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“SEIT Uluru Base Walk”
Review of Uluru

Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Palya! Welcome to Anangu land. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is Aboriginal land. It is jointly managed by its traditional owners Anangu and Parks Australia. The park is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site for its natural and cultural values. The spectacular rock formations and surrounding sand plains provide rare habitats for an incredible variety of plants and animals. Anangu invite you to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to learn more about their land, beliefs and culture.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 2 October 2013

The Base Walk was an amazing way to see beautiful, magnificent, majestic Uluru. My husband and I were super keen for this tour and from the moment we were picked up (at 5:15am!) to the time we were dropped back to our hotel (somewhere between 11-12pm), we were thrilled to have chosen SEIT for this amazing tour. The tour itself and our awesome tour guide gave us a perspective of the Rock that we wouldn't have otherwise gained. We loved this tour and the walk wasn't too strenuous at all. Take a cardigan with you because it's quite cool so early in the morning.

I can't remember his name but our tour guide was a young red-head from Albury, NSW! He was BRILLIANT. So friendly, respectful of the Indigenous people and culture and so knowledgeable. He answered every question I had, and I had lots! He is such a testament to SEIT.

Michael and Rachael from Northern Beaches, Sydney.

1  Thank Rachael N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 October 2013

I signed up for the 3-day "Rock Tour" and have since read some of the other reviews, both positive and negative. I had a fabulous time on the Rock Tour, with the assumptions going in that 1) it was a bare-bones tour (incredible deal, really, given the guide, driving distance, petrol, food, camping,...) designed for folks on a budget, and that 2) tours like this require tolerance of other people and of less-than-comfy situations.
That said, I am not a young backpacker myself, though I am very accustomed to camping and appreciative of doing more for less. I would have loved to have taken 4 or 5 days for this tour, which does involve significant long-distance driving, but I was very happy with the total experience, even if I didn't like my guide's music choice on the bus (tolerance!). Wow--we visited Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta and Uluru, with substantive hikes at each place. The meals were sufficient but not bounteous--bring a few snacks of your own. Camping was as advertised--bush first night (DARK skies -- STARS like you never will see otherwise) (primitive outhouse), campground second night, with showers. I did wish I'd brought my bug hat, and a warmer sleeping bag or liner for it -- it was definitely cold at night, at least in mid-August.
Our guide was knowledgeable and cheerful. He was attentive to various levels of physical ability, and yes, you SHOULD carry more water than you think you'll need (we saw someone evacuated by helicopter, and later on other trips I saw two serious cases of dehydration).
Our group got along just fine -- quite diverse internationally and generationally, with more young folks, as expected for a bare bones tour. The seats are not spacious on the bus, again, this is not a deluxe tour. I should say that, for myself, I never thought about the tour being "bare bones" because it was as comfortable as most hiking/camping trips I've been on.
As for climbing Uluru--several others have mentioned something similar to what our guide said, in sum -- if asked not to climb on an altar in a European cathedral, would you? Although as a trained scientist, at times I was a bit "put off" by the relative lack of geological information on signs, compared to cultural (true in many Australia National Parks I visited), but I bought a geological guide that satisfied my own curiosity on those points.
I was surprised at how negative some reviews of the Rock Tour are, but ... different strokes for different folks. For those used to roughing it a bit, I recommend this tour enthusiastically!

1  Thank Jody_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013

This is a difficult review to write, because I know that everyone's experience at Uluru will be different. Although it's not really possible, I will try to be objective about the experience to assist others in making their travel plans.

First, from a purely "wonder of nature" perspective, Uluru frankly comes up a little short. If mountains had publicists, Uluru would have the best. There are other similar monoliths in the outback -- like nearby Mount Conner and the larger and more remote Mount Augustus -- that hardly anyone pays attention to because they're not Ayer's Rock. But Ayer's Rock now has decades of publicity, and it's considered a must-see Australian icon.

