Because Uluru is the world’s largest rock, it’s human nature to see it as a physical challenge. Something to conquer.
But just because you’re allowed to climb Uluru, does that mean you should?
There is way more to Uluru than it being just something to climb.
If that’s the only reason you’re planning on visiting the red centre though, there are some things you should consider:
The traditional owners ask that you don’t climb Uluru
The first thing to consider is that the Anangu traditional owners ask that you don’t. From the Parks Australia website:
The climb is not prohibited but we ask you to respect our law and culture by not climbing Uluru. We have a responsibility to teach and safeguard visitors to our land. The climb can be dangerous.
Too many people have died while attempting to climb Uluru. Many others have been injured while climbing. We feel great sadness when a person dies or is hurt on our land. We worry about you and we worry about your family. Our traditional law teaches us the proper way to behave.
Climbing Uluru is more dangerous than you think
What’s that? Many people have died?
Yes, it’s that dangerous. Over 35 people have died attempting the Uluru climb. Falls. Heat exhaustion. Heart attacks.
A lot of people have been seriously injured. It’s an everyday occurrence to see people sliding and losing some skin.
You need to be reasonably fit
It’s only when you drive towards Uluru that you release how big it is. And steep.
At 348m high, that’s the height of your average 87 story building. Compare that to Statue of Liberty (93m), the Sydney Harbour Bridge (134m), and the Great Pyramid of Giza (139m).
It’s almost as tall as the Empire State Building (381m). Many people just see it and realize it’s not for them… or get about 1/4 of the way up and turn back.
There’s a good chance Uluru may be closed
Uluru will be permanently closed to climbing from 26th October 2019.
Does that mean that you have until then to climb? No. The climbing track is planned to open at 8am each morning… but if it’s too windy it stays closed.
If it’s too hot it stays closed. If there’s any sign of rain it stays closed.
If the rangers do open it, they conduct 2-hourly checks. They’ll close it if the think that the wind or weather is worsening. When we visited, the climb had been closed 6 out of 7 days.
The time of the year you visit Uluru is very important
Whether you’re planning to climb Uluru or not, there are better times of the year to visit than others. The climate in the red centre is extreme.
Temperatures range from an overnight low of 3.5º C in July… to an average daily temperature of 37.5º C in January. It can get as hot as 45º C in the summer months. The average is below 30º C between the months of April and September.
These are also the months that get cold overnight. So make sure you bring warm clothes, because you will be taking photos of Uluru at sunrise and sunset. Guaranteed.
[When we visited Uluru is was 43º C – 45º C every day. All walking tracks closed at 11am and the climb was not opened – Caz]
Another thing to consider before climbing Uluru..
If your only goal is to climb then you may be spending a lot of money without getting what you came for. There’s only one place to eat, sleep, and re-fuel. There is no camping within the park.
Ayers Rock Resort in Yulara is really the only place you can stay.
It’s home to everything… hotel restaurants, cafés, a mini-mart, and the only petrol station.
You can choose between $30/night for an unpowered camping site, or up to $3,000/night for the Longitude 131º Luxury Pavilions. There are 2, 3, 4 and 5 star options.
In the busy periods, expect to pay up to $500/night for a 4 star option.
Yulara Accommodation options:
- Emu Walk Apartments (we stayed in one of these apartments for two nights. It was a welcome relief from the intense heat of our Jayco travel trailer!! – Caz)
- Sails in the Desert
- Desert Gardens Hotel
- The Lost Camel Hotel
- Outback Pioneer Hotel
- Outback Pioneer Lodge
When we visited Uluru not one of our family climbed. Some chose not to. Some realized they weren’t fit enough. Others had safety concerns. Others just missed out because it was closed.
The good news?
None of us came just to climb.
The rock itself is breathtaking. The history of its use by the Anangu is inspiring. The base walk gives you an amazing appreciation of its size.
The Cultural Centre makes you appreciate everything that little bit more.
If you have no intention of climbing Uluru, then you will have an amazing experience. If you are going there with the sole intention of climbing, that’s your choice. But… don’t be surprised if you don’t get to do it.
If you open yourself up to taking in the rest of the beauty that comes with this place, you won’t be disappointed.
Share this article with someone you know that’s planning their trip to the red centre.
[Although the Uluru climb was closed when we visited, the Makepeace family chose not to climb Uluru out of respect for the local Indigenous culture. We respect your right to choose and have no judgements but do encourage you to carefully consider the spiritual nature of this beautiful rock. Spending sunrise with it was enough to fill me up. – Caz]
More Helpful tips for Uluru and the Red Centre Way
- 9 Ways to Experience the Magic of Uluru
- Yes, You Can Do The Kings Canyon Rim Walk With Kids!
- 34 Fun things to do in the Northern Territory of Australia
- The West MacDonnell Ranges & Alice Springs
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Would you climb Uluru? Have you? Can you offer any advice or share any stories?