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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 29 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Mark Chipperfield

Rising up from the silent desert floor, this gargantuan, ochre-hued monolith is both ethereal and mesmerising – its colour changes depending on the season and time of day. The 10km walk around its base is Uluru’s signature experience and the best way to experience the rock.

Getting up close, you begin to see the complex and intricate beauty. Each part of the walk reveals something different; erosion has cut fissures, gorges and galleries into the sandstone, some containing centuries-old rock art, while some provide shelter for wallabies, possums or bats. You’ll even feel it – the thing has presence.

Along the way, local guides recount the rich, beguiling dreamtime legends that swirl around it. There’s wildlife here too. Despite the arid conditions, the area is rich in flora, ranging from acacia woodlands to grassed claypans.

The Mala Walk

The Base Walk can be divided into shorter treks. Every day, there is a free, highly-recommended guided walk by park rangers along the ‘Mala’ section – known as the Mala Walk – that ends at the Kantju Gorge. The rangers stop at various sites to point out rock art, to demonstrate the tools traditionally used by the local Anangu people, and to tell you local stories and legends. They’ll also explain how Uluru and Kata Tjuta formed, and talk about the desert environment and the animals and plants that live there.


Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around
Duration: 2-3 hours

Getting there & doing it

For the Base Walk, leave your vehicle in the Mala carpark and set off in a clockwise direction around the base of Uluru, following the signs. See the excellent Parks Australia website for a map and overview of the different sections and, if going independently, where to start from.

If you are  the warmer months it’s advisable to set off in the early morning – and remember to carry water.

When to do it

Early morning or late afternoon are the best times to walk, to see Uluru in all its glory at sunrise or sunset. Uluru absorbs heat during the day and seems to glow as the sky darkens. Walking in the middle of day is not recommended, even in winter.

Winter (June to August) is the ideal time to be in the desert. This is also the busiest time of the year, when accommodation is at a premium, so spring and autumn can work well too.

Desert summers (December to March) are notoriously hot and not suitable for much physical activity. It’s also the wet season, when the air is filled with relentless swarms of annoying flies. On the plus side, it’s less crowded.

Who to go with: organised tours


Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Full Uluru Base Walk at Sunrise Including breakfast


Full Uluru Base Walk at Sunrise Including breakfast
Watch sunrise from the base of the rock rather than from a viewing area further away. Outback picnic breakfast including tea and coffee provided on the walk. The small group* allows you to make the most of your guide. Ask as many questions as you like, hear all the stories and facts without Learn about the cultural significance of Uluru to the local Anangu people. *Due to the coronavirus all tours will will need a minimum of 6 passengers to depart and may exceed our usual maximum of 11. This is valid until the 31st October 2020.

Price: A211

Min age: 0

Rating 4.76 / 5 [308 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Uluru Morning Guided Base Walk


Uluru Morning Guided Base Walk
Enjoy a magical morning walking around the base of Uluru, watching the first sunlight of the day creep across the desert plains, slowly changing the color of your surroundings. This walk is 6.5-miles (11-kilometers) in length.

Price: A169

Min age: 0

Rating 4.78 / 5 [103 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Northern Territory, Australia

The large red flat mountain at sunset.

The place to come for the Australian outback experience – jaw-dropping geological formations (including world-famous Uluru), sleeping out in swag bags, sampling bush tucker, and connecting with authentic Aborginal culture.



Round-ups that include this experience

China travel at Great Wall. Tourist in Asia walking on famous Chinese tourist destination and attraction in Badaling north of Beijing. Woman traveler hiking great wall enjoying her summer vacation.

From traversing sand dunes, to walking on glaciers, through canyons, up mountains and along ancient city walls, here’s our round-up of the world’s best walks. Each walk can be tackled in a day or less with a moderate level of fitness and no technical ability.