Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru is a beautiful, charismatic place. Its dimensions are one thing: Uluru is 3.6km long and rises 348m from the surrounding sands (867m above sea level). If that's not sufficiently impressive, remember this: two-thirds of the rock lies beneath the sand. This is a monolith textured with layers of profound spirituality and timeless beauty, the epitome of desert stillness and, in the plays of light and shadow that dance across its surface, one of the richest shows in nature.

Sacred sites are located around the base of Uluru; entry to and knowledge of the particular significance of these areas is restricted by Anangu law. The landscape of Uluru changes dramatically with the shifting light and seasons. In the afternoon, Uluru appears as an ochre-brown colour, scored and pitted by dark shadows. As the sun sets, it illuminates the rock in burnished orange, then a series of deeper and darker reds before it fades into charcoal. A performance in reverse, with marginally fewer spectators, is given at dawn.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park attractions

1. Walkatjara Art Centre

1.56 MILES

A working art centre owned by the local Mutitjulu community, it has an extensive selection of paintings on display (and for sale), and most days you can…

2. Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre

1.56 MILES

Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre, just 1km from the Rock, is a fabulous introduction to your Uluru experience. Displays and exhibits focus on tjukurpa …

3. Car Sunset Viewing Area

1.91 MILES

The main parking area for cars and minivans for watching the sunset at Uluru. Some travellers the far southeastern end of the car park, but everyone's…

4. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

2.07 MILES

Nothing can really prepare you for the immensity, grandeur, changing colour and stillness of 'the Rock'. It really is a sight that will sear itself on to…

5. Bus Sunset-Viewing Area

2.55 MILES

Buses are kept separate from cars – this is the Uluru sunset-viewing area for those on coach tours, with plenty of picnic tables and wine to celebrate the…

6. Talinguru Nyakunytjaku Lookout

2.57 MILES

Much loved for its sunrise views in particular, with Uluru in the foreground and Kata Tjuta far away on the southwestern horizon. It also has two great…

7. Field of Light

6.61 MILES

This extraordinary installation by artist Bruce Munro will be open until at least 31 December 2020. It consists of over 50,000 poppylike stems topped with…

8. Wintjiri Arts & Museum

7.58 MILES

A fascinating overview of local natural and cultural history, with plenty of artworks, an artist-in-residence and an excellent small shop. It's up the…