Options for Uluru tours are quite broad; depending on what you choose, they can include climbing the rock, having dinner nearby and watching the sunset, or taking in Uluru over breakfast at sunrise. There are also camel tours, cultural tours and even helicopter tours. The tour companies operate out of Yulara, Alice Springs and elsewhere in Australia, and most can be booked online.
Many visitors arrive by bus after staying in Yulara overnight. Those who get there early often climb Uluru and then watch the sunset and the changing colours of the rock. Although there is no accommodation within the national park, the drive back to Yulara (the service town) is relatively short and painless.
Some Uluru tours, such as the camel tours and cultural tours, will involve being picked up from Yulara, while the helicopter tours go from the airport nearby. The camel tours are particularly fun, wandering around the desert near the rock, while the Aborigine cultural tours are led by the natives and include a trek along the Liru path.
Rather than have dinner in Yulara, tourists should consider booking a Sounds of Silence Dinner tour, which includes a buffet with the option of champagne or beer. Diners will take in Uluru before sunset and eat to the sounds of didgeridoo. There are also breakfast tours of Uluru, known as Desert Awakenings, with the same company.
Those into adventure tourism might like to book 4WD Uluru tours. Bookings can be made from Yulara, Alice Springs or even as far afield as Perth. These tours are usually taken up with young people and appeal more to backpackers with cash to spare.
The bulk of people visiting Uluru do so as part of a tour, usually on buses from Alice Springs. Tours are also arranged from Yulara, where visitors can arrive and simply book on the spot if needs be. However, it is best to book your Uluru tours in advance, especially in the busy seasons.
Those that are really short on time should consider a direct one-day tour of Uluru from Alice Springs. While they will get to see the monolith, however, they have little downtime and it can feel a bit rushed, especially as there is around 1,000kms of driving to fit in. It is best to stay overnight in Yulara and get on a tour from there or, indeed, take a multiday tour from Alice.
Also available are cultural tours, camel tours, 4WD tours, dinning tours and even helicopter tours. Prices are usually quite reasonable, although visitors need to check ahead whether the Uluru tour includes the $25 national park entry fee. The entry lasts three days for those who pay themselves.
A cultural tour of Uluru provides the best insight into the history of the Aboriginal ancestors who settled in the region 10,000 years ago. These tours go early in the morning, in order to take in the sunrise at Uluru, and include a breakfast and walk of the Liru path.
The camel tours involve a trek in the desert surrounding Uluru, as well as a meal and some beer, while 4WD tours usually include a climb of Uluru and camping outside the national park. One of the best ways to catch a sunset is to get on an Uluru tour dinner. While a bit pricier, partakers get to dine buffet-style under the shadow of the rock while learning about the stars from the guide.