With international travel currently off the radar, many Australians are looking to the stunning wide open spaces in their own backyard.
Uluru is high on the bucket list for many — so many, in fact, that The Starts at 60 community is heading there together this June and August. Click here to make an early, no-obligation expression of interest.
If you’re making your own way to this truly special part of the world, here are some great ways to make the most of your visit.
If you have the time, we highly recommend a walk on one of the numerous trails. No matter what your level of fitness or accessibility requirements, there’s something suitable for everyone. The best-known is the 10.6-kilometre Uluru Base Walk, which takes most people around 3.5 hours to complete and is so remarkably flat that it’s wheelchair accessible for the entire way.
After you’ve experienced Uluru on foot, get up in the air for a different, utterly unforgettable view of the Rock and the vast desert landscape on which it sits. A helicopter ride or scenic flight will give you a 360° view of this unique and awesome monolith, and let you fully appreciate its size and scale. Fly a little further afield and you can also take in other magnificent landmarks such as Lake Amadeus, Kings Canyon and the 36 ancient red rock formations of Kata Tjuta.
More than 50,000 glass spheres on slender stems have been ‘planted’ in the desert in front of Uluru, covering an area the size of nine football fields. This spectacular light exhibition — the work of internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro — was once slated to end in March 2018. Due to extraordinary demand, it has now been extended indefinitely. If you have the opportunity to see it come to life at sunset, make sure you seize it. It’s a symphony of light you won’t soon forget.
A camel ride at Uluru as the sun sets – does it get more Australian than this? Actually, the first camel came to Australia from the Canary Islands in 1840, and the camel drivers (“cameleers”) who really opened up the Australian Outback came mostly Afghanistan. (Indeed, Australia’s famous Outbak train is named after the nickname for the Afghani cameleers, “Ghans”.) In the century since, a camel ride around Uluru has grown to become an iconic Aussie experience, and one not to be missed.
It’s not cheap, but this dinner under the stars, with Uluru as the majestic backdrop, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After canapés and bubbles on the viewing platform overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park you’ll be treated to a sumptuous bush tucker-inspired buffet in which many of the ingredients come from the bush rather than the grocery store.
Not so keen on long walks? Fancy doing something fun and a bit different? Take a guided tour around the base of Uluru on a segway. You’ll learn about the rock’s history, geology, flora and fauna, and hear stories about the life, culture and ancient rock art of the traditional owners, the Anangu people. Segways are self-balancing and a great option when summer temperatures climb. They’re pretty easy to use so it’s no sweat – literally!
If you only get to do one thing while you’re at Uluru, it has to be watching the sun rise or set over this icon of Australia. Whether you take an organised twilight tour or head out in the early morning for a sunrise walk, it’s a truly remarkable sight as the ancient rock changes colours.
Eager to tick Uluru off your bucket list in 2022? Love to travel with like-minded over-60s? Join the Starts at 60 as we explore the Red Centre together!