Uluṟu 13th - 17th November
Whenever I plan a holiday, I start with an idea and a list of things I would like to do. Then I make an itinerary; This is my itinerary with how everything went.
This Holiday had been planned and fully booked back in 2020, but I had to cancel for obvious reasons.
A few years later, I had been thinking a lot about re-booking. Then my friend Jack moved to Yulara to fly helicopters around Uluru. One night on a phone call, we were chatting about how epic his job was, and I said I should come to visit. So within two weeks, I booked my flights and accommodation.
Flights $513 return ✅
My flight with Jetstar was initially direct to Yulara. However, That changed to having to stop in Sydney for an hour and a half on the way there, which I had to rush and get my luggage check-in and race to the gate just in time. Luckily I had the wheelchair because that got us through a lot faster. (I was later told that connecting flights that are close, there is a line that you can go to in front of everyone else) This day was a 2.30 am start for us as I drove from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane. On our flight home, Jimmy was so funny, laughing at takeoff like he always does, but when we landed in Syndey, he stood up and was ready to get off straight away. But because we are always first on, we are last off; it is easier for everyone.
We had an extra couple of hours stopping in Syndey which gave us time to have something to eat (where jimmy spewed all over himself because the food was a bit too chunky, so a minor cleanup and we were all good). The flight back to Brisbane was quick, and Jimmy slept on the drive; we arrived home around 11 pm.
Book car - Airport $129 ✅
I always drive us to and from the airport. It is a lot easier so once Ive booked my flights I will book my car in at the airport.
• Arrive at 1205pm
• Settle in/look around, buy food
• Flight with Jack
Accommodation $1743 ✅ Emu Walk Appartments
On our way to town after getting picked up from the airport, I looked at Uluru, and my first thought was that it didn't look real and was too picturesque.
I checked in at reception and was told where to go; I was a little thrown back when the receptionist said its upstairs. I then asked repeated "stairs". I got nothing but a blank stare back. I had phoned months earlier and spoken to someone about having my disabled son with me. I just asked about their different accommodations in the town and decided on this one. I had been told there were stairs but not as many as I thought. I asked the young girl if I could leave my luggage and make a few trips because I couldn't do it all at once. So here is me thinking it's only a few stairs, and it ended up a few flights... I made Jimmy walk up most of the time, so even though I was initially a little upset, it ended up being fine. I chose these apartments because they have a kitchenette. I thought that I would save money, and cook the two nights I had spare, but that did not happen. So I didn't need the kitchenette after all. Overall this was a very roomy apartment suitable for a family. All staff were exceptional, especially the cleaners who were very helpful. Emu Walk apartments are relatively inexpensive, but there are cheaper options too. This accomodation was about mid-range, and all accommodation in Yulara is within walking distance of town. There are also buses that run all day around Yulara. Yulara is a small town.
Ayers ROCK Helicopters $576 booked ✅
You will get picked up and dropped off at your accommodation for all booked flights, and Jack picked us up. If you have seen my Instagram, you would know this was an epic flight. Just to reiterate, watching my friend following his dream was epic in itself but to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta from the air is something else. As I said, it didn't feel real; it looked like a photograph that has been etched in my mind forever. The process was simple and easy, from booking to being picked and then flying. Ayers Rock Helicopters and Ayers Rock Scenic Flights offer the best experience like nowhere else. I booked this Tour through Jack as he not only flys the helicopters but takes the bookings too.
• AAT Uluṟu Sunrise & Kata Tjuta
•. Sunset (too tired)
AAT Uluṟu Sunrise & Kata Tjuta $330 ✅
This Tour was great, though my anxiety kicked in overdrive when the coach pulled up full of people. I had to take deep breaths and piggyback Jimmy through a small walkway to get to a seat at the back with everyone's eyes watching. I understand they are just curious about why I am piggybacking such a large child. At first, when I sat down, I felt uncomfortable and didn't want to go. The first stop was at Uluru for a sunrise at the lookout. I waited until most people were off and then hopped off the bus. It was pretty busy at the viewing area, so I kept to myself taking some photos. I was so anxious about the number of people around us I didn't stay long and headed back on the bus before every else, so I didn't have to squeeze through and see people staring. Then we were off to Kata Tjuta. By this time, I was busting to go to the toilet. It was so windy, cold and hard to get Jimmy off and on the bus, I decided to leave him sitting in his seat; the people around us were so lovely, and I said he would make funny noises and most likely laugh when I was gone (which he did). When I returned, he was sitting so quietly with a smile waiting for me. When we arrived at Kata Tjuta, I waited until most were off, but because I had spoken to some people in the seats around me, I felt a lot better this time. Some offered help, even offering a jumper for Jimmy because it was cold and windy. This walk was a 2.6km trail return. Upon walking, I had a lovely Brazilian man offer to piggyback Jimmy some of the ways. At first, I declined, but on chatting, he just wanted to give me some time to enjoy the walk instead of worrying about piggybacking all the way.