The basic reality, though, is that it's a big rock. Surrounded by a lot of emptiness. There are some nice walks at a couple of places around the base -- places where water collects, so there is some interesting plant life and some related signs of limited human visitation. Nothing remarkable that you couldn't see in thousands of other less famous natural sites around the world, but certainly pleasant to walk. I recommend that you do at least one walk with an interpretive ranger (I think there may only be one free walk), so you can get a bit more out of the experience.

You can also walk completely around the rock, which is pleasant enough if you like longish walks, have the time, and the weather and fly-situation is favorable. And, of course, you can climb the rock, to satisfy the basic human need to climb things "because they are there" (although, frankly, I wish they'd make the climb a little easier and safer -- the authorities seem torn between providing the necessary safety equipment and discouraging climbing in a kind of White Man's Guilt directed toward the small local aboriginal community).

The sunrise/sunset views of Uluru are famous, and it is certainly pleasant to sit in one of the visitor parking lots and observe how the light changes on the mountain. Again, this is not a phenomenon unique to Ayers Rock -- I've sat and watched interesting sunsets on lots of mountains -- but it is definitely pleasant and something for the tourists to do. There is also a nice aboriginal visitors center, where you can learn a bit more about the local indigenous people. Unsurprising, it's presented in a very sympathetic light. Sadly, you're making a gift shop purchase, you probably won't actually get to meet any aboriginal people; the local community is small, and apparently they're not terribly interested in hanging around for the tourists.

After you've done whatever walking you like, seen a sunrise or sunset, and taken a drive out to see the Olgas (which, somewhat disappointingly to me, look more interesting from a distance), you've probably run out of things to do at Ayers Rock. Which perhaps explains why almost all visitors stay just a day or two (they say the average visit is 1.6 days). That and the fact that the Ayers Rock Resort -- essentially the only place to stay for several hundred kilometers -- is an uninspiring, over-priced monopoly with poor views of the monoliths.

So is all this stuff "mystical" and "magical"? Basically, I think it will be if you want it to be. Really. If you're the kind of person who takes joy in the simple pleasures of nature, and are LOOKING for a magical experience, I think you'll find one. Thousands of people do. On the other hand, if you're more pragmatic, and you've seen a lot of the "wonders of the world," you may wonder a bit what all the fuss is about.

2  Thank Dave R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ParksAustralia, Public Affairs at Uluru, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Anangu from the surrounding communities work in a number of local art centres, creating the fine art works available at the Cultural Centre. Uluru Aboriginal Tours, Walkatjara Gallery and Maruku Arts all operate within the park and are 100% Indigenous owned enterprises. While some community members work in the tourism industry others are involved in the variety of industries found in any small or large town.

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Reviewed 28 September 2013

Really had a great time here, me and the group did the base walk tour.
Some important notes for your enjoyable experience....
1. Don't climb the rock, no matter what your reason is....it's Aborigines land...be respectful !
2. Don't take any photos in the area that have a sign NO PHOTOS...again be respectful you're not in their land so follow the rule!
3. Don't take any stones, sand or anything from the area!
2. Bring and drink plenty of water, early morning was a pleasant walk but when the sun rise high enough the temperature also rise quite fast.
4. Bring some snacks.
5. Don't forget to go to the toilet before you do the walk especially ladies....remember 10.8km walk, it usually takes about 2-3 hours depends on how fast you are.
6. If you plan to buy some paintings....better to buy it from the seller in Uluru sunset viewpoint as it's much cheaper...(I saw same painting that they sell for $25, sold at the airport souvenir shop for about $180!)

1  Thank Lids21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 September 2013

While it take a lot of time (and a fair bit of money) to get and stay at Uluru (Ayer's Rock) which is nearly in the middle of Australia (with not much else around).

Another negative is that ALL of the hotels near Uluru are owned by one organization, who maintains quite high rates, but from the looks of the properties is not reinvesting in the properties.

In addition, that same organization also control all of the liquor rights for this whole area (i.e. they own all the bars and the one liquor store that exist within any reasonable distance. So if you want a wine or a beer, you buy it from them at their prices. Not a good situation.

The "Rock" is spectacular (especially at sunrise & sunset), but my suggestion is to get in, spend some time touring the "Rock" and then get out as quickly as practicle.

2  Thank gjk0506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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