5 Free Things to do at Uluru
Between the twice daily spectacle of sunrise and sunset there are a myriad of things to see, do and experience at Uluru and within Ayers Rock Resort. Here are five of our favourite must-do activities that are absolutely FREE.
1. INDIGENOUS GUIDED GARDEN WALK
Assumption leads you to believe that a desert would naturally be sparse of much plant life, so you’ll probably be surprised to learn just how large the list of Australian natives that call the Red Centre home is. There are over 416 species of native plants within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and you can experience a portion of these in the gardens at Desert Gardens Hotel. Wander through the grounds yourself, or arrive at one of the designated time slots to be lead around the garden by an Indigenous guide that will explain the cultural significance of key plants as part of food, medicine and more. Tour departs twice daily at 8:45am and 4.45pm, meet your guide at Desert Gardens Hotel reception.
2. BUSH FOOD EXPERIENCE
Speaking of food, make sure you jump on the Bush Food Experience held daily at 1pm in the Wintjiri Arts and Museum - located near Desert Gardens Hotel. Put your newly gained plant knowledge to the test as you discover the uses of plants, fruits, grains and spices in traditional cooking methods. Enjoy a demonstration and better still a tasting!
3. MANI-MANI INDIGENOUS CULTURAL THEATRE
A theatre show like no other. Immerse yourself in the story of Walawuru, the Wedge-Tailed Eagle and his two wives, Kakalyalya and Kaanka, as the Mani-Mani Theatre Company takes you on a sensory journey through sound, lighting, 3D effects and performance. It is a tale of love, jealousy and greed and promises to transport you to the ancient lands of Central Australia.
‘Mani-Mani’ is the expression of storytelling and is derived from a traditional Anangu practice whereby people would tell stories through the art of drawing symbols in the sand with a stick taken from a branch of the Mani-Mani tree. Performances run twice daily at 11am and 2pm Wednesdays through to Sundays.
4. LEARN A BUSHMAN'S HUNTING SKILLS
Join an Indigenous guide for one of the daily Bush Yarns, - and no, this isn’t anything related to sewing or needlework, it’s a good old fashion chat about Aboriginal history, culture and the land. A favourite is learning about the Indigenous man’s “survival kit” which includes weaponry such as hunting spears, clubs, and boomerangs. Join this 30-minute free activity, run four times daily between 10am and midday.
5. GUIDED WALK AT THE BASE OF ULURU
Be guided by one of the the National Park Rangers on the Mala track at the base of Uluru. The Ranger tells the story of the Mala (rufous hare wallaby) people, and describe the history and traditions associated with Uluru. You will learn about traditional and contemporary Anangu life and culture, rock art and the management of the park. These free guided walks run daily and take approx 1 1/2 hours, depart 8am between October and April, or 10am between May and September.
Or, if you prefer to travel at your own pace, venture on one of the self-guided walks around Uluru, the interpretive signs along the track will give you insight into the local culture and history of this remarkable place.