to Belgium and not eating chocolate!
The swag is arguably one of the most iconic symbols of the traditional Australian bush life. Next to the Akubra, damper over a campfire and tea from a billy, that is. Don't understand? Don't worry - you will after you join us on tour.
So when booking your Uluru tour, before you get nervous about sleeping outdoors and make a prompt decision to stick with only tents - just think of this…
Imagine, you are tucked into what is possibly more comfortable than Queen Elizabeth's own royal bed, with a slight cool breeze on your face that’s only interrupted by the warmth of a nearby campfire. You hear the cracking fire and the breeze in the gumtrees. You look to the sky and see a light show that puts New Years Eve in Sydney to shame. When you wake the crisp morning dew greets you with fresh, sweet kisses, leaving you feeling as fresh as if you’ve had dove into the elixir of life.
There is honestly not much of a better way to start and end your days.
Don't stress though, if this doesn't sound like it's for you, you'll have the option to upgrade to tents on all of our tours.
Journey To The Centre
Joining a Uluru tour will almost certainly require you to fly to the Northern Territory. All of our tours either depart from Alice Springs or from Ayers Rock Airport, and where you fly into will likely depend on the prices you're finding for fares and the time of the year.
If you're departing from Alice Springs, don't forget to bring your alarm clock as our tours start bright and early with pick-ups from most accommodation providers. We start early not for your discomfort, but because the tour starts with a long drive to Ayers Rock (see previous point regarding travelling long distances!). If you're flying into Alice Springs, you'll want to book your flight for the day before your Uluru Tour departure.
You might find good fares flying directly into Ayers Rock Airport, and doing this will save you the long drive on Day 1. Be sure you then book a flight for the departure date of your tour. If you want to fly into and fly out of Ayers Rock Airport, check out our 4 day Galah Dreaming Uluru Tour.
We hope the above will help you as you plan what will most likely be a once in a lifetime experience and adventure. If you have any questions about planning your Uluru tour, don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly Reservation Team.
Written by : Wayoutback on 16 January