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 things to do 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. DISCOVER LOCAL INDIGENOUS ART
Ayers Rock Resort is lucky enough to have not one, but three exciting Art Galleries that house incredible arts, textiles, glassware and jewellery from local and Central Desert artists. Spend your afternoon wandering through each gallery and immerse yourself in the unique world of Australian and Indigenous arts.
Mulgara Gallery is located at Sails in the Desert and offers a superb selection of original dot-paintings, particularly showcasing a range of Central Australian Indigneous art representing the many different regional styles.
Mingkiri Arts, located at Desert Gardens Hotel, offers an extensive selection of hand crafted glassware, pottery and zebra rock artworks.
Wintjiri Arts and Museum, located adjacent to Desert Gardens Hotel, showcases the works of the Resorts Artist in Residence program. You can watch the artist work, ask questions and develop a deeper connection and understanding of the representational symbols and colours. The retail area has a large range of Anangu products including jewellery, cushions, kitchen ware and other souvenirs.
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.