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Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

Garrison, NY
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Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

We are thinking of renting a car in Yulara to drive out to Uluru and the Olgas, especially for sunrise and sunset. Not used to driving on the left, and it will be dark. How's the driving?

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

Attached is a good web site u may be better to do an organised tour here rather than hire a car????

ayersrockresort.com.au/sunrise-sunset-viewin…

im told the sounds of silence tour is amazing !

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

I don't agree with Gray at all as I think the tours are quite poor value compared to renting a car, particularly if there's two or more in your party. Car rentals at Uluru are highly recommended by most posters here, but be sure you book ahead as they can run out.

Without a car, you may feel trapped in the resort and can't wander off on your own. However there are several nice trails and relaxation spots at both destinations - wouldn't you not like to feel rushed? Also, the sunrise and sunset parking areas for cars are separate to the bus parking areas, so you're not amongst many hundreds of other people. (Though there will be plenty of others with cars.)

The driving is very easy at Uluru/Yulara/Kata Tjuta (the Aboriginal name for the Olgas) as it's all sealed, flat roads. Since it's the desert there's not as much wildlife at other areas but you still need to be alert at night. It is a good place to learn to drive on the left due to the low traffic and simplicity of the road network. Compared to elsewhere in the Red Centre, the distances are quite short (unless you decide to go to Kings Canyon for a day).

Edited: 9:16 pm, February 06, 2014
Greater Sydney...
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3. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

+ 1 for the above from Jeremy.

Arlington, Virginia
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for Arlington
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4. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

From an American's point of view, Uluru is an easy place for driving on the left due to the good roads and lack of traffic. We have been there twice--once using tours to see the sights and once renting a car to do it on our own. A BIG vote for renting a car and doing it on your own.

Ditto Jeremy's remarks about driving after dark. I wouldn't recommend it if you were driving all the way to Kings Canyon or Alice Springs, but you should be fine around Uluru and Kata Tjuta if you are paying attention for wildlife.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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5. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

Another vote for hiring a car to drive to the Olgas & Uluru. It's all very easy as there is limited traffic except for a few tour buses.

For additional info

tripadvisor.com.au/GoListDetail-i17672-Uluru…

Memphis
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6. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

Thanks, this is exactly what I needed to know. I was really thinking that a car would be a much better value, but wasn't sure if the tours had some kind of great extras or something. Glad to know that a car is the way to go.

I did see that (as Jeremy mentioned) the sunrise & sunset parking areas for cars are different than for the buses. It sounds like there's no real concerns about the bus area being significantly better than the car area, or anything like that? I could see them purposefully sticking the people who weren't paying them lots of money in a worse sport for viewing, pictures, etc.

South Pacific
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for Hobart, Tasmania
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7. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

It's a big rock. There's plenty of space for everyone to get a good view. The reason for the separation is as much for the benefit of the independent travellers so that they aren't swamped by swarms of bussees.

Memphis
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8. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

Fantastic. Thanks a lot. You just saved me a couple hundred dollars, and probably a good bit of my sanity.

Adelaide, Australia
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9. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

All those great photos of Uluru with the great sunsets are not taken at the rock itself...which is about 25 kms from the yulara villiage accomodation area..they are taken from a lot further back to fit it all in the viewfinder...lol. these shots were taken from the sunset trip...a special area which has the best view, so it wont be too far to get there in the dark, and yes it does fill up and sometimes its hard to get a spot. Sunset is spectacular, as the light is more intensified, and makes the rich red sand glow....take some brown filters etc, but I suppose this can all be done with computer enhancement now. Start from late afternoon say an hour and a half before sunset.

some fantastic uluru photography has been done in the rain, and there are areas at the base of the rock where you walk around where you can shoot the water coming down and pools of water below. See the photos of steve parish and others for inspiration.

I did some interesting photography in palm valley, west of alice springs

Alice Springs...
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for Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Red Centre
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10. Re: Driving to/from Uluru in the dark for sunrise/sunset

As per the majority, definitely hire a car.

Easy roads and not rushed to the net destination by a tour is a great advantage.

Do your research on all the other walks within the park which you can visit between your sunrise and sunset outing.