Red Centre & Uluru Must-do Things to Do

The remote Red Center and Uluru are as iconic as the Sydney Harbour bridge when it comes to things to see and do when visiting Australia. You might be forgiven for thinking that you won’t struggle to full your time in Sydney, but your options will be limited in the sandy outback. You’d be wrong. The Red Centre and Uluru boast many must-sees and must-dos.

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Chances are you can picture Uluru and the red sands of Australia’s remote centre, even if you know next to nothing about either. The film site IMDB lists 42 movies filmed at Uluru and the giant sandstone rock is a very recognisable symbol of Australia. Indeed, it often features in advertising.

Where New Zealand has Milford Sound and the US, The Grand Canyon, Australia has Uluru and its Outback dessert with its distinctive red sands. And just like those other destinations many Australian tours take in Uluru & The Red Centre.

Uluru & The Red Centre

The Red Centre is a term for the “Outback” area of central Australia that is rich in culture, geology and scenery. It’s perhaps more quintessentially Australian than the beaches of the East & West coasts or the tropical rain forests of the Northern Territory and Queensland. Visiting here you couldn’t be anywhere else but Australia. And your visit to Australia isn’t complete without an Outback experience.

Uluru and its surrounding National Park is the most famous of the attractions of The Red Center. Sacred to the local Pitjantjatjara/Ananga people this 386m high sandstone formation is one of the most important indigenous sites in the Great Southern Land.

A tourist attraction for decades, there is no more distinctively Australian visitor experience than watching the great rock change colour as the sun sets or rises over the dessert. While visitors can no longer climb the rock the local area is rich in things to do. So rich that we’ve put together a list of Red Centre & Uluru must-sees and must-dos to help you narrow down your options.

Uluru Kata Tjuta cultural centreThe Kata Tjuta Culture Centre

Located in its namesake mountain range (also known as The Olgas), the Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre is a free-form structure built from locally made mud bricks. Its award-winning design was a collaboration between the local Anangu people, park staff and architects. Visit it to learn learn about Anangu culture and the Western Desert regions’s natural environment through exhibits and free presentations with Anangu and park rangers. But this is also a great place to see and buy Aboriginal.

Uluru Motorcycle Tours

There are many ways to explore the local area from simply walking (its about 9km/6 miles around the rock, if you’re interested) to flight options we’re about to get to. But anyone who has an interest in two wheeled, or three-wheeled, travel should consider doing an Uluru Motorcycle tour. With Harley Davidson and trike options these tours offer an opportunity to take in the local sites from a unique perspective.

Slap on supplied leathers and helmet and head out on the highway. Your professional guide will ensure you see it all and understand what you are looking at.

Uluru Helicopter Flights

Like a loftier perspective? Uluru Helicopter Flights might be your best bet for getting up and above the stunning landscape and taking it all in. You’ve got many options, with flights up to two hours long that venture as far as Kings Canyon: (324km away by road). But a 15 minute flight over Uluru itself or a 36 minute flight that will include aerial views of Kata Tjuta and a broader perspective on The Red Centre are both popular options.

Uluru Scenic Flights

Natural textures of Uluru

Get ready to be blown away by World Heritage-listed natural wonders, iconic wildlife and the red dirt of the Australian Outback in the Uluru Region.

If helicopters aren’t your thing but you like an aerial view, Uluru can provide. Uluru Scenic Flights will get you up in the air too. They offer similar tour options but also include longer multiple hour tours that really explore the broader area.

With vast distances a feature of the Outback, scenic flights are a great way to see more in your time in the Red Centre. You may not be able to get up close to attractions but many are most spectacular when you can in their full beauty in the context of the landscape.

Uluru Barbeque Dinner

Getting back down to earth: what is more Australia than a barbeque dinner? A Uluru barbeque dinner perhaps. This exclusive AAT Kings experience adds a tasty new dimension to watching the sun go down on Uluru. The only dining experience available within the national park, this really is a Uluru must do. As a bonus your guide will point out constellations in the night sky after you enjoy a drink, grilled food and desert under the big Australian sky.

Uluru Field of Light

Uluru Field of Light view

As darkness falls and Uluru is thrown into silhouette, the Field of Light illuminates.

Indeed, to some extent Uluru and surrounds come to life at night. The Uluru Field of Light is dramatic and interesting enough to be described in depth. And although it was originally temporary, this large scale art installation was too spectacular to turn off.

Walking amongst its thousands of solar-powered light-flowers is another Uluru must-do thing to do — well worth rising early or staying up a little later.

The Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Venturing further into the Red Centre before or after spending time at Uluru is part of many tours that include the region. And a Kings Canyon Rim walk is a Red Centre must-do, if your fitness allows it. This 6km loop includes a steep climb but those that complete the climb seldom regret the effort. (If you visit the canyon on one of our tours, your guide can suggest alternative shorter walks). One of many short walks in the area this is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the stunning geology and views of Outback Australia.

Outback Ballooning

Walking not for you? How about a chance to take in stunning Outback views without moving your feet much at all? Outback Ballooning does require a willingness to get up early and a degree of agility to climb into the balloon. But it really couldn’t be much easier.

The team will pick you up at your accommodation and provide breakfast while your balloon inflates. There is no more peaceful way to take in Outback views (in this case the McConnell Ranges near Alice Springs) than floating up in a balloon as the sun rises over desert ranges. We recommend you make it part of your Red Centre tour.

School of the Air

And our last recommendation is also related to the air. The School of the Air experience is a little different though. It’s a fascinating insight into life in The Outback with its vast distances and remoteness.

This time we’re talking about air as in airwaves and learning via radio. This tour led by a local specialist lets you experience a lesson at the school of air attended, via the airwaves, by children living hundreds of miles from their classmates and teachers.

These Red Centre & Uluru must-do attractions are available on our tours

Organising to experience these must do attractions couldn’t be easier. All are inclusions on Uluru & Red Centre tours we offer and part of the broader experience those memorable tours offer. Australian that has yet to see the centre of your country? A visitor looking for a truly iconic Australian experience? These Red Centre & Uluru things to do are must-dos you won’t regret for a second.

Read our guide to touring the Red Center. Or talk to one of our tour specialists about finding a tour or  that includes these attractions and experiencing the iconic “Outback” on your Australian tour. We’d love to help you make amazing Australian memories.