It's been a long-fought battle of the caretakers of Uluru to discourage visitors from climbing their sacred rock. Yet despite their arduous campaign, people still find the need to satisfy their curiosity.
For the Anangu people, Uluru is a deeply spiritual and sacred place where every rock formation and crevice holds meaning. The traditional owners of the national park only ever climb the rock for cultural reasons. Besides this, they also observed that some climbers have left human waste on the trail.
But the national park is 1,325 square kilometres in size and has heaps of activities that are far more thrilling. So why not see if you have the guts to try some of them?
1. Like jump off a plane at 12000ft.
2. Or plod through the park with one of the local favourites.
3. Zoom through the world heritage site in style.
4. Have an intimate experience with the rock by trekking through one of its walks.
The base of Uluru is littered with walking trails varying in distance and difficulty. Some notable ones are:
-The Base Walk, a grade 3 trail, takes you from west to east via the north face of the rock and lasts for 3.5 hours.
-The Mala Walk, a grade 1 trail, takes you inside one of Uluru's crevices and lasts for 1.5 hours. A free ranger is available to explain the cultural significance of the place.
-The Kuniya Walk, a grade 1 trail, takes you to the mystical Mutitjulu Waterhole and lasts for 45 minutes.
Read more about these and other Uluru trails here.
5. Take a break at an oasis in the heart of Uluru.
The dry expanse of land around Uluru makes the Mutitjulu Waterhole a perfect respite. Hidden in one of the rock's gorges, the pool can be accessed through the Kuniya walk and is a great spot for a picnic. During the rainy season, the gorge comes to life with a waterfall streaming downhill.
6. Explore the gorges of Uluru's majestic cousin.
7. Fly and have a picnic atop a plateau.
8. Get the grand view of the national park from the air.
If you can't stomach the thought of jumping off a plane, you can still see Uluru-Kata Tjuta from the sky by hopping on one of the helicopters. A 15-minute ride is enough to fly you over the giant rock and see Kata Tjuta from a distance.
Read more here.
9. Back on solid ground, find your inner artist through dot painting.
10. Indulge in a glamping experience or rough it out on the camping grounds.
If you have AU$1,200 per person per night to spare, then live like royalty at Longitude 131 (literally, as Wills and Kate stayed here during their Australian visit). Otherwise, you can pitch your tent and camp the old school way on the Ayers Rock Campground.
Of course, there are other accommodations in between. Read more here.