We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

Which Alice Springs hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Washington DC
posts: 8
2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

Hello All,

In the first week of January, we fly into Alice Springs @ noon and fly out of Alice Springs 2 days later @ 6:00pm.

We will be renting a car and camping the 2 nights.

We definitely want to see Uluru and camp there one night.

I am trying to decide between

1. driving to Kings Canyon on the way back and spend a night there


2. return to Alice Springs and spend a night in MacDonnell ranges.


3. should I spend another night in Uluru and explore more?



posts: 5,918
reviews: 31
1. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?


Full marks for wishing to visit but at that time of the year daytime activities will be limited.


I would go for the extra night at Uluru/Kata-Juta. IMHO you should rethink the timing of your visit if possible and certainly ditch the camping option for an airconditioned retrat from the daytime temps.

Everthing at Yulara is owned and operated by the one company.



Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
posts: 18,725
reviews: 73
2. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

I agree with OzRCFlyer. My recommendations would be:

1. Add at least one more day.

2. Rent a 4WD so that you can do a circle from Alice to Uluru (via the Stuart Highway) to Kings Canyon to Alice (via the Mereenie Loop and West Macs) without having to backtrack via the Stuart highway.

3. Stay in aircon places.

The places you should plan to stay are Uluru, Kings Canyon and Glen Helen.


Alice Springs...
Destination Expert
for Red Centre
posts: 726
reviews: 23
3. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?


If your time frame is fixed, skip the camping and go for one of the budget accommodation options at Yulara - cabins at the caravan park, budget room or dorm bed at Outback Pioneer - and spend your 2 nights at Yulara.

It's about a 5 hour drive (with a couple of short leg-stretch breaks included). You'll need to be up really early the next day to do any of the walks before it gets really hot (we're talking 25 C by 8am this week - highs of 40+), so you might get in one walk early morning and another shorter walk late afternoon before watching sunset.

You'ld then have time for 1 short walk early the following morning before your drive back to Alice.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
posts: 27,372
reviews: 615
4. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

The problem with January is the heat & the flies...camping is not a good option. You would be best to book an air-conditioned room.

For additional info on Uluru


Sydney NSW
posts: 455
reviews: 51
5. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

Hi ,

I'm guessing your flights are set so considering that this would be my suggestion. I based it on my trip to the Uluru in Sept where 2 days were around 39C... it would obviously get a bit hotter in January.

I checked sunrise/set times and the day is roughly 6 am til around 7 40 pm.The park opens at 5am and closes at 9 pm.

I would hire a 2wd car at Alice Springs Airport. I looked around and Discover Australia .com.au does have some ofers with unlimited kms but its worth doing the sums to check its the best option as the daily rate is higher.

Head straight from the airport to Uluru on the first day. Its close to a 6 hr drive though (with breaks which are essential for fatigue) so that trip would also depend on how rested you were arriving in Alice Springs. You would make that before dusk (it gets dangerous on the roads around dusk with kamikazee animals parading.

Head straight to the park and take a drive around the rock slowly before stopping at the designated stop to watch the sunset. Head to your air con accomodation and get a good nights sleep.

Next morning get up around 4 45 and be at the park at close to 5 am when it opensand head to the surise view platform. As well as the beauty of the rock you will see a lot of wildlife either nocturnals maing the last minute scurrying to their burrows and the birds and day creatures beginning their day.

Have some food in your car that you can eat on the run. Drive to the Mutitjulu Waterhole carpark and take the KUNIYA WALK walk to the waterhole (about an hour with photo stops.Then drive to the MALA WALK carpark and walk to Kantju Gorge (has some limited shade ).By now it would be around 10 or 11am .

Time then to head to the cultural centre which is an indoors/ outdooors display and has food like drinks, snacks. Then , back to the air con to nap til around 3pm. Drive out to Kata juta (about an hour) and depending on the temp decide how much of the valley of the Wind walk to do. You need to leave the area about 45 minutes before park closing time cause it takes about that long to drive to the exit (9 pm close) but toi avoiid the dusk driving its probably best to head off around 6 pm or so.

Next day leave Uluru early and you will be at Alice around lunch time. Time to take in Telegraph station then out to the airport to drop off the car. It would be busy but 'you have lots of time to sleep when the holiday is over " is my motto :)) Just make sure you are rested to drive though !!

Washington DC
posts: 8
6. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?


Thanks very much your responses.

Will just stick to Uluru and Kata juta and

bite the bullet and get a cabin.

"OnTheG0Again" - thanks a lot for the itinerary suggestions.



San Jose, California
posts: 3
7. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

I'm visiting Alice Springs from August 22 to September 3. Would love to see Uluru. What is the weather like and where should we stay for just one night?

San Jose, California
posts: 3
8. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

I'll be in Alice Springs in late August. What is the weather like at that time?

Edited: 12:24 pm, January 10, 2013
posts: 441
reviews: 53
9. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

Hi Diane, we were at Uluru last August.

Perfect weather and temperature

We stayed at the Outback Pioneer at Yulara. Highly recommend.

San Jose, California
posts: 3
10. Re: 2.5 days in AliceSprings: Uluru & KingsCanyon OR MacDonnell?

Thank you! I am so excited.