The Outback is a place of extremes—of heat, cold, beauty, and danger. But one thing it’s not is boring.
The Australian Outback is one of the most iconic landscapes on Earth. It’s home to Uluru, a giant rock that looks like it came straight out of a science fiction movie; Alice Springs, a remote town that feels like you’ve been transported back in time; and countless other remarkable sites worth seeing.
If you’re planning a trip to Uluru and Alice Springs, there are many things to consider. But what’s the best time of year for a visit? We’ve got your answer, along with helpful tips for planning your trip.
When is the best time to visit Uluru and Alice Springs?
The best time of year to visit Uluru and Alice Springs is between May and September when temperatures are milder and less likely to be affected by cyclones, monsoons, or extreme heat.
The best time to go depends on what you want from your trip. If you’re looking for solitude, visit in late October or November. The crowds have dwindled by this point, and there’s still plenty of colour in the desert landscape before the rains hit. If you’re looking for something more active, visit during April or May when there will be fewer tourists, but Uluru is still bathed in the warm sunshine.
What is the worst time to visit Uluru and Alice Springs?
If you’re planning on visiting during the summer months (December – February), some of the attractions in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park may be closed due to sandstorms or extreme heat. These times, temperatures and high humidity levels can exceed 40 degrees Celsius. However, if you do choose to visit during this time, make sure you bring along plenty of sunscreens, hats, and water bottles.
What is the general climate in Uluru and Alice Springs?
Temperatures in Uluru and Alice Springs have a tropical monsoonal climate. They have two seasons: the dry season (April to October) and the wet tropical summer (November to March)
They are hot during the summer months (December to February) but milder in winter (June to August). The high temperatures are partly due to their location within the Australian desert, which means dry heat that can sometimes become very hot.
The average daily temperature is around 30°C (86°F) from December through February when it can reach as high as 44°C (111°F). During these months, you’ll need to bring plenty of sunscreens and drink lots of water.
The most important thing is to check the weather report and ensure it will be clear when visiting. You don’t want to waste your time being disappointed by rain or clouds when you could be exploring the rock!
Jan 37.5 21.2
Feb 35.8 20.5
Mar 33.5 17.4
April 28.8 12.6
May 23.4 7.9
Jun 20.2 5.1
Jul 20.3 3.4
Aug 22.6 5.5
Sep 26.4 9.1
Oct 31.5 13.5
Nov 34.1 17.2
Dec 36.8 19.8
What time of day should I visit?
We recommend going early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This will give you plenty of time before or after sunset to take advantage of the beautiful lighting conditions that give Uluru it’s unique colouring at these times of the day. You’ll also avoid crowds and find fewer people blocking your way.
If you’re planning on climbing Uluru, avoid going when rain or humidity is in the air.
And finally, if you’re looking for a great photo op, try not to go during afternoon hours—the light will be too harsh, and harsh shadows will ruin your shot!
Opening hours vary depending on the time of year but are usually open from 5 am to 9 pm.
The Uluru rock
One of Australia’s most famous natural landmarks, Uluru and its surrounding national park are popular tourist destinations. The area is known for its beautiful scenery and natural attractions, including Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), and Kings Canyon. Here you’ll find everything from hiking trails to scenic drives.
Uluru is part of a national park called Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park. It’s surrounded by desert landscapes, which means it gets scorching. There are plenty of things to do here.
Uluru is a massive sandstone that sits at an elevation of 863 meters (2,831 feet) above sea level in Australia’s Northern Territory. It stands 348 meters (1,142 feet) tall, covers an area of 3.3 sq. km, and has a circumference of 9.4 km.
Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park
Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park is located in the Northern Territory. The park covers an area of 1,333.72 km2 (515.0 sq mi) and is home to many rare plants and animals, including the famous red kangaroo.
It is located 450 km from Alice Springs, a remote town in Australia.
In case you didn’t know, Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park is home to two massive rock formations: Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and 36 red rock domes of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), which are sandstone domes formed by erosion over millions of years.
Alice Springs is a small town in the middle of the Australian outback, in the northern territory between Darwin and Adelaide. It has a population of around 25,000. It’s the closest town to Uluru and is well known as a tourist destination.
The rest of Australia is generally considered quite expensive compared with other countries in Europe or Asia. Still, Alice Springs sits at an average cost slightly lower than what you’re likely to pay elsewhere in this country.
We recommend staying here because it makes sense logistically if you want to explore Uluru.
Where to stay in Uluru and Alice Springs?
The most important thing to remember is that both places are very spread out.
While there are hotels, motels, and hostels in the towns, their locations aren’t ideal for exploring them on foot. You’ll want somewhere close enough to walk around but far enough away that it’s quiet at night (and thereby not too loud).
In Uluru (and surrounding areas), you’ll want something near the airport or Ayers Rock Resort & Spa. These are about a 10-minute drive from town but also a reasonable distance from each other—so if you’re travelling with kids who need lots of sleep at night, this could be an issue if they have trouble keeping up with adults during daytime explorations.
What to Pack to visit Uluru and Alice Springs?
Another thing to remember is that Uluru can get really hot during the day—and those temperatures can drop dramatically at night. So if you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking, pack warm clothes and something waterproof for both day and night. If you’re planning on staying overnight or camping nearby, then make sure your tent will offer enough protection from the elements; it might also be worth bringing along a sleeping bag even if you plan on sleeping indoors because temperatures can still drop quickly overnight in some areas around Uluru.
Things you must Pack for a Day Trip to Uluru:
- Pack enough water for the day.
- Sunscreen, especially if you’re sensitive to the sun or have light skin.
- A hat and sunglasses are also good items to add to your packing list if you plan on visiting in the summertime.
Things to Keep in mind
Uluru is a sacred place for the Anangu people. It is their spiritual centre, and if you’re going there, it’s important to respect that.
That means that there are some times when visiting Uluru is not appropriate:
- Do not climb Uluru. This is a huge offence in the eyes of the Anangu people—and they know it’s a big deal!
- Do not bring alcohol or cigarettes to Uluru. Alcohol and tobacco are strictly forbidden at Uluru, so leave them at home before you go!
- Uluru closes at sunset, so don’t plan on getting there after dark.
- Uluru can get very hot during the day, so ensure you’re prepared for extreme heat and sun exposure by wearing sunscreen and drinking lots of water (or other non-alcoholic beverages).
- Visit from May to September and avoid December to February.
- Uluru is home to many different kinds of wildlife, so if you see any animals (or even signs of animals), don’t approach them or feed them!
We hope this article has helped you plan your trip to Uluru and Alice Springs. Please let us know in the comments section below if you have any questions or comments. Remember – The best time of year to visit Uluru and Alice Springs is during the dry season. This is when you’ll have the most time to explore the land, enjoy the wildlife, and take in all Uluru and Alice Springs offer.
Featured Img Src: By User:Mark Andrews – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1236052