Things to Do in Australia – Uluru Sunset Tour

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Visiting Uluru is already a complete bucket-list experience for most of us. That flat-topped sacred rock rises out of the red desert and captivates your heart and spirit. There are lots of things to do at Uluru, and I want to tell you why one of my favourites was the Uluru Sunset Tour.

If you have time to see Uluru at different times of the day, the shifting sunlight in this part of the “Red Centre” of Australia will reward you. The sun casts an intense glare during most daytime tours, while dawn and dusk create cooler conditions full of softer light and contrast. The Uluru Sunset Tour picks you up from your Uluru Resort Hotel before sunset, getting you to a scenic view point for a glass of bubbles and some food, while you watch the sun set with Uluru as the dramatic backdrop.


In short – the tour I recommend is one I have taken, which combines drinks, appetisers and a private scenic spot with plenty of time to enjoy the sunset with an Uluru backdrop. Bring a camera.

  • Small Group Uluru Sunset Viewing Tour (buy here): Pickup from your Uluru hotel in an air-conditioned bus, included sparkling wine plus appetisers served at a scenic viewing point. Short guide on the significance of Uluru for Aboriginal peoples. Plenty of time for photographs, chats. 1.5 hours. Does not include National Park entry fee ($38) which you probably already have.

READY TO DECIDE? BOOK THIS TOUR

Uluru is hot, hot, hot! An evening sunset experience is cooler, with some stunning scenery for photographs of a lifetime. The food and drink included is of excellent quality, plus you still have time to enjoy the rest of your night back at your resort or for a bigger meal if you’re hungry.

Why take an Uluru Sunset Viewing Tour?

The shifting light around Uluru means your experience at any given time of the day will be slightly different. I took 3 separate tours, reckoning I wouldn’t be in Ayers Rock very often. I took a dawn tour, a mid-day walking tour, and this Uluru Sunset Viewing Tour. Each of them had a different emphasis, but this sunset tour was more chilled, a small group of friendly people only too happy to take pictures for each other (great as I travel solo a lot) and the adult beverages were generous with nice food.

In addition, I liked that our tour guide had insight into Aboriginal culture and was able to help us visitors understand the significance of Uluru as a sacred Aboriginal site.

View this Uluru Sunset Viewing tour now

What to expect on your Uluru Sunset Tour

My pick-up at the Uluru Resort I used was bang on time and everyone piled into the air conditioning, glad to be out of early evening heat for a while.

The red roads of Uluru

We were driven no more than 10 minutes away from the hotel area (read my review of Ilkari at the Sails in the Desert Hotel). The bus stopped at the base of a sand dune on a dirt track road. As we got off the bus, we could see people at the top of a carefully marked pathway.

Scenic Uluru viewing point

Food & Drink

The small group had about 20-25 people in total, and a guide greeted everyone at the top of the dune. On site already was a chef, two servers and a barman. We were offered a glass of bubbles to get the experience started.

The view was stunning. Isn’t Uluru like a sleeping beast?

Uluru by evening

The sun was slowly starting to set and food was brought out. You need to know that there are a lot of flies in this part of the world and the staff do their best to manage that, even while serving food.

butternut squash on a rye bread with wattleseed cheese

Food is served appetizer-style. The first plate involved roast chunks of butternut squash on a rye bread with wattleseed cheese. It was quite plain but delicious. Below were kangaroo sliders made with smoked kangaroo, which was delicious.

kangaroo sliders made with smoked kangaroo

As the sun started to slide behind the red-earth hills, the beers were brought out and people started to loosen up and chat a little more.

A stunning Australian dusk

Still more food was brought out – this time savoury profiteroles, with a blue cheese and local herb whip inside. If you take this tour, the appetisers on offer are likely to be different.

savoury profiteroles

Field of Lights

Night really started to fall quickly and we could see a shimmer of candy colours of the famous art installation called the Field of Lights between our scenic viewpoint and Uluru.

Nightfall at Uluru

This artistic installation by Bruce Monro is phenomenal.  It’s very very hard to photograph as the background is pitch dark night and the lights are very low voltage, powered as they are by solar cells.

Field of Lights by Bruce Munro

I can’t guarantee that you will see the Field of Lights as part of your experience as the scenic viewpoints used by local tours may change from time to time, but if you get to see this, it’s well worth it. As it really became night, I could hear an occasional buzz. The guide explained that here, in the Outback, there are Snake Alarms on the desert floor which vibrate on the earth to scare off any incoming snakes.

Insider Tips

There’s no wrong place to stand at the scenic viewpoint so everyone does get the same view. Be friendly and offer to take pictures for other people, particularly if you’re travelling solo. You may just get a cool picture taken in return. When the sun gets to setting, it disappears quickly, so make the most of the photo opportunity.

Best time to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (and weather)

The temperatures can be uncomfortably high in the Ulur-Kata Tjuta National Park. The Australia Parks service recommends visiting between May and September when temperatures max out between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius (86F). If you visit in August or September, you should see the park’s wildflowers in full bloom. However, between October and March, it may be extremely hot, with most days over 35C (95F) plus, unbearable for some.

TOUR INCLUDES

Pick-up & return to Uluru Resorts
Tour driver & Guide
Sparkling wine on arrival
Appetizers
Time at a scenic viewpoint
[Does not include Park entry]

WHAT TO BRING

A Planet Patrick cap
Hat & Sunglasses
Refillable water bottle
Travel money belt
SPF+50 sunscreen
Camera or Go-Pro

Conclusion

Taking a well-organised scenic trip at Uluru is just the right thing to do. It supports the local community, people who know the National Park and have worked hard to get this kind of excursion just right for visitors like us. This is an inexpensive way to spend an evening at one of the world’s greatest spiritual sites.

View this Uluru Sunset Viewing tour now

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I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.