Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by worldoftravelswithkids
Join us on a fascinating journey to Australia’s Red Centre with these interesting Uluru facts for kids. To start with, did you know that Uluru is vitally important to indigenous Australians, and also a symbol of Australia for all people. One of the first facts of Uluru is that it is also commonly known as Ayers Rock, and so this post also covers Facts about Ayers Rock.
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Why Share These Uluru Facts For Kids?
Firstly, in our entire Facts For Kids series, we believe it is only fair to share information about places we have visited and can share our own perspectives!
We visited Uluru when our daughter was just one year old and spent over a week in the Uluru area, including Kings Canyon. One of the most interesting Uluru fun facts is that it has to be one of the most isolated tourist destinations on earth! We’ve also shared our perspective on Uluru with Kids as we can’t wait to return with the rest of our kids.
If you are inspired by our Uluru Facts for Kids, then please take a look at our complete celebration of Australia with Fun Australia Facts For Kids.
Fun Uluru Facts For Kids
What Is Its’ Name?
The local Pitjantjara people, the traditional owners have called the landmark Uluru forever.
The English name is Ayers Rock, dating from 1873 when it was named for Sir Henry Ayers, a senior politician in the state of South Australia
A fun fact about Uluru is that in 1993 it was the first official dual-named feature in the Northern Territory as Ayers Rock/Uluru, finally ending up with its present name of Uluru/Ayers Rock in 2002.
So there you have it one of the lesser-known facts of Uluru is that its official name is Uluru/Ayers Rock.
What Is Uluru?
Uluru is a sacred place of the Anangu Aborigines who have been in the area for around 10,000 years. Uluru is a family name that is used both for the actual monolith and the waterhole on top of the rock. The Anangu people belong to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara tribes and are recognized as the traditional owners of Uluru. An important facts about the Uluru region to remember is that the traditional owners make decisions about the management of the area.
Is Uluru The World’s Largest Rock?
You will see Uluru/Ayers Rock popularly described as the world’s largest rock. The fun Uluru fact here is – this claim is actually incorrect! The world’s largest rock is actually Mt. Augustus in Western Australia. But … Uluru is the largest monolith in the world and of monoliths and monoclines!
You Can’t See Much Of Uluru
Another lesser-known facts on Uluru are that there is actually much more of the monolith underground than above ground. 2.5km of the rock is thought to be underground and possibly connected to the Olgas.
How Did Uluru Come To Be?
Uluru looms up abruptly from the desert plains, and technically, is an inselberg (which means island mountain). An Uluru fun fact for kids is that originally it would have been at the bottom of the sea many millions of years ago, but as the softer areas eroded away, the hard rock of the monolith was left behind!
How Old Is Uluru?
Uluru is predicted to be approximately 600 million years old. To put that into perspective, 300-200 million years ago the dinosaurs and the first mammal roamed the earth. So a piece of Uluru information for kids that they will be sure to love is that Uluru is twice as old as the dinosaurs! Wow, I can’t even imagine!
How Big Is Uluru/ Ayers Rock?
Today it stands 348 m (1,142 ft) above the widespread flat plains around it and 863 m (2,831 ft) above sea level.
Facts About The Uluru Region
How Do You Get To Uluru Or Ayers Rock?
Ayers Rock, more correctly known by its Aboriginal indigenous name of Uluru, is a monolith located in the middle of the Australian outback. As such, to visit involves a decent amount of travel to get there. Getting to Uluru from Alice Springs requires about a five-hour drive.
Are There Other Rock Formations Like Ayers Rock?
Uluru is not the only rock formation in Australia’s red centre! Kata Tjuta, (meaning Many Heads) consists of 36 dome-shaped rocks and is a fascinating place to visit. It is thought that Kata Tjuta was once one massive monolith (like Uluru) but over millions of years eroded to the current 36 heads! Also known as “The Olgas” Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the major features within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and one of the facts about the Uluru region is you must not miss visiting them!!!
When Is The Best Time To Visit Uluru?
The colors of Uluru and Kata Tjuta change as the sun moves overhead, ranging from orange to a rich burgundy. The stunning tangerine-red color of Uluru is due to the surface oxidation of its iron content. If you are visiting Uluru with Kids making an effort to visit one or both sites at sunrise and sunset when the golden light of the sun brightens the red rocks. We did this during our visit and were very glad of the beautiful photos we took.
Uluru Is Listed As A UNESCO World Heritage Site Twice
Another interesting Uluru facts for kids is that Uluru is one of the few places in the world to have TWO World heritage listings. In 1987 it was made a Natural World Heritage site due to its unique geology. Then, in 1997, it was also put on the World Heritage site list as a cultural site due to its importance to the local Aborigines.
What a fun fact about Uluru – it is on both the cultural and Natural World Heritage registers!
