The WeekenderTravel

The Weekender: Uluru, Northern Territory

Uluru. The Weekender Travel Guide Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia. Photographed by Jayden Pang. Image via Unsplash.

Found in the heart of the Northern Territory is Uluru – a must-visit for any Australian traveler wishing to explore the outback.

The massive, sacred sandstone monolith known as Uluru (or Ayers Rock) is found in the heart of the Northern Territory’s Red Centre.

An icon in itself, Uluru is found within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and despite its secluded location – 450-kilometres away from the nearest large town, Alice Springs; Uluru is one destination that is a must-visit for any Australian at least once in their lifetime.

So, if you’re ready to explore the heart of the Red Centre, read on through for our ultimate travel and weekender guide to Uluru, Northern Territory:

Where in the Northern Territory is Uluru?

Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Uluru is 450-kilometres from Alice Springs or, approximately a 20-hour drive from Darwin. In the Northern Territory, Uluru sits right on the border of South Australia.

The Best Places to Eat in Uluru, Northern Territory:

Sounds of Silence

Part of Ayers Rock Resort and the Bush Tucker Journeys program, Sounds of Silence is a luxury dinner in which guests are sat outside with front-row views of Uluru. The night lasts for four hours, during which dinner will be served under the stars and accompanied by resident astro-tourism talker who will decode the southern night sky whilst you sip on a never ending flow of Australian wine. In this five-star experience, you will locate the Southern Cross, the signs of the zodiac, the Milky Way, as well as planets and galaxies that are visible due to the exceptional clarity of the atmosphere. And, to help appease those rumbling stomachs, there will be canapes roaming around. Nonetheless, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Sounds of Silence | 170 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


Tali Wiru

If you are looking for luxury and amazing views of Uluru, the gastronomic experience that is Tali Wiru should do the trick. For a night filled with Champagne and bush tucker-inspired canapes and an exquisite four-course table d’hote menu matched with premium wines, Tali Wiru is another luxury stop off that will make your weekend just that bit more special.


Tali Wiru | 175 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


Ilkari Restaurant

Found within the Sails in the Desert, Ilakri Restaurant is a unique experience for any traveler to Uluru, Northern Territory. One of the best places to eat in Uluru for breakfast, lunch and dinner; whilst here guests can choose to have a three-course dinner experience which can include a selection of seafood, an array of antipasto, cured meats and soups to awaken your tastebuds. There are also options of pastas, Asian favourites, roasts and a grill selection cooked-to-order abound with signature dishes enlivened by Indigenous flavours that will settle your appetite.


Ilkari Restaurant | 1/163 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


The Best Places to Drink in Uluru, Northern Territory:

Walpa Lobby Bar

Contemporary, welcoming and modern, Walpa Lobby Bar is the definition of luxury hospitality in Uluru. One of the best cocktail bars in Uluru, Walpa Lobby Bar encapsulates the beauty of its surroundings thanks to their floor-to-ceiling windows and red-hued furnishings to invigorate your senses. A journey in itself, we’d recommend to sip one of their signature cocktails like the Myrtle Royale made with gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon myrtle and then topped with sparkling wine. The bar bites don’t go unnoticed either!


Walpa Lobby Bar | 2/163 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


Pira Pool Bar

Also located in the Sails in the Desert, Pira Pool Bar should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for one of the best places to grab a drink in Uluru. Found poolside, this casual bar means that not only can you grab a refreshing cocktail, but you can also splash around for that much-needed afternoon dip. Of course to appease your tastebuds, Pira Pool Bar also has a selection of light bar bites such as Paw Paw Salad ($25) and Tempura Battered Barramundi ($27) to enjoy poolside.


Pira Pool Bar | 163 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


Gecko’s Cafe

Gecko’s Cafe is located in the Ayers Rock Resort Town Square, and is the perfect place for a coffee and a bite to eat. Open for breakfast daily, Geckos Cafe has a range of scrumptious eats that are perfect to help you start your day of exploring. Otherwise if you’re here just for a drink, Gecko’s has a range of non-alcoholic options, hot drinks, beers, spirits and wines that are perfect for any afternoon pick-me-up.


Gecko’s Cafe | 1/127 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


The Best Things to Do in Uluru, Northern Territory:

Camel Express Tours

Departing from Ayers Rock Resort, Camel Express Tours allows guests to jump on board for a 45-minute camel ride through the desert landscape that is the Red Centre. With views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta as a backdrop, guests will also have the opportunity to learn more about the camel history of the Red Centre at the farm. Suitable for children and adults, this one-of-a-kind tour is a definite must and one of the best things to do in Uluru, Northern Territory.


Camel Express Tours | 170 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


Uluru Segway Tours

To add some speed to your Australian outback getaway, why not hop on board a segway for a five-hour tour around the iconic Uluru. At first you’ll be led on a short guided walk into the Mutitjulu Waterhole at the base of the rock before heading 12-kilometres around the base of Uluru with your tour guide. An up close and personal perspective, Uluru Segway Tours is the best way to experience the region.


Uluru Segway Tours | 170 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


Field of Lights

Field of Lights is an art installation in Uluru that lights up the night sky as a fantasy electro garden of 50,000 spindles of light. The exhibition is named Tili Wiru Tjuta Nyakutjaku or ‘looking at lots of beautiful lights’ in local Pitjantjatjara. Created by British artist Bruce Munro, Field of Lights allows guests to embark on a self-guide walk through the installation after dark. Running for an hour-and-a-half, let the Field of Lights bewitch you with its distinct display of colours and breathtaking movements.


Field of Lights | 177 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


The Best Places to Stay in Uluru, Northern Territory:

Sails in the Desert

Sails in the Desert is a five-star luxury hotel that is central to Uluru and provides many of the opulent amenities already listed on this guide. It is a premium outback experience that is centred around the guest, catering to their every need. In a destination where one of the world’s oldest cultures still thrives, the mystery, colour and wisdom of the local Anangu people is interwoven into every facet of Sails in the Desert’s modern design. Featuring spa amenities, a pool, bars, restaurants and even a gallery, Sails in the Desert should be at the top of your list of the best places to stay in Uluru.


Sails in the Desert | 163 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


Longitude 131

If you’re looking for accommodation in Uluru that isn’t your standard hotel fare, then let us introduce you to Longitude 131. Think of it as luxurious camping (glamping) found in the heart of the Red Centre. One of the best glamping campsites in Australia, here guests can relax at Longitude 131 and discover the World Heritage listed wilderness, stay in a private and tranquil space and enjoy the serenity that the desert has to offer. There is a spa, bar and restaurant and access to the amazing sights and experiences. Now that’s a one-of-a-kind Uluru experience.


Longitude 131 | Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


Desert Gardens Hotel

The newly renovated four-and-a-half-star Desert Gardens Hotel offers 218 elegant guest rooms with amazing views of Uluru. Situated in the Ayers Rock Resort, Desert Gardens Hotel features deluxe, poolside and garden view rooms that are surrounded by handfuls of Australian native plants. Offering the pool, a number of restaurants, free guided walks around the gardens, the Red Ochre Spa and a tranquillity that is unique the Red Centre; Desert Gardens Hotel is perfect for any type of traveler wishing to explore all of Uluru’s beauty.


Desert Gardens Hotel | 1 Yulara Dr, Yulara, NT 0872


If you’re ready to explore all that Australia’s top end has to offer, read through our guide of the five unique getaway gems to discover around the Northern Territory. Or, for a taste of the outback, why not score a feed at one of these 9 best Australian country pubs to visit for lunch?

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the Warlpiri Nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Feature image: Photographed by Jayden Pang. Image via Unsplash.
This article was first published on January 04 2019. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on April 27 2021.
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