Uluru-Ayers Rock (Alice Springs)

Country: Australia

In the middle of the Australian continent, a huge sandstone rock rises more than a thousand feet from the flat desert floor.


For the Aboriginal people of Australia, Dreamtime represents the essence of their society, culture, traditions and spirituality. It is a time when ancestors, gods and living mortals come together to learn about the heritage and customs of the Aboriginal people. Dreamtime is the core of everything, and of the many sacred sites in Australia, few are as important as Uluru.

Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is believed to have been created at the beginning of time by 10 ancestors, or spirit people, of the Aboriginal people. Tours of Ayers Rock emphasise this connection with the beginnings of the local Anangu Aboriginal people while also highlighting the natural power of the sandstone monolith.

According to Uluru dreamtime, the world was a featureless place until the ancestors of the Anangu emerged and travelled across the land, creating the features like Uluru that we see today. Ayers Rock represents the physical evidence of their time on the earth and is seen as one of their most dramatic and inspiring creations.

Ayers Rock tours incorporate the amazing rock paintings of the Anangu, which are seen as a record of the very period of dreamtime. The rock’s caves, cliffs and fissures contain countless petroglyphs that tell the story of the ancestors. Certain rock outcroppings represent ancestral spirits, and the Anangu believe that by simply touching the rocks they can communicate with dreamtime and receive blessings from their ancestors.

Uluru remains sacred to a number of Aboriginal tribes in the region who still perform rituals in the caves and make new rock paintings. It is worth signing up for a quality tour at Ayers Rock that can show you some of the more unique and special paintings. Each side of Uluru has a different creation story associated with it, and with an experienced local guide you can hear all of the incredible colourful tales that form the basis of Aboriginal culture in this important part of Australia.


Alice Springs is set in central Australia’s outback heartland, a hub for visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with its magnificent Uluru/Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta rock domes. Surrounded by deep gorges, remote desert landscapes dotted with Aboriginal communities and the mysterious, endless outback, the town of Alice Springs is 1,500kms from the two major cities of Adelaide and Darwin.

Alice Springs is well-set up for tourism, with hotels, restaurants, car hire and tour offices offering the five-hour trip to Uluru and the national park. Getting here is straightforward by air from all Australia’s major cities, and the airport offers an air shuttle service to Uluru. For an overview of Australia’s vast interior, there’s a private tourist train – The Ghan – that runs between Darwin and Adelaide which stops at Alice Springs and can transport hired cars as well.

The town is set within the largest area without light in the world, with stargazers able to stare in awe at the galaxies every night during their stay. Places of interest include Alice Springs Desert Park with its local flora and fauna, including camels, as well as talks on traditional Aboriginal peoples’ use of plants for food and medicines. Adelaide House, the Old Timers’ Museum and the Residency are fascinating for their glimpse into outback history, and the Aviation Museum displays old aircraft used by the Flying Doctor service.

A good choice of hotels, bed and breakfasts and hostels is found in town, with options catering for all tastes and wallets. Varying between resort standard and motel and friendly home-from-homes, each accommodation has its own charms and typical Aussie welcome. Live music bars, pubs serving pub grub, beer halls and clubs complement a choice of everything from fast food through steakhouses and Thai or Indian food to fine dining in resort restaurants.


Alice Springs
7:13am5:55pm ACST
Feels like: 15°C
Wind: 13km/h WNW
Humidity: 56%
Pressure: 1013.21mbar
UV index: 0