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Kata-Tjuta The Olgas

Explore Uluru with the kids

Northern Territory

Uluru is one of the most iconic landmarks in Australia yet many families put travelling to the big red rock off for later. Catching the sunset at Uluru need not be a holiday with older kids; the spiritual heartland of Australia beckons and can be reached with ease, even with the youngest of kids in tow.

In the middle of Australia, 450 kilometres to the nearest town and 3 full days drive from Sydney, the 700 million year old sandstone mammoth is not as remote as it seems with direct flights to Ayers Rock Airport. Itís a surreal feeling stepping off the plane, expecting to travel a distance before glimpsing Uluru but instead greeted with the all too familiar, post card perfect view of the great Australian icon, so big you can see it from the tarmac.

Kata-Tjuta The Olgas

Over a long weekend we took a self-drive tour of Uluru, here are our highlights:

Witnessing a magnificent Uluru sunset and staying for the stars

Over two hours we witnessed the rock transform into brilliant ambers, vivid reds and mysterious purples at sunset. When the sun and crowds eventually disappeared we waited awhile and a backdrop of bright and endless glimmering white stars appeared behind a silhouette of Uluru. Overhead the kids gazed at the splendor of the Milky Way for the first time.

Sunset may test even the most patient kids, be prepared by packing a picnic, some torches and toys to entertain. I can attest that the Sounds of Silence dinner is wonderful, but having the Uluru all to ourselves was pure magic.

uluru for kids

Learning to say sorry at Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre

The Anangu people, the original owners of the land, believe that spirit people created Uluru at the beginning of time and there was a definite spiritual pull to the area, which made us want to connect with its Aboriginal culture.

That thirst for knowledge lead us to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre, where we bridged a gap in our understanding of the areaís history.

Among the beautiful exhibits, the Sorry Book was the most significant to us. A compilation of written apologies from tourists, returning rock and sand that was once taken from Uluru, some believing their act to have caused them bad luck and health. Itís a good way to reiterate to our kids to take only memories and leave only footprints.

uluru for kids

Wandering through Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas)

In respect to the Anangu people (as well as for the safety of children), do not climb Uluru. Families are free to walk around the base and admire from purpose built sunrise and sunset platforms.

Combine your Uluru visit with a trip to nearby Kata-Tjuta, a series of large domed rocks with kid-friendly trails. Our favourite trails were The Walpa Gorge walk and Valley of the Winds which lead us through canyons, in between giant domes, along creeks and up to lookouts with stunning vistas of vibrant red sand, orange rock and desert plains.

Make Uluru even easier with the kids with a stay at Voyages Ayres Rock Resort where, after a hot sun drenched day exploring the outback, a refreshing dip in the pool awaits.

Together we roamĎs Rene Young has travelled to 70 countries. When the Brisbane based blogger is not discovering Brisbane's street art, exploring Queensland or roaming the world with her five-year old son and three-year old daughter, she can be found indulging her love of reality TV.

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