The Ayers Rock Resort is a full service, all-encompassing experience for adventurous travelers as well as families looking for a unique vacation spot. Take a tour, try a new culinary experience, or even ride in a helicopter high above the resort. Tourism arrived in that part of the Bush in the 1950s, led by visitors who were seeking more information about the Indigenous people in a more interactive way.
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The first campground was opened in 1983, followed by a hotel in 1984. After many million-dollar updates to the resort, it now welcomes up to half a million guests every year with its unique combination of fun, education, and culture. An Indigenous Land Corporation and they now manage it are constantly seeking expansion opportunities as well as additional experiences for the many guests who vacation there every year.
The core of the attractiveness of the resort is the many different tours and adventures offered there, which fall into a variety of categories.
· Food experiences- The resort offers tourist foodie experiences, meant for every palate. One of the more popular is the “Bush” food experience, which lasts about 45 minutes and teaches visitors about the food that is native to Australia including seasonal fruits, spices, and seeds. Guests will be led by a knowledgeable tour guide that will speak about the Indigenous people and how they survive in the “Bush.” A traditional recipe will also be demonstrated, and guests will get to taste the finished product.
· Wildlife experiences- The two most popular wildlife experiences at the resort have to do with camels and reptiles! There are multiple camel experiences, including express rides that are great for those with children and camel rides during both sunrise and sunset (experience the beautiful sunrises and sunsets in one of the most unique ways possible). There are also two different reptile shows (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), introducing visitors to the many different types of reptiles at the resort in an up close and personal way.
· Air adventures- Although they can be expensive, the resort offers a few helicopter packages that allow the more adventurous guests to see the resort from a bird's-eye perspective. Take an 8-minute, 15-minute, 25 minutes, or 36-minute ride (some are even offered at sunset or nighttime).
· Cultural experiences- Guests seeking to learn more about the culture of Australia should take one of the cultural tours. Many of them are even offered free of charge, like the garden walk and the cultural theater. Those who want to go more in-depth should check out the “SEIT” Uluru tour, which teaches guests about the native creation story, the rock paintings, and more. These tours are not recommended for guests younger than the age of 5.
· Lifetime experiences- When money is not an option, the resort offers experiences that are considered “once in a lifetime.” One of the favorites is the canyon day tour, where a knowledgeable tour guide leads visitors through the Kings Canyon to see the tropical oasis located deep within. It truly is an experience that cannot be paralleled anywhere else on Earth and it is absolutely breathtaking.
There are many special events and festivals held at the resort, all throughout the year.
March brings the Uluru Festival, a festival that celebrates the culinary heritage of the Aboriginal people. Take a cooking masterclass, enjoy a three-course dining experience under the stars, and learn about how to incorporate indigenous cooking techniques into every recipe that can be made at home.
April is home to both the Tjungu (a local Indigenous people) festival as well as a yoga retreat, which allows for a diverse experience for guests who are interested in one or the other (or even both!)
In July, the resort is host to the Outback Marathon, where people from all over the country come to run one of the toughest marathons in the region.
There are also wellness retreats, astrology festivals, music festivals, and more! Check the website for an updated calendar that includes days and additional costs, as well as more detailed information.
Dining and Shopping
There are many, award winning restaurant and dining opportunities available on the resort, like the Mayu Wiru restaurant, the outdoor Sounds of Silence, and even simple coffee houses and quick dining experiences. Each is unique in its own way and connects diners with the culinary history of the Bush. There are also a variety of shopping experiences for guests who want to take home a piece of their time at the resort, like art, apparel, and even spa services.