It’s the symbol of the Australian Outback. A monolithic 348-metre mound of blood orange sandstone thrusting from an otherwise flat and desolate expanse of desert. Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, has been a sacred Aboriginal site for some 10,000 years and, unsurprisingly, today it enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status. Tens of thousands of tourists flock to the rock each year to soak up its transfixing magnificence, to delve into the local Aboriginal history, to check another destination off their bucket list, and to embark on the hike of a lifetime.
Yet as with many wonders of the natural world (and many things Australian), simply reaching Uluru is a feat in itself, never mind hiking around its 10.6 km circumference. Located in the southwest corner of the Northern Territory, the rock is most easily accessed from the famous town of Alice Springs, which is approximately a five hour drive away, so it is by no means an attraction that lends itself to spontaneity.
The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is teeming with outdoor activities from scenic flights to camel tours, but one of the best ways to enjoy the area and of course the iconic Ayers Rock, is to amble one of the many hiking routes. Here is a selection of some of the most popular: Continue reading