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Red Centre and Uluru |The Ultimate Travel Guide

When to do, where to stay and what to do when you arrive in the heart of our nation.

Updated

Tourist visiting the Red Centre

This Aussie icon is one that should be on every traveller's bucket list.

Located in the heart of the nation, Uluru, as its traditionally called, is a unique rock formation and a sacred site to the indigenous Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people.

Domestic flights operate frequently into Ayres Rock Airport, which is a short drive away from Uluru National Park which houses this rock, as well as other notable formations including Kata Tjuta / Olgas. Walks, talks, culture and history abounds in this picturesque destination.

So if you're searching for the ultimate outback experience, The Red Centre is it.

Getting around in the Red Centre and Uluru

There are only a few transport options to get around Red Centre. Your best bet for getting between remote attractions like Uluru and Kings Canyon are to join a tour or if you want more freedom, you can hire a car or campervan.

The town closest to Uluru is Yulara, which is where you're likely to stay during your trip. It's small and very walkable. However, to get to the sites, you'll need to journey into Uluru National Park, which is a short 10 minute drive from the township. Once there, you'll still need to drive farther to reach the walking paths.

Iconic sites such as Uluru and Kata Tjuta are both in the national park but are far away from each other. To get from one to the other, driving or taking a tour is your best option.

Red Centre and Uluru public transport

  • Types of transport. Public transport in Red Centre is limited to just a few routes within Alice Springs. There's no public transport in Yulara. So you have only two mainstream transport options for getting around: coaches and shuttles for group travel or cars and camper trailers.
  • Paying for transport. There is no official pass or card to travel around Red Centre and Uluru. For the transport options available in the region, you can pay either with cash or with a credit card.
  • Getting to and from the airport. You can get to and from the Alice Springs Airport by an airport shuttle bus that charges $16 each way. To reach your hotel or campsite near Ayers Rock from Uluru Airport, the best option is to take a free shuttle that leaves after each flight arrival. Taxis are available at both Alice Spring and Uluru airports.
  • Best apps for getting around. There are no official transport apps for getting around Red Centre and Uluru.

Red Centre and Uluru car hire rental companies

In the absence of public transport and reliable taxi services, hiring a car might turn out to be a great decision to explore Red Centre and Uluru.

Car rental desks of major car hire services like Avis, Hertz and Thrifty are available at both Alice Spring and Uluru airports. Keep in mind that car hires usually don't come with unlimited kilometres as they would it most cities in Australia. Most companies limit free kilometres to 100 per day, with a pay-as-you-go system taking effect after that. If you're hiring a car in Alice Springs, the drive to Yulara is about 440km each way.

Read our guide to hiring a car in Uluru and compare deals

Taxis and rideshare

Taxi. Since Red Centre has such a low population due to its remote location, taxis are not available anywhere except in Alice Springs and Yulara. You can pre-book the taxi over the phone or website.

Uber. Uber is not available in the Red Centre.

Airport transfers in the Red Centre

If you don't have a private vehicle, booking a free shared shuttle from the Uluru airport is your best option. You can get more information about the free shuttle here.

To get to and from the Alice Springs Airport, you can book this shared shuttle service:

Shared transfer from Alice Spring Airport to hotel
Shared transfer from Alice Spring Airport to hotel

Viator

Shared transfer from hotel to Alice Springs Airport
Shared transfer from hotel to Alice Springs Airport

Viator

Frequently asked questions about the Red Centre and Uluru

If you've got some last-minute hang-ups that are holding you back from this journey of cultural enlightenment, then fear not.

Where is Uluru?

Part of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Uluru is situated in Australia's outback in the Northern Territory.

Quite remote, Uluru is located 335 km south west of its nearest large town, Alice Springs. The distance covers 450 km by road which equates to a drive time of approximately 5hr 15.

Is Uluru a world heritage site?

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is recognised worldwide as a World Heritage area.


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