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Thread: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

  1. #1
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    Hi, anyone did backpacking or camping at Ayers Rock?

    Any advice? Like how to get there, budget etc? Is the place free from urban glare?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    This place is somewhere in the desert if I recall correctly; the nearest town will be Alice Spring.. You will need transport to get there, and it will not be a cab...

    Have fun there and watch out for the snakes...

  3. #3
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpc View Post
    This place is somewhere in the desert if I recall correctly; the nearest town will be Alice Spring.. You will need transport to get there, and it will not be a cab...

    Have fun there and watch out for the snakes...
    Are there any regular tours / transport there from Alice Springs? How does one get to the Rock? I'm thinking of catching the meteor showers from there.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    you can either rent a car and drice from Darwin or Adelaide ...
    or you can catch a domestice flight from any cities in Australia ...
    there is also the Greyhound bus option to get there from anywhere around Australia ...
    lastly if you are feeling very rich, you can try the Ghan train to Ayers Rock.

    But seriously given that there is so much beauty along the way getting to Ayers Rock, I would take a scenic drive from either Darwin or Adelaide.
    Last edited by Long Thai Bean; 17th September 2010 at 12:02 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    if you drive from darwin, it would take more than 24hrs of drive. Yes, there are scenic places to go along the stuart highway. I did some research to go uluru during Aug, but decided to skip as I dun have much time there, ended up travelling around darwin. Still have some information with me. Pm me if you interested.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    Caveat: My information may be a bit dated since I went Alice Springs back in 2003. So please check and make sure the info is still current.

    The nearest town to Ayers Rock is Alice Springs - you can fly there from the major cities, or take the train or the bus (as the others have noted).

    There is a hotel and also backpackers' place that is quite near to Ayers Rock - but they are very expensive. I remember that when I checked the prices for the backpacker's place, it was easily the most expensive of all the backpacker's places I had checked in Australia.

    At Alice Springs, you can sign up for tours that will take you to Ayers Rock - the basic tour will include trips to Olgas and Kings Canyon - both are very nice and good for photography. The one that I went for requires camping out under the stars with a campfire and sleeping in swags. But we caught sunrise at Olgas, and sunset at Ayers Rock. And a day each at Olgas, Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon hiking. If you have more time, you can visit more places.

    Pretty sure you can rent a car at Alice Springs to go to Ayers Rock on your own if you are so inclined.

    Hope that helps you get started.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    Is the night sky there nice?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    yep! clear skies - stars were bright. But it was cold.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member asterixsg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    Here's my experience from Aug 2007 when I went to the Outback to photograph the lunar eclipse.

    The best option would be if you rent a car from Alice Springs and then drive to Ayers Rock. You don't necessarily need a 4WD, if you stick to the paved roads to get to Ayers Rock. Also, having your own car would mean that you can pick the time to go to Uluru and Kata Tjuta for sunrise and sunset, rather than sticking with the busloads of tourists.
    Do not that there are quite a lot of restrictions on where you can drive within the park (night driving is strictly not allowed as the park closes after sunset)

    There are flights into Ayers Rock as well (think Qantas flies there - you will have to check that out), but renting a car in Ayers Rock would be more expensive than renting one in Alice Springs.

    For accomodation options, including camping, you can check the Ayers Rock Resort website.

    I stayed at the Outback Pioneer Lodge http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/backpacking/ which has bunk beds and can accomodate 4 people to a room. It also comes with shared Kitchen facilities, so you can cook your meals if you are up to it.

    When you drive on the Lasseter Highway, before you reach Ayers Rock, there is a place called Curtin Springs (Mount Conner which most people mistake for Uluru is enroute). An alternative to stay at Ayers Rock resort is the Curtin Springs Inn http://www.curtinsprings.com/, but its still some way to drive to Ayers Rock.

    If you really want it cheap, there are other options than watching the meteor showers at Uluru. There are several campsites along the highways in the Northern Territory, which have gas barbeques and pit toilets. You can stock up on food and water from the supermarkets in Alice Springs and rent a swag and head to one of these campsites. They are run on a trust basis and you just have to place a small amount of money (if I remember correctly, it was A$4.50 or something like that) into an envelope and drop into a box at the campsite.

    One of the best websites that I've ever come across, that has loads of useful updated information is the Northern Territories website. http://en.travelnt.com/
    I had done all my research and planning using this website.

    Once you leave Alice Springs, the entire Outback has absolutely no light pollution at all. Beautiful, night skies that you will never forget all your life.

    Here's wishing you clear skies and a great trip.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    Quote Originally Posted by asterixsg View Post
    Here's my experience from Aug 2007 when I went to the Outback to photograph the lunar eclipse.

    The best option would be if you rent a car from Alice Springs and then drive to Ayers Rock. You don't necessarily need a 4WD, if you stick to the paved roads to get to Ayers Rock. Also, having your own car would mean that you can pick the time to go to Uluru and Kata Tjuta for sunrise and sunset, rather than sticking with the busloads of tourists.
    Do not that there are quite a lot of restrictions on where you can drive within the park (night driving is strictly not allowed as the park closes after sunset)

    There are flights into Ayers Rock as well (think Qantas flies there - you will have to check that out), but renting a car in Ayers Rock would be more expensive than renting one in Alice Springs.

    For accomodation options, including camping, you can check the Ayers Rock Resort website.

    I stayed at the Outback Pioneer Lodge http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/backpacking/ which has bunk beds and can accomodate 4 people to a room. It also comes with shared Kitchen facilities, so you can cook your meals if you are up to it.

    When you drive on the Lasseter Highway, before you reach Ayers Rock, there is a place called Curtin Springs (Mount Conner which most people mistake for Uluru is enroute). An alternative to stay at Ayers Rock resort is the Curtin Springs Inn http://www.curtinsprings.com/, but its still some way to drive to Ayers Rock.

    If you really want it cheap, there are other options than watching the meteor showers at Uluru. There are several campsites along the highways in the Northern Territory, which have gas barbeques and pit toilets. You can stock up on food and water from the supermarkets in Alice Springs and rent a swag and head to one of these campsites. They are run on a trust basis and you just have to place a small amount of money (if I remember correctly, it was A$4.50 or something like that) into an envelope and drop into a box at the campsite.

    One of the best websites that I've ever come across, that has loads of useful updated information is the Northern Territories website. http://en.travelnt.com/
    I had done all my research and planning using this website.

    Once you leave Alice Springs, the entire Outback has absolutely no light pollution at all. Beautiful, night skies that you will never forget all your life.

    Here's wishing you clear skies and a great trip.

    wow, interesting tips. thanks for sharing.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    Ah the small rock
    That's how the inn proprietor described it. We were at Mt Augustus, twice the size of Uluru
    It's a worthwhile consideration; utterly dark at night and devoid of people. No phones, even the roads don't show in my GPS...
    Pity it's less accessible, being much lesser known
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  12. #12
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backpacking / camping to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

    Is it costly to get to Alice Springs?

    How's the night sky there. I'm hoping to do some astrophotography

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