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Brisbane to Ayers Rock (Urluru). Bus or Plane?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Brisbane to Ayers Rock (Urluru). Bus or Plane?

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1. Posted by Creo (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Creo has indicated that this thread is about Australia

Hi All,

I arrive in Brisbane and want to travel to Ayers rock. What's the best way to do this? Is there a bus or budget airline that can help me get there?

Many thanks.

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

I'd recommend plane, although I'm only really doing this based on the fact that it sounds like you have relatively short travelling time to work with? That's a bit of a crucial factor in determining what would be the best advice to give you, although also things like 'are you planning to see more of Australia, like for example Cairns/Darwin would be useful'...

Off the top of my head, bussing it from Brisbane to Uluru took me roughly the following length of time (and I'm afraid this is pretty much the only route you can take, unless you want to consider a train part of the way):

Leg 1. Brisbane to Airlie Beach (skipped Fraser as had already visited there): not entirely sure anymore, but somewhere in the 10 to 15 hour range.
Leg 2. Airlie to Cairns: roughly 8 hours off the top of my head, but you wouldn't really have to go all the way. I think the 'left turn' is in Townsville, which I'd put at roughly 5 hours from Airlie (sorry, it's 8 years ago, so you'll have to forgive me on exact times!).
Leg 3. I did Cairns - Darwin in one go which no one recommends. It was 44 hours (the only one I do remember! :) ). Seeing as you're going from Townsville and not heading up to Darwin (I assume all this), I'd put the trip across to about 30 hours (to the next left turn so to speak).
Leg 4. From the cross roads down to Alice Springs. Half guessing, something in the vicinity of 15 hours...
Leg 5. Alice to Uluru. About 3/4 hours.

All in all, it's about 3 days non stop in a bus, which I wouldn't recommend. 1 week if you go very fast and hardly stop off. It's more a 1 month trip though if you want to do it nicely.

Or you can fly which would probably take you 3/4 hours total from Brisbane directly to Uluru :) You can also fly to Alice Springs which might be cheaper and probably about the same length of time, but don't forget the 3/4 extra hours bussing it to the actual rock from Alice....

Hope that helps!

Sam

3. Posted by Creo (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Yup Sam, I only have a short amount of time so it needs to be quite a quick trip. I am also planning to go to Cairns as this is my final stop before leaving Aus.

I was hoping to head west from Brisbane direct to Ayers rock and then north-east to Cairns. The Cairns part seems fine, it's just getting from Brisane to Ayers Rock that seem tricky.

Cheers.

4. Posted by Smirnoff (Budding Member 43 posts) 9y

If I'm not mistaking, I believe that Qantas is the only company that flies to Uluru. As a result, you may expect to spend more than you think, since there is no competition from the regulars such as virgin blue and jetstar. You may look into getting a return ticket to and from Brisbane, and then maybe a cheap sale flight from brisbane to cairns via one of the other companies. I'm not sure what the chepest option is.

5. Posted by Buckra (Budding Member 61 posts) 9y

Forget a bus trip from Brisbane. Apart from the length of the trip it is also a matter of when you will leave Brisbane and if it is in the Northern monsoonal season then you could have delays as well because of flooded roads or highways. Just rule it out. You can fly there and best would be to look up Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin on the web. Jetstar are now taking over a lot of the old Qantas routes even though they are the same company except Jetstar are a more budget orientated airline. Qantas used to fly into Uluru (Ayers Rock) fairly regularly but not sure if it was from Brisbane. You may have to go from Brisbane to Alice Springs then link into a flight to Uluru from the Alice. You could also bus it from Alice Springs which takes a few hours. The flight from Brisbane to Alice would be about 3-4 hours. There is accomodation at the rock (Uluru) but the big motel is expensive but if you have some money then it is worth a day's stay and remember to take your camera. Have fun. :)

6. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting Creo

I was hoping to head west from Brisbane direct to Ayers rock and then north-east to Cairns. The Cairns part seems fine, it's just getting from Brisane to Ayers Rock that seem tricky.

Unfortunately you can't just 'head west'. You have to go north, then west, then south (like I described). If you fancy 3 days in the bus to get there and then 3 days to get back to Cairns from there, it's doable, but naturally no person in their right mind would really do this (doesn't leave you much time to really enjoy the travelling does it )....

Flying would be best. If Uluru is unaffordable, or not possible direct, try Alice Springs. This should be possible from Brisbane without too many hassles (besides perhaps price). You might be able to catch a plane directly from Alice to Cairns as well.

Like some of the others mentioned, check qantas.com.au, jetstar.com.au and virginblue.com.au . That should cover it!

7. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

Why not a flight to Alice Springs, then a bus to the Rock?

8. Posted by Creo (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Thanks for the tips people. Bus is not going to happen.

I've looked at the airlines recommended and:

JetStar - no flights Brisbane to Ayers Rock or Alice Springs.

VirginBlue - no flights Brisbane to Ayers Rock or Alice Springs.

Quantas - one way flight to Ayers Rock AU$406.
- one way flight to Alice Springs AU$374.

And if the price wasn't bad enough, both flights go via Sydney. (Nothing wrong with Sydney, but I've already been there and don't want the extra detour)

Ah well, looks like I'll just have to pay the giant, monopoly holding airline if I want to see the Rock! :)

Thanks again for the advance.

9. Posted by Smirnoff (Budding Member 43 posts) 9y

Quoting Creo

Quantas - one way flight to Ayers Rock AU$406.
- one way flight to Alice Springs AU$374.

And if the price wasn't bad enough, both flights go via Sydney. (Nothing wrong with Sydney, but I've already been there and don't want the extra detour)

As I said, they have a nice monopoly. However, there are direct flights from Brisbane to Alice Springs, but they're not daily flights. If you move your schedule around, and leave on certain days, such as Saturdays (I believe), you can get the direct flight.

10. Posted by Peter (Admin 5807 posts) 9y

I had a look on the Flightcentre site and found a flight for $240.00 one way direct from Brisbane to Alice Springs. Date was Saturday 31 March.I think Smirnoff is right that Saturdays are the only days with direct flights to and from Brisbane.

If Saturdays don't work though, would it also be an option to do a round trip from Cairns instead? They have daily flights to Alice Springs at around the $300 mark one way. A little pricier, but at least you can choose the day.