Yulara, Northern Territory

Ayers Rock Resort

Town Square

Yulara is the small town situated just outside the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The town was purposely built in the 1980s to service the local tourism industry. Tourists started visiting Ayers Rock in the 1960s and the original tourist accomodation was at the foot of the rock, there were motels, a camp site and an airfield, but they all impacted negatively on the environment around the rock. The Northern Territory government in the late 1970s made it a priority to establish a township outside the national park. The infrastructure and tourist accomodation was built in the mid 1980s and it was fully operational in 1984.

Yulara has a town square which is bordered with a restaurant, a cafe, a few shops, a bank, a tour booking office, a postoffice and a small supermarket.

Walk into the town square, there's a small performance area on the left. 

Yulara offers accomodation at different levels, there is a camp site with grass sites, no dusty plots! A budget hotel with dorm accomodation that you share with others.

The Desert Gardens hotel, the mid range hotel.

The Emu apartments, apartment accomodation which is self catering.

Sails in the Desert Hotel, the 5 star accomodation.

There's only one road into Yulara/Ayers Rock Resort and it loops around the town. A small shuttle bus does the loop on a regular schedule, but the whole area is so small it's easy to just walk around it. The town also has a police station, a medical centre and a fire station all just past the hotel area. Behind the sand dunes there is also accomodation for the 1,100 people who work at Yulara, hidden from view according to the informative bus driver that brought me in from the airport!

Just next to the Desert Gardens Hotel, there is a small arts centre.

There are 2 lookouts in the town, one up a sand dune in the centre of the loop road, there's a path, lit up once it's dark, to walk back.

Sunset over The Olgas/Kata Tjuta.

Uluru from the lookout.

There's another lookout just behind the Pioneer Hotel.

Sunset over The Olgas from the Pioneer Lookout.

Yulara is a well appointed base from which to explore Uluru and Kata Tjuta. It's very easy to navigate, everything is an easy stroll away. The buildings have a very 80s look to them but they are well maintained and been refurnished. As it's generally hot, there are covered areas around the buildings as well as sunsails. Along with the now mature trees that all helps with making walking around fairly pleasant even in the heat.