Can You Climb Uluru?
At the time of updating these Uluru Facts for kids, it is no longer permitted to climb Uluru.
According to Aboriginal tradition, only special wise men within the tribe may climb the rock. Despite this, in 1964, the Australian government installed a chain making it easier for tourists to climb, which they have done in their thousands.
In 1985 Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was handed back to the traditional owners for them to manage, in what is known as the “Handback”.
In the 1990s signs were put up at the base of the climb which asked visitors on behalf of the traditional owners, Please Don’t Climb. As visitors become more conscious of the importance of respecting First Nation’s culture, the number of visitors climbing Uluru began to drop.
The Uluru Rock climb closed permanently in October 2019, marking the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to indigenous management. This is a momentous occasion and one that we, at World of Travels with Kids, wholeheartedly celebrate support!
Why Is Uluru Important To Understand Different Cultures?
We love this quote, that helps you understand the different ways that indigenous people see the land!
“Whitefellas see the land in economic terms where Anangu see it as Tjukurpa. If the Tjukurpa is gone so is everything. We want to hold on to our culture. If we don’t it could disappear completely in another 50 or 100 years. We have to be strong to avoid this. The government needs to respect what we are saying about our culture in the same way it expects us to abide by its laws. It doesn’t work with money. Money is transient; it comes and goes like the wind. In Anangu culture Tjukurpa is everlasting.” From theconversation.com.
Uluru With Kids
If you are visiting Australia a visit to the Uluru region should definitely be on your bucket list. Though it is remote, and in most cases requires a flight (unless you are intrepid and go overland), Uluru is a great place with Kids. Like other iconic places (like the Sydney Opera House), Uluru is easy to recognize and children will remember their visit for a long time. Once you are at Uluru, there are not a lot of distances to travel which also makes a visit to Uluru with Kids a winner. The entire Red Centre Way was included in our Best Holiday Destinations In Australia For Families.
How To Get To Uluru – Our Story
We flew from Sydney to Alice Springs where we rented a Britz Campervan, equipped with all we needed for a weeks’ stay in the outback. We purchased all our essential supplies in Alice Springs before heading off, expecting that it would cost less than en route. Uluru from Alice Springs is about a five-hour drive and we enjoyed the feeling of being in the Australian Outback.
Our first stop was Erldunda Roadhouse, which is 244km to Uluru and a great place to break the journey. They have motel units and caravan sites. Check here for the current prices and more information about Erldunda Roadhouse.
If camping is not your thing? Check below for other Ayers Rock accommodations.
We would still recommend driving from Alice Springs which gives you an amazing perspective of the Australian outback, and just how big this country is! At Erldunda, there’s a variety of accommodation options – camping, powered and unpowered caravan sites, backpacker’s accommodation (very basic), and very nice motel rooms.
If you are looking for great accommodation options in Alice Springs, check the latest prices and options here.
Other Ways To Get To Uluru
If you are short of time, how to get to Uluru will be to fly directly to Ayers Rock. Book early for very reasonably priced tickets.
If you drive from Alice Springs (like we did) it is entirely accessible via sealed roads, and you only need a 2WD to do this! Keeping in mind that if you do hire a 2wd don’t try to take it off-road!
- If you are up for a long road trip you could drive the Stuart Highway if you’re coming up from Sydney, Melbourne, or Adelaide. This is still a sealed route and well-trafficked.
- Western Australian’s could take the Great Central Road that heads out from Laverton but you would need to have some bush experience plus have a well-equipped 4wd. The Great Central Road is a mostly unsealed Australian outback highway that runs 1126 km from Laverton, Western Australia to Yulara, Northern Territory (near Uluru/Ayers Rock)
For tips on our to travel from Melbourne to Uluru a great Road trip from 5 Lost Together.
Things To Do At Uluru With Kids
Field Of Lights Uluru
One of the most spectacular things to do at Uluru with kids is doing a Field of Lights tour; this needs to be done through a tour company though when you get there the experience is self-guided.
Alternatively, you can first do a camel ride, and then end the ride near the Field of Lights where you can watch the sunset and then the lights as they are illuminated. Imagine as the sun sets, 50,000 glass spheres slowly come to life. Then, in the sky, the stars begin to come out – and stargazing in the Australian outback is truly incredible!
We are lucky to have seen the Field of Lights installation in Albany Western Australia
Ride A Bike Around The Base Of Uluru
The hike around the base is 10.6Km and takes about 4 hours, especially with smaller kids this sounds like a long time! The bike ride is easier and more fun, especially if you are traveling with kids. Uluru Bike Ride has options for toddlers, kids, and adults. They also will do transfers if you don’t have your own accommodation.
Remember it gets very hot so bring plenty of water, sunscreen, hats, and snacks to keep the kids going.
There are a number of ways to enjoy learning more about Camels while staying at Uluru. Smaller kids will enjoy a visit to the Camel farm where they can get up close with these amazing creatures, and even sit on one in a safe enclosure. For those with older kids will definitely want to add a Camel ride near Uluru to their bucket list experiences. Imagine riding a camel while watching either sunrise or sunset at Uluru! Most consider that the Uluru Camel rides as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Visit Kata Tjuta / The Olgas
Meaning ‘many heads’ in the local Aboriginal tongue, Kata Tjuta is sacred to the Anangu people, who have inhabited the area for more than 22,000 years.
Like Uluru/Ayers Rock Kata Tjuta is a stunning natural wonder, and very ancient. Instead of just one rock, Kata Tjuta features 32 red weathered rock domes.
The best way to experience Kata Tjuta/the Olgas is to do a hike. When we visited we were traveling with a 1-year-old toddler. So it was easy to do the 7.4km/4.6 miles Valley of the Winds circuit walk. Though it included some steep scrambles, the magnificent views during the 3-4 hour hike were worthwhile.
We visited Australia’s Red Centre in August, the middle of winter. This meant that we were able to do the Valley of the Winds hike in the middle of the day. It was not too strenuous or hot. However, if you are visiting during the hotter months we would strongly recommend leaving early in the morning before the sun gets too hot.
Other options in the Valley of the Winds area, is to do a short hike of 1 hour (or 2.2km return) to the Karu lookout. There are still some loose rocks and it involves a climb, but the view is well worth it.
If you aren’t able to do the longer Valley of the Winds walks, we would consider the Walpa Gorge route which is 2.6km/ 1.6 miles.
What if I don’t have enough time to do Valley of the Winds or other hikes at the Olgas?
Like its famous cousin, Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta is also stunning in the early morning or late afternoon light. If you don’t have the time or energy to do one of the hikes, we would recommend traveling 40km from Yulara to one of two Sunset viewing platforms that are marked on local tourist maps.
There is also a designated sunrise viewing area over the sand dunes.
Where To Stay In Uluru/Ayers Rock Accommodation?
There are a few different options if you want to stay close to the actual “rock”. Ayers Rock Resort offers all styles of accommodation and is a great Uluru accommodation. From campsites and cabins to simple hotels to apartments and, eventually, a “six-star” luxury hotel, Sails in the Desert. Then, off-site is Longitude 131 — super-luxury tents that take desert camping to a whole new option.
The family-friendly, budget option is Outback Pioneer Hotel. Rooms offer air conditioning and heating and allow you access to all the amenities of Ayers Rock Resort. They have budget rooms and multi-bed dormitories. The rate depends on accommodation. Check here for current prices at the Outback Pioneer Hotel.
We stayed at the Ayers Rock Campground with our trusty Britz campervan! This is also an alternative choice to other Ayers Rock accommodations. For us, it was the most cost-efficient place to stay in Uluru.
We always travel with insurance – it has saved us numerous times. World Nomads have specially designed travel insurance for families! Take a look at their Family Travel Insurance.
Kings Canyon With Kids
If you are like us and drove from Alice Springs to Uluru, then we would highly recommend making the detour to Kings Canyon, either on your trip to or from Ayers Rock Uluru.
It’s a 3-hour drive (306 km) from Uluru (or the town of Yulara) to Kings Canyon. From Kings Canyon back to Alice Springs, it is about 5 hours driving on the Lasseter Highway.
The main thing to do at Kings Canyon with kids (unless you are going to pay big cash for a helicopter ride) is the iconic hike to the top of Kings Canyon is known as the Rim Walk. Note, this is not for smaller children.
The Rim Walk is a 6-kilometer circuit that starts with an exceptionally hard climb at the beginning. Over 500 steps straight up the canyon wall! Ouch! However, after the initial climb, the rest of the Rim Walk around Kings Canyon is gorgeous and has truly stunning views.
Carrying a toddler on our back, we did the hike in between 3-4 hours. I would not attempt this hike with small children unless you were able to carry them the entire distance. There are some quite scary cliff faces. You need to trust that your children can act responsibly for the whole hike.
However, in many ways, Kings Canyon was our favorite part of our entire Red Centre visit. We didn’t have the same expectations as we did for Ayers Rock/Uluru and in general, there were fewer tourists.
Conclusion – Interesting Uluru Facts For Kids
We hope you have enjoyed our Uluru Facts for kids. Also, they help you to understand why Uluru is important, how old Uluru is, and why it is sometimes called Ayers Rock. Do you think that there are other Fun facts about Uluru that would be a great addition to this page? Please let us know if there is an important Uluru fact that we have missed!
Want to learn more about Uluru? Check out these great books about Uluru on Amazon. Click each one for current prices.
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