Thanks for all the advice, everyone, I’m getting very excited!
Is it fairly flat, or are there decent ups and downs?
I did end up renting one, thanks for the tip! It was fairly inexpensive and I found a blog post saying that it’s best to rent one through Discover Central Australia. They don’t have mileage limits. I’m flying in and out of Uluru, not Alice Springs.
I think I’ll be there as the season starts winding down, so hopefully I’ll miss the biggest crowds.
That’s the plan! I might have to fit a beer in there somewhere…
Thanks! Just sharing Asclepius Snakebite Foundation’s advice for surviving snakebites in the wilderness here. The advice is mostly for viper bites but but there’s also a section for elapid bites (which I think contains most of the venomous snakes in Australia?) near the bottom that goes over compression bandages. (Warning: shows a few snakebite wounds)
Full disclosure: I used to work with ASF’s founder, Jordan Benjamin. He grew up attending programs by the herp rescue/environmental education company I taught for (before I was there) and I’m pretty sure that’s where he got his love of reptiles. Environmental education makes a difference!
Thanks! It was pretty great, although I suspect I missed peak wildife by a month or two. Still, an amazing place and I’m glad I went. Here are my observations from the area, if anyone is interested. Alas, no thorny devils or snakes were seen by me, but that just means I’ll have to go again…
As far as logistics are concerned:
I did rent a small car from Discover Central Australia, with unlimited mileage (kilometerage?). Picked up at the airport and dropped it off in Yulara “town”. It was nice having a car and not needing to rely on shuttles.
They are very strict about you not driving a car at night, due to potential wildlife collisions. At the rental car desk they have photos of cars with smashed in fronts, plus this sign. I suppose I could have gotten away with it and driven at herping speeds, but I decided not to risk it, especially being by myself.
The Uluru base walk was cool and provided some great views. But it was a bit flatter than I’d like. There’s a lot of good signage telling you when and where you cannot photograph Uluru itself, due to cultural sensitivies, which I thought was cool. I wish I had spent more time in Kata-Tjuta, I think the plants further down in Valley of the Winds would have been neat.
My room at Ayers Rock Resort was quite nice, and the food they served there was good as well.
I brought an insect net to cover my head, but ended up not using it. They were a little annoying but not enough to necessiate a net, IMO. Quite a few people did wear them, though, and if there had been more of them the net would really have come in handy.
I ended up being there when temps weren’t too crazy - low 80s as a high, upper 50s as a low (in Fahrenheit - about 28°C and 14.4°C). The week before was a lot hotter, apparently.