iNatting around Uluru-Kata Tjuta

So my wife and I were supposed to visit Australia in September 2020 but Covid put a that on hold, and some of our travel credits, including our hotel stay in the Uluru area, are set to expire on December 31st so I’m heading to Australia (for the first time!) in November. Alas, I’ll be solo as my wife can’t make it.

I’ll have a few days in Uluru and want to get as much iNatting done as I can, so if anyone has any recommendations that’d be great. And probably more important, I’m wondering abot logistics. It sounds like many trails might be closed by the afternoon due to heat, which is fine, but if anyone has experience getting from the Ayers Rock Resort to trailheads in the park and back, I’d appreciate hearing about it. Thanks!


Wear thick boots and have a heavy bottle filled to the brim with ice cold water


Whenever you’re down in these climes you can never apply enough sunblock. And buy it locally! I burn in 15 minutes outside in the Summer. Zinc sunblock makes you look like an all day cricketer, but it’ll save your life.

We found this guide useful. Scroll down a bit to see their suggestions.


I’ve not got that far inland myself yet and can’t add much, but…
A good, wide-brimmed hat is vital here imo, as well as good footwear, water.
If you’re ever in the far southeast of NSW, I’d be more than happy to show you around the area :)


Also, it can get damned busy. Everyone else wants to be there at sunrise and sunset. Ask yourself whether you want to be with everyone else too!


Sounds exciting! I can add a flynetted hat as a recommendation .First thing I did arriving at Uluru was inhale some flies. Although certain times of the year are worse than others.
I also highly recommend starting early in the morning. It gets pretty hot quickly when the sun is out so your best chance of an enjoyable trip is to use the cooler hours around dawn and dusk. And there’s probably some interesting critters to spot after dark.
The regular trailheads around Uluru are accessible by car, and a car also allows you to take extra water and cool down after a walk. I heard there is a bicycle rental at the visitor center nowadays. Unfortunately I haven’t been doing much walking there as it was way too hot for me, hopefully someone else can provide more info on the trailheads… Enjoy!


On Google, one of the results says

November, the last month of the spring in Uluru, is another tropical month, with an average temperature fluctuating between 34°C (93.2°F) and 16°C (60.8°F) .

That sounds quite nice and not at all hot enough to close trails. Is there something I’m missing?

I look forward to reading a trip report, Tony.


Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, mainly due to higher levels of UV radiation because of the way the ozone layer thinned several decades ago. It still hasn’t fully recovered.


I hope you will have a car. If so, you might want to head over to Kata Tjuta one day for a bit of a variety. Also, keep an eye out for thorny devils on the roads in the morning and near dusk. Of course they’re also found in the desert, not just on the roads, but you are far likelier to notice one on the road than off. And of course after dark, there are many lizards and snakes to be found on the roads. Many of the rental car agencies will include a clause that says you’re not allowed to drive at night due to the reckless kangaroos bouncing back and forth, but if you drive at a nice sensible herping speed that shouldn’t be a problem.


Thanks for the responses! Will defintely be carryig lots of water and snacks, and plan to get a flynetted hat, I was reading about the fly situation.

The official map PDF from the park says that many trails are “best” in the morning and is blunt about the dangers of hiking during the afternoon. And at least one trail gets closed by 11 if temps are over 36°C, which may not happen while I’m there. Either way, since I’m traveling solo I’m not going to push it when it comes to risk.

I didn’t think about getting one as there are shuttles, but a car would definitely be liberating. Just have to see if I can fit it in the budget…

The walk around the base of the rock is fantastic. When I did it I was just concentrating on the walk and the rock and the experience, no iNat then. But there are lots of plants, and a couple of waterholes where you might find creatures.

Enjoy your trip!

(And I nearly forgot - lots of birds. Seeing a flock of budgerigars at Kata Tjuta was a highlight for me, as I’d never seen them in the wild.)


If it’s 34 degrees it could feel 10 degrees hotter in the sun… I have been living in Australia for a while now but still amazed how much hotter it feels in the sun compared to other places around the world.


I’ve not visited there yet myself; however, a couple of thoughts about being outdoors in Australia in general.

Zinc sunscreen is an excellent recommendation. I use one that is also SPF50+. And remembering to re-apply at the correct intervals :)

Another safety precaution I’d recommend is carrying a compression bandage and knowledge of how to use it, just in case of snake bites.

The BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) website might come in handy for weather-related things like forecasts, weather warnings, radar, historical data, info on the effects of the current La Nina or other influences on weather, etc. They have a smartphone app as well.


Are you flying into Uluru’s little airport, or flying into Alice Springs? The drive from Alice is long but you go through some great habitat and often there are excellent animals to be found along the way.

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i thought it wasn’t open for visitors to climb any more because it is an aboriginal sacred site (but still fine to hike around?)


Yes, climbing was closed in 2019, which is great. But yeah, the area around it has trails and there’s a trail that goes around the entire formation. Sounds like @vireya’s done that.


My understanding is during rare desert rains the giant bedrock area concentrates rainwater and there’s lots more water around the edges, i don’t know anything about this but it sounds amazing, i’m jealous :)

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My walk around the base of Uluru was before the climb closed. It was a choice to respect the wishes of the traditional owners and not climb on their sacred place. To be honest I had already climbed it when I was a teenager, but that was before I knew any better!
The walk is about 10km, which really brings home the size of the rock. When I did it there were not many people. Now that the climb has closed there may be more people on the trail.


Looking at your observations, you seem happy to photograph anything that sits still for you which means you will have lots of options.

We have a forecast for a 3rd la nina this Spring / Summer though that is less likely to impact the Centre than the north and east coasts but it could rain and have storms. If it hasn’t rained, you will find birds where there is water including dripping taps, irrigation sprinklers around the resort. Early morning and late afternoon are often the best times to find birds here. You will find lots of insects on the plants there, though it will probably not be a lot of flowers in the bush. After your morning trail walks, you could do shorter walks around the resort in the heat and then retreat to your (hopefully) airconditioned room when you need a break. Often there are more plants flowering plants on the road edges than further in. At night time, check out around any outdoor lights for insects including moths as well as reptiles that feed on them.

You don’t say if you are going anywhere else but if you are in Alice Springs, the Alice Springs Desert Park and the Alice Springs Botanical Gardens should provide some observation opportunities - I visited both in July / August / September. Also the Alice Springs sewerage / waste water treatment ponds on the edge of town is a food spot for seeing birds.

If you are planning to wear shorts, gaiters would be a good idea to keep grass seeds out of your socks and closed in shoes - also reduce the chance of a snake bite breaking skin. Fly net, a wide brimmed hat that breathes through the crown, sunburn cream as already recommended and a couple of compression bandages. A torch or a headlamp would be useful so you can see where you are walking at night.

Also suggest that you check that which ever carrier you are using has good mobile (cell) reception for the area especially as you are travelling solo. Telstra generally has the best coverage in the more remote areas. Outside the resort, there isn’t a lot of infrastructure and distances will be a lot more than they look on the map.

You might need to research the shuttle bus and where it goes to make sure you can get to where you want to go without your own car as there are no taxis or public transport options at Uluru.

Hope this helps and have a fabulous trip


The walk around the base of Uluru is about 10km and its not as busy as the shorter walks and guided tours near the carpark, so there is plenty of wildlife that isn’t getting spooked. There is little overhead shade so prepare yourself sun protection and iNat-wise for grassland and rocky terrain. Leave plenty of time to also visit the art gallery and gift store, which has a few natural history books.

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