This Tour was great once I overcame my anxiety about being around many people. Though my suggestion is if you like smaller intimate tours, this is not the one for you, but if crowds don't bother you, then you'll love this one. This Tour was booked through a third party on the Ayers Rock Resort page. But I recommend booking straight with the company if you choose this one.
I was going to organise a sunset, but Jimmy and I were too tired.
• Seit Uluṟu highlights
• AAT Kings Sunset BBQ Dinner
Seit Uluṟu highlights $276 ✅
This sunrise tour was beautiful from start to finish. The knowledgeable guide and the small group made it by far the best part of our trip. Seit Outback Tours offers a range of different tours; the one we did was Uluru Highlights. I got very emotional on the way back from Uluru because I felt an energy I'd never felt before. I booked this one Through Ayers Rock Resort but I would also recommend booking through them online or giving them a call they are all very helpful with your needs and what may be suited for your ability.
AAT Kings Sunset BBQ Dinner $534 ✅
At first, seeing that coach again, I started to feel anxious. But this time, I overcame it fast as I knew I'd be ok because I had been on it before, and I was also meeting up with my friend jack. When I got on the bus, he was right at the front, so we didn't have to walk through everyone down to the back. The first stop was close to Uluru for nibbles and champagne. We were told the Anangu people would be there selling paintings, not to drink anywhere near them, and not barter, as they do not understand this. Then we went to a site where Dinner was, a beautiful set up in the desert with a view of Uluru. Even though there were clouds, the lighting and ambience felt surreal. Dinner was plentiful, with lots and lots of meat. I'm not a massive fan of any meat, but I tried the native flavours, and to my surprise, it was all good; by the end, Jimmy and I were both very full. During dessert, everyone was quiet; we all looked up at the sky and listened to stories about the cosmos. This Dinner is one I'll remember forever. We met some beautiful people during the bus ride and at Dinner, this one I booked through the AAT kings website.
• Sunrise (too tired)
• Field of Light Dinner
I had wanted to organise a hop-on-hop bus for Sunrise, but Jimmy and I were both too tired and had a much-needed sleep.
Field of Light Dinner $560 ✅ cancelled.
Yep, you read correctly. The Field of Light Dinner was cancelled; it had been raining most of the day, so I had a feeling it would be, but we still got dressed and ready. So I piggybacked Jimmy to the meeting point, and the sign was there saying all different tours had been cancelled. I was sad because this is one thing I've wanted to do since 2020, when I had initially booked, but you can't control the weather. So we went out for Dinner instead. The refund was straightforward and was back in my bank within a week of being home. I booked this one through Ayers Rock resort.
• Home time leave Uluṟu 1250pm
With all tours, you need to have a National Park Pass by booking through a third party, I didn't realise I needed to do this. I thought the price included that. So I ended up paying twice for one extra day. You always get a three-day pass which I had to get for my first Sunrise because I initially thought it was included. I already had one that started the following day for Three days. So a three-day park pass will cost you $76 for two adults.
Overall, when thinking about assessability for us, it was good. Before booking any tours, I could see whether it would be easy, moderate or hard. All tours do say whether they are wheelchair assessable or not. If I had any questions, I called, and everyone I spoke to was very knowledgeable on whether something was suited and they trusted my judgement as a mother.
I could afford this Holiday by budgeting, paying for only one thing at a time. I would go down the list on my itinerary and then wait until payday and pay for it. You can make this whole trip a whole lot cheaper than I did as well. I also decided to do tours because I like to learn about where I am, and It is an excellent way to meet others and overcome my anxiety of doing things alone with Jimmy.
I met some wonderful people On our trip to the Red Centre. I hope one day I cross paths with some of these beautiful souls. Who were there, for the same reason as me, to feel the energy of Uluru and come together to have a bit of cultural understanding of the Anangu people.
And there you have it, a summary of our Holiday and the costs involved if you want to do something similar.
Enjoy, anything is possible if you have the courage to step out of your comfort zone and believe in your dreams