How To: Visit Uluru on a Budget

Ayers Rock

In October 2022 I was lucky enough to visit Ayers Rock, which is based in the Northern Territory of Australia. As I’m sure you’re aware it can be an expensive country to travel in and this is no exception. However, with these tips you can visit Uluru on a budget.

Ayers Rock

1) Accomodation

Yulara is a purpose-built town next to Uluru. Here you’ll find premium hotels such as Sails in the Desert (AU$475 – AU$1100 per night) and more budget-friendly options like Outback Hotel & Lodge (AU$38 to AU$300 per night) or Ayers Rock Campground (AU$43-AU$185 per night). I found the best way to visit Uluru on a budget was to stay at the Campground simply because other hotel options were so much more expensive. You’ll probably fly to Ayers Rock Airport, from here you can get a free shuttle bus run by AAT Kings to your accomodation. There are no taxis at Uluru, so be prepared to rely on public transport or car rental.

The best time to visit Uluru is between May and September, where the temperature ranges between 20-30°C. October to April can get extremely hot, sometimes up to 35°C+; however, this is the low season and accomodation and tours will be considerably cheaper. Also, sometimes storms & rain occur which fills the waterholes up and triggers a natural waterfall on Ayers Rock – only 2% of tourists see this phenomenon! Luckily enough I went in October and witnessed this rare occurence.

Natural waterfall formed on Ayers Rock post rainfall

2) Activities

You’ll find plenty of free and paid activities in Uluru. When checking in to your accomodation they should give you some leaflets stating all the upcoming activities. I was only in Uluru for a couple days so didn’t get to partake in many free activities, however those that I did I found to be really enjoyable and informative. I particularly liked the bushtucker talk.

In terms of paid activities, I’d recommend Astro Stargazing Tour AU$60. You meet up at 9pm in Uluru town centre, then proceed to spend an hour gazing at the enchanting night sky while learning about the galaxy through a telescope. Camel Riding* AU$89 was also an unforgettable experience. You’ll ride through Uluru and Kata Tjuta for 45 minutes while learning interesting facts about the magnificent creatures!

The most spectacular experience was watching Ayers Rock change colours during sunrise. It truly was magical and worth the price. Find the tour here: Ayers Rock Sunrise. Note that there’s a AU25$ entry fee each to enter Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park that lasts 3 days.

*Camel ride tours ride from April – October only

Did you know it’s a misconception that camels store water in their hump? It’s actually fat!

3) Stock Up Beforehand

At Ayers Rock Campground there’s an open-air kitchen which contained basic essentials such as a microwave, hob and refrigerator – and Outback Lodge has shared kitchen facilities. To save money, we brought cereal, super noodles and fruit from home. There’s one IGA supermarket in Yulara town centre which stocks all the essentials, although items are a little more expensive due to importing costs – after all, Uluru is in the middle of the outback! To stick to my budget while in Uluru, I would visit the IGA during the afternoon where I pleasantly found a lot of reductions! Also, you’ll also find plenty of restaurants in Yulara but they’re not cheap. So if you’re looking to save, I’d definitely recommend stocking up on the essentials beforehand.

Uluru at sunrise

4) Packing Checklist

Despite being in the outback, it can get very cold fast. Remember you’re going to the desert where conditions fluctuate. Like any trip, packing wisely is essential to avoid paying a premium while away. Here’s a list of essentials:

  • Fly net
  • Bug spray
  • Big hat
  • Lots of layers (it can get very cold at night!)
  • Flashlight if camping
  • Camping essentials if relevant
  • Sliders/flip flops
  • Sturdy pair of trainers/walking boots
  • Lots of sun cream!
  • Hot water bottle
  • Microfibre towel
  • Power bank
  • Travel adapter
  • Sunglasses
  • Food supplies
  • Water bottles
  • Airy clothes

It’s definitely worth travelling to see Uluru – it really is unforgettable. Have you ever visited before? Or if not, is it on your list?

Uluru at sunrise

I hope this post has given you some insight on how to visit Uluru on a Budget. Please let me know below if you have any other tips or tricks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *