Am going to be v pushed for time when I reach Alice Springs so I'm thinking a tour is probably the only feasible way to see the great big rock. I haven't exactly heard great things about tours in this area so I would be v grateful if anyone could let me know if they've had a good experience and if so with which company. Any other suggestions would be great.
Yep, they sure do slug you for tours.
I looked into a few tours, but they either are run by the same company or they are all the same price???
I ended up hiring a car (which cost me around $80 day inc.), but may be cheap way to go if there is more than 1 of you. But driving from Alice is not good--lots livestock. AAT Kings do most of the tours. I would recommend viewing the rock at sunset, and a climb if you can or at least a walk around it. Kata Juta (Olgas) are worth a visit also, about 1hr drive from the rock.
Also camel ride at sunset is kinda cool fun ($90).
So if you can get to Ayers Rock, and want to see both, car is prob best way. If not, maybe tour from Alice that includes both...either way they gonna slug you...
I am in a somewhat similar situation as you in that I am going to the big rock in June. Since I am catching a flight from Ayers Rock to Perth at the tail end, a tour originating in Alice Springs was not an option for me. Instead, I decided to pay $70 for a one way Greyhound ticket from Alice to Uluru. I figure this way I only have to pay the park entrance fee, and the total would probably be less than any tour.
No matter how you look at it, all of the prices (bed, food, transportation) are over inflated...
As kevandshan noted, the camel rides do seem quite interesting. Obviously the $90 per half hour (or whatever it is) is too a ripoff, but it may be one of the few times that one has this chance.
Camels go for an hour...and you get a drink and some nibbles after...its ok
Park entrance fee is $25 p/p and lasts 3 days. You must purchase one whether you go it alone or take a tour.....it is NOT included in your tour price!
Cost of tour..... $150
Cost park entrance fee....$25
Cost of bottle of water......$4.00
Enjoying the surronds of Uluru.......priceless!!!
(P.S There is a supermarket and free shuttle bus around the town, so you can do alright)
Thanks for the info Smirnoff and Kevandshan!!
Can't say it had even occured to me to consider public transport as an option..for some reason I don't imagine greyhound buses crossing the desert!! It sure is expensive alright...
Smirnoff I'm impressed with your forward planning..i can barely manage what i'm doing over the next few days..
If you have a car, try staying at Curtin Springs, about 80 km from the Rock. Free camping, budget rooms and a bit more expensive ensuite rooms, but still much cheaper than in Yulara. Glad I did it, because Yulara was looking really horrible. Watched sunset at Uluru and drove back, slow speed but no problems.
I recommend Mulgas Adventure (http://www.mulgas.com.au/mulgas/default.html)
3-day/2-night trip is just $250 and the memories are amazing. This is very basic tour - you sleep under the sky, it is more than likely you won't be able to take a shower for 3 days - but this really makes you feel very close to the nature and you can experience Uluru, Olgas and king's canyon in very different way.
food is included in the prive
I did a 3 day trip to Uluru, the Olgas and Kings Canyon from Alice in 2003 with a company called Adventure Tours. We had an excellent time and recommended it to friends of ours who we travelled with in 2005. We split up for a short while with myself and my wife travelling to the Cape Leeuwin, Margaret River area whilst our friends stopped in Alice and did the same Uluru trip we had done with Adventure Tours (at our recommendation).
They had a good time too, perhaps not quite as good as us because a large rock ended the life of the aircon on their bus (and you spend a lot of time on the bus) plus there were a few flies around when they were there but even so they stilled loved it. Their trip was slightly different in that it was done "backwards" compared to ours. I must admit I preferred the way that we did it.
I've got a page about our experiences here:
The page includes a bit about the trip, what we did and photos we took whilst there. I've also got a page on Adventure Tours itself. In fact they were our second choice company because the first one was fully booked. I can't remember what the other company was called but I'll try to find out because there's no reason why they would not be just as good.
Whatever you choose to do it will be an experience you'll never forget. Enjoy!
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 24, 2007, at 2:42 AM by plesbit